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Yeh Meri Family 3 Review: Sweet Nostalgia

April 04, 2024 10:46 IST
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Yeh Meri Family 3 is developing into a Wonder Years kind of coming-of-age comedy that Indian viewers can relate to, observes Deepa Gahlot.


The last season of Yeh Meri Family had the tagline 'Winter of 90' so the new season has to be Spring. Which means a Holi episode because the Awasthi family is as normal as can be.

Their crises are minor, their squabbles easily resolved.

The strongest point of the TVF show, directed by Rahib Siddiqui this time, remains nostalgia -- the rotary phones, VCRs, rudimentary video games, the Macarena dance, and a 'tomboy' character dressed like Kajol in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.


The narrator in this season is 11-year-old Rishi (Anngad Maaholay), the youngest in the family comprising grandmother (Veena Mehta), father Sanjay (Rajesh Shah), mother Neerja (Juhi Parmar) and sister Ritika (Hetal Gada).

The problems are not overly dramatic, but the show is better written. The actors have grown into their parts, sliding into a kind of comfort level that looks convincing on screen.

Rishi, who is treated as a kid by the family, has his status reset, when he develops a crush on Shubhi who beat the boys at 'seven stones' (there used to be simple outdoor games like this before computers drove kids indoors). Our boy is growing up, the parents fondly surmise, as the kid experiences his first heartbreak.

The relationship between the siblings is less fraught. They may have vicious fights, but Ritika always has her brother's back, like in the episode in which he is bullied, and she stands up to the tormentor.

The Holi episode brings out the Kiran Bedi-ness of Neerja. She is a stern school teacher, aware that her kids have given her that nickname.

Ritika has an exam coming up so Neerja decides nobody will play Holi that year and distract her.

Rishi, who has been preparing for the festival is disappointed, and so are Sanjay and Dadi, but nobody can cross Neerja when she is in that zone.

This episode has an emotional touch, tempering the generally cheerful tone of the show.

The flowery language of All India Radio is heard in the background, but this UP town and the Awasthi family seem immune to the upheavals taking place in the country in the '90s.

There is a sweet episode focused on Dadi, who starts feeling that the family is overprotective of her.

They are all very caring and respectful -- no forced saas-bahu drama here -- but they have also unwittingly infantilised her.

Unfortunately, her awakening and assertion of independence clashes with the kids' plans for Sanjay's birthday.

Parental pressure is dealt with in the episode in which a visit from Sanjay's judgmental cop brother sends the otherwise placid father into dragon mode, pushing them to excel till they crack.

This season comes soon after the last one, unlike the gap between one and two, so memories of the Awasthi family have not faded from the viewers' minds.

One can see this show developing into a Wonder Years kind of coming-of-age comedy that Indian viewers can relate to.

Balancing the humour and drama, keeping it simple yet watchable will remain a constant challenge.

Yeh Meri Family 3 streams on Amazon Prime Video.

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