Showtime review: The series shows the good, bad and ugly inner workings of Bollywood behind closed doors but lacks soul

Aishwarya Srinivasan
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Showtime review

The first four episodes of Showtime are out and it is insightful with a dash of caricature like characters and more!

Showtime review: Created by Sumit Roy, Showtime is all about the legendary ‘Viktor Studios’ that has created a legacy of its own over the years. Victor Khanna (Naseeruddin Shah) has handed over his studio that he built with his blood, sweat and tears to his only son Raghu Khanna (Emraan Hashmi). The only problem is that Raghu doesn’t seem to have the same passion for cinema the way his father did. He was more of a businessman and thought about how to bring in the money. Which is why he was more into producing ‘masala’ films that bring in the big bucks at the box office rather than making stories that actually have some depth or a good message in them. When his father unexpectedly leaves the studio in the hands of an unknown outsider, Mahika Nandy (Mahima Makwana), a budding film critic who is known to bash Raghu Khanna’s films. The real insider-outsider war begins between Raghu and Mahika. Will either of the two live up to the name of Viktor Studios? How far are they willing to go in order to make the other one lose? - This is what the story is all about!

The series is produced by Karan Johar’s Dharmatic Entertainment and it’s kind of amusing how through this show he is also reflecting on his own lifestyle in the industry, be it the nepotism debate or the cringey but ‘masaledaar’ titles of his films that seem to work at the box office. For instance - in the show, there’s a movie called ‘Pyaar Dangerous’ and ‘Screw Dheela’ and this draws parallels to how movies these days have ridiculous names as well but it's what somehow brings in the audiences. The show is also said to be based loosely on real life rumors. Now it's upto us to pick out what is real and what’s just an amalgamation of fiction. A producer son not being able to keep up with the legacy his father created? Or a superstar who is big on ego and lives in a house called Jannat? We’re not naming names but hints are enough for the quick witted.

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It’s also funny and insightful to see the inner politics of Bollywood that this show offers: Replacing a heroine with another just to gain points with her husband, the husband being insecure with his wife starting her career again or an actor being jealous of an actress being more talented than him and gaining attention on set. An actor’s need for his ego to be puffed every now and then, tantrums on and off set, never being on time or unreasonable demands like wanting to do parkour in a period film. The last one being 'beg, borrow and steal an actor' just so that the co-producer green lights the project. It's ALL there in this series and you cannot help but get sucked into the messy world that is Bollywood! Rajeev Khandewal's comeback and his spot on portrayal of an egoisic top Bollywood star is the highlight of the show so far!

Emraan Hashmi as the cold hearted Raghu Khanna is also fun to watch. He plays his tricks to get what he wants but his character can be rather ruthless sometimes. Especially to his girlfriend and actress Yasmin Ali (Mouni Roy) whose entire world revolves around keeping him happy while damaging her own career. Mahima Makwana, as the outsider trying to make it big in Bollywood, falls flat and doesn't feel like someone we can resonate with.

To put it in a nutshell, Showtime is like a bad car crash we can’t take our eyes off from. You know it lacks soul but still somehow, with the characters planning and plotting against each other, manages to keep you hooked. The dialogues are an absolute miss and there’s barely any character development or detailing the show has to offer you but with just four episodes and a short enough duration it’s a one time binge watch on a weekend at best but we're intrigued to see how the story unfolds further with the second part in June. 

Showtime Part 1 is currently streaming on Disney+Hotstar!

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Emraan Hashmi Rajeev Khandelwal Mouni Roy Showtime mahima makwana showtime disney+hotstar