What are the three things you look for in a reality tv series? Drama, drama and more drama. Unfortunately, Netflix’s latest reality television series The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives has everything to offer besides that. You have glitz, glam, a fancy holiday, discussions on plastic surgery and the cherry on top – lots, and I mean lots, of starry special appearances. But all this fails to add to the oomph factor and you end up watching the show only because of your love for Bollywood.
The Fab Lives of Bolly Wives (let’s just call it FLBW) centres around four Bollywood wives – Maheep Kapoor, wife of Sanjay Kapoor, Seema Khan, wife of Sohail Khan, Bhavana Pandey, wife of Chunkey Pandey, and Neelum Kothari, wife of Samir Soni. Maheep is the queen bee of the gang which has been together for 25 years. Mind you, this has been repeated a gazillion times in the entire show, lest we forget. Seema is the one with the wit and sarcasm, while Bhavana is the superstitious one. And Neelum, throughout the series is just worried about one thing: should she make a comeback to films.
While each woman has her own distinct personality and they are interesting to see in the first episode, the problem with the show is that there is just no drama. The girls are chill with one another and no one gets pissed at the other, except in one episode. Even then, their ‘showdown’ was just very dry. What is this relationship? Where is the spark? The fire? Twice Karan Johar had to come in and be the phoppo he is so that he can instigate them. Unfortunately, the fire never really lights – they really should have taken classes from our favourite Sima Taparia from Indian Matchmaking on how to say the most outrageous things and still not be hated for it. Most of the stuff we saw in the series was all that the paparazzi have already shown to us or they have posted on their Instagram feeds. Even their conversations were terribly safe as if they were scared to give viewers a sneak peek into who they are behind the facades. Just goes on to show that reality tv is not everyone’s piece of cake.
The two things I did find interesting was that one Maheep is a stalker. An actual stalker. She observes people through her binoculars and she apparently caught glimpses of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan’s wedding through her binoculars. And secondly, Seema and Sohail, despite being married don’t live in the same house. They live across the street from one another and are very happy with this arrangement.
Interestingly the show is called FLBW, but we barely get to see them as wives. We end up watching them as mothers mostly because my God they are obsessed with their kids. Even the series opens with Maheep fretting over her daughter Shanaya’s Le Bal debut.
The biggest takeaways from the show had NOTHING to do with the wives. For me, there were two major ones. SPOILERS AHEAD. One that Janhvi Kapoor got a wish from Kylie Jenner on her birthday and second which fascinated me the most – on their trips abroad, Shah Rukh Khan would be the one to babysit all the children when the wives would go party. In fact, my favourite episode from the season was the one which had SRK. Damn that man can charm even a cactus. His witty one-liners and dry humour had me smiling throughout the episode. Gauri Khan in an Instagram post has said that she will be gatecrashing the second season and I do hope that if there is a second season, I’d like to see more of Shah Rukh in it than anyone else.
The makers of the show tried to create a desi version of Keeping up with the Kardashians meets Sex and the City, but they somehow forgot to add the main ingredient – drama. In this review, I am not even going to recommend or not recommend the show. Because I know that if you’re a Bolly freak like myself, you will still sit and spend five hours watching the eight episodes. All I’m going to say is keep your expectations low.