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Here’s Why Kapil Sharma’s New Show Needs to Shut Down

Ajay Devgn’s advice to Kapil Sharma is just what the comedian should heed to.

Updated
TV
6 min read
Kapil Sharma on <i>Family Time With Kapil Sharma </i>with Ajay Devgn.
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If you missed Kapil Sharma’s much publicised “comeback” of sorts to the small screen with his new show Family Time With Kapil Sharma on Sunday night - you didn’t miss much at all, EVEN if you are a die-hard fan of the comedian.

On the new show, the man is a pale version of the Kapil Sharma we got acquainted with on Comedy Nights With Kapil or even The Kapil Sharma Show. Most of the jokes on his earlier outings were sexist and crass but if you let your political correctness down a few notches, it would at least elicit a few laughs. The new avatar of Kapil’s show looks like a wrung out, hand-me-down version of his earlier appearances. It doesn’t help that the “game show” part of it, which is the new innovative element in Family Time With Kapil Sharma, is the weakest link in the show.

Where has the energy, wit and spunk that made Kapil Sharma such a darling of prime time entertainment television gone? Has all the behind-the-scenes drama about the comedian’s drinking problem and his fall out with his colleagues taken a toll on the man’s chutzpah? It sure seems so.
Kapil Sharma is back minus the fun.
Kapil Sharma is back minus the fun.
(Photo courtesy: Sony Liv)

Family Time With Kapil Sharma starts with what’s evidently a paid section of the audience screaming and chanting Kapil’s name and holding banners which look oh-so-obviously planted. What a bummer of a beginning.

Navjyot Singh Sidhu, who’s been a veteran on all of Kapil Sharma’s shows, makes an entry right after Kapil, mocking the comedian about not inviting him to be a part of his new show. Well, the lines are predictable here, but Sidhu does manage to squeeze out a few chuckles with his rejoinders on politics and politicians.

Kapil then quickly gets down to explaining to his audience that unlike his previous appearances, this is a game show aimed to bring family members closer to each other.

“Game toh bahana hai, hamara maqsad sab family ko saath lana hai.”

“Kyonki jab saath ho parivar toh har din tyohaar”

These are the kind of lines that Kapil mouths to make his point clear. Kapil lectures the audience about how the internet, mobile and messaging apps like WhatsApp have created a distance among people in the same family and Family Time With Kapil Sharma attempts to bring such families together once again. No harm in that, except that ironically one of the first prizes that he gifts someone in the audience is a... mobile phone.

What’s the thought behind the new show? No one knows.
What’s the thought behind the new show? No one knows.
(Photo courtesy: Sony Liv)
This is indicative of the larger problem with Kapil Sharma’s new show - there is no clear understanding or design about why and what this new show format is all about, neither has enough thought been put into exploiting Kapil Sharma’s strengths.

These guys were again hoping to sail through by just using the Kapil Sharma branding (which is already losing quite a lot its of sheen and substance).

Sharma’s Sexist Tone Continues

Neha Pendse has to just stand there and bear it.
Neha Pendse has to just stand there and bear it.
(Photo courtesy: Sony Liv)

The sexist jokes continue in Family Time With Kapil Sharma as well. There are several cringeworthy lines directed by the game show’s host Neha Pendse, throughout the duration of her presence on stage. Once again, you could laugh them off if you suspend your political correctness knowing well what to expect on this show. BUT, what’s unremarkable here is that despite all the criticism and feedback the makers of Kapil’s show would have received by now, there is not a single attempt to give Neha a few equally witty comebacks. The lady just stands there taking all the suggestive barbs with a smile, playing the bimbette that she’s obviously been asked play.

Sample this:

Neha Pendse: “Mujhe bahut khushi hai ki hum yahan ek saath kaam karnewale hain.”

Kapil Sharma: “Arre kaam kya hum ek saath dekhiye kya kya karte hain.”

*Laughs and whistles from the audience while Neha looks clueless*

Stock reaction look from Neha Pendse to most of the sexist and suggestive lines thrown at her.
Stock reaction look from Neha Pendse to most of the sexist and suggestive lines thrown at her.
(Photo courtesy: Sony Liv)

Want to Pop a Balloon With Your Bum?

The “game show” part of Family Time With Kapil Sharma is like one of those awkward cultural get-togethers you would have in your housing colony or apartment complex. Basically, couples or relatives divided into teams competing with each other in inane activities like popping a ballon with your bum, monkeying around to Tamma Tamma, attempting to put on a skirt or shorts while trying to balance themselves and so on. I mean, you’ve already gone through this at your housing society’s Diwali Mela or your kid’s school’s annual day celebrations, right?

To top it, you also have to sit through the contestants losing it over winning a washing machine or a dinner set. This, for an audience that is used to watching Amitabh Bachchan handing over lakhs and crores on another game show, must be a bit of downer, yes?

The Few Highs on Family Time With Kapil

The fat-shaming of Kiku Sharda continues.
The fat-shaming of Kiku Sharda continues.
(Photo courtesy: Sony Liv)

Kapil Sharma loyalists - Kiku Sharda and Chandan Prabhakar resurface on Family Time With Kapil Sharma. The two provide a romanticised throwback to the better times that Kapil Sharma was in with their presence on his previous shows.

The self-deprecating humour that Kapil allows himself to indulge in with Kiku and Chandan are the few seconds of highs of this 60 minute TV show.

There are references to Kapil being jobless for 6 months, digs that he and Sony had to probably sell their household goods to stay afloat during this period and so on. But then, once again you have Kiku Sharda dressed in drag and plenty of fat-shaming jokes aimed at him. Sigh.

Ajay Devgn’s Priceless Advice to Kapil Sharma

Ajay Devgn tries to liven up the show but...
Ajay Devgn tries to liven up the show but...
(Photo courtesy: Sony Liv)

As Kapil Sharma’s (bad) luck would have it, the only Bollywood celebrity that he could rope in for his debut episode was Ajay Devgn.

Now, Ajay has a lot of good things going for him as an actor, but being an engaging guest on a TV show definitely isn’t one of his strong points.

So, we have Ajay Devgn just standing around giving sheepish smiles and embarrassed guffaws on stage, but looking totally bored for the most part of it. However, he did seem to enjoy the two jokes that Kiku Sharda came up with - about an ant singing Mere Rashke Qamar... and Deepak Tijori being raided, yes, going by the standard that the show had set by then, they were funny.

However, the biggest highlight of Family Time With Kapil Sharma was Ajay Devgn’s heartfelt parting advice to Kapil Sharma. What Ajay said also should be seen as a collective plea, warning, request - call it what you may - from all of Kapil Sharma’s fans and viewers to him:

“Uparwale ne itna talent diya hai Kapil, ki usse kabhi waste nahin karna hai, kyonki bahut kum logon ko aisa talent milta hai.”
Ajay Devgn on Family Time With Kapil
Ajay Devgn’s sincere advice to Kapil Sharma is the most important take away from the show.
Ajay Devgn’s sincere advice to Kapil Sharma is the most important take away from the show.
(Photo courtesy: Sony Liv)

But Seriously...

Seriously, Kapil Sharma needs to stop wasting his talent and shut the show down in its current format. He needs to go back to the drawing board, jam with a new team of content creators, brainstorm on ideas, play to his strengths and return with a TV show that really does justice to him.

And all this should be done with some amount of self-reflection and soul searching. Amongst the most important questions that Kapil Sharma needs ask to himself is:

What On Earth Is This Man Doing On My Show?

Why?
Why?
(Photo courtesy: Sony Liv)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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