Mumbai Calling (TV Series 2007– ) Poster

(2007– )

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Decent ITV comedy
Tweekums12 July 2009
Having found Sanjeev Bhaskar's work in "Goodness Gracious Me" I thought I'd give this a go and am glad that I did as it is pretty funny.

British Indian Kenny Gupta is sent from London to take over the running of a call centre in the Indian city of Mumbai because head office think that as an ethnic Indian he must understand that country even though he has lived in London all his life. When he gets there he makes friends with Dev, a local Indian who is fairly work shy but usually comes good in the end. The third main character is Terri Johnson, an English woman sent out after Kenny to help manage the centre. The people who man the phones in the centre tend to take a lesser role in the plots of each episode although they are the source of some of the biggest laughs as they deal with various calls from the UK. The episodes are all self contained so it doesn't matter if you come to the series late or miss an episode.

The acting is pretty good, not just from the main three characters but also from the supporting cast. I don't know if there will be a second series, I certainly hope there is though as I really enjoyed the first.
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Family-friendly sitcom set in Mumbai with a British and Indian cast
willman8510 May 2017
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 only weakly so). 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 one another IMO. 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 this. 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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