Viu’s newest series Banned is based on the four members of a music band called Swagbusters. Currently four episodes of the series are out on Viu.
The series starts with a unique premise of the band performing to an anti-national song. This gets them arrested. Instead of pleading guilty to their crime, the four accuse a realtor for coaxing them into doing this act. Therefrom the series keeps going back in the past and into the present constantly.
The series starts with Sangeet, who is a music reality show contestant and is eliminated in the sixth round. He is inspired to form a band and he starts looking for band members immediately after returning to his hometown Sirsa. He also reconnects with Nirmal who has a soft corner for him. He meets his cousin Bhalla who is a wannabe musician and decides to include him in his band. He then leads him to Shampoo, a drummer. Together the trio start jamming in a jam pad they have rented from Guptaji, who is vying to be a politician.
In order to make ends meet, they start performing Mata Ka Jagrata after Nirmal suggests them to do so. There they meet Maddi, a blind musician who is quick-witted and well connected and has been singing at the Jagratas. As they start making money this way, Guptaji starts throwing his weight around and asks for an increased rent and deposit money.
Back to the present, the four are trying to adjust to the jail environment. They are being bullied by the inmates, but the four are holding their ground. Even inside the courtroom, they are hammered but they don’t lose hope.
What Wow? The performance by the four protagonists is good and they manage to keep your attention. The short duration of the episode also works for the series. The short bursts of humour that happen during the episodes is also entertaining. The background of the series is carefully put together. The characters of the series are carefully put together, which works for the audiences as they have a good variety of characters to watch onscreen.
What’s Blah? The audiences are left to imagine what made the band sing the anti-national song. Obviously, it is important to create buzz the about upcoming episodes of the series which will have an episode streamed once every week. But the current episodes don’t help in holding the interest of the audiences enough to come back for the upcoming episodes, as far as answering this question is concerned.
Parting Shot: Banned is an interesting series to watch with a good mix of characters. There is a good amount of humour and satire in the series. However, the suspense built up in the series does not work well for the series. Let us hope the upcoming episodes of the series can manage to keep the audiences to continue watching the series.
Cast and Crew
Director: Aashish Shukla
Producer: Viu and Bodhi Tree Multimedia
Cast: Sahil Anand, Paresh Pahuja, Deepak Kalra, Zeishan Quadri, Sheetal Thakur, Vivek Mushran
Banned is now streaming on Viu