Silly Sunday: Happy Sitcoms for Shahrukh To Star In!

How well do you know family friendly sitcoms of the 70s, 80s, 90s, and today? How many of them do you want Shahrukh to feature in? I have many ideas and I hope at least some of you can also enjoy them!

Procrastinatrix suggested that Shahrukh and Juhi should star in a Family Ties remake for Netflix India, and I love that idea! And then I started thinking of all the other sitcoms he could be in. And then he could work regular hours, in happy light scripts, with nice people who like him, and just generally have a great work-life balance. Plus give us the nice mix of light entertainment and occasional romantic moments, along with lots of fatherly wisdom, that we all want.

Family Ties

A family with two working parents and three kids, perfect fit! The mother is more successful and works longer hours, is also the slightly tougher parent while still being wise and loving. The father is gentle, works a job that fulfills him but will never grow into anything more, and is the parent who is more likely to be kind and understanding. The oldest child is ambitious and hyper and ready to reject his parents’ values and move on and build a life of “success” (as he sees it). The next oldest is a bit of a ditz, very sweet, but unwordly and emotional. And the youngest is sarcastic and observing all the chaos around her. Remake this in India with Shahrukh as a counselor at a high school or something dead end but meaningful like that, with Juhi as a successful advertising executive who is more likely to work late while Shahrukh gives the kids dinner, and with the oldest child being bratty and determined to finish high school and get a scholarship for an overseas school and leave India, the next oldest being a film fan who is always failing classes, and the youngest making funny sayings. And maybe flip the genders of the kids? The oldest is a girl, the film made next oldest is a boy? As the seasons go on, the oldest opts to stay in India for college after all while still claiming she is going to go overseas as soon as she gets a chance. The next oldest decides to try his hand at modeling and acting after high school (Karan Johar makes a cameo appearance as himself). And the third child gets written out as we all grow tired of her.

Obviously, we keep the same theme song, just in Hindi

As Time Goes By

A Britcom! And at first I thought Shahrukh and Juhi were too old for it, but actually they are just right for the first season and we can go from there. A widow who runs a successful secretarial agency causes a lot of eye-rolling from her divorced daughter/assistant because she is always so snappy and grumpy. Meanwhile an NRI has just returned to Bombay after years and years overseas and plans to write his autobiography. He hires a secretary, ends up getting the widow’s daughter, flirts with her a bit and they decide to go out to dinner. But when he comes to her mother’s house to pick her up, he and the mother suddenly recognize each other. They were passionately in love years and years ago but then lost track of each other. She went on to fall in love and marry someone else, be widowed, and retreat to a practical loveless life. He moved overseas and started a new life, married and divorced, and has now returned home with an empty life. The two of them slowly navigate falling in love all over again, the nostalgia and pain of their memories, and now liking each other again for the new people they are (cynical, grumpy, feeling tired and old around the young folks). And there’s a slight frisson of tension because the divorced daughter claims to have a crush on the hero. I say, Shahrukh and Pooja Bhatt as the older couple, and Alia as the divorced daughter.

I vote for “Aap Jaise Koi” instead of As Time Goes By for the opening credits, and the same quick news reel images to cover time passing.

Welcome Back Kotter

The original concept was a young recently married teacher who volunteers to teach the troubled remedial kids at his old inner city high school. He got out, went to college, got a degree, and has a nice similarly educated wife. But he can still relate to the troubled problem kids in the class. This is no good for Shahrukh because he’s too old. But we just need to shift it a little. He worked successfully for an international company as an English teacher for their staff for years, but has taken early retirement and, with his supportive wife from Bombay, has moved back to his old Delhi neighborhood and taken a job teaching at his old high school. He slowly wins over the kids, gives them wisdom, comes home and has funny conversations with his sweet wife Zarina Wahab (they’ve been mother-son enough, let’s get them married for once), and gets to read lots of Shakespeare monologues to the class.

No possible way to improve this song, just put it in Hindi

Frasier

I wasn’t going to include this one (even though it is possibly my favorite sitcom), but then I had a genius thought! Shahrukh should obviously be the FATHER!!!! He is an old retired widowed cop who was shot on duty and has a hip injury. His wealthy over-educated NRI son has moved back home and ends up volunteering to take him into his wealthy pretentious apartment building. His other son stayed in Bombay and married a wealthy socialite. Lots of culture clash humor, with a warm little lesson at the heart of it as the sons and father learn to appreciate each other. And maybe we move up the romance for Shahrukh just a smidge, bumping into an old babysitter for his sons who is now a sexy nightclub singer (Juhi? Raveena? Sonali?)

Just play some jazz and have Shahrukh say random things, best theme song ever!

Sister, Sister

Stick with me here! Two teenage girls bump into each other in a mall and, after many missed connections, they link up and realize they are identical twins. After a little investigation, they realize they were both adopted, one by a nice young couple the wife of whom died shortly after leaving her husband a single father. And the other by a struggling single mother who lied on the adoption application to get a baby. In order to let the girls be sisters, the struggling single mother agrees to move in to the nice house with the widowed father and the other daughter. Fish out of water comedy, contrasting personalities of the two girls and their parents, and a tiny romance in the background between the two single parents. Shahrukh as the widowed protective father of a teenage girl? Perfect! Juhi as the aggressive outgoing single mother of the other girl? Also perfect! Or Vidya? Anyway, someone like that. And then we can discover two talented young twins to play the kids.

I want this exact same video, but in Hindi and with new actors. But otherwise EXACTLY THE SAME.

The Odd Couple

Shahrukh plays a messy grumpy long divorced man. Saif Ali Khan plays his fussy prim and proper friend whose marriage has just fallen apart. Can two men live together…..without killing each other?

No lyrics, we don’t even have to translate anything!

I could keep going indefinitely (Diff’rent Strokes, Who’s the Boss, Three’s Company, and on and on and on), but I think this is enough to give us a start!

Which of these classic sitcoms do you most want Shahrukh to do? Or is there another one I’m not thinking of that would be even better for him?

9 thoughts on “Silly Sunday: Happy Sitcoms for Shahrukh To Star In!

  1. OK Margaret, (I would say and friends but I think this one is probably just me, Margaret and Procrastinatrix) I am trying to do speech to text in a note so that there’s very little chance of me losing it by changing screens. Last night I was so frustrated, I really spent a long time musing about a couple of the shows and then somehow deleted everything. Anyway I’ll take this as an opportunity to do a really deep dive into a few ideas.

    First, genius for him to go back to TV – he could still do films every now and then and he could spend the precious time w his family. And we would still adore him and maybe even more so since we’d see him more often.

    I love the family ties idea. I think it would be really fun to watch Shah Rukh play a character who is not a businessman and not the ‘not knowing what to do with his life’ guy like in JHMS. The dad role here would be so good for him, aging hippie, still connected to who he was as a young idealist and wanting his kids to share his passion. I was such a big fan of the show, especially of Michael Gross, he always reminded me of my own dad, who is a sweet softy at heart (or at least was until he decided that he should start watching Fox News.) Being a kid like me who was a total lefty liberal with parents who are really religious, the show resonated with me so much because I was the kid who was different from my parents in really significant ways. I kind of wished for parents like Michael and Meredith!

    No matter what the gender of the kids, I think it would be really fun to watch Shah Rukh as a parent who is trying to transmit his values (Juhi or Tabu, someone soft but age appropriate would be the right mom – oh oh – put him back with Karisma again!) But I would love to see the typical Indian film setup flipped. Keep it more like family ties where the parents are really liberal and open and easy going and the kid especially the oldest one is super firm and structured about things like religious ideals and the role of parents and children together. Almost like the family values thing skipped a generation.

    I’m all over Frasier, I also love the show (if you can get around the very “threes company”- like structure of “oh no there’s been a terrible misunderstanding.”) But I categorically reject the idea of Shah Rukh as Martin. Perhaps it’s my unwillingness to see him as a dad of grown men – too soon. When you think about Frasier’s age in the later seasons of the show, it works for me to have him and somebody slightly prissy as Niles (Saif Ali? Hrithik? Ranveer could kill it if he were 10 years older.) Rani as Roz and Aish as Maris? Then we would have to see her lol. I can see Anushka as Daphne. PS now that I watched Kapoor and Sons, Rishi as Martin. We want someone to be more workaday, no Anil looking all handsome. And Albie Dog as Eddie. You’d be willing to move there to be his on set trainer, right?

    And of course Odd Couple makes a lot of sense. So many ways to go…but I almost want it flipped. Have Salman as the Oscar character and have Shahrukh play the Felix character. It would be a really cool stretch.

    Random crazy thoughts…

    Who’s the Boss – Shah Rukh loses his job and goes to work for Madhuri taking care of her young teens. Rekha is Mona. Hilarity ensues.

    Cheers – Shah Rukh as Sam, Preity as Diane. Boman of course as Norm (Dhruv! – Kapoor Saab kaise hai ap? – yah ek kutte kee duniya ka kutta hai aur main doodh kee haddee vaala andaraviyar pahan raha hoon!) hahaha. Irfan as Cliff
    Rajkummar as Woody. Hilarity ensues.

    That’s just my quick take on a couple of things from the 80s. If I go back into the 70s this is going to be a book! Hmmm.

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    • Great thoughts all around, worth the wait!!!!

      I like your idea with Family Ties. Maybe a combo of Indianized liberal ideologies. I don’t want a straight Congress/BJP split, too acrimonious. Something more meet in the middle, like Nehruvian Congress versus 80s Congress. The daughter believes in capitalism and globalization and foreign investment, and the parents are about studying classical poetry and appreciating Indian history and socialism. And definitely Shahrukh as a laid back loving soft father. With a few episodes where (just like Michael Gross) we see that he is capable of laying down the law when it really matters. We could add on an interesting social aspect that wasn’t in the original if we put it in a major city, the kids go to the same very good school that their parents went to, but while they live in a cozy little apartment with one elderly servant who comes once a day (and half the time the kids end up doing the work for her because she really isn’t up to it any more but their parents are too soft to fire her), all their school friends live in fancy massive apartments/houses with loads of servants, and foreign vacations, and all of that. Shahrukh and Juhi/Karisma keep trying to explain to their kids why it is important to live life morally even if it means you don’t become rich, and there are constant battles when both sides are a little right, Shahrukh and Juhi/Karisma arguing that they can’t go to a mall because it is destroying local business, while the kids argue that their parents’ strict rules are ruining their lives just to prove a point. But then we see the parents give in and buy their daughter the fancy sexy expensive dress she really wanted for the school dance, and we see the daughter breaking with the Cool Kids after she sees how horribly they treat their servants. Plus also, maybe the daughter is embarrassed because her mother works and they aren’t close to her grandparents and all the rest of it.

      Albie Dog would be a great Eddie! He’s very stupid, and very photogenic. I’d be okay with Rishi as Martin (you should check him out in 102 Not Out too). I think if Shahrukh is Frasier, Niles has to be Saif. And then, obviously, Kareena is Maris. I vote Rani for Daphne, in her daffy “Babli” mode. And obviously Juhi as Roz!!!!

      Oooo, Salman as Oscar and Shahrukh as Felix! I like it!

      And I just now remembered that I already did a post rewriting Cheers, but as a movie with a contained story and Ranveer and Dips. Plus Dick Van Dyke and Law and Order! https://dontcallitbollywood.com/2017/11/19/silly-sunday-tv-show-remakes/

      On Wed, Nov 6, 2019 at 6:57 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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