The bad thing about good things is that they don’t last. When streaming media first started in India, it came on the strength of series and films that the Indian audience could never see on the telly and in the theaters.
Later, Indian players came up with India-centric content that was basically problems that a specific gender was facing. The entertainment value of streaming also saturated with the availability of mainstream entertainment on the streaming platforms. And now, in maybe what could be the death knell for India-centric productions for streaming scenes comes Going Viral.
Going Viral tells us about a husband wife duo who have run a digital company. Their day starts with the dream to make a video viral and the episode ends with the outcome of their devised plans.
Going Viral has everything going for them. A well-known face as the protagonist, actors with incredible comic timing, scriptwriters who are ‘with it’, a production house that has faith in them and one of the fasted growing platforms to stream their stuff.
In this scenario, the series could either be the best thing to ever happen to streaming or could fail spectacularly. Basically, the answer to that depends on what side of the 25-something age range you are.
You could spend your whole day – because 8 is the new 13, Going Viral has 8 episodes – hate-watching what you know goes on in your office or know that this goes on in your daughter’s office that so-called new media company.
What’s Wow: The series has enough gags to keep you streaming the series in the background. The production values are pretty good. It’s the performances that really hold the series together. Also, the fact that the screenwriters decided to take head on problems like online stalking, trolling, etc. is laudable.
What’s Blah: The series takes the problems head on but it reeks of a shallowness that’s undeniably prevalent all through. In a bid to have a ‘devil-may-care’ script, it comes across as insensitive.
Also, the timing of one of the episode might be very bad. With the whole country rocked after the summary assassination of a journalist, a comedy episode of an online stalker of a female journalist is too much too soon.
The series tries too much in the 8 episodes that it has. It tries to shoe-horn the hire-and-fire attitude of the boss and side-load the story of an intern who coolly walks off with a Macbook – which isn’t supposed to be hers. Oh, and an overworked employee is casually flirting with the co-founder of the company, who is incidentally the wife of the other co-founder.
We get it, such things happen. But to rub it in our face in an episode where you’re talking about an online stalker with money to spare for a digital campaign to impress his online crush is a dangerous precedent they are spreading. The thing with humor is, it normalizes things. Through the 70s to the 00s, it normalized making fun of homosexuals. In 2017, by adding humor, Going Viral tries to normalize online stalking, female stalking, getting beaten up by Right Wing activists.
Parting Shot: This web series is strictly for those who are of the ‘yo bro’ attitude. Everyone else can only hate-watch it to see how media professionals are quite simply, drivel. This is now available on Amazon Prime.
Cast: Kunaal Roy Kapur, Kubra Sait, Prabal Panjabi, Aneesha Shah, Abhinav Chaturvedi, Zachary Coffin
You can now watch the series on Amazon Prime.
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