Sanjeev Kumar is an aspiring chat-show host. He has celebrity guests round to his house (no. 42) to talk to them, but it all falls apart when his family cut in on the action. The celebrity ...
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Meena, a 12-year-old living in a mining village in the English Midlands in 1972, is the daughter of Indian parents who've come to England to give her a better life. This idyllic existence ... See full summary »
Sanjeev Kumar is an aspiring chat-show host. He has celebrity guests round to his house (no. 42) to talk to them, but it all falls apart when his family cut in on the action. The celebrity guests spend far more time speaking to Sanjeev's 'mother', 'father' and 'grandmother' (played by Sanjeev Bhaskar's 'Goodness Gracious Me' colleague, Meera Syal), and usually insulting Sanjeev in punjabi. Written by
Although Meera Syal plays the grandmother of Sanjeev Bhaskar's character, she is only three years older than him (almost to the day). While in production for The Kumars, Syal and Bhaskar married. See more »
A Witty Alternative to the Usual Same-old Same-old
Reruns of this show just started playing in the US on BBC America and I think this show is a hoot to watch. Half the show is a send-up of British middle-class values, and the fact that the family is also Indian is treated so matter-of-factly that it doesn't seem exceptional at all. It's an interesting illustration of how western and eastern cultural mores can co-exist. Furthermore, the non-sequitor type questions asked by the Kumar family members reveal how our interest in celebrities is partly a self-absorbed wish to see ourselves reflected back. However, the primary thing about this show is that it's witty and entertaining.
I especially like that the celebrity guests aren't the sole focus. The show's unusual format seems to draw a genuine and candid reaction from the guests, most of whom are bemused but are clearly willing to join into the spirit of the show. This tells us more about who they are than all those canned anecdotes one hears on the typical late night talk shows.
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