Someone on Twitter wanted a piece on cringe-binge shows. And while I am no expert here, I do love a horribly cringey fun show every now and then. It did however bring up questions as to what side of me (us) does it appeal to, what need of mine (ours) does it tick?
Was it the eye candy in Emily in Paris? Not all of it, I practically felt like slapping some sense into a few of the extremely good-looking guys in there, but Chef Gabriel had my heart. The broody, intense finding-his-way-in-life guy. After the many Imtiaz Ali movies who wouldn’t like a confused but good-looking dude, enough to carry an entire show on his shoulder. I say, bring on some more cringe now.
Was it the blatant honesty bordering on rudeness in The Fabulous Lives Of Bollywood Wives. Hell No. My entry to the show was Neelam, I stayed on for Seema. One character who is a favorite from a long time ago; and one character who practically grows up on the show through the chaos and finds her own voice. They made me want to tolerate Bhavna and Maheep. Plus the stunning (when not garish) wardrobe and jewellery was a pleasure to watch. No, not on Karan Johar.
Was it the superficial and extra-fake Seema aunty in Indian matchmaking? I am not even going to answer that. It was Nadia’s story that made me stick through the first episode and move on to the next. But more, it was the sheer audacity some of the candidates had in terms of their expectations and how it only got worse through the journey. And knowing that there are real people like that out there (been there, done that, in terms of meeting people in an arranged marriage set-up) plus the fact that they still do find a match and get their happy ever after. Yes, it played to my sappy heart in some way.
The two big hooks to all of them though:
⁃ Would I have watched any of these if not for the word-of-mouth hype from friends? Big no, because there’s something to be said for familiar and credible cringe.
⁃ Would I have watched any of these if not on Netflix? Big no, because even cringe has some class and needless to say, Netflix brings an A-grade to cringe.
As sub-genres on the platform go, cringe and chill seems to be working so far 🙂