The second season of Amazon Prime’s coveted ‘Four More Shots Please!’ recently released and as a millennial Indian woman, I have quite a few thoughts on it. To begin with, I would like to clarify that all of the unwarranted hate on the series is so passe. While I agree that they could have done so many things a lot better, some of which I will be addressing in my piece too – the show got a lot of things right, several things that need to be shown to highlight the complex lives of millennial Indian women today, and they cannot be ignored.
Women having sex for frivolity and pure pleasure is not scandalous or abhorrent, no matter what the internet’s MRA’s (men’s rights activists) try to tell you. The fact is, that a woman is shown as having the sexual freedom to live her own life is very threatening to the moral fibre of a misogynist being. That’s what hurts these trolls and that leads to a hoard of critiques about how unrealistic the show is.
While I agree to a point, the show isn’t the most realistic thing there is, probably far from it. It still depicts a world that can be relatable to a middle class millennial Indian woman like me. As a writer, I relate to Damini’s struggles of finding a publisher who would agree to take on her controversial book. As someone who has struggled with body image and fat-shaming, I get where Siddhi comes from when she can’t get her head out of the mirror and look at herself for who she is – beyond the flaws that society constructed for her. Siddhi’s storyline was the most relatable of all to me and I love the way they depicted her character growth into becoming comfortable in her own body.
I may not be able to relate to Anjana and why she chose to have an extra-marital affair but here’s where I had a problem with that entire story arc: Anjana seems sorted, but is far from it and is still struggling for closure from her ex-husband. She still doesn’t know where she stands as far as a relationship or more is concerned. While all of that is very complex and well built, I fail to understand why the writers had to go ahead and make a mockery of polyamorous relationships and open marriages the way they did.
Open marriages and polyamory are a reality for a lot of people today. And they’re as valid as monogamous relationships and marriages. The fact that Anjana’s boss Shashank would lie to her about being in an open marriage just so he can have an extramarital affair with her is still believable. However, the way Shashank’s wife ridicules open marriages and time and time again, the way that Anjana’s girl squad reiterates the fact that even an open marriage may not be morally okay just rubs me off in the wrong way. If you’re going to address a topic that’s as complex as polyamory, don’t invalidate it and do not make a mockery of it.
While we talk about the relationships on this show, I must mention my favourite one – Samara and Umang. One of the boldest moves of this series was to depict an open wlw relationship with so much complexity and depth that it left an impact on me and the way I have perceived LGBTQ media before this. Samara and Umang’s relationship endures a lot over the two seasons that we have seen and they don’t have a happy ending. But you know why I was okay with that? Because life is not perfect. You don’t always have to have a happy ending and you probably won’t. Just because it’s two women in love doesn’t mean their relationship is going to be miraculous and perfect, without any issues. They had some genuine problems with the power dynamic between them and Umang’s realisation that her self respect comes before anyone and anything was empowering to me, at least.
Now, as you can see, while I loved some aspects of this season of FMSP, I also had my own set of complaints with it. However, what stands out to me with this show and its premise is how the characters aren’t perfect, they are (fl)awesome and that’s what gives them substance. I love the way they repeat their mistakes and don’t get things right in one go because you know what, we don’t just magically become equipped to manage our lives and problems after resolving one mistake. That’s what I liked about this show.
Now, I will agree that some aspects of the show are cringe-worthy and cliche, but I don’t particularly mind that. Those are what make the show a fun watch. I think it’s so important to first and foremost, acknowledge the fact that we finally have a series that showcases female friendships in such a positive light and how the girls consistently have each other’s backs throughout.
The show has a lot of flaws and while it’s important to constructively critique these, it can be done without sounding blatantly misogynistic (which most of Twitterati does). There’s also a lot to unpack about how messy and complicated our lives can be and how important female friendships can be. It won’t hurt us to take a chick flick-esque show every once in a while and enjoy it for the wholesome content it provides. It’s fun to do that and I would highly recommend this show to every millennial Indian woman who can put aside her personal biases for a day to binge this fun and glamorous piece of entertainment.