A summer in Jaipur! The setting is an app-coding course, and our two teen protagonists come looking for their goals – a path-breaking idea for her, a future wife for him! The six episodes of Mismatched are peppered with everything else – broken families, obsession with fair skin, chasing one’s dreams, pushing boundaries to coming out!
What all can transpire at an ‘old’ school that brings this motley crowd together! Well, not to miss, they are quite a bunch. Dimple not Damsel: a dark complexioned, ‘chashmish’ to lead the brigade; Rishi Singh Shekhawat: a rather royal with seemingly ‘perfect’ family; Harsh: an American born confused desi (ABCD), Simran: a social media diva hiding her broken heart behind her air-brushed shots to Zeenat Karim: a demure widow looking for her second innings.
The campus is an archetypical setting – Kaku jaan doling out sweet lassis, just the teacher one hopes to have – dashing, tough, yet there to guide and mentor one to reach one’s true potential.
Netflix’s Mismatched is based on Sandhya Menon’s When Dimple Met Rishi. What works for the first season is that one builds a soft corner for the characters, and in flashes one feels their pain. The campus flavour is just right. Prajakta Koli is able to transform her YouTuber persona pretty well in the web series space, Rohit Saraf is earnest, Rannvijay holds his ground as does Vidya Malavad. It’s not a nuanced act that we get to see. But then have heart — here the climax is all about winning a game, so things are still pre-teenish.
What’s jarring is that too much is packed in too less. To pick up a theme – one would be spoilt for a choice – gaming world, rich-poor divide, generation gap, disability, broken homes, relationships sacrificed at the altar of getting ahead to owning up to one’s sexuality…phew. And, then there’s this hero, who is obsessed with Bollywood. . While the last episode sets the tone for the season second, that we are not dying for it, says it all. A passable affair this one is.