Masaba Masaba (Season 2) Review: A Win-Win Second Season, High on Fashion, Romantic Detours, and Female Friendships
Masaba Masaba (Season 2) Review: This is the show I woke up on a Saturday and watched in my pajamas two years ago. Fashion, drama, and female friendships – what was not there to like about Masaba Masaba season one? It seemed like someone had decided to bring the chick flick to Bollywood OTT content, and I was in no mood to complain. Hence, when I started watching this season and the first person to appear on screen was Kartik Aryan playing a part-time gynecologist, I was as shocked as Masaba on the screen. There was some confusion about the birth of a child, and everyone seemed to be fumbling, including Neena Gupta. Thank the writers – Sonam Nair, Nandini Gupta, and Anupama Ramachandran – that this only was a bad dream. Soon, Masaba, who plays herself, wakes up with a start, suits up for the day, and takes us along for a hearty rollercoaster ride in the life of this messy fashion designer.
Masaba is introducing a new collection to the world, and we are thrown straightaway into the backstage hustle before her fashion show. Unlike the Masaba Masaba season one, when we were introduced to her as a new and upcoming fashion designer, nervous and messing up before the big event, she and her brand – House of Masaba – have grown. Everyone appears to be just ready for the show to begin! The familiar faces from the previous season are here too. Dhairya Rana (played by Neil Bhoopalam), Masaba’s investor, is gathering up the courage to ask Masaba out on a dinner date, Gia (played by Rytasha Rathore), Masaba’s best friend, is busy scaring the sponsors away from the backstage, and Gehna (played by Nayan Shukla) is always at Masaba’s beck and call.Everyone loves the collection; sadly, Masaba realizes that she isn’t the young and upcoming fashion designer anymore and needs to make way for new-age, unconventional fashion designers to take her spot. It is her time to climb up the ladder of the fashion game in her industry. To do this, she must become the king of fashion and not invest her emotions into dating men. Neither of these goals is easy when she finds herself trying to curate a wedding outfit for a Masaba bride (whose groom is swooning over Masaba!) and begins to fall for the support Ranaji brings with his presence in her life. Will Masaba achieve her high-end fashion goals? Besides, does Masaba end up together with Dhairya? The well-tailored, dramatic finale hints at a scope for a third season.
The most heart-warming thing about her life, albeit privileged and fancy, is that she makes mistakes, running away from them and owning up to them simultaneously. When the glitz and glamour of Masaba’s appearance and social media life take a backseat, out comes an avocado-printed nightsuit-wearing girl who eats cake in bed with Gia on the latter’s 30th birthday. Kudos to the writers, Masaba’s character is always stone’s throw away from a real-life messy, independent woman in her thirties. One of my favorite things about Masaba’s character in this show is how in the most serious moments, she is shown to turn into her younger self. Unfortunately, this switch isn’t consistent, and I was left to wonder if it is intentional.
Neena Gupta, Masaba’s on-screen and off-screen mother, who has been looking for more work and calling Bollywood out for being ageist, gets worked up during an interview and announces the revival of a path-breaking, popular TV show from her younger days, Fursat. The producers from the channel are ready to give it a go with a few new-age, regressive twists in the tale. She also has to reunite with an old flame and co-actor, Shekhar Mirza (played by Ram Kapoor), for this venture but is left wondering where the project is headed. In the end, will her dream revival of Fursat be worth her time and creative capacities? This season of the show broaches important conversations in its seven-episode package, from mental health and the importance of freezing one’s eggs to the lack of creative control for aging Bollywood stars and the treatment meted out to them.
Neena Gupta and Masaba bring back to the screen the mother-daughter dynamics that had won over the audience in the first season. Here, too, they appear to be constantly at loggerheads over their generational ideas of sex, marriage, and motherhood. In Masaba Masaba Season Two, their stories take up two different spaces within the same narrative, rarely crossing paths. While this reduces their shared screen time, it boosts the narrative and gives both characters a chance to grow in their respective lives without having to shadow each other. It is still the little moments that count, such as when Masaba comes home to her mother when she is grieving the death of her mentor. Both of them being fantastic actors, Masaba and Neena Gupta bring to their own roles a candidness that is both fresh and charming.
This season of the show was larger in scale than the previous one. There are lesser cameos of industry superstars, unlike the last season, which featured Farah Khan and Kiara Advani, making the show concentrate on the world-building and the character sketches of each of the main protagonists. I am glad that Gehna is no longer a caricature and with the introduction of Kusha Kapila’s character of a heavily pregnant Nicole, an always-on-her-feet PR manager. It is towards the end of the show that I found myself getting impatient. The Kashmir episode feels like an unplanned vacation in the middle of the narrative, and Masaba’s romantic life somersaults into the age-old rom-com track. However, if there is another season of Masaba Masaba, I will again wake up on a Saturday morning and binge-watch it. Watching this show is a fun, frivolous act of self-care, and I am in no mood to complain about it! You can stream it now on Netflix.