Many critics of the film Fan believed that the ‘actor’ Shah Rukh Khan is back after a series of silly big screen outings, but most of them also agree that the script was as disappointing as his other recent films.
The Kapil Sharma Show hosted in Delhi, which invited the star for the special inaugural episode, faced almost the same fate. Comedy Nights with Kapil (Colors) and The Kapil Sharma Show (Sony) felt no more different than Aryan Khanna and Gaurav Chandna. Everyone could see that both shows were of, for and by the same people. They followed the same style, only the host channel had changed.
Kapil Sharma’s monologues and pranks were as funny as ever, his digs were cheered and his team welcomed with huge fanfare. However, the content was no different than what Sharma has been serving us on Colors since June 2013. His jokes traversed from personal to political, filmi to sexist, sarcasm to one-liners. Sharma’s team comprising of the usual suspects – Kiku Sharda, Sumona Chakravarty, Sunil Grover, Ali Asgar, Chandan Prabhakar, were brought in to add extra drama, while Navjot Singh Sidhu remained as the third umpire, sitting on the same singhaasan.
Most of us loved The Kapil Sharma Show because we enjoyed the potshots Sharma and his team took on people, both known and unknown. Picking up contemporary events and presenting them with humour has been another strength of Sharma’s show. But what we missed terribly in its avatar was the effort to bring something different to the table.
The only thing fresh on the show was the new set:
We got the same ‘men dressed in drag’ routine, which frankly isn’t as funny as it used to be. Sumona returned as Mrs Sharma to be at the receiving end of Kapil’s domestic banter. Again, Sunil Grover as the lady constable, Kiku Sharda and Ali Asgar as Nawab and Begum respectively, were funny but grossly repetitive.
Shah Rukh Khan with his inimitable wit and repartees was a treat to watch, but wasn’t this supposed to be about the much-awaited, hyped, ‘new and improved’ Kapil Sharma show?
The second episode which aired on 24th April 2016 had the same pitfalls. In fact, this time to make things worse, the celeb guests Shraddha Kapoor and Tiger Shroff had nothing more to add to the proceedings than to stand around and laugh. A change in the basic format of the show or exploiting the cast with different roles could have been a refreshing change. But Kapil Sharma and team seem to have sealed the basic model of their deliverables already, with no attempt at experimentation.
I guess, to an extent, carrying forward the same brand and features is an effort to generate recall value to the original show. At this stage, Sharma is probably working ahead to retain the audience base he had already created, rather than trying to reshuffle what’s worked and woo a fresh audience.
The Kapil Sharma Show might have just about managed to bring back the weekly dose of laughter for its hardcore fans; but for those of us who were expecting something bigger, better and (if not too much to ask for) different, the new show disappoints.
(Koral Dasgupta is an author, columnist, academic and Advisory Member CBFC. Twitter/@koraldasgupta)