The second season of ‘Mismatched’ is out and it is everything but real. The Netflix young adult romance series is adapted from Sandhya Menon’s book ‘When Dimple Met Rishi’. This adaptation’s second season begins from the point it had ended on in the first installment. The cast is the same too –including Prajakta Koli as Dimple, Rohit Saraf as Rishi, Vihaan Samat as Harsh, Devyani Shorey as Namrata, Ranvijay Singha, and Taaruk Raina among a few more. The cast of the show is pretty solid and delivers with power and talent. It is the story that lacks momentum.
The story, in continuation, puts even more distance between Dimple and Rishi due to their earlier misunderstanding and fight. Furthermore, Dimple finds solace in her friendship with Harsh who is also her project partner. Harsh and Dimple’s on-screen chemistry is gorgeous. We see how Harsh, an NRI, learns to do the little things just to help Dimple —like learning old hindi songs to calm her during panic attacks. In other sub-plots, we see every other character either making mistakes or facing issues of their own. The culprit who sold off Dimple’s app idea is yet to be uncovered. And to top it all off it’s notable how much character development the majority of the second season characters have displayed. They have also evolved into nice individuals, but at different rates.
It takes the storytellers eight episodes to say what they have to and it is a tiring stretch of eight long episodes. The storytelling lacks depth. Each character was given a reason to exist in the plot. It was to comment on either the LGBTQ community, body positivity, social media or relationships. In a college setup, this seemed more forced than natural. A good effort nonetheless. The writers seem to love their characters so much that they don’t want anyone to be seen in a bad light which is a good way of telling a story but a biased one. For example, towards the end of season two, when ‘Mismatched’ became more about, if Dimple-Rishi chose each other or someone else? –that is when writers let go of the plot line and the audience was treated with a mess. In my personal opinion, it may just be an attempt to show how love is gray and black and white but it is a shot missed at best. In the universe of ‘Mismatched’, forgiveness and romantic interest are always around the corner. Everyone is concluding as better people.
The show’s simplistic portrayal of romance is the clearest indication that it lacks the humour or intellect to accurately convey the complexities of young peoples’ love or sex life. It is definitely the actors that keep the audience engaged. Every student is real and engulfed in their own lives. May it be Celina’s secrets to hide or Anmol’s discovery of his own demons. Vihaan as Harsh outshines this season with his assorted performance. Even Taaruk is very sleek and on point with his performance as a troubled, angry Anmol. Rohit and Prajakta too have grown as actors.
Mismatched Season 2 is director Akarsh Khurana’s long shot. He has tried to put feet in multiple boats with multiple subplots and these boats have all gone in their own specific directions leaving Khurana and his writers lost. The show could have been a game changer for the rom-coms of Bollywood. It could have taken the understanding of real ‘love’ for its teenage and young adult audience to a better level. Instead, it takes us back to ironically believing the bollywood cliche of you only love once. It is a one-time watch which is also fun and interesting. Watch this second season for its characters and actors alike.
Mismatched Season 2 is out on Netflix.