Kenny Gupta has been sent out from London to manage a call center, Technobable, in Mumbai. Since arriving in India, Kenny has been depressed. He's been absent from his job most of the time and he's ...
Terri realizes that the operators are lacking in confidence, that they are too submissive with the callers. She sets out to give the operators a crash course in self-confidence. Amar, Dev's assistant...
Family-friendly sitcom set in Mumbai with a British and Indian cast
I want to be more fond of it than I am. But it has too many terrible jokes. Too much double-entendre, which, personally, I find stale beyond belief. The good gags are too few and far between. Nitin Ganatra is brilliant in it, though. Daisy does a good job. Sanjeev's Kenny is closer to being the "main protagonist". He's not the funny one (his funny lines are weak). He's the straight guy I suppose. But to whom? Terri and he do not make an odd couple - they're too alike to be foils for each other. The comedic relationship might have worked better if he had more depth; either way, Sanjeev was a brilliant straight man in The Kumars at Number 42, and it's hard not to be underwhelmed by his role in Mumbai Calling. I think it is probably the case that Kenny doesn't get enough screen time to develop his role, and this is compounded by the lesser performance Sanjeev is able to give as an actor.
It has a fantastical feel, with fast-paced, absurd plots. Like it's trying to be Black Books or something. I see it as a missed opportunity, but it had its moments. I liked the look, the character, the setting, the premise; it has warmth, heart, and a charm to it. I suspect another series or two would probably sway my fondness higher up a bit.
Having said that, the toilet humor had a real tame feel to it. And the lines felt a little all-over-the-place in comedic style and quality, especially the call center employees' lines. Not surprising when you learn the 7 episodes in the series - excluding pilot - were authored by 4 different people (6 if including the pilot). I didn't like a lot of the operator-to-annoying-Brits gags. The voices on the other side sound too exaggerated and put-on for silliness, which I felt overcompensated for the weaker jokes. But I must state that a few of these sequences I did feel were solidly funny.
Something that has just occurred to me is that it doesn't have a laughter track. It could have helped. (On the other hand, the unfunny jokes would be highlighted as such.) Also, minor criticism, but the incidental music can get a tad grating after a while.
I certainly feel that the series started strong but weakened progressively towards the end. So I think the series would have been improved by reshuffling the episode order, as well as possibly including a laughter track. Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars at Number 42 had a consistency of high quality that is missing here, the least that could have been done was to swap a weaker episode from near the end with a strong one from near the start.
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