The reality series, like Karan Johar's description of Malaika Arora as a "thirst trap," would have looked better on Instagram than on OTT.
Last Updated: 04.55 AM, Dec 30, 2022
Fans of Malaika Arora will get unfiltered access to her history, present, and future by moving in with her. Her friends and family will also make surprise cameos and spill the beans on the Bollywood icon's true nature.
Just when I typed "Moving in with Malaika" on my Google search bar, it suggested the show as a comedy series, and I think that's the most reality you can expect from the show. Malaika Arora announced her solo show as a 16-episode series in which fans will get to know her up close and personal. In reality, the icon offered was for how to use the luxurious products, which have been placed literally every other minute of the episode.
In the first episode, as Malaika sets out on her new trip, she is supported by her close friends and family. Later, during a casual conversation with Farah Khan, they talk about Malaika's history and present. That first episode was mentioned in the season finale, possibly to complete the circle or to turn "Moving in with Malaika" into an Arora reality show.
From the very beginning, we see Malaika asking her younger sister Amrita Arora literally anything and everything, and she has been shown as her genuine cheerleader. The show then ends with a schism between them, with Malaika asking her, "When will you be an amazing sister?!" Ummm, is that all we can expect from the life of Malaika? A cold war with her sister, trying to shut down a non-existing rumour about her problems with Nora Fatehi, or her son openly saying that she is not his No. 1, and Amu (Amrita) is almost there, taking the position.
After a car accident, she spends the first week of the show getting her confidence back. Then, out of nowhere, a girl who forayed into showbiz by dancing atop a train wants to try her hand at stand-up comedy. It's not even believable to have filmmaker-dialogue writer Farhad Samji offer the role of a stand-up comedian to Malaika, who is not so keen to show her "acting" side to the viewers. I'm curious if he spent the same amount of time writing the script as he did writing the dialogue for Cirkus. And talking about Malaika Arora, the actor, well, the 16-episode run was more than enough to know where she stands as a "fictional" performer.
The stand-up act was actually the only good thing that happened in the first week of moving in with Malaika. I don't know the motive behind it, but it's a reality show. How will you deliver content if you don't plan it in a full-fledged manner? And that act set the tone for the rest of the show; it became moving in with... what was Malaika's stand-up act?
In one of the episodes, Malaika's close friend and fashion designer Vikram Phadnis gets into a heated discussion with her regarding the "noise" she has created around her. He is heard telling her about having enough clamour surrounding her. When Malaika exits a building, the way she moves makes noise. When she wears something to an event, there's noise. Either she enjoys the noise or she makes it herself because she is aware of its importance.
However, an unfazed Malaika responds by saying that she is not causing anything to happen in any way. Vikram is aware that she doesn't engage in any such behaviour and has never sought attention. Well, then what's this reality show even about?!
And in the consecutive episodes, we first see Amrita talking about how Malaika threw her under the bus during the stand-up act, with the latter being in denial. Well, she did mention to Arjun Kapoor that Amu was her "punching bag" during the stand-up special. After Amrita and Malaika had their argument, several guest stars told Malaika that her sister was upset with her. To fill the 16 episodes, all they could do was prolong the fight to demonstrate that things had never been fine between the sisters for nearly four years.
In the age of social media, the lovey-dovey posts shared by both Malaika and Amrita reveal that Moving In with Malaika is not a reality show at all. C'mon, don't make it so obvious! Then bring Neha Dhupia in as a mediator and create a weird disagreement with them; I mean, why so much negativity?
Talking about the good aspects, the mothership side of Malaika was a treat to watch, as that's something that hasn't made it to the limelight. The emotional angles are given during her meeting with Seema Kiran Sajdeh, addressing the internet trolls and how it affects their sons, kind of had depth and looked like an important conversation to have. So did the episode with Bharti Singh; the intention was great, but forcing it into an episode wasn't.
The bad aspect of the show was being a Chaiyya Chaiyya girl and turning into a sensuous number with Nora Fatehi, which was so obnoxious that I wished to unsee it. For many, the song is sacred, and the best version of the song is dancing on top of a train, which will never be surpassed.
Another one is the product placement. The last few episodes were all about diamonds, and having Malaika bring it up in a conversation with a voiceover was the most annoying. So is her skincare talk, which was repetitive. Well, I understand that advertisements are important, but not at the expense of the viewers' eyes.
I'm not sure what the viewers expected from Moving in with Malaika, but all I can say is that it's no Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives (which, by the way, is not the best show), which was more organic. Also, as a climax like Khan Sisters (remember the reality show starring Nigaar Z Khan and Gauahar Khan?) demonstrates, the sisters are not on good terms with each other, which didn't help with any attention either. So, are you going to wait to find out who knocked on the door at the end of the 16th episode, or are you going to get on with your life like me?
The title should have been "The Aroras," as the peak content was all about a cold war that took place between Malaika Arora and Amrita Arora Ladak throughout the entire season. I watched the series like I watch Instagram reels, but those videos also sometimes led me to pause, share, and like. But during those 20 or so minutes of "Moving in with Malaika," my screen stayed still and my mind was blank and critical. After that, I kept scrolling through Instagram reels.