This were all recommended by readers, so I know at least SOME of you have already heard of them. And then there are like three of you that are fanfic diehards and will read anything, even if you haven’t heard of these shows. And heck, all of them are fun happy slightly romantic things, I want you all to watch them and enjoy them and if this fanfic helps promote them, great!
Hart of Dixie
You ready for a silly silly show set-up? A big city doctor inherits half of a small town practice and decides to stick it out for a year while waiting for her dream internship. And then learns she inherited half the practice because she is the love child of an affair her mother had with the dead doctor. In the small town, there is a relaxed sweet bad boy who lives in the rundown house next door and runs the local bar, and there is the nice smart golden boy who is the local lawyer and only other person whose lived outside of town. And the local queen bee who has her own problems even though on the surface she is the perfect small town princess. And is engaged to the golden boy and jealous of his interest in our heroine.
Bam! Indian version! Our heroine Anushka is a rising star big city doctor in Delhi. She loses out on a big promotion, gets drunk (a song!), and then comes home to find a letter from the nice small town doctor who she met at her graduation inviting her to come work for him. She impulsively goes to the small town, only to discover the doctor died. And then to find a letter from him explaining that he went on a vacation and met her Mom (flashback to Anushka in period clothing opposite Suriya, don’t know why Suriya, just feels right), they had a sad good-bye because she had to go back to her big city life, and he had to go back to his village, and then 9 months later she wrote him a letter that she was married to a wonderful man, and he had accepted “their” child as his own.
Anushka decides to stay, and meets Aditya Roy Kapoor who rents her an outhouse, he’s sexy and a little drunk and a bad boy, but also shows up to help her with the generator when the power goes out. And then gets all sexy and makes her laugh when he tries to kiss her. She also meets really nice smart guy who lived in Delhi for a while, Siddharth Malhotra. Most importantly, she meets the queen bee of the town, Deepika Padukone. Deepika always wears perfect saris, and flowers in her hair, and old-fashioned deep kajol make-up, and is in engaged to Siddharth Malhotra. Coincidentally, Deepika’s father Ashutosh Rana is the other doctor in town and Anushka’s partner in the practice.
Oh the love quadrangles! Oh the silent love songs and fantasy songs! Anushka thinks she might be falling in love with Sid, because he’s just so nice and Sidriffic. But at the same time, in a weak moment, she makes out with ARK and can’t stop looking at him when he takes his shirt off to work in the fields. Deepika starts out aggressive and mean towards Anushka, but then they get drunk together one night and trade clothes, and stories. Deepika learns about Anushka trying to fit in and do well so she can feel close to her father, and Anushka learns about Deepika always trying to be perfect to make up for her mother leaving her. Everything seems perfect, at the big dance thing ARK and Anushka look like they might FINALLY be getting together, and Sid and Dips have talked it out and are happy, but then our third hot tall man comes to town, in the middle of the song, suddenly AYUSHMANN! Everyone stares, Anushka whispers “who’s that?” and ARK tells her “Dips’ old fiance” And, INTERVAL!
Ayushmann is the son of the biggest landlord in town. When they were young, he and Dips were engaged because everyone understood they should be married. And then he decided he had to go to the city and find himself and left town, the unofficial engagement was over. 4 years later, he’s back and Dips is engaged to someone else. The DRAMA!!!!!
Ayushmann also turns out to be ARK and Anushka’s landlord. ARK was the son of his farmhand and his best friend since childhood, he left the property to ARK to look after. Anushka awkwardly introduces herself, and she and Ayushmann end up hitting it off right away. He half-jokingly suggests they pretend to be dating to make things easier for Dips, and Anushka agrees. ARK, the lowly humble farmhand, slowly slides out of the room as he sees that the woman he loves has found someone more “worthy” of her.
Heavy serving of angst all around, Dips takes the lead and suggests she and Ayushmann become friends and be “normal” since their engagement was always more habit than anything else anyway. They spend time together, but oops! Now they are starting to fall in love! Only Dips is engaged to perfectly nice Sid M, and Ayushmann tries to convince himself he is in love with Anushka instead, and Dips tries to convince herself she really loves Sid M not Ayushmann. And Anushka is pretty sure she loves ARK, but he keeps giving her the cold shoulder and parading other women in front of her, so she goes with Ayushmann as second choice. ARK of course is nobly trying to forget Anushka so she can marry the better man.
It all works out thanks to female friendship! Dips brings an engagement present to Anushka, the family jewelry Ayushmann’s mother gave her. Which leads to talking about all her dreams of marrying Ayushmann which leads to Anushka realizing that Dips really loves Ayushmann, not Sid M. Anushka arranges for Ayushmann and Dips to be locked in together overnight in Ayushmann’s old falling down mansion, by morning of course they are in love plus the whole town knows about it so they HAVE to be married. Sid M watches them be married and gently proposes to Anushka, but isn’t surprised when she doesn’t seem to care. He could tell she really loves ARK. Sid M. offers to drive her to find ARK at his favorite place, Anushka and ARK are united, and then Sid M. sadly drives off by himself, only to see a cute young woman waiting by the road, Alia. She explains she just inherited half of a law practice? And Sid M smiles his sweet smile and welcomes her to town so we know he will be fine.
Group of 5 parents. There’s the older widower single father of two twin girls, the confident feminist successful mother of a boy, the struggling very young single mother of a boy, and the single father of a girl who has lost all sense of himself beyond parenting. The older widower single father and the confident feminist successful mother start kind of moving towards admitting they fight so much because they like each other. The young single mother helps the single father learn to be a little wild and live again, and he gives her the support and help she has been getting along without for a long time. ROMANCE!
Funnest part of this is the casting. Tall confident smooth older guy, I kind of want to say Abhishek? There is really nothing so smooth as a smooth Abhishek. And he can do comedy too! He’s a little bit young for the role, he is supposed to be really unexpectedly old to have a young child, but he would be so perfect. Heck, put some grey in his hair and have him play 50 instead of 40.
And then young outspoken confident feminist divorced mother who starts out sniping with Abhishek and ends up in love with him…is it wrong if I want Rani? If she plays 35 and Abhishek plays 50 we can still have the generation gap and big age difference feeling.
Frazzled very young single mother, gonna go with Alia. I think it would be a great role for her, she can play that kind of youthful and emotional thing she likes, but it also requires some comedy and loosey-goosey fun stuff she doesn’t usually get to try.
Single father who has lost sight of himself in his life with his daughter, Arjun Kapoor! Sweet and soft and loving, but then when he gets some confidence and swag back, killer sexy.
And then the plot writes itself. Fancy school in Delhi orders the parents to break off into parental support groups, and puts all the single parents together because the fancy school looks down on them. Abhishek is wealthy and successful and semi-retired, and was not planning to be a single father at this age but then his much younger wife unexpectedly died. Rani is divorced and runs her own clothing store, confident modern Delhi woman from a modern Delhi family that isn’t thrilled about her divorce but accepts it. Abhishek keeps taunting her gently about not being able to hold on to her husband, and she taunts him back about being old and regressive. Arjun Kapoor is a stay at home researcher and devoted Dad, passionate about getting his daughter accepted and staying in this school even if it means hanging out with these other parents who aren’t as devoted as he is. And Alia works for Rani in her store, got pregnant in college and her parents through her out, she has no support system so Rani took her under her wing and talked the school into taking her son as a scholarship student.
At first the 4 parents hate each other, but then they have to come together to show up all the perfect couples at the sports day and become friends. They start to work out a deal for childcare. Rani ends up spending more time with Abhishek and his kids since his daughters bond with her, they keep sniping and it starts to turn into flirting a bit. Alia and Arjun see what is happening between them and conspire to throw them together, Rani and Abhishek end up getting drunk and dancing together and then kissing. But before they can talk about it, Rani gets an invite to her ex-husband’s wedding and is thrown into a tailspin. He was a terrible husband, never around, would travel for weeks at a time, but wanted her sitting at home waiting for him and not finding her own life. And now he is marrying someone else and suddenly the perfect husband, supports her career, changed his own work hours, all of that. Why wasn’t Rani good enough? Abhishek offers to go with to the wedding with her and ends up pretending to be her boyfriend. They have a series of “moments”, including Abhishek giving a long toast at the rehearsal dinner about how awesome Rani is that reveals how much he loves her.
Meanwhile, back home, Arjun and Alia are watching all four kids. They almost lose them, then find them again, fight, stay up late, and end up somehow as best friends. In the second half, Rani and Abhishek are fighting towards deciding what they are to each other, and Arjun and Alia are suddenly best friends but trying to be very clear that they are “just friends”. Once again, in the middle of all this drama, New Drama! Alia gets a letter from her family inviting her home to the farm, they want to meet her son. The whole group goes with her as her “family”. It turns out to be horrible, the whole thing was a set-up, the family isn’t really interested in Alia just in her son. And it culminates in them trying to convince her to give up custody to her brother and his wife, who are unable to have children and want to take her son to America with them. Alia is all lost, but then the group (who was sent away into the fields so they wouldn’t be there for the conversation) fights their way back early and forces their way into the room, to tell her family that Alia isn’t all alone in the world, and all her son needs is his mother, and they are terrible people for even thinking they should separate the two of them. They take Alia and her son back home and have a celebration “family” party the next day for her son’s birthday. And at the party, Alia finally goes up to Arjun and kisses him, while Rani and Abhishek hold hands and smile and watch and the kids run around chasing each other. HAPPY!
Bless This Mess
This one barely has a plot. Which is how all sitcoms used to be, right? Just a “situation”, not some kind of longterm plan for a slowly evolving relationship and stuff. Anyway, a young couple in New York inherit a farm in Nebraska and decide to move out there. The husband grew up in the midwest and spent every summer on his aunt’s farm, so it’s a big life change for him but he kind of knows the people in town and the whole lifestyle. The wife has only lived in New York. But the sweet thing is, they are both really really enthusiastic and love their new life. And love each other. Oh, also, there is an old neighbor who lives in their barn and is starting up a romance with the widow who runs the local store, and their closest neighbors whose marriage is in trouble until the new young couple help them out.
Indian version! Ranveer and Anushka, I think, as the central couple. She is a fragile Delhi stressed young doctor. She just wants to please people and feel loved but doesn’t know if she is succeeding ever. Ranveer is a laid back “fun” guy who she met at a wedding 2 years earlier (flashback!). They fell in love, despite her pushy mother telling her she could do better than a struggling reporter from nowhere and being against the relationship. We start by seeing them in the present, excitedly packing up their tiny Delhi apartment into a big truck that Ranveer just bought, and then fighting their way through Delhi traffic, and finally free and happy together. Until they get to the house and it is falling apart, not at all the nice place Ranveer remembered from childhood. Big fight, Anushka runs off sobbing, calls her Mom (Kirron Kher, obviously) who reminds her that she was against this relationship from the beginning. Which leads into the flashback of Ranveer spotting Anushka stress eating in the corner of a wedding and being intrigued by her, drawing her into a dance, and generally making her feel happy and loved.
Ranveer tracked her down after the wedding, showed up at her apartment and her mother assumed he was the new servant, Ranveer went along with it and scrubbed dishes and stuff until Anushka came home, and then asked her out on a date. They got engaged, and her mother planned a big wedding which was stressing Anushka out, so Ranveer said “let’s elope. Blame me, tell your mother I made you do it.” And then they had a conversation just a few weeks ago about how he inherited this farm, and Anushka started dreaming about giving up on the city, no longer trying to succeed in her high paced world, and then said that of course she couldn’t, it would disappoint everyone. And Ranveer said “let’s do it. Move to the farm, it’s what I want, I’m making you do it.” Anushka realizes that Ranveer has always broken the rules and taken the risks she was too afraid to take for herself and goes back to him.
Now that they have resolved their marriage issues, the buckle down and try to make friends. Next door are Swara Bhaskar and Pankaj Tripathi, two tough successful hardworking farmers. They start out making Anushka and Ranveer feel bad about their bad farming and end up feeling bad themselves about their bad marriage compared to Anushka and Ranveer. Anushka and Ranveer also meet Amitabh Bachchan who is living in their barn after he lost his farm, and secretly has a crush on widowed Jaya Bachchan who runs the local store. The rest of the move is about Anushka and Ranveer struggling to make a success of their farm while the other people struggle to make a success of their relationships. Big finale, Anushka and Ranveer end up losing everything through no fault of their own. They are depressed and preparing to leave, when all their neighbors show up with food and gifts and stuff and give an on the nose metaphor about how this is their “harvest” this year, all the good things they did for everyone else in town being paid back to them. End with a flashforward of a family photo album, showing Ranveer and Anushka having a successful harvest the next year, with their baby, Kirron visiting and turning her nose up at everything, Swara and Pankaj and Jaya and Amitabh both being caught kissing, and on and on through many happy years.
And, DONE! That was super fun for me. And hopefully for the small handful of people who read it. And maybe it convinced some of you to check out the original shows!
Which of these did you like best? Any notes, casting changes, plot suggestions? I love to collaborate!