When The Office first began its journey in India as the Indian adaptation of the cult British/American series, it was received by the digital community, first with trepidation, then with curiosity, and finally, with whole-hearted acceptance.
Naysayers did cry blasphemy, but The Office was given unanimous thumbs up by all those who cared to watch the entire first season. Well, that’s the way the wind blows. Accept it. The Office, The Indian Office is here to stay; and before anyone can write it off for good, it is back for a second season, naysayers be damned!
And must we say that Season 2 of the adorable series is way better than Season 1. The humour is better; the lines, funnier; and yes, it has the one thing we love the most – the same ol’ endearing characters. This season is directed by Rohan Sippy and Bumpy, and produced by Sameer Nair, Deepak Segal and Myleeta Aga, of Applause Entertainment and BBC India respectively.
For the uninitiated, The Office is one of the most adored shows ever to grace TV screens in the US of A. The US version itself was an official adaptation of the British original. The sitcom was adapted for Indian audiences by Applause Entertainment for streaming giant, Hotstar. Season 1 of the show comprised of 13 episodes, while the latest, Season 2, has a run of 15 episodes.
The Indian version of The Office is set in the offices of the Faridabad branch of the Wilkins Chawla Paper Company. The branch is headed by regional manager, Jagdeep Chaddha (Mukul Chaddha).
Chaddha calls himself CFO of the company – Chief Fun Officer. He is given to cracking crass racist and gender discrimination jokes at the expense of his junior colleagues, is boisterous, and nurses a delusional superiority complex. In other words, he is an out and out narcissist.
His colleagues bear his obnoxiousness and innumerable idiosyncrasies with an air of resigned nonchalance and studied indifference.
The show has been shot in the form of a mockumentary, an interesting cinematic device that keeps us engaged and entertained.
The Office Season 1 took some time to ease into our list of cherished sitcoms initially. But by the time we finished watching the entire season, the series and its lovable characters ingratiated itself into our hearts with consummate precision. Each character etched itself into the slate of our minds, and we fell in love with the motley bunch, warts….errr….quirks and all.
Thus, when Season 2 came around, it seemed as if we were in the company of old friends, the kind whose every eccentricity we know, and still love and accept them from within the recesses of our hearts and minds. We love them despite it all, or may be, because of it all.
Anjali’s (Priyanka Sethia) grouchy moods; T P Mishra’s (Gopal Datt) buttering-the-boss shenanigans and overtly nationalistic sloganeering; Pammi’s (Samridhi Dewan) humdrum receptionist issues; Amit’s (Sayandeep Sengupta) mediocre, lovelorn (for Pammi, who’s betrothed to another) salesman existence; Kutti’s (Gavin N. Methalaka) cute gluttony; Sarlaji’s (Preeti Kochar) middle-class Delhi mores; Sapan’s (Abhinav Sharma) I’m-too-cool-for-this-office exasperation; North-eastern origin Rinchin’s (Chien Ho Liao) vexation at Jagdeep’s constant needling with ‘Chinese’ jokes; and finally, the HR guy, Madhukar’s (Mayur Bansiwal) tedious job of reining in Jagdeep’s boisterous enthusiasmthat’s almost always sexist/racist/classist….take your pick.
And then there’s Riya (Gauahar Khan), Jagdeep’s boss, who sits at the Wilkins Chawla Head Office, and who has a love-hate relationship with the maverick mister. Every character is so well-etched out that one cannot imagine any other actor stepping into the shoes of these well-loved guys.
This season also sees the entry of Mallika Dua as Kitty Kataria, customer relations executive and a typical Delhiite fashion-plate. Ace comedienne that she is, Mallika Dua brings her special brand of hilarity to the already uproarious high jinks at the paper company office. The Valentine’s Day episode, where she goes for Sapan Gill, all claws out, is a laugh riot. Her tone and style of speaking – classic Chandni Chowk – is enough to make one laugh out loud.
In fact, the Valentine’s Day episode is one of the best this season. Kids Day is another outrageously funny episode that brings on the laughs, as well as the pathos. So is the Diwali Dhamaka, Top Salesman, It’s a Secret, Riya vs. Chaddha – we could just go on and on…..
There are also refreshingly new plotlines developing into side-splitting narratives – an unlikely romance brewing between T P Mishra and Anjali; Rinchin harbouring a surprising secret; Chadhha and Riya’s developing (hopefully) affections, and lots more. Gosh, this season is bursting at the seams with engaging content. So what if it’s adapted from its western counterpart? We definitely like!
The cream of the crop, however, is Mukul Chaddha and his glittering turn as the bumbling, fumbling boss with a foot, perpetually and firmly, lodged in his mouth. He evokes the perfect nuances to his apparently-superficial-but-essentially-deep character. The infinitely myriad facets to his personality make their presence felt in myriad ways – in his grumpy mood swings, his endearing goof-ups, hiseating of humble pie, his withdrawing into a shell at times – making our hearts go out to the little lost boy that resides within that overenthusiastic facade.
In fact, when viewed in its entirety, this season truly sparkles with humour – of the old-fashioned kind. All the episodes have so much going on, at so many different levels, that it’s hard to take your eyes off the screen. And as you watch The Office with devoted attention, a goofy smile inadvertently makes its way onto your lips and stays put till the very end. Call us old school, or whatever you will, The Office is totally our kinda show!
To put it succinctly, The Office Season 2 – we loved it! And we guarantee you will too. Enough said! Watch it ASAP, guys!
In the meanwhile, 3/5 is our rating for The Office Season 2