Capitalising on the (supposed) popularity of digital sequels and reboots to television shows on streaming platforms, Jamai 2.0, a digital extension of the famous television show Jamai Raja, made it to Zee5 recently. The show has a pulpy plot idea of a revenge drama, ideally the stuff you'd call 'masaledaar' but it's only a pity that the creators could come up with something as dull and flavourless for a four-hour-long series. Eye-catchy production values, reasonable cast and the seed of a good story are left wasted in a show that never catches steam. Pondicherry makes for an intriguing, unexplored backdrop for a Hindi web-series revolving around the dirty side of a town - illegal sale of drugs, unchecked rave parties, murky underworld deals. Even though the makers don't make use of the lingual diversity of the place, they utilise Pondy's scenic landscapes well to enhance the visual appeal of the series. Jamai 2.0 primarily dwells upon the fall of Durga Devi a.k.a DD, owner of a chain of night clubs and many other things murky in the town. While the identity of her husband is kept a secret from her daughter Roshni, DD's life takes unexpected turns when standup comedian-in-disguise Siddharth Sharma enters into the fray. The series is about how Siddharth, despite being a stranger to the town, becomes a loyalist of DD in a short span and also makes her daughter fall in love with him in due course. His identity remains a mystery to the viewer. The entire thread about a literal-nobody winning the trust of a drug baron with his wicked ways could have offered great entertainment value in the garb of a masala entertainer. The cocktail of romance, revenge, betrayal would have made for an ideal recipe for a show of good potential. This escapist tale is also let down by the absence of quirks to its characters and some quality humour. The drama-quotient is barely felt. The storyteller Shashant Shah keeps things pointlessly heartfelt and real. The romance between Siddharth and Roshni deserved a better thread too – the portions here boil down to exchange of good looks and smirks, some smooching and the two getting into bed. The action sequences lack fizz. At best, it feels like a bloated bunch of stunts borrowed from an underwhelming Akshay Kumar starrer. Everything is painfully classy and the shallowness is more apparent, as a result. Every twist in the story is narrated in a matter-of-factly fashion. This ideally needed a better lead actor than Ravi Dubey to spice up the proceedings. The need for a lively lead actor is felt more in Jamai 2.0 because he/she could have made all the difference between a middling fare and a flavourful outing. You realise this because of Sudhanshu Pandey's interesting portrayal of a cop titled Cheeram Murthy – the popular character actor gives a unique accent to his Hindi, brings some aura to his body language and there's a spring in his step whenever he walks or talks. His actor-counterparts could have borrowed a leaf out of his books. The lead actors, Ravi Dubey, Nia Sharma, and Achint Kaur, are exceptionally good-looking but don't strain their acting muscles at all. Ravi Dubey's shirtless body speaks more than his face, and Achint Kaur lacks the histrionics and dramatics to pull off her mean-woman act. Nia Sharma prefers to remain a bimbette. Jamai 2.0 doesn't give the masala potboiler genre enough respect. There are so many episodes that translate to nothingness. And sadly for the viewer, the digital sequel is far from over.
Rating: 2/5 (Watch Jamai 2.0 on Zee5 here)