The cast of Yeh Meri Family Season 2 is fantastic, but the series misses the charm of the first season.
Last Updated: 06.04 AM, May 19, 2023
The drama is centred around the Awasthi family and is recounted by a 15-year-old girl named Ritika (Hetal Gada). Juhi Parmar, star of the TVF series Yeh Meri Family, is making her OTT debut in this instalment. Neerja, like an Indian mother, is always nurturing but can be strict when necessary. Angaad plays Ritika's mischievous younger brother, and Rajesh Kumar plays the character of the lenient father and family's good cop.
When I watched the first season of Yeh Meri Family, I was left in tears when the end credits in the last episode rolled down. When Dabbu was leaving after his summer vacation, his younger brother Harshu was overly emotional, realising that the relationship with his brother was finally changing as he was leaving his childhood home. That emotion, along with the summer vacation in Rajasthan, stayed with me even after five years.
Now we are taken back to the 1990s with Yeh Meri Family Season 2, where the shift is now based in Uttar Pradesh from Rajasthan. The titles of the episodes are about the plotlines taking place in those 30-minute sequences. However, the five-episode series ends in quick succession without any satisfactory indulgence. The series takes charge of waking up the 90s kids and reminiscing with them about winter vacations, how exam fever kicks in, and how when the elder sibling grows up, the urge for independence also kicks in.
We all have had one friend whose mom is the school teacher, and we have seen the pressure that kid goes through daily. Similarly, here are Ritika (Hetal Gada) and Rishi (Anngad), who study in a school where their mom Neerja (Juhi Parmar) teaches. During a parent-teacher meeting in one of the episodes, a parent taunts Neerja for not disciplining her daughter. The insult that a mom who also happens to be the school teacher faces cannot be realised until you're put into those shoes.
This leads to Neerja slapping her son Rishi, which was intended for Ritika. This reminded me of the episode where Devendra Gupta (Akarsh Khurana) slaps his youngest daughter Chitti (Ruhi Khan), which sends shockwaves through the whole family. Maybe it was intentional to show that a slap from a parent was or is the norm for a kid.
Both series have parallels in teenage crush, which however has a bizarre ending in this one. Ritika is in 11th grade, almost touching adulthood, so it comes as no surprise that blank calls and exchanging love letters won't be there. However, it doesn't feel like 1994, so to speak. The constant mention of Aishwarya Rai, who was just crowned Miss World that year, is there to show which era we are watching.
Even though there's a constant reminder of how childhood has been for the 90s kids, there's a lack of depth in watching the second season. We asked for a sequel right away after TVF's debut season because it came out of nowhere. When the second season also comes out of nowhere, it just doesn't meet the expectations or the gold it struck with the first one.
Reviving the 90s is one thing, but spoonfeeding them via the characters is another. However, the lack of joy in watching this one cannot take away the fact that the performances were so good to watch. Juhi Parmar, to start with, is the perfect actor to cast as a strict yet soft-hearted mother. She is often tagged as "Kiran Bedi" by Ritika, going by her image of being a no-nonsense mother and also a school teacher.
So does Rajesh Kumar, a good cop and engineer father who has an "okay beta" relationship with his daughter. The series talks about a different father-daughter relationship that is more distant, which even Ritika feels, but it's not fully established why it's so. Is that how they have always been? He doesn't want to be in the bad books of his kids, and the usual constant question, "Mummy se pucho," is quite predictable. However, the actor brings in a new range given that he spoiled the viewers as Rosesh in Sarabhai vs. Sarabhai.
Both the kids, Hetal and Anngad, are quite a find for the role. However, given that the series shows their childhood, it seems they have been robbed of it. Both the characters don't behave according to their age to some extent, which makes for a big miss in the series.
Yeh Meri Family Season 2, with five episodes, takes us along on a winter vacation, but a warm, cosy hug in the name of nostalgia doesn't give a comforting watch, which the first season set against the backdrop of summer did.
Yeh Meri Family Season 2 has a cast that you will love; the series, not so much.