This episode opens with a discussion on the ‘No Scars cream’ advertisement sent in by a listener. Rajyasree describes her experience of watching the advertisement as, “No Scars is a whitening cream, and darkness is like a scar. I just found it bizarre, and it’s so badly written, this ad.”
Then, a chat about the government’s new PSA on mosquitoes. “Whoever’s made that ad either loves mosquitoes or hates children,” says Abhinandan.
Next, a discussion on Netflix’s first original Indian series, Sacred Games. “The production quality, the scripting, the acting, they’ve just nailed it,” remarks Rajyasree. “There are very few things that one could say is wrong with this series,” Abhinandan adds.
On the use of voiceover and file footage as commentary for Indian pop culture of the time, Abhinandan remarks, “I think it works because it had political context, but sometimes, I felt it was a bit forced.”
Varun Grover, a co-writer of the show, joins the panel. On the source material, he says, “There are some characters we have removed from the book…because we wanted to focus on the religion and the thriller element, and the war of civilizations in a way.”
Then, a glimpse into the writing process: “We started meeting in August 2016, and discussing the ideas, themes, and characters. After 3 months, we started fleshing out the thing into a major season arc. Third stage came in January 2017 when we started writing the episode outlines, putting together all the character arcs, and putting them under the POV of Sartaj or Gaintonde.” This was followed by a year of writing episodes.
Grover also discusses working with the source material’s author. “Vikram Chandra has been very generous and open to new ideas. When we shared it with him the first time, he never asked us ‘why did you drop this’….he just accepted it and start giving ideas on how to improve it.”
For more on this, RJs giving love advice, and the trailer of Fanney Khan, listen up!
This podcast has been produced by Parikshit Sanyal, recorded by Anil Kumar and audio editing was done by Satish Kumar.