Silly Sunday: My Recent Binge Watches Remade, Wings and Midsomer Murders and Miranda

Most of you have seen some to none of these, don’t care! For my own happiness, I am going to play with how they could be turned into Indian movies/TV shows. And I guess you should all watch them? If you like pleasant lowkey shows that leave you smiling and ready for bed, these are very good options.

Wings

This is a sitcom I have heard referred to as a punchline, “ha-ha, can you believe Wings was on the air for 8 years?” But it’s a really solid show! Good cast, good jokes, and a nice loose underlying relationship drama that can be dipped into as needed. It would make a great sort of rambling lowkey 3 hour comedy, maybe directed by Luv Ranjan? It has the typical Luv Ranjan strong female character who is written off until she gets the one amazing monologue that brings it all together.

WINGS - TV SHOW CAST PHOTO #526 | eBay

Original show is based on a tiny airport in a vacation town, but really the setting doesn’t matter (even though that was the initial selling point), it’s the relationships. Two brothers, their mother abandoned them when they were young and their father was “eccentric” on the road towards “actually mentally ill”. The older brother always had to be the responsible one, grew up too soon, and now is a boring precise man who has a perfect plan for life. The younger brother was the wild adventurer type who never takes anything seriously. But when their Dad dies, the younger brother comes back to their home town and ends up helping the older brother in the family business. Can these two opposites share a house and business together? Will the older brother learn to loosen up and the younger finally grow up? And just to make it better, there are also two sisters! The older one married young and rich and left town, but then her husband was investigated for tax fraud and ran off leaving her with nothing, so she had to return and live with/off of her younger sister. The younger sister was a tomboy, and overweight, and best friends with the two brothers their whole childhood. She grew into a beautiful woman, but of course the older brother still can’t see her that way, even though she has had a crush on him forever. Plus there is a slightly dotty but wise and loving secretary at the business, and a business rival who is obnoxious and horrible.

This can totally be a rambling long Indian comedy, right? Forget the plane part, we don’t need that. Family business can be something dull like a car dealership/garage in a small hill station. The younger brother got into IIT and was going to be an engineer and design cars, but then dropped out and went backpacking around the world instead. The older brother got a business degree from a local college and has been working hard running the business and taking care of things, but it is too much for one person. The younger brother returns for the father’s funeral and agrees to stay 6 months and work without pay as the chief mechanic. Meanwhile, the sweet stall next door is run by their childhood friend who the younger brother immediately sees as beautiful and desirable, which drives the older brother slightly insane, until she declares she won’t be dating either of them, better to just be friends. She starts dating a rich man who originally came to invest in the brother’s garage business, they hate him because he didn’t invest and because of jealousy. Then her funny spoiled older sister shows up when her marriage ends and starts flirting with the younger brother, just as the rich man proposes to the younger sister. At the last minute, the older brother chases her down in Delhi and proposes and convinces her to marry him instead. But that’s not the real ending. The real ending is when she finally gets a chance at her dream, working as a playback singer in Bombay. She and the older brother leave town to pursue their dreams, and their siblings show their love by declaring they will stay, in the tiny town, and keep the business going in their turn.

Wings" - Tony Shalhoub was Anthony on "Wings". Loved him then ...
It’s one of the best TV show endings of all time I think, bringing it back to the family/sibling theme and giving the forgotten female lead the happy ending she has deserved all along.

Okay, got that? Childhood friends turned adult love triangle, “Good” brother and “Good” sister and “Bad” brother and “Bad” sister, all based around hanging out at a little business square and telling jokes and having adventures, with this lovely poetic ending of the siblings sacrificing just as they had been sacrificed for in the past.

Ranveer just HAS to be the wild younger brother, it’s a perfect role for him. Older brother, maybe Sid M? He’s surprisingly good at comedy. Formerly overweight friend, Kriti Sanon, so good at comedy and really everything, could do a great job with the ending monologue where she explains how she has given up her dreams at every turn, and she will learn to be happy just being married to her dream man and supporting him, only to be rewarded with people loving her enough to make her dream happen. Older sister who returns, hmmm, Lisa Haydon? Is she even still working? Sweet dotty secretary is clearly Juhi, and horrible business rival is Satish Shah.

Midsomer Murders

Sure, there’s murders every week, but other than that it is such a happy show! You know those tormented cops with the failing marriages and cases that haunt them and stuff? None of that here! Happy cops who work a nice 9 to 5 and have happy loving wives at home. It’s a delight!

Tom, Joyce and Cully Barnaby from... - Midsomer Murders Fans ...
Not the usual cop family scene, right?

Basic original show, our hero is Tom Barnaby, who has a grown daughter Cully and a loving stay at home wife Joyce. His constables are nice young men who put up with his gentle ribbing and making them do the dirty jobs, but also learn a lot from him and get valuable mentorship. Tom is about 50-60, very calm and polite and a little amused at human nature. Joyce is delightful, very warm and quiet, always volunteering for things and having people befriend and confide in her, and she makes Tom very happy. Cully is kind of boring, wants to be an actress. The constables don’t get much of a backstory or anything, they are just nice young men.

I want a movie series! Pleasant mysteries that aren’t all dark and noiry, just kind of sunny mental exercises, with the cop characters carrying through all the films. Tom Barnaby can be Anil Kapoor, Joyce can be Juhi, Cully can be some boring young actress (Ananya Panday?), and the nice young constable can be Harsh Kapoor in a cool in joke. Has to be set somewhere beautiful too, where everyone is pretty rich and crimes are about family secrets and stuff. Maybe Goa? Some made-up district that only has the little rich settlements? Or I guess a hill station community I guess.

Miranda, Different Looking Young Woman Struggles to Admit Love to Old Friend

This is a very short serious, like 18 half hour episodes in total, so you should all watch it! It’s a delight, really. And quite romantic.

Our heroine is uppercrust and awkward. She is 6 feet tall with a build to match, never learned how to feel sexy or flirt with people or anything. She has just bought a joke shop with her best friend and lives above it, when her long time crush/friend from college starts working as a chef at the bar next door. Will she be able to figure out a way to go from friends to more, finally? Or will she keep getting in her own way? And what about this other perfectly nice man who shows up and asks her out, should she just go with him and forget her crush?

Miranda - BBC1 Sitcom - British Comedy Guide
Oh, she also has a pushy mother who is always in her business with wild schemes to get her married. Kirron Kher? Or Ratna? Or someone else?

Oh, and the best bit is that pretty early on we see how much the chef jokes with her and spends time with her, so we can be pretty sure he really does like her, but does he like-like her? And if so, does he know he like-likes her? It isn’t an awkward stalking thing, it’s a “how do I find out if this guy who is spending all this time with me feels the same way I do and then what do I do about it?”

Anyway, Indian remake! Definitely keep the uppercrust thing, daughter of some old old Delhi family who is supposed to either be married, or in a proper office job, instead came home from her overseas college and lost a series of jobs, failed even at the family business, finally was given an inheritance from her grandmother and moved out and opened a little joke shop she loves. Her best friend from the overseas college shows up to work as a chef at the restaurant next door. He’s not fancy and uppercrust, he was at college because he had an uncle who ran a little Indian restaurant nearby, he dropped out of college to travel around and learn cooking, they were good friends in America with no boy-girl hangups, and stayed in touch as he traveled around, and now they are in the same place again and she is ready to finally take a risk and figure out how he feels.

The key is to cast a heroine who legitimately would feel awkward and wrong in her body. Not just a “take off your glasses, you are beautiful” thing, but really unusual looking. Oh, and she has to be immediately sympathetic and funny and wonderful. Vidya would be good, but it feels kind of wrong to make people think that is what “unusual” is, she is pretty much a classic Indian beauty. Maybe Kalki actually? She’s pretty much the opposite build of the original star, but it’s a similar “this is a really unusual looking woman” kind of onscreen effect. And she can be charming. If it’s Kalki, then I want ARK as the casual pleasant chef dreamboat.

Okay, if you have seen any of these shows, you have a responsibility to give me your opinion on my casting and plot concepts! Because you are probably the only person reading this who has also seen them!

11 thoughts on “Silly Sunday: My Recent Binge Watches Remade, Wings and Midsomer Murders and Miranda

  1. I think Miranda would be really easy to translate the setting and plot of because it’s so universal but the feel of it is so radical, I don’t know how you’d do that in India. It was a truly groundbreaking show in Europe already, and I think it’s still kind of too weird for the US (is it?). Kalki is the best option but not great. Kalki is more like, Fleabag. In the 90s you had a bunch of comic relief actresses with various unusual looks who would get cast with Govinda, that’s really what you need. Is there a Southern actress like that now, maybe?

    I like the Midsomer Murders casting but Harsh would never do it in a million years. Never!

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      • I don’t want to do Wings the Movie without Gary Cooper! Zombify him and send him to India, and I will consider it.

        On Sun, Aug 16, 2020 at 10:12 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • There is a great southern comic actress who trudges along playing the “funny fat friend” in a million movies. I guess she could play it. But she is still just “fat”, something where you could think “oh well, if she went on a diet and dressed better it would be fine”, unlike Miranda who truly at the bone cannot look like other women. Oh, and I am glad to hear Miranda was celebrated when it released. It was slow getting to the US, so I think we missed the wave of reaction from Europe when you got it. But I watched Fleabag, and thought it was brilliant and deep and dark, and also owed more to Miranda stylistically than maybe was acknowledged. Glad to hear I wasn’t the only one who noticed that.

      What if we gave Harsh lots and lots of sneakers and told him his character was part of Sneaker Culture but didn’t like to talk about it at work, but he could play it as a subtle character note?

      On Sun, Aug 16, 2020 at 10:12 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. Wings remake- the overweight friend should be Sonam, she has the booty so that you can believe she was once over-weight, as well she is awesome at physical comedy. I cannot believe Kriti was ever overweight. Also, I NEVER saw the ending to Wings… When I’m done with my Lucifer obsession I’ll have to go back to Wings. Juhi could be the batty secretary, but she also plays an amazing villain (did you see Gulaab Gang?). Which just reminds me how much fun villain women are. Can we add a villain sister to the villain man?

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    • Yes Sonam! I like that. And you need to watch the ending of Wings. They did it beautifully, we had 8 seasons of the boys’ needs coming first, and then in the last episode Helen gets a chance and everyone turns their life over so she can have her turn. Doesn’t feel like a “happy ending” more a “this phase of life is over, a new phase is starting in a mild normal transition way”. And for once, the finale doesn’t have a wedding or a baby or even a house purchase.

      The younger sister is kind of a villain, at least self-centered and casually thoughtless, is that good enough?

      On Sun, Aug 16, 2020 at 12:23 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I haven’t seen these shows, but based on the descriptions your provided, wings seems like the one I would most enjoy. I think the older sister should be Radhika Apte. She’s married to a British man, can do a British accent. She actually did do one in the Wedding Guest with Dev Patel. I think the younger sister should be Bhumi Pednekar. Like Genevieve. Brothers… IDK? Vikrant Massey and Shashank Arora? The problem with Ranveer is that he has so much energy I fear he will completely overshadow Sidharth. As for Lisa, yes she stopped working 4 years ago.

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    • The idea of the brothers is that the youngest is charming and outgoing and kind of does overshadow the older one, so Ranveer-Sid M could kind of work with that vibe.

      On Sun, Aug 16, 2020 at 1:31 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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