In its first season, 4 Extra Photographs Please! — Amazon’s first authentic scripted Indian comedy collection from first-time creator Rangita Pritish Nandy — was only a fairly shell. That is how we summarised it in our review, having famous its many faults within the writing and technical departments, be it the pre-adult mentality that outlined its method, its restricted success with the empowering concepts it selected to deal with, or the general lack of nuance, particularly in path and enhancing. A number of different critics had been of the identical opinion. Amazon’s resolution to resume the present for a second season — out now on Prime Video — was baffling, not least as a result of it appeared content material to offer free rein to these already on the helm. For higher or worse, 4 Extra Photographs Please! season 2 is basically made by the identical crew.
There is a new co-showrunner in Rangita’s sister, Ishita Pritish Nandy, upgraded from her earlier affiliate showrunner place. That is Ishita’s first credit score as showrunner; she has beforehand dealt with model and film promotions. Season 2 additionally has a brand new director, Nupur Asthana (Bewakoofiyaan), however the scripts and dialogues proceed to be from the duo of Devika Bhagat and Ishita Moitra. Between them, 4 Extra Photographs Please! remains to be the identical present it was upon its debut final yr. If something, the Amazon collection has additional dialled up a few of its worst instincts. Due to a near-constant use of background songs and an obsession with montages, 4 Extra Photographs Please! season 2 feels extra akin to a collection of music movies.
In flip, that alerts an incapability of stringing collectively a number of dialogue-filled scenes, not to mention constructing as much as one thing. Too usually, the lead quartet supply empty aphorisms in lieu of actual, trustworthy, partaking conversations, earlier than ending the scene with a bunch hug. Most plot concepts — those that aren’t deserted — are resolved 10 minutes after being first launched, typically whereas juggling one other character’s arc. This love for fast fixes undermines just about each narrative thread. Since 4 Extra Photographs Please! season 2 is at all times speeding by way of setups at lightning velocity, unwilling to sit down and spend time with the characters’ mindsets, its lows and highs do not appear actual on the finish of the day. If you cannot really feel the emotion, it will really feel unearned.
We choose up 4 months on from the occasions of 4 Extra Photographs Please! season 1 finale, with the broken-hearted Siddhi Patel (Maanvi Gagroo) having spent two of these on a parents-funded Euro journey by herself. In Istanbul, she has a significant breakdown and rings up best-friend and health coach Umang Singh (Bani J), who in flip calls up the 2 different members of the girl-gang: investigative journalist Damini Rizvi Roy (Sayani Gupta) and lawyer Anjana Menon (Kirti Kulhari). However the 4 have not spoken since that “massive combat” on the finish of season 1. Besides that that is a straightforward, frothy comedy, which is why the three pack their baggage in a minute and are on the subsequent flight to the Turkish capital, the place they patch up after a number of scenes, a number of costume modifications, and a dozen selfies.
Throughout these exchanges, 4 Extra Photographs Please! season 2 fills within the blanks. Regardless of the hysterics, Anjana has custody of her daughter, as a result of her ex-husband Varun Khanna (Neil Bhoopalam) did not press costs. Again house, she shies away from the prospect of home bliss together with her boyfriend, which is additional difficult by the arrival of rival lawyer Shashank Bose (Samir Kochhar, from Sacred Video games) and Varun their previous with rose-tinted glasses. There is a bigger level right here about Varun’s self-destructive character — his second spouse Kavya Arora (Amrita Puri) is pregnant — however the subplot is forgotten and by no means resolved. Concurrently, Anjana is coping with misogyny at work, however 4 Extra Photographs Please! season 2 is simply too on the nostril and self-righteous in its depiction.
Having damaged the bar proprietor Jeh Wadia’s (Prateik Babbar) coronary heart on the finish of season 1, Damini is again to the land of informal intercourse together with her gynaecologist Dr. Aamir Warsi (Milind Soman). On the profession entrance, she has spent the 4 intervening months researching a choose’s alleged homicide for a e-book (which is written in a tiny montage after two episodes of writers’ block). Via it, 4 Extra Photographs Please! season 2 goes head-on with the socio-political problems with press self-censorship and demonisation of journalists in India as we speak, with Damini being labelled an “anti-national” and “presstitute”. However the Amazon collection bungles its dealing with of the storyline because it finally ends up giving the opposite facet ammunition, and in the end, it reveals it does not have something precious to say.
That is additionally the case with Umang’s arc, which includes her making an attempt to assist her girlfriend Samara Kapoor (Lisa Ray), who we’re advised is bipolar. We might little religion 4 Extra Photographs Please! would decide to exploring it, and that is precisely what occurs. That leaves Siddhi, whose new factor on season 2 is stand-up comedy. Having tried her hand at half a dozen careers, the trust-fund Gujarati lady unintentionally discovers a expertise for zingers after heckling one other comedian throughout his act. If there is a single theme on the sophomore run of 4 Extra Photographs Please!, it is that girls must embrace independence. That applies each personally and professionally for the 4 lead characters, as they take care of vanity, id, need, and motherhood.
However any actual progress on that entrance is undercut by 4 Extra Photographs Please!’s aforementioned shortcomings. Kulhari is basically the one one who’s capable of carry the lacklustre materials, because of her line supply and the tiny touches she deploys together with her face. Besides that is not almost sufficient, if you end up battling poor path that retains pushing excessive notes out of actors, have little cinematographic concept of what body to select and which of them to modify between, or permit your characters to repeatedly make inconceivable selections. And even when its characters have one thing smart to say, 4 Extra Photographs Please! season 2 cannot decide to it. Too afraid of depicting one thing uncooked, the Amazon collection is completely satisfied to leap from one cutesy, tacky, and clichéd second to a different.
4 Extra Photographs Please! season 2 is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.