'Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives': From fab to drab

The second season has been haphazardly put together with no focused arc or intention

70-Maheep-Kapoor Maheep Kapoor

As Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives returns for a second season, two years after the first, one might recall its producer Karan Johar’s caustic jibe at the four leading ladies in the seventh episode of season 1: “Why should I watch a show about four pre-menopausal women who don’t have jobs?” he asks. “Don’t watch it. Get lost! This is what we are,” they reply. This ‘we-don’t-care-a-damn’ attitude of the four—Neelam Kothari Soni, Seema Sajdeh, Maheep Kapoor and Bhavana Pandey—continues well into the Netflix show’s second season.

While the first season focused almost entirely on the women themselves with a full-blown view into their uber-luxurious lives filled with first-world problems, the current season, it seems, has nothing much to add. And so, what follows is an onslaught of high-voltage cameos by anyone and everyone who has and was ever known to Bollywood, with the aim to add spice and drama in an otherwise haphazardly pieced together season that lacks a focused arc and intention. So, there are cameos by celebs like Ranveer Singh, Malaika Arora and her son, Gauri Khan and star kids including Shanaya Kapoor and Ananya Panday. Unlike the first season, these star pop-ups seem out of place and context. By the end of the series, the fabulous lives look rather tiresome, confused and purposeless.

But then again, their cheesy one-liners, extensive shopping lists, mutual bickering, sighs and squeals, anti-ageing tips and dumb antics make the show watchable and interesting, albeit in parts. Like, Seema thinks ‘antelope’ is the name of a person during a safari in Udaipur, while Maheep admits she would do anything for money, including “renting out her husband Sanjay”. At all times, all four women crave to add meaning and purpose to their lives, to carve an identity of their own. There is plenty of publicity involved, with the show plugging everybody and everything that appears in it.

Despite the drawbacks, you will binge-watch the show. For, it is a guilt trip of the petty, perverse kind.