Metro Park Season 2 review: Often verbose, Ranvir Shorey's show feels stretched even with short episodes
Metro Park season 2, on Eros Now, is 'excessive, with some of the gags falling flat.'
Kalpesh and Payal Patel and their great Indian Gujarati family are back to navigating life in New Jersey, USA. He runs a corner store called Pay & Run while also promoting an insurance side business. She is a partner in a semi-successful local beauty parlour. With their two children, the Patels are the stereotypical not-so-fresh-off-the-boat Gujarati NRIs. As Payal Patel (Purbi Joshi) says, Gujaratis live for three Ds: dhokla, dandiya, and dhando.
This is true whether they live in Surat or Metro Park, New Jersey.
In Season 2, Kalpesh (Ranvir Shorey) continues to use his desi hacks (jugaad) to find shortcuts for saving a buck (such as hiring his vertically challenged and portly uncle as store security) while also exploring a career in local politics. Payal discovers the importance of social media and her sister Kinjal (Vega Tamotia) juggles motherhood with her IT geek husband Kanan Menon’s (Omi Vaidya) over-enthusiasm for fatherhood and saving the planet.
The sisters desperately miss their mother, so when her visa to the US gets rejected, Kanan finds the next best solution: Mummy (Sarita Joshi) on wheels. Via Wi-Fi and a tablet, the robot is a stick and tablet dressed in a sari, beamed real-time (never mind the time difference with India) to hang out in Payal or Kinjal’s home. Her luggage comprises of spare batteries and a docking station.
The Patels are also dealing with two teenaged children and one can imagine the discomfort Indian parents face when it comes to the birds-and-bees conversation. Unable to talk about safe sex openly with this son, Kalpesh uses chole-bhature to come up with a clumsy metaphor.
Creators Abi Varghese and Ajayan Venugopalan spotlight different cultural dichotomies between America and India. In one episode, Payal is all set to indulge in a soothing bath spa when she gets a call from Kalpesh. Luxuries like a bath spa are only for western women, she observes because Indian wives don’t get a moment of peace. Other attempts at adopting American culture include hiring a party bus, enlisting in a charity mission, and visiting a therapist.
In the 12 episode comedy-drama, the Patels, Menons, and their friends go through the drill of daily life in New Jersey’s Indian dominated Metro Park. Each episode tackles one slightly different situation with some ongoing tracks threaded through, such as Kalpesh’s assistant Bittu’s (Pitobash) longing for a childhood crush back in India. Cameos by Milind Soman and Gopal Dutt are a welcome diversion.
Occasionally enjoyable, often verbose, even at 22 minutes each, the season feels excessive with some of the gags falling flat, in particular Bittu’s obsession with writing a love letter and Kanan’s efforts to get fit fast. Shorey, Tamotia, Purbi Joshi, and Vaidya make for a convincing suburban Indian family that’s living the American dream, Bollywood style.
Metro Park season 2 is streaming on Eros Now.
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