Four More Shots Please (Season 2) Review: Why The Second Season Works Far Better Than the First One
Four More Shots Please Review: The second season of Amazon Prime’s show on women and relationships has just dropped and it’s a fun watch
I have to admit. I absolutely disliked the first season of Four More Shots Please! (FMSP) – the Amazon Prime series on single women that was a desified take on the iconic Sex and the City (SATC). Four women, their confusions about love, life, sex and dilemmas etc etc – the template was ready, it was just waiting to be extracted to the urban Indian landscape. And that’s what FMSP essentially did! The fact that it took over 20 years for a show like this to be made in India says a lot about our programming but better late than never! So three cheers to the OTT platforms that have finally brought direct conversations about sex and female sexuality to our TV, computer and mobile phone screens.
Now, the reason why I didn’t think much of the first season was because while it was sufficiently Indianised, for urban viewers who have devoured American shows like Friends, SATC and others, there was nothing new or refreshing about Four More Shots Please. The women seemed to belong to another planet, the stereotyping about single, urban women grated on your nerves, their problems were devoid of any context to Indian existential realities and the overall treatment was too flaky and superficial to make an impact. Nevertheless it was an easy watch even if it didn’t leave any deep impression or offer food and drinks for thought.
With these prejudices in mind, the expectation bar for the second season was really low. Perhaps that’s the cue! Or perhaps it was because after eight or nine episodes, you get used to the characters of a show and accept them for what they are and start to (unwittingly) build an affinity towards them. Whatever be the rationale, but fact is that the second season of Four More Shots Please is way better than the first. It’s breezy, entertaining, fun and eminently watchable – just right to lighten your mood virtually with your gal pals amidst the lockdown.
Season 2 begins with the ladies – Damini (Sayani Gupta), Anjana (Kriti Kulhari), Siddhi (Maanvi Gagroo) and Umang (Bani J), heading to Istanbul, ostensibly to come to the rescue of one of them who’s having a breakdown. Of course, it’s evident that the sequence has been added just to get a nice trip to Turkey but what the heck! The city looks gorgeous, the women are chic (the styling game has been upped and the episodes look glam with the first one featuring a dishy-looking Turk) and it certainly makes you want to pack your bags and fly to Istanbul (hopefully, after the Corona-scare is over and the skies open up again!). But disappointingly, the sojourn ends soon and they are back to India where the rest of the drama unfolds.
The drama isn’t much, to be honest, at least in the first few episodes. Anjana continues to grapple with single parenthood, dealing with an ex husband who she still has feelings for and having conflicting emotions about a younger man. Umang gets back on the road with her bisexual lover (Lisa Ray). Damini is still searching for her true love while Siddhi, who was Ms Clueless, finally gets to discover herself. In other words, the highs and the lows do not cause the viewer too much excitement or stress, and the episodes glide along smoothly. Which is just what we want during these depressing times! Women can have fun, they can be goofy and just because they are privileged doesn’t mean their concerns aren’t real even if not earth-shattering. The first season didn’t get that balance right but this one certainly does.
Also, what has changed slightly from the first season is that the women seem to have more purpose and concrete issues to deal with other than just a confused sex life. Damini is tackling a crisis regarding a controversial unpublished book, Umang is helping her lover come out of a mental breakdown, Siddhi finds a meaningful career, and Anjana faces sexism at work head on. Unlike FMSP 1 that also portrayed these problems but in a rather flippant way, almost as an afterthought, this season appears to be more serious about them and makes strong arguments too. For instance, Anjana’s misogynist boss comes across as very real while Siddhi’s new found career as a standup comic delivers some excellent punches. The dialogues are pretty on-point and witty. Tampons, sex, gigolos – there is a lot of dirty girl talk going on and they all seem very natural. As I mentioned above, the second season comes across as far more relatable than the first; the growing comfort level between the actors among themselves and with us, clearly evident.
And then there are the men – the most integral part of a show about women and their relationships. This aspect is very, very predictable. You know who is going to sleep with whom next but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Of course, we don’t really get a Mr Big or Aidan (SATC) but Samir Kocchar makes a handsome debut. Neil Bhoopalan is easy on the eyes. Also, thankfully, the makers have retained Milind Soman as lucky Damini’s sexy gynaec who is a friend-phil-part time boyfriend rolled into one. Now, what is there to complain? Pass on the drink please! Need a shot while in quarantine!