It’s almost 2021, and we still hear dialogues like “shaadi ki thi, mazaa nahin aaya,” and these are not just stray dialogues, but written to be the punchline for laughing jokes. The sitcom or attempted sitcom is Sandwiched Forever, which is currently being streamed on SonyLIV. The show is confused, and we’re sure the makers are too – since it sometimes oscillates between a social comedy involving parents and city life, there are the political wisdom cracks, not to mention the sexual puns and innuendos. When does it end? Only after 15 episodes that are 30 minutes long. And in that excruciatingly long duration, the canned laughter that goes on every minute trains you possibly Pavlovian way to break out of the coma you might get into while watching this cringefest disguised as a comedy.
Sandwiched Forever is about a young urban couple, Naina and Sameer, who live in an apartment on the same floor as their parents. On one side there is the strict father of the bride (Atul Kulkarni) and a mother who reads aura (Lubna Salim). The bride’s father obviously disagrees with the groom, played by Aditya Roy Kapoor. On the other hand, the groom’s parents, allegedly simple small townspeople, are the Shastris from Kanpur and in between the sandwich couple Sameer and Naina. Sameer is a game designer and Naina is a national badminton player. We never know at what level or in which tournaments she participated.
Remember the sitcom Indebted, which only aired for one season on NBC. On the show, an elderly couple moved in with their son and family. The original didn’t work, and neither did the “inspired version”.
Nothing, and we emphasize nothing, is funny about the sitcom. We see bright, loud colors, exaggerated eye roles and actors who don’t really have to prove themselves, but hammer. Ahana Kumra, Atul Kulkarni, and Aditya Roy Kapoor have proven that if they only have a working script, they are decent actors. But this attempt at urban comedy falls in his face and leaves us confused, with the feeling that we may be in a period of time and have put ourselves in the slapstick 90s where a woman’s joke and a marriage punch line were the only things which are trending in local mushairas and kavi collectors.
Today we can call the apartments in Mumbai and their lack of space a “geographic indicator”. The lack of intimacy and the situations it creates have been documented since the time of Basu Chatterjee, and believe us, Sandwiched Forever doesn’t add anything to the discussion. Oh and it doesn’t just end here. The show is also trying to crack a subtle political jibe with a bang on the CAA-NRC and things like that, but they just make you shake your head in disbelief. Another layer of disgust is the lines that are sexual innuendo, but “sex’o” o’clock and “lust-go” are one-liners that even the aging millennials no longer use. A gag over using a condom to shut off a leaky faucet makes you want to stick your eyes out.
A special mention of the sets. They’re so loud that you may need sunglasses to protect yourself from such glare. The three apartments, which are supposed to reflect the three different families who live in them, look like a “Gandi copy” – thanks Diet Sabya for the reference – of Pinterest boards for home decor.
This is our Christmas present for you – we saw Sandwiched Forever so you don’t have to. If you’re craving a dose of Hindi comedy, check out Sarabhai vs Sarabhai reruns, or if you can find Dekh Bhai Dekh.