Mismatched Review – Just another student Rom-Com
The thing about successfully pulling off a show or a film about young people is that you have to be careful not to make a caricature out of your characters. We've seen this happening in many films, where the youth is seen as alcohol drinking, pot smoking, and irresponsible bunch of people. That might even be true in many cases, but that's not all young people are about.
Netflix's new series Mismatched seems to understand this as it tells the story of a very diverse group of youngsters. However, the show only scratches the surface of this diversity and fails to play to its strengths.
The show follows a bunch of teenagers who are enrolled for a three month computer coding course in Jaipur. Each episode is from the point-of-view of a different student. At the heart of it, this is a love story between a 'career-centric' know it all Dimple (Koli) and Rishi (Saraf), who loves Bollywood and his grandparents' love story. Rishi's grandmother is a part of 'religion no bar, location no bar' WhatsApp group to set him up with his future wife. Dimple's mother sends her to college so that she can meet her future husband. And of course, they are both 17.
While we love a really good rom-com, and both Dimple and Rishi have cute moments throughout the six episodes, we can't help but notice flaws glaring right back at us. Dimple's character, in the pursuit of being edgy and different has a strong "I'm not like other girls" complex. Rishi, on the other hand, likes Dimple because she doesn't "need make-up, like other girls." They're like that couple from your high-school who are annoying but you can't imagine them being with anybody else.
The different characters in the show make it an interesting watch. However, the show focuses so much on Dimple and Rishi that it does not do justice to other storylines. We want to know more about the family life of the girl who is a closeted lesbian. We want to know more about the boy secretly suffering from alopecia. The gaming genius, who had an accident that made him disabled. The one who hides her economic status from her friends. We have a feeling that the makers are preserving these stories for the next seasons. But what happens if it does not get picked up for season 2?
The only storyline played to perfection is Zeenat Karim's, a 41 year old widow played by Vidya Malvade, who is back to school to start a new innings of her life. There is a moment, where she confides in Ranvijay Singh's character that when her husband died, her first reaction was of relief. That probably is the most beautiful moment on the show.
Mismatched is a show which should be watched for what it is, a light teenage drama to be binged on a weekend. There isn't a lot of depth in it, but it really isn't fair to expect it from the show in the first place.