Let's just face it. Kolkata TV serials are not just a "khalamma" material anymore. Many of us have noticed our fathers, too, have been infected by this fandom. Baby boomers must love watching TV with their wives! Who am I to judge?
Amid the streaming war to control your screen time, Kolkata based TV serials couldn't care less about their contents. When Bangladeshi one-shot dramas are brewing the same "guy falls desperately in love with a girl" type of plot, Kolkata is churning out formulaic daily soaps with the same kind of characters and world-building.
Wait, what's even world-building if a series with over a thousand episodes takes place inside a set? Phew.
Here are the four stereotypes you will see in almost any Kolkata TV serial. A big comic relief, dare I say.
1. The socially awkward mama
These mamas are barely in their 30s - probably the same age as the male protagonist. But they are super awkward. Nobody cares about their opinion. But they will have one anyway.
They always try to meddle with their niece's love life. Clad in embroidered panjabis, they appear when the Super Bowl of family dramas ensues under a glittery chandelier.
2. The overprotective manservant
There are certain things in this universe that exist for no reason, just like the Marvel movie "New Mutants."
These manservants fit that category. They will bestow life lessons upon the lead characters, whistleblow conspiracies about "who stole Boudi's necklace", and so on.
Basically, they are a deshi variant of Alfred Pennyworth, whom the Bruce Wayne of the show relies on during crises.
Forgive me for dragging Batman into this mess.
3. The artsy boudi
They are not just mere sisters-in-law, they are the beacon of hope for every twenty-something-year-olds in these serials.
Their roles are more of a mentor's. They are always dolled up like the aesthetic ladies from Tagore's literature.
If such boudis existed in Dhaka, she would certainly frequent the elite bookstores and rant about the "Banglish" counter-culture.
Unfortunately, these boudis don't come in handy during critical plot points. When a leading character is in turmoil, the boudi makes an anxious expression and says, "Ekhon ki hobe go?" (What will happen now?)
4. The monogamous alpha male
These egotistic male leads are always donning a summer suit and neatly trimmed beard.
While Hollywood is promoting diversity and female representation, these "nayoks" don't give a dime about how to treat his lovers on screen.
These male leads will have multiple love interests throughout the series. Worse still, in one of the episodes, he will even threaten to divorce his wife. In another, he will scold his "will or won't" girlfriend so she leaves him for her betterment.