Panchayat Season 2
And we are back into the lanes of Phulera after two years. Coming in as a pleasant surprise for one and all back in 2020, Panchayat was just the kind of easy-breezy watch everyone was longing to watch in the pandemic.
It is a different time and a different world now where the beloved characters return in Season 2. Throwing in another surprise, the makers and Amazon Prime Video went on to release Panchayat earlier than planned where the show is already available for streaming. Having had the chance to see a few episodes before hand, here are the points I felt constituted as the highs and lows followed by the verdict.
Returning Characters Not Skipping a Beat
What makes Panchayat so fantastic is the characterisation. Every character present in this world has been etched out so beautifully and that does not change at all with the second season as well. The returning favorites continue to exhibit the same amount of innocence, honesty, comedy and impeccable chemistry that is as heart-warming as ever. Once again, the likes of Vikas (Chandan Roy), Prahlad (Faisal Malik) are like an adorable Laurel-Hardy duo and it is their comic timing, punch lines that make for some of the most funny sequences.
Retaining The Essence
Just like the characters are retained in the best possible way, the makers do a fine job in maintaining the essence of Season 1. Just because you had a successful first season and are returning with a new one, the presumption and compulsive need to 'make things bigger' is not adapted here. We are still in the bylanes of Phulera where there is no sudden burst of happiness and success for Abhishek Tripathi (Jitendra Kumar). Nothing changes in that respect and that is what keeps things as beautiful as ever.
No show can connect even with the finest of writing if it is not catapulted by finer performances. A stellar ensemble cast with absolute legends like Raghubir Yadav and Neena Gupta are at their brilliant best as ever. Even the newer characters that include the likes of Durgesh Kumar as Bhushan and Shrikant Verma as Parmeshwar, Satish Ray as Siddharth are worthy additions to what seems to almost be like an episodic treatment. The newest name is Saanvika as Rinki, the to-be love interest for Abhishek and even though she doesn't have too much to do initially, her character and performance only gets better with passing episodes. Leading this pack is the ever-reliable Jitendra Kumar. As always, he is fantastic and doesn't miss a single beat.
Lacks The Novelty Factor
Panchayat Season 2 suffers from the same problem almost every returning show suffers - and that is lacking the same novelty the first season had. It is obviously with no fault to the makers but now that you know who these people are and the way Season 2 kicked off especially lacked a certain sense of novelty. You knew that you are in for another hilarious but expected issue that Abhishek will be trying to deal with while trying to understand the workings of a village.
Loses Grip at Places
A coinciding point to this can be the fact how because of this, the show loses grip and attention of the viewer at a few places. Especially the first episode itself, where the saga surrounding Parmeshwar and cost of mud was fun initially but it stretched so much that in the end, it seemed like a forced storyline. At the very end of the episode, the whole scene about the dancer and Abhishek also seemed unwanted. The show has a few moments like this that can pull you out for minutes.
In the end, Panchayat Season 2 lives up to its legacy of being easy-breezy, entertaining, fun and insightful. It might have moments that where it falters but none of those are substantial enough to miss the new season.
Rating *** 1/2 (3.5/5)