Vir Das's Abroad Understanding: The comedian tackles religion, racism and more in his Netflix special show
When you have a look at the variety of stand-up comedy specials to watch on Netflix, you'll see the likes of Kevin Hart, Amy Schumer, Russell Peters, Chris Tucker making an appearance.
But in India, the genre of stand-up comedy is in its nascent stage. The entertainment genre was dominated largely by Bollywood and Bollywood superstars. But now thanks to the internet, the first generation of homegrown stand-up comics is taking the nation by storm.
There are a few who have made it big on Youtube, like if you take a look at Kanan Gill and Biswa Kalyan Rath's Pretentious Movie Reviews, a few who have their own shows (Abish Mathew's Son of Abish).
So for stand-up comedian Vir Das, who has also acted in films like Revolver Rani and 31 October, it was a big deal to get his own Netflix special -- and an international audience that subscribes to the streaming service.
The one-hour special, titled Abroad Understanding has Das switch between live audiences in New Delhi and New York while he performs his routine. There is a cutout of the Taj Mahal and a few other structures under a starry night in the background. There are eight clocks. The stage is set for something that is telling the viewer clearly, 'this is an Indian show.'
Vir Das talks about being a clueless immigrant in America. "You guys have a whole supermarket aisle for your cereal."
Das talks about Donald Trump, gun violence and Trumps newly imposed Muslim ban.
He talks about Trump's pronunciation of 'Muslim.' He jokes, "It's not pronounced 'Mus-lim' not 'Mooslim' you idiot, the whole world is saying."
The theme is set. The special is aimed at the global Indian citizen, who lives on the Internet, who can debate about Modi and the pitfalls of the Trump administration with equal gusto.
Jokes on gun control? check.
"You cannot have gun violence in India because there are no gay night clubs, just whats app groups. "
Jokes on Christianity? check.
Pros: Vis Das's approach to comedy is a standard one for the international arena, but a novel one for Indians.
Cons: His humour tends too get a bit too predictable at times. And it seems like he jumps from one joke to another, without any segway between them.
But should you watch Abroad Understanding? Absolutely. Das's antics are hilarious in parts.
Here's the 90 second trailer of the show: