Cast: Rohit Saraf, Prajakta Koli, Rannvijay Singha, Vidya Malavade, Muskkan Jaferi, Vihaan Samat, Taaruk Raina, Abhinav Sharma, Kritika Bharadwaj, Devyani Shorey, Sanjana Sarathy
Director: Akarsh Khurana
Streaming On: Netflix
Rating: 2.5/ 5
Based on the book When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon and written by Gazal Dhaliwal, Aarsh Vora, Nandini Gupta, and Akshay Jhunjhunwala, Mismatched S2 picks up right where the first season ended. With Rishi (Rohit Saraf) and Dimple’s (Prajakta Koli) relationship going through a rough patch, new bonds are formed as Harsh (Vihaan Samat) and Sanskriti (Sanjana Sarathy) come into the picture. But things are not so simple in Professor Siddharth Sinha’s (Rannvijay Singha) app-development summer course in Jaipur as feelings for exes still linger on, while new love blooms. Will Rishi and Dimple sort out their issues or is this it for the Singh Shekhawat-Ahuja love story? Akarsh Khurana’s young-adult romance explores this and a little more.
The new season attempts to dive a bit more into each character’s lives apart from the leads. In this sense, Harsh (Vihaan), Anmol (Taaruk Raina), Celina (Muskkaan Jaferi), Simran (Kritika Bhardwaj), and Namrata (Devyani Shorey) get much more screen-time than the last time. Harsh’s and Dimple’s bond is like a breath of fresh air. Apart from the exciting sparks of a new romance, boundaries are well-respected and healthy communication is encouraged. To be honest, more of NRI Harsh with his accented Hindi would not have been a bad idea.
The music in the series makes a mark with Anurag Saikia handling the background score, Sanal George’s Sound Design, and Anurag Shanker as music co-ordinator. Especially the ghazal version of Aise Kyun crooned by the mesmerizing Rekha Bhardwaj and Saikia himself.
In an attempt to start a dialogue about multiple things at once, Mismatched 2 ends up biting more than it can chew. Hence, the storytelling feels secondary, while a progressive social commentary takes over in each episode. While there is nothing wrong with choosing to relay a social message and is in fact, encouraged and appreciated most of the time, it does not feel organic when one chooses to say so much, and in turn, the effect it set out to achieve in the first place, shakes and falters. There is a dialogue on mental health, the specially-abled and their needs, body image issues, homosexuality, the toxic culture of perfection on social media, class struggles, financial independence, second marriages, and so on. In all the messaging, the heart and soul of the story somewhere get lost.
Mismatched 2 has 8 episodes with a runtime of about 40 minutes each. Despite the increased screen time of the characters, their arcs and character-development still are still not explored to their full potential. With so much happening with the various sub-plots, the series loses its momentum in the middle and feels unnecessarily dragged instead.
Talking about performances, Saraf and Koli give a glimpse of their potential. They are fun to watch on screen, but one realizes that they have it in them to deliver better. This season, it is Vihaan Samat and Muskkaan Jaferi who light up the screen with their charm. Taaruk delivers a decent performance with what he was given. Rannvijay Singha and Vidya Malavade deserved more screen time together and while their subtle romance did not accelerate much, their chemistry was sweet and convincing, after all. Akarsh Khurana’s cameo was an adorable surprise.
Mismatched 2 tries to take things a step forward than its prequel. While the haphazard handling of several themes can be unfulfilling and even, off-putting at times, the series can be definitely given a watch on the weekend.
ALSO READ: Doctor G Review: Ayushmann Khurrana, Rakul Preet Singh starrer has good intent but lacks entertainment