One of the best comedies to hit Indian idiot boxes of late, Sarabhai vs Sarabhai...
...is a sitcom set in a quintessential Malabar Hill family. Sahil, the protagonist, is a cosmetic surgeon, a guy with a golden heart who can never say 'no' and gets caught between his mom and wife. Monisha, Sahil's wife, is a middle class girl, is a 'nosey' daughter of a detective.
Sahil's father, Indravadan, is a retired director of a multinational company and is really a child at heart. He often plays Narad Muni between his 'uppity' wife and bahu. Sahil's mom, Maya, likes only the crème de la crème in every aspect of her life and her family. Her bone of contention - daughter-in-law, Monisha, who is middle class.
Roshesh, Sahil's younger brother, is a mama's boy, a wannabe actor who is waiting for his mom to find the right bride. Sonya is Sahil's sister. She is deeply into tarot.
Set in this dysfunctional family, Sarabhai vs Sarabhai is a classic comedy that brings together veterans Satish Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah with Sumeet Raghavan and Rupali Ganguli.
And they (including the awards jury and the critics) find the noisy, unimaginative and slapstick Hum Paanch funny?
Sarabhai vs Sarabhai is directed by Deven Bhojani, who many of us will recall as Karima from another classic comedy, Dekh Bhai Dekh. He also plays the role of Dushyant, Mara Sarabhai's son-in-law in the serial (friends say that I often act like the character). Here's some select shots from season one.
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Eagerly awaiting season two. Still wondering why they took it off air in the first place?
Complete episodes are available for download at Indya.com. The introductory episode is available for free (though you need to feed in your credit card details)