The Married Woman is an interesting watch, notes Moumita Bhattacharjee.
The Married Woman is a bold Web series to have in then Indian context.
Audiences are still making peace with homosexual content, but the female leads here are pan-sexual, and that's a territory that has perhaps never been explored in any form of entertainment content in India.
This ZEE5-AltBalaji feature manages to go where nobody did, but to reach there, it meets bumps which the series finds difficult to overcome.
Aastha (Riddhi Dogra) has a perfect life, or what society thinks it is.
The initial days of marriage saw a lot of action in bed with her husband Heman (Suhaas Ahuja).
But two kids later, their sex-capades dwindle to almost no physical contact.
Now everything's on mechanical mode with Saturday being their sex day.
That's when Aastha meets Ejaaz (Imaad Shah), the director of a play she has translated in Hindi.
They have many meetings and she falls for him despite knowing he is married to Peepilika (Monica Dogra).
An incident rocks their life and the two women are drawn to each other.
What happens to them becomes the crux of the show.
The Married Woman is based on Manju Kapur's novel by the same name.
Jaya Mishra and Surabhi Saral have adapted it for the Web series and have done a commendable job.
The Married Woman has some astounding moments which keeps this series from falling apart.
Narratives with neglected wives looking for an escape outside marriage is an oft-seen premise now.
Here, it is deftly treated as they are showing a woman who strongly believes in never crossing the line.
Making such a woman experience a world outside her hangups is the triumph of the story.
There are many such moments which make it an interesting watch.
But the writers did seem a little lost initially.
At a time when audience have an attention span of just 15 seconds, the possibility of the audience leaving the series mid-way is more.
So before it gets to the good parts, one is already bored.
Also, a few things are completely unnecessary.
The Hindu-Muslim riots add nothing to the narrative.
A back story of Peepilika's many relationships is also not needed.
The scene where Peepilika blames Ejaaz for leading Aastha on when he did no such thing was pointless.
Riddhi Dogra does a brilliant job of a wife who feels overwhelmed with the freedom outside her home.
At times, you would want to go hug her as she navigates through these new feelings.
Imaad Shah reminds you of his father Naseeruddin Shah. Although his character lacks depth, he is extremely likable.
Suhaas Ahuja as Hemant is perfect to the T. The ego, the infidelity, the realisation about his wife, this actor has done an excellent job of being a prick husband.
Monica Dogra is the weakest link here. But her scenes where she is teasing a blushing Riddhi are quite interesting.
Her diction gets annoying after a while, especially when she needs to raise her voice.
The Married Woman is an interesting watch but it could have been so much better. Still, AltBalaji and ZEE5 should be complimented just for the effort.