This is the kind of saas-bahu banter we don't mind tolerating on our screens, Divya Nair tells us.
Sweet Kaaram Coffee is such a fresh, zesty, title for a Tamil family entertainer. And the title montage does justice by breathing life into simple, nostalgia-inducing stuff you'd find in most South Indian homes.
Created by Reshma Ghatala, SKC introduces us to a middle-class family in Chennai where the men take the women for granted, as they have the final word in the decisions of the women in their life.
Hurt by their behaviour and attitude, three women -- a widowed grandmother and mother-in-law, a dejected mother and a daughter -- resolve to go on a road trip hoping to teach the men a lesson. The women discreetly pack their belongings and hit the road overnight.
Starring actors Lakshmi, Madhoo and Santhy, the eight-episode series takes us on a joyride through their emotional turmoil from a troubled past, fears, unfulfilled dreams and expectations as they encounter new people and adventures along the way.
What starts off as a trio's unplanned, impromptu, escape trip soon turns into a beautiful journey of self-discovery for three independent women, who support each other while rekindling their bonds of friendship as a family.
You soon realise that Sundari (Lakshmi) is not really grieving the loss of her boyfriend-turned-husband as her son and family expects her to.
Kaveri (Madhoo) sacrificed her love and gift for music and chose to remain a dutiful wife and doting mother.
The tomboyish Niveditha (Santhy) is struggling to choose between her unwavering passion for cricket and a true companion for life.
Although these women have been living under the same roof for over two decades, it is surprising how the simple idea of freedom and escapism persuades them to think independently and go after their dreams.
There are so many heartening moments in SKC that it's hard to pick just one.
The scene in which Niveditha asks her homemaker mom if she should choose passion or love is one of my favourites.
The question makes Kaveri's eyes gleam with pride because it's the first time her reticent daughter has acknowledged her mother and asked her something important hoping, rather trusting, that she will help her with the right answer.
It's a scene filled with so many emotions, written and executed beautifully.
For Kaveri, who has spent her entire life trying to play the perfect wife, daughter-in-law and mother, these little moments of acknowledgement is all that she craves for.
Another scene that comes to mind is the awkward but honest conversation between Rajarathnam and Kaveri, a hardworking couple, who have forgotten what it means to express love to each other. It's a necessary conversation written with harmless intent that will probably appeal to Indian homemakers, maybe our mothers and grandmothers as well.
The endearing lead cast and supporting actors ensure that you are drawn into their lives and stay invested in their journeys for the eight odd hours, each episode is approximately 50 minutes long.
Govind Vasantha's stirring music is an absolute treat.
The title track was distinctly similar to Kaathalae Kaathalae from 96.
The makers -- Bejoy Nambiar, Krishna Marimuthu and Swathi Raghuraaman -- deserve credit for putting together a delightful series that is fun to watch and recommend.
The length, one could argue, could have been cut short by two or more episodes, while still retaining the essence of the story.
A special mention to the costume team for their impeccable choice of saris, outfits and accessories worn by the characters.
It is these details in the screenplay that make you want to ignore the flaws, especially the overdramatic Lakshmi (in some scenes).
Overall, it seemed like an extended feminine version of the Malayalam film Charlie, where you randomly bump into good-hearted people on an unexpected escape trip that changes your life.
The final episode ends with a cliffhanger which makes me wonder if we can expect a season 2 because this is the kind of saas-bahu banter we don't mind tolerating on our screens.
Sweet Kaaram Coffee streams on Amazon Prime Video.