So, the 2nd episode of What’s Your Status dropped last week and I wasn’t all too happy. I put off writing a review on it because of many reasons; mind you I had a very strong opinion about Episode 2, but I was too lazy to sit and type and so fast-forward another week and I’ve stolen Ranjib’s turn at reviewing to put out a double review! Here goes…
So What’s Your Status is a Webseries boasting some of the biggest names in the episodic web media genre like Manjot Singh and Naveen Polishetty in leading roles that made the right buzz in Manipal because one of the 3 main story arcs that this series is composed of is set in our town. Needless to say, even webseries irregulars like myself tuned in to see every trailer, promo, and episode when it released solely because, well… Manipal! Anyway, I’d recommend you check out Ranjib’s review of Episode 1 for the basics but to recap, the series follows 3 men, one single, one in a relationship and the third married and their respective romantic interests / partners.
The first episode did a pretty solid job of setting the scene for a great story to follow and I was very excited for Episode 2 which was honestly a very big let down. In part because Manjot Singh’s story that was based out of Manipal largely was confined to a bar where the Ballu and his classmates sat talking about the girl he had seen which was a fun watch but disappointed the Manipalite in me who was expecting something more. Abhay Mahajan’s Bharat pulls a Superman to surprise his wife that day only to have it overturned later on. The other qualm I have about this episode is that both these arcs ended the same way the previous one did and there was absolutely no progression in the story. Ballu is desperate. We knew that in Episode 1. No progress since then. Bharat is forgetful and messy. Still the same. The only character that the makers spent a lot of time on developing turned out to be Naveen Polishetty’s TJ who’s story progressed quite a lot by the end of the episode with a couple of twists along the way.
Now, I’m a big fan of subtle brand placement. I especially love they way Royal Stag does it with brilliant stories in the Large Short Films sets. But packed in the 30 minute episode was an uncanny number of beer bottles, Ultra Shorts Glowboards and Cheers! I mean, it’s a webseries… I understand it’s sponsored and all, but it shouldn’t distract one from the story, right?
So yeah, I reserved my judgement till after I’d watched episode 3 and this one was a lot better! Fast forward 5 months and Ballu is now a senior with the Freshers Batch coming in soon. Since the semester just begun here, it sort of resonated with the excitement we have and the story progressed well. I’ve only good things to say about Bharat’s story arc as well as the makers put effort into exploring into both of their pasts, differences and similarities and cultural backgrounds. Every intercultural marriage such as theirs which has become quite common due to increased mobility in modern times has a lot of effort put into it especially when conservative families are to be kept at bay and I must appreciate the efforts of the makers to have managed to strike a chord and maintain the steady balance in showcasing this.
The story arc of this week also goes to Naveen’s TJ who has taken quite the stride in the 5 months since where the last episode left us. There is wonderful sequence where he tells off a colleague who smirks at his leaving office without working overtime which has already gone viral, for being every IT Professional’s inner voice that it is.
The brand placement, although not completely absent was balanced and bearable and the 43 minute run time gave room for much more story than the previous and leaves us excited for the next Episode that drops the coming week!
Untill then, Cheers!