Cubicles (Season 2) Review: Glimpse of Life Within Workspaces with no hint of Drama
Owing to the pandemic, many may have not experienced a corporate culture from within a corporate setting. Some may have, of course, and some may be eager to enter the traditional workspace to experience the other things that happen in and around the innumerable cubicles within the innumerable office spaces all over. That’s right, Cubicles (Season 2) gives us an all-around view of the corporate ecosystem with ethics and integrity featuring to quite an extent in this season.
Cubicles struck a chord with its first season through the exploration of an individual’s life in the corporate world of cubicles. The realness of the show and focus on real themes could have every working professional relate to any of the episodes. Given the success, it was but natural that TVF would come to concoct a script for a sophomore season.
This season doesn’t seem forced, as there are innumerable aspects about life in cubicles that can be explored. Akin to the first season, Cubicles Season 2 maintained the theme of offices and employees adjusting with each other.
While season 1 focused on the timeline of a probation period employee, Season 2 has much more chemistry between the characters as we get to see them tackle work situations that come around in a cycle. Like the first five episodes, the slightly longer second set of five episodes has names that serve as the theme.
At the end of season one, Kalpesh leaves for an off-site, and season 2 starts with Piyush Prajapati sharing accommodation with Gautam, his colleague. He has finished a year at Synotech and has really grown closer to his team. Given the time jump, the writing team of Avinash Singh, Vijay Narayan Verma, and Siddhartha Tiwari touched on the evolution, of bonds and profiles, typical office banter, and frustrations- the line drawing a comparison between leaves and increments was absolute gold. Other gems include Piyush’s one-liner about assignments while interviewing.
While stereotypes aren’t maintained, it does shed some light on interactions with HR, and the mockery of the floor’s oldie. This will ensure that it isn’t called stereotypical or even accused of omitting real office stuff.
Although there has been a time jump, the characters do not seem to miss a beat. Abhishek Chauhan, as Piyush Prajapati, is still the same diligent employee and Gautam (Badri Chavan) is still the fun-loving, frank, and innocent child. Naveen Shetty, aka Gambhir (Niketan Sharma), is the working type one who serves as the mentor to the aforementioned employees and that hasn’t changed as he appears to be the leader. An incident with him provides a valuable lesson in Episode 3-The Bell Curve.
Other returning characters are Megha Asthana (Nidhi Bisht), who has a reduced role in this season, and Angad Waghmare (Shivankit Singh Parihar). While Angad isn’t as restricted as he was, his character has some important learnings to give us. One of them is that everyone just doing their job to get ahead and get their benefits. Well, isn’t that the reality of cubicle life?
It really seems as though Srishti Rindani’s character of Richa in Reconfiguration (Season 1 Episode 4) prompted the makers to get a female coworker for the full season. Sunaina Chauhan (Ayushi Gupta) is a new character in this series. She reminds viewers of that innocent face, who comes in, struggles, and then pounces thanks to her highly motivated persona. Sunaina brings a lot to the table and the word ‘pounces’ does not position her as the big bad. Nor is HR Supriya (Khushbu Baid) positioned as the villain, but yes, anyone who has worked will slam me for this statement as she comes across as a villain in The Bell Curve.
I did not like the resolutions in Season 2 as they kind of let Cubicles feel like a utopian setting with Happy Endings for all. Perhaps the writing team used such a thing to ensure that Cubicles isn’t a show to drive the workforce away from the cubicles once things get back to normal? Another thing that didn’t work is that Piyush got positioned as the hero in the penultimate and the final episode. While the previous 8 episodes focused on him as A character, the last two episodes made him THE character, i.e. the central attraction who is key to everything.
Also, Read: Kota Factory (Season 2) Netflix Review – One Of The Few Continuations That Surprisingly Works
The character of R.D.X. (Jaimini Pathak) has a motivational message and the manner in which he connects The Shawshank Redemption to workplaces deserves standing applause as it is just beautiful. The ‘Red’ touch of him having been ‘here’ is also a wonder, if you get the reference. Was TVF trying to show us that employees going away from the Cubicles is like moving into an alien world. It does feel like that even on a weekend/off day where one can have a meal away from the canteen/cabin/cubicle.
‘Cubicles’ is one of those genuine shows that does away with the drama to hook audiences onto it. Its simplicity elevates it and can make it a fan favourite among Indian corporate audiences. Moreover, it can serve as a show for students to catch if they want to get a taste of the office feels without having gone through an internship. They will know what to do, what not to do, or may even understand why some things are being done to either roll with the punches or put a stop to it. Even if you aren’t into corporate culture, Chaitanya Kumbhakonum’s directorial is a pleasant watch.