As someone in her late 30s, there wasn't much that I could relate to when watching Netflix's Mismatched. Of course, I still watched both seasons of the Prajakta Koli and Rohit Saraf-starrer, and I have little doubt that I will watch the third one as well. Despite being heavy on cliches borrowed from Hollywood films, it is an easy watch — full-on time pass. While I winced through many of the scenes and said "Yeah, right!" more than a few times, what stood out for me was the way that therapy is shown in the series. Mismatched wins where content-rich shows like The Family Man have failed. In season two of The Family Man, couple's counselling for Srikant Tiwari (Manoj Bajpayee) and Suchi (Priyamani) is treated as a joke, and its portrayal is so far removed from reality that one is disappointed that in today's time, an otherwise well-thought-out story chose to poke fun at such an important topic. When asked for her take on such comical representations of counsellors on screen, Bengaluru-based counsellor Kalyani Keerthi Giridhara says, “I am sure that the makers were not making a mockery out of our profession — I don’t think that was their intention. It was most likely just that — comic relief. Mental health is a serious issue, which has to be treated in that manner. When someone comes to me, they have to take me seriously, because I put in a lot of effort into solving their problems.” Mismatched, on the other hand, doesn't trivialise therapy. It's heartening to see that Dr Suri (Akarsh Khurana), an occupational therapist, plays a big role in helping Anmol (Taaruk Raina) accept himself and work on being better. One can argue and make a case for Dear Zindagi, in which Kaira (Alia Bhatt) seeks out the help of psychologist Dr Jehangir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) to get her out of her career and personal relationships slump. Without a doubt it was great to see two big stars in a movie that revolves around a subject that might have been deemed as an art film if the roles were essayed by someone with lesser star power. While mental health is treated with sensitivity in the film, SRK's character uses rather unconventional methods to treat Kaira, which makes it quite far removed from reality. You almost feel like therapy can only be a success if (and this is a big IF) you find your very own, uber cool, super elusive and, let's face it, unreal Dr Jehangir Khan. “After Dear Zindagi released, I remember getting calls, asking if I do outdoor therapy. They were expecting me to do the whole walk-and-talk shebang, like Shah Rukh Khan in the film. I told them, ‘Sorry, I can’t do that’. I suppose they expected me to possess the charm that SRK exudes, and I don’t have that!” chuckles Bengaluru-based Supriya Kalbag, a counsellor, who has personally borne the brunt of such portrayals on the big screen. Another thing that she noticed after Dear Zindagi released was the increase in the number of 20-somethings visiting her, claiming to be depressed. Kaira (Alia Bhatt) in the film suffers from depression. “While I was thrilled that people were more aware about mental health and were ready to get help, I had to stop and tell them, ‘I know you are sad, but you are not depressed’. Being depressed was like the in-thing at the time. Yes, we all need help, but we need to seek help for the right reasons,” adds Supriya. Alisha (Deepika Padukone) in Gehraiyaan suffers from anxiety and depression after seeing her mother’s suffering as a young girl. Zain (Siddhant Chaturvedi) also had a traumatic childhood. This portrayal of generational trauma was appreciated and slammed in equal measure, but the film did manage to get some conversations going. But where Mismatched wins is that it clearly shows a mental issue and a realistic way to deal with it through Anmol and Dr Suri. All the kids on campus in Mismatched need a good therapy sesh, IMO. But that's material for another article. Back to the therapy track of season 2: It was refreshing to see that Professor Siddharth Sinha (Rannvijay Singha) pushed a jock like Anmol to seek therapy. Although not many may agree that therapy can or should be forced upon anyone, Anmol's transformation from someone who ridicules the concept to one who goes on to benefit from it is something we need to see more of. While all the important characters in the series parallelly reach a point of self-acceptance in Season 2, it is refreshing to see that therapy plays a huge role in the life of a popular boy like Anmol. While not all counsellors may be as loveable and affable as Dr Suri, showing more characters playing counsellors itself is a step in the right direction. After all, isn't representation key while starting dialogue? Supriya shows proof of this being true. “After Dear Zindagi, and Deepika Padukone’s admission of being depressed in real life, things have changed for the better in India. People are now more ready to walk into a therapist’s office to get help for their mental health issues,” she tells us. Given that Gen Z is among the biggest consumers of content on OTT platforms, it is important that more web series and movies show something as important as going for counselling as an accepted practice. In a country where people still can't openly admit that they are in therapy, or that they are even considering it, it is vital to see therapy as something that is hugely beneficial, and not reduced to comic relief. An honest portrayal of therapy will go a long way in normalising it, and perhaps encourage at least those people who have thought about doing it to take their first steps towards it.