Parties, cosmetic procedures and petty drama.
By Shaan Bajaj
Proceed with caution: spoilers ahead!
The second season of the show continues to follow the ‘friendship’ of Seema Khan, Neelam Kothari, Maheep Kapoor and Bhavana Pandey as they navigate their oh-so-very-hard lives of being famous wives of Bollywood actors Sohail Khan (now divorced), Samir Soni, Sanjay Kapoor and Chunky Panday, respectively. While it has been promoted as a reality TV series that provides insight into the industry, it can often feel more like a terribly-scripted drama series.
The show opens with the wives on a yacht, complaining about not being able to use their phones at the wedding they’re at. Seema starts to caution her friends about pollution contributing to climate change, and advices them to stop using plastic. In response, Maheep points out that they are on a yacht in the middle of the ocean, so surely not using napkins is going to make little difference. The scene is the perfect metaphor for the entire series. The wives struggle with their privileged problems while still wanting to remain relatable and relevant.
This season, the show seems to shy away from leaning into the wives’ absurd lifestyles or their side careers, and instead focuses on their social calendar and inner petty politics within their friendship group. One of the main plotlines this season follows the vow renewal of Bhavna Panday and Chunky Panday, and for the entirety of the season you see them preparing their outfits and faces, with each wife choosing a different form of cosmetic procedure, from facial yoga to BOTOX treatments. There are moments that are entertaining but it lacks the ability to pull you into their lives.
However, there are a few redeeming factors. We see Seema dealing with her divorce and the impact it has on her kids and overall personality, which is a good step towards normalising a situation that people the world over often find themselves in. Sima Taparia and Badshah make a special appearance as Seema tries to re-enter the dating world, a pleasant surprise for those of us who’ve been binge-watching Indian Matchmaking (2020- ) and FLIOBW back to back. Neelam is also on a mission to change her public persona and re-enter acting, and we see a more fun and less conservative side of her, as well as her inspirational drive to make a comeback. Finally, one of the most interesting subplots revolves around Maheep bringing a menopause ad to the women, but instead of starting a conversation and breaking down taboos, the wives decide to say no due to discomfort about saying the word ‘vagina’ – an amusing scene but also one that highlights society’s continuing discomfort with women’s bodies.
Overall, the show is still a mindless and vaguely funny pastime but remains just a past time.