Okay, so he totally didn’t.
A while back, after watching some Akshay Kumar movie, I suggested that he ought to make Indian television happy by basically adapting his style of moviemaking into an SNL-type skit show. Thereupon Akshay did the following: signed on for reality shows, made Chandini Chowk to China (with Warner Bros footing the bill) and wore plaid pants to the premiere – to spite me, I say! Those pants are proof.
But lookie! What do we have here? It’s Oye It’s Friday! The little show with a bit of everything you and your friends always wanted to produce in high school for the public access channel but never did because it was so much more important to, like, paint your nails and talk about boys/girls and stuff.
Farhan Akhtar in the meantime, got his friends together and actually made it. With celebrities and dancing girls and a big neon board that spells out F-A-R-H-A-N… not outside the building but right next to the couch where he conducts his interviews (more Chelsea Handler than Dave Letterman) because we’re like that only.
It is adorable!
Yes, that’s a silly title and yes, it has that horrible laugh track that’s mandatory on Indian TV which lets you know “Laugh HERE” (et tu Farhan?), and yes, the skits aren’t all that funny really, and omiGOD yes, they have those super annoying backup dancers for I don’t even know what reason, but I could no more hate on this show than I could sneer at my brother and his band friends back in school.
I am a marshmallow. You can all rob me of my lunch money in a little bit.
For one thing, Farhan oozes dorkiness and sincerity in equal parts. He mumbles and stumbles his way through the show, delivering his lame one-liners and puns with the same glee with which little children offer to tell you a knock-knock joke. How can you hate a four year old that thinks “Orange you glad I’m not a banana” is the height of comedy? You could, of course… if you’re the proud owner of a gingerbread house. Similarly, Farhan and his show.
You get the same sense of “awww” when you watch the actors in the skits. Most of them have been hacking a living for years now by displaying mounting amounts of love, anger, shock, rage, evil, shock, jealousy, shock, repentance, rinse and repeat, shock, in the one hundred and one daily soaps of Ekta Kapoor. But once upon a time they were, you know, actors and they pretty much ooze relief as they take part in these little pieces.
Then there are the interviews: they’re slightly awkward as you would expect from watching Farhan in action, but unlike other Bollywood insiders who’ve tried their hand at it, he’s laid-back enough to subtly invite his guests to relax and join in on the fun and has no problem using his intimacy off-stage with several of his guests without descending into stilted obsequiousness a la Karan Johar or forced jocularity a la Shekhar Suman (remember that horrible period when he was the late night king? I read all about it. I couldn’t bear to watch), much less the saccharine earnestness of a Simi Garewal.
So let’s see: Farhan can direct, act, sing and host a variety show while being all dorky and charming. Now if he could just put on a pair of roller skates and get a girl pregnant with his super!sperm! while she’s unconscious and possibly dying, kidnap the kid, raise it, cure its polio and beat up a bunch of bad guys without once taking them off – I will bestow upon him the ultimate honor of Aaj Ka Shashi.