In its first season, 4 Extra Pictures Please! — Amazon’s first authentic scripted Indian comedy collection from first-time creator Rangita Pritish Nandy — was only a fairly shell. That is how we summarised it in our evaluate, having famous its many faults within the writing and technical departments, be it the pre-adult mentality that outlined its strategy, its restricted success with the empowering concepts it selected to deal with, or the general lack of nuance, particularly in route and modifying. A number of different critics had been of the identical opinion. Amazon’s resolution to resume the present for a second season — out now on Prime Video — was baffling, not least as a result of it appeared content material to present free rein to these already on the helm. For higher or worse, 4 Extra Pictures Please! season 2 is essentially made by the identical group.
There is a new co-showrunner in Rangita’s sister, Ishita Pritish Nandy, upgraded from her earlier affiliate showrunner place. That is Ishita’s first credit score as showrunner; she has beforehand dealt with model and film promotions. Season 2 additionally has a brand new director, Nupur Asthana (Bewakoofiyaan), however the scripts and dialogues proceed to be from the duo of Devika Bhagat and Ishita Moitra. Between them, 4 Extra Pictures Please! continues to be the identical present it was upon its debut final 12 months. If something, the Amazon collection has additional dialled up a few of its worst instincts. Due to a near-constant use of background songs and an obsession with montages, 4 Extra Pictures Please! season 2 feels extra akin to a collection of music movies.
In flip, that alerts an incapability of stringing collectively a number of dialogue-filled scenes, not to mention constructing as much as one thing. Too usually, the lead quartet provide empty aphorisms in lieu of actual, trustworthy, participating conversations, earlier than ending the scene with a gaggle hug. Most plot concepts — those that aren’t deserted — are resolved 10 minutes after being first launched, generally whereas juggling one other character’s arc. This love for fast fixes undermines just about each narrative thread. Since 4 Extra Pictures Please! season 2 is at all times dashing by means of setups at lightning velocity, unwilling to sit down and spend time with the characters’ mindsets, its lows and highs do not appear actual on the finish of the day. If you cannot really feel the emotion, it will really feel unearned.
We choose up 4 months on from the occasions of 4 Extra Pictures Please! season 1 finale, with the broken-hearted Siddhi Patel (Maanvi Gagroo) having spent two of these on a parents-funded Euro journey by herself. In Istanbul, she has a significant breakdown and rings up best-friend and health coach Umang Singh (Bani J), who in flip calls up the 2 different members of the girl-gang: investigative journalist Damini Rizvi Roy (Sayani Gupta) and lawyer Anjana Menon (Kirti Kulhari). However the 4 have not spoken since that “huge battle” on the finish of season 1. Besides that that is a simple, frothy comedy, which is why the three pack their baggage in a minute and are on the subsequent flight to the Turkish capital, the place they patch up after a number of scenes, a number of costume modifications, and a dozen selfies.
Throughout these exchanges, 4 Extra Pictures Please! season 2 fills within the blanks. Regardless of the hysterics, Anjana has custody of her daughter, as a result of her ex-husband Varun Khanna (Neil Bhoopalam) did not press expenses. Again residence, she shies away from the prospect of home bliss along with her boyfriend, which is additional sophisticated by the arrival of rival lawyer Shashank Bose (Samir Kochhar, from Sacred Video games) and Varun their previous with rose-tinted glasses. There is a bigger level right here about Varun’s self-destructive persona — his second spouse Kavya Arora (Amrita Puri) is pregnant — however the subplot is forgotten and by no means resolved. Concurrently, Anjana is coping with misogyny at work, however 4 Extra Pictures Please! season 2 is just too on the nostril and self-righteous in its depiction.
Having damaged the bar proprietor Jeh Wadia’s (Prateik Babbar) coronary heart on the finish of season 1, Damini is again to the land of informal intercourse along with her gynaecologist Dr. Aamir Warsi (Milind Soman). On the profession entrance, she has spent the 4 intervening months researching a choose’s alleged homicide for a guide (which is written in a tiny montage after two episodes of writers’ block). By means of it, 4 Extra Pictures Please! season 2 goes head-on with the socio-political problems with press self-censorship and demonisation of journalists in India immediately, with Damini being labelled an “anti-national” and “presstitute”. However the Amazon collection bungles its dealing with of the storyline because it finally ends up giving the opposite aspect ammunition, and finally, it reveals it would not have something precious to say.
That is additionally the case with Umang’s arc, which includes her making an attempt to assist her girlfriend Samara Kapoor (Lisa Ray), who we’re advised is bipolar. We would little religion 4 Extra Pictures Please! would decide to exploring it, and that is precisely what occurs. That leaves Siddhi, whose new factor on season 2 is stand-up comedy. Having tried her hand at half a dozen careers, the trust-fund Gujarati lady by chance discovers a expertise for zingers after heckling one other comedian throughout his act. If there is a single theme on the sophomore run of 4 Extra Pictures Please!, it is that ladies have to embrace independence. That applies each personally and professionally for the 4 lead characters, as they take care of shallowness, identification, need, and motherhood.
However any actual progress on that entrance is undercut by 4 Extra Pictures Please!’s aforementioned shortcomings. Kulhari is essentially the one one who’s in a position to elevate the lacklustre materials, due to her line supply and the tiny touches she deploys along with her face. Besides that is not almost sufficient, when you’re battling poor route that retains pushing excessive notes out of actors, have little cinematographic thought of what body to select and which of them to change between, or enable your characters to repeatedly make inconceivable selections. And even when its characters have one thing smart to say, 4 Extra Pictures Please! season 2 cannot decide to it. Too afraid of depicting one thing uncooked, the Amazon collection is comfortable to leap from one cutesy, tacky, and clichéd second to a different.
4 Extra Pictures Please! season 2 is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.