Comic artist Cyrus Sahukar is very happy at the superb response his Applause-Amazon Prime web series, Mind the Malhotras, is garnering.
“The best part is that for the first time, the normal good guy is getting attention. Normally, either you were a super hero or the villain; where was the space for normal guys like you and me,” he says.
“My character Rishabh (Rish for short) is an everyday dude who struggles to make enough money to keep his family happy, can’t get his kids (two teenaged girls and one naughty boy), and yes, has issues with wifey, Shefali (Mini Mathur),” he adds.
“Unlike other dudes, he does not want to party. He’d rather sit at home and watch cricket or play video games. I have had men tell me that they identify with Rish’s predicament, in that he can’t talk to his wife despite loving her.”
Talking about working with Mini, he says, “We have known each other since college. We are also hosting the on-air quiz show, Discovery School Super League. This familiarity makes things easy, as then you don’t hesitate to point out mistakes or that the other is going off tangent.”
“This 9-episode slice-of-life show has tried to mainstream the concept of therapy (Rish and Shefali seek help, fearing that their marriage too might flounder like their friends’). For many years, going to a shrink was looked down upon. If stressed out, you were just advised to head to the mountains to clear your head.”
“In a way, after a while, Rish liked the sessions for he was finally getting space to do some talking.” “Denzel Smith, who plays Dr Gulfam Rastogi, is one great actor and it was fun doing those scenes with him.”
“The best part of the web is that are you no longer restricted to making content only for the masses. Now there are options for all types of audiences, which in turn means more work for creative artists and technicians,” added he, about the digital space.
So what is the feedback?
“Superb! A couple of days ago, I went to Juhu beach with mom. At least six people across age and social demographics came forward, saying they have watched and loved the show.”
“I guess what also works is that this family show does not have other elements which might turn off certain sensibilities.”
In closing, he is hopeful of one more season of this Israeli adaptation. “Since we follow a format (LA Familigia), we can’t change it much. But yes, the source material is so good that we don’t have any issue.”