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Never Kiss Your Best Friend 2 review: A refreshing story about love and friendship

Anya Singh, Sarah Jane Dias, Karan Wahi and Nakuul Mehta make this show eminently watchable.

April 30, 2022 / 03:47 PM IST
Anya Singh and Karan Wahi in 'Never Kiss Your Best Friend 2' on Zee 5.

Anya Singh and Karan Wahi in 'Never Kiss Your Best Friend 2' on Zee 5.

Over the last few years, we’ve been subjected to watching men with sweat and blood on their faces; big, bearded men fight other bearded men with swords, guns, trees (anything they can weaponize, really), and if the ear-shattering background scores aren’t numbing enough, they even have those muscled men fight gigantic tigers and lions, out-roaring the beasts in Dolby Atmos surround sound. If there are women, they’re either murdering, getting drunk, or solving gory murder cases - as policewomen, lawyers, moms. Many of us are plain fed up with these stock stories of revenge, small-town politics and nasty people…

Never Kiss Your Best Friend is different. Season 2, which dropped on April 29, is a standalone story that super-glued a smile on my face. Not once did I feel annoyed when the lead female actor broke the fourth wall and spoke to me. Heck, I caught myself saying, ‘Arre! Stop saying that and go follow him!’ or, ‘Don’t drink that! It’s green tea!’

Anya Singh has eyes that speak and the conflicted life of the character she plays in the series - Tanie - resonated with me because her writerly life is so like ours.

Think about it: You worked hard on creating something. It’s your product, your baby and you’ve put hard work into it and when you present the work, the boss for reasons unknown, asks everyone an innocuous question. Suddenly, people offer pointless criticism in the name of ‘feedback’ and your baby now needs to have six arms and perhaps wings to please everyone in the room…

I found myself in Tanie's writer’s block, her self-deprecating dialogue and even though I would not even be caught dead in her wildly colourful clothes, they worked for her. I liked the lead character within a minute of meeting her!

Initially when they tried to connect present-day events and the back story, I groaned. I didn’t want to see-saw between season one and now. Thankfully it doesn’t happen again. I realise that it’s the story of friendship that became romance and as the title suggests, nothing good can ever happen if you don’t heed the good advice to ‘Never Kiss Your Best Friend’...

Sumer (Nakuul Mehta) is the best friend in question. We know Mehta from TV roles such as Shivaay Singh Oberoi in Ishqbaaaz, Raam in Bade Acche Lagte Hain and Aditya in Pyaar Ka Dard Hai. He is bearded, I'll admit, but he’s not beating people up! He’s the gruff rich lad who marries Pankhuri, or is the saviour, or the rich man who learns all about Ishq. So to see him play the ‘cool’ director of movies who broke Tanie’s heart fits right into his repertoire. I do miss his ‘ek second’ in this show, but the actor has posted a compilation of that on his Twitter account for his fans. Even though he often channels his inner Hrithik Roshan, Nakuul Mehta is effortless as a lead actor who makes Tanie’s heart beat faster…

Jaaved Jaaferi and Deepti Bhatnagar in 'Never Kiss Your Best Friend 2' on Zee 5. Jaaved Jaaferi and Deepti Bhatnagar.

But wait! What’s TV’s hawt bod Karan Wahi doing in the show? Making Tanie’s heart beat faster and seducing her by being a wonderful guy, of course! Wait, what?

My seasoned K-drama soul immediately wanted to know what was going to happen. So will you. And that’s a great thing because there is no physical violence (no slap happy saas/bahu scenes, no angry punch that stops an inch from the face moment, no pushing or shoving one another either!) at all. I smiled into my coffee and mentally hoped that she would work hard at the script. I loved how the girl who was teaching the actors was chosen to be in front of the camera, and how it happened. Made me order dessert from a food delivery app.

Sarah Jane Dias plays Lavanya, the boss who has to prove that she’s competent to her nasty brother and the board of the company. A likeable character, but I wished to know more about her colourful past and how she'd changed. Loved the scene between Lavanya and her elderly father even though I have just seen the freshly released Hollywood movie Memory that has a superb scene between Liam Neeson and his older brother who is suffering from Alzheimer's…

The supporting cast is awesome too. Niki Aneja Walia as Tanie’s mum, Sapna Pabbi as Tanie’s bestie, Jaaved Jaaferi as Tanie’s uncle and Deepti Bhatnagar as Sangeeta balance out the story of friends and lovers. I laughed out loud to see Tanie’s mum changing cushions at home when things go wrong. We all try to fix things that we can when the rest of the world is falling apart…

Thank you Zee5 for this much needed respite from blood and gore, and this lovely refreshing tale of friendship and love and romance… And loved Sumer doing the Shah Rukh thang at the end of the show! Fingers crossed for Season 3!

Manisha Lakhe
Manisha Lakhe is a poet, film critic, traveller, founder of Caferati — an online writer’s forum, hosts Mumbai’s oldest open mic, and teaches advertising, films and communication.
first published: Apr 30, 2022 02:13 pm