Bollywood Wives! Things I Want to Talk To You About!!!!

My goodness, this is a dumb show! SUCH A DUMB SHOW! All these people are crazy and none of them have JOBS!!!! We must talk. Also, I feel very awkward because it is so mean to be talking about these real people. But they put themselves on the show, right? So it’s okay?

Things to discuss!

Sami Soni’s weird “I would trust you alone in a room with 100 men” comment to Neelam

Arjun Kapoor being crazy charming and sexy and charismatic

Karan Johar as producer showing up to aggressively stir trouble

Sohail and Seema are separated? What is this?

Seema’s youngest son is the cutest

Bhavana gets an “energy facial” after being reassured by the practicioner that it is “not hogwash”. That means it is hogwash, right? If a consultant actually says it is “not hogwash”, that means it is.

All the women sitting around talking about Neelam’s fillers and Bhavana’s energy facial and the importance of looking young while Neelam’s 5 year old little girl listens made me VERY UNCOMFORTABLE. To the point that I wonder if it was on purpose? Showing this little girl listening and absorbing the message that youth and looks are all that matter?

Le Bal! You know I could have done something like that? I grew up in a small city that had it’s own version of the sort of coming out thing. The Queen and her Court always got photos and profiles in the local paper, and the names of every girl who attended and their Escorts were printed in the paper. When we moved to this city, I was a very cute 1 year old. And the old lady who lived in the house next door told my mother “Margaret is so cute, you need to be sure to start volunteering at and donating to —- now, so when she is 16 they will invite her to be in the ball”. And then my mother didn’t do that, and that is why I never became a debutante. OH THE TRAGEDY!!! Anyway, I think a lot of towns in America have stuff like this, especially in the southern parts of the country. And somehow Le Bal doesn’t feel that much more impressive than my little town’s grand Court and all that.

Malaika and Seema do yoga together, but Malaika and Arbaaz are divorced? Either the family is still close, or the women have their own relationship going.

Bhavana can’t sleep alone because she is afraid of ghosts

I would enjoy NONE of the things they do on their Doha trip!

They all pick Ranveer as the hot guy? I guess because he seems like the guy most likely to enjoy being picked as the hot guy? Or maybe they are being honest, I don’t know.

Very smart for Karan to have a sum up at the end of episode 7 directly addressing the criticisms he knows the show will get.

Chunky really was shockingly good in Tezaab. Like literally, that is one of the best performances I have ever seen in my life. He stole the film not just from Anil Kapoor, but from freaking Madhuri Dixit.

The dog is wearing a diaper! The rich really are different.

Sid M looks so hot I can’t even.

Is Samir Soni super drunk at Gauri’s party? Or is that just me?

Gauri is very kind and gentle and classy in her conversation with Karan about everything.

The teen girls, Ananya and Shanaya and even Jhanvi came off as kind of sweet and young. And I just wanted to stop them working and bundle them off to colleges to be sweet and young without the world watching.

Shahrukh and Gauri’s big slow motion entry is EVERYTHING!!!!

Shahrukh does a very good job doing his little 5 minute talk with them all and I feel like I learned nothing more about him as a person, it was totally a job/favor for Karan and that’s how he did it.

The way Gauri looked at Shahrukh as he talked though, that felt real and I loved it.

Also, there are these few moments in each episode where something surprises them and it feels like they stop posturing and are real for a moment, and I actually liked these women. The blow out look and careful words and practiced talking points I hated, but giggling about how to pronounce “esophagous”, I liked.

Now, I am going to say one nice thing at least about each woman:

Seema Khan: She is very pretty, and her youngest son is super cute. And she is maybe closest to having a real job right now with her boutique and clothing line.

Fresh off Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives binge, Twitter asks why Seema  and Sohail Khan are living in separate houses - tv - Hindustan Times

Bhavana Panday: She has done the least messing with her face and look, looks the most like a normal kind of woman.

Bhavana Pandey: Ananya is a honeymoon baby; people calculated if she was  conceived before marriage - entertainment

Maheep Kapoor: Best marriage! I really like her with Sanjay

Sanjay Kapoor and Maheep Kapoor | Fashion clothes women, Stylish tunic,  Indian designer outfits

Neelam: Actually had a real job for years and years, even if now she is a “jewelry designer”. (Like, I don’t mind if you are a full time wife and mother, but don’t pretend that you have a real job when it is really just a hobby.)

Actress Neelam Kothari arrived with husband Samir Soni and their daughter  Ahana at Ekta Kapoor house for Ganpati darshan in Mumbai Stock Photo - Alamy

Okay, now you talk! I have been looking forward all morning to talking this over with y’all.

86 thoughts on “Bollywood Wives! Things I Want to Talk To You About!!!!

  1. Okay. I have so many thoughts and they are mostly mean so I apologize in advance because I really have nothing against these people.

    Here are some initial thoughts:

    Why in the world are all the His and Byes so frickin exaggerated by everyone on the show?!?!?? You see each other all the time. Calm down!

    Ananya and Shanaya both seem cute and sweet, but Le Bal invited Ambani, Birla and then Ananya Panday and Shanaya Kapoor along with Jet Li’s daughter and Enrique Iglesias’ twins?!

    Seema so desperately wanted to be on a show like the Kardashians that she couldn’t possibly say she was separated. The women invite all their husbands to dinner and Sohail is conspicuously missing. Oh and the kids clearly shuffle between the two houses. But umm… that just just have a great but unconventional marriage 😛. This wouldn’t bother me so much if she didn’t decide to put herself on the show. Until the show, she was a private person but the blatant lie that we are supposed to accept just annoys me. I guess Seema generally just seems to annoy me.

    Did Neelam and Raveena do any of the cooking school or did they just make the poor teacher do it all while they watched and chatted. Also, who need a cooking class to make hummus?!?! Neelam: It was uuuh-mazing. We made hOmmus which is the most difficult thing to make in the world. No it is actually not.

    How much turbulence can Seema actually feel in an international business class flight?!

    My husband: I would need to much Dramamine, so I don’t throw up on the driver/pilot in the flying riskshaw.
    Me: How’s the flying rickshaw safer than an airplane when a tiny rock made it fail?!?! I’m never going up on the flying rickshaws

    Finally, Sid makes everything better!

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    • HA! I hadn’t thought about the his and byes! It’s like the opposite of the fictional movie world where everyone just hangs up phone calls without saying “good-bye”.

      And Le Bal is only 25 years old!!!! I thought it was some super fancy French thing. But no, it’s just one PR woman who created it out of thin air.

      I really wonder how common the “separated but we don’t say it” kind of marriage is in upper class Indian society. What I really notice is that these same “separated but not really” couples often end up shifting to being way closer and more together later, like Neetu and Rishi or Babita and Randhir or even Dilip and Saira. So I guess they weren’t really breaking up? They were just, like, taking a break and then got together again in their 50s? It’s strange. And yes, if Seema wants to be on this show, she needs to come up with a better explanation for what the heck is happening in her family.

      I HAD THE SAME THOUGHT!!!! A cooking class for hummus? Really? It is literally putting two things in a blender. All I can think of is that they wanted a cooking class, but didn’t want to spend more than 15 minutes on it.

      YES! I decided they must be shaking the camera, because I don’t feel that much turbulence on my super cheap little puddle jumper flights.

      The flying rickshaw was super odd. And really cruel to make someone who is afraid of heights/flying to go in it? I’m just assuming the flying rickshaw people paid a big amount to be featured in the show, because it is not something I can imagine anyone voluntarily doing.

      Sid makes everything better! I love that they kept just cutting him into the party scene. He never talks or interacts really, he is just there to make us happy.

      On Sat, Dec 5, 2020 at 12:40 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Oh and Samir was on so high/drunk at Gauri’s party. I could tell he was off as soon as he walked in and gave Sohail a hug. His speech was slurred and yet, he was super high strung.

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          • Oh two other things. Netflix 100% paid for the business class tickets and likely got the hotel to contribute for the penthouse suite. Why pretend for multiple episode like Maheep planned everything?!

            Also, these women have multiples people to clean, cook, and tutor their children. How busy can you actually be during the day that the vacation is such a drastic difference from their day to day lives?

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          • YES! I kept thinking “how could they afford all this on the trip if they are established as not super super wealthy? Oh right, Netflix”

            I loved how we got to see them “parenting” even while on vacation by helping to pick instagram shots for their kids. sigh.

            On Sat, Dec 5, 2020 at 3:11 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I had the same feeling…some seem to be so uncomfortable or challenged in their publicised role play (like Samir) that they can’t confront a situation like that without a certain amount of “spirit”. I even think that (some of) the wives took to alcohol before the shooting.

          And, btw., I hate the role Karan has given to himself in the Hindi filmindustry arena…

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          • Yes! He embraced the idea of himself being the drama stirrer and blah blah in the show. But it’s just a role! He could have shown up and been real with these women, let us see his insecurity and ambition and intelligence. Oh well, Karan did make the right choice just as show producer, he brought the drama reality TV requires.

            On Sun, Dec 6, 2020 at 3:17 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • That’s why I don’t like “Reality TV” – the forced drama. there is enough genuine drama in real life… I prefer movies where it is clear that it is just story telling and oneself is doing the thinking about the reality hidden there.

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      • I remember a Telugu movie with Siddharth (the southern one) where his parents (dad played by Prakash Raj I think?) were separated for years until he brings them together at the end and they never were actually divorced? I think they had an argument about Hindus not having a concept of divorce, even the Hindi word talaaq is imported, etc. So maybe it’s a thing? Are Naseeruddin and Kirron ever divorced in Main Hoon Na?

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        • Nope, Naseerji and Kirron are never divorced. Besides KANK, I can’t really think of an Indian movie with a straight up divorce.

          On Sun, Dec 6, 2020 at 11:39 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I don’t know about their flight, but I flew from Mammoth to LA once, a short 40 minute flight or something. And I swear I thought the plane was going to break up mid-air. I used to fly a lot, so I didn’t really think it was going to break up, the lights weren’t flashing or anything, but it was fake movie drama turbulance, except it was real, and I was kinda scared, even if I KNEW we weren’t really going to break up…

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  2. It isn’t just a hobby for Neelam. She grew up with the jewellery business and she learned how to do jewelleries. It’s creative although in another way than acting.
    Yes! I watched Gauri most then ShahRukh and she seems to be really fond of him with a genuine understanding for the role he plays in public situations where there is still a lot of honesty in what he emanates.
    Maheeps language disturbed me a bit…I wonder if she is cussing like that also in reality.
    Otherwise…no interest in their lives and personalities (in any way, it is a show 😉 )

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    • I agree with you about Neelam. Her family has been the jewelry business for generations. And from everyone I have heard (before the show), she takes it very very seriously.

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      • Okay, that makes me like her a little better. Neelam is going up the list! Two actual careers, a husband I enjoy, and a cute little kid. Many things to like.

        On Sat, Dec 5, 2020 at 12:50 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I didn’t even know she was adopted! They still shouldn’t let her listen to women obsess over aging and plastic surgery. I’m grumpy about that.

            On Sat, Dec 5, 2020 at 1:07 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I agree. No one should grow up with self esteem issues like that. Thankfully, so far, she seems genuinely well adjusted happy little girl.

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          • I don’t agree… because there always could be the possibility t make this a topic of honest conversation between adults and kids/youngsters.

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    • Yes, these are not very interesting people! At least, as presented in the show. Of course we are only seeing the really superficial part of them. Maybe they have complicated inner lives and trauma and all kinds of things, but it is certainly not what we are seeing in the show.

      On Sat, Dec 5, 2020 at 12:44 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • This is what I feel about most reality shows, unless there’s a contest or something to inject drama. Most people’s lives aren’t that interesting. The most interesting hook was all the little cameos each episode and the network of friends and family they give a glimpse of.

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        • So-called “reality shows” do not stirr my interest (I never saw one and this only because ShahRukh and Gauri were involved in the last past)…it is – as I think – most of the time laughing at reality as there is – I’m sure – so much manipulation that the “Reality” has quit the field.

          I don’t give a damn for anything I watched (I admit, in no 2 to 7 only by bits & pieces) and even the party wasn’t a “big thing” for me…but I liked the way Gauri and ShahRukh assumed this friendship-task (which just affirmed their position in the Hindi filmindustry circuit).

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  3. I don’t usually watch this kind of reality show, and decided to poke my nose in so I could enjoy the discussion. The lives of the rich and tangentially famous really don’t interest me, so I will probably just skip to episode 7 and fast forward to Shah Rukh and Gauri.

    I wonder if that makes me more shallow or less shallow?

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    • I think if you make yourself watch the whole episode so you understand the context of the SRK appearance, that is just the right amount of shallow.

      On Sat, Dec 5, 2020 at 2:21 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • They set him up because Maheep is feeling bad about the trolling Shanaya is getting after Le Bal. So Maheep calls Arjun to calm her down. In really, Arjun agreed to make one appearance on the show and this was how they inserted him. It’s just Maheep and Arjun and Maheep’s son talking for a bit. Arjun is super smooth and kind of casual, like, he is kind of winking at the camera about not taking all this Drama seriously. He does some gentle teasing of Maheep for taking social media so seriously, and teasing of her son because he isn’t working hard or even able to speak Hindi and needs to prepare to enter the family business, looks can only get him so far. And then Maheep teases him about how hopeless and lost he was at 19 and how she can’t believe he has become a success. Also, Arjun looks really really good. It’s in either episode 2 or episode 3, it’s one long scene, so it should be pretty easy to fast forward and find it and just watch that bit.

      On Sat, Dec 5, 2020 at 3:41 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Thank you. I thought he will be on screen for 1 or 2 minutes, but if it’s a long scene and he looks good (he always looks good!) I may watch it.

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      • I couldn’t resist and found the part.
        Arjun is precious as always (I love the person he is), but the scene was irritating in so many levels: first because it felt so fake; second because really the comments she read are innocuous. Non famous teens are bullied harder everyday.
        But the worst was when Maheep said something like: We love Arjun because he is our anti-stress clown and makes us laugh when we are sad. I was like: F**k you Maheep!

        I don’t know how you all managed to finish this show. I had enough after one scene.

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        • The whole show is like that! It’s so bad!!!! All the “controversies” are made up stuff that doesn’t touch anything real, and all the people feel so fake.

          I cut Maheep a break on how she handled Arjun, because it did let him be just relaxed and casual. He wouldn’t really want to show up on the show an have Maheep say “you were such a mess at 19….because your parents were divorced and your life was falling apart”. Easier to just present him as this shallow joker.

          On Sun, Dec 6, 2020 at 7:59 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I’m not a sophisticated watcher – I love “90 days fiance” and I’m the biggest fan of polish “Farmer seeks wife”, but Bollywood wifes was terrible even for my taste.

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  4. I didn’t feel the SRK interview was as false as it seemed to you. But well, he IS a good actor. Actually it was the best SRK interview I’ve seen since the AIB one. The AIB one still wins though. Mostly I was shocked at the amount of make-up on his face and the fillers he must have recently had. And I did like Guari’s straight-forward admittance that she would have been on the show were she not SRK’s wife.

    I did not, and will not watch the whole thing, so a bunch of stuff, like their conversation about beauty in front of the 5-year-old, I can’t really respond to, although I will say, if you are an actor, your looks ARE very important. It is part of your job. If you are a designer, as well, your looks are important. If you are a director, your looks are not important. Not everyone who showed up to Guari’s party was beautiful.

    The least likable woman from what I saw was Maheep. But I think it was an act. In the first episode there is an interaction with a woman whom I assume was household help, and this woman, based on something Maheep said, gave her a playful swap. This was not a woman scared of her overbearing boss, or even in awe of her. These women had a real relationship, even if their was language barriers. I think Maheep is a better woman than the show made her out to be.

    As far as Karan stirring the pot, they talked about how nothing good came out of the crab dinner, but it was a lie, they did say nice things to each other, and they talked about their friendship. I always pay more attention to the screen when Karan is on it.

    When I lived in Berlin my close friends always kissed each other on each cheek in greeting and departure. I miss that.

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    • I didn’t find SRK painfully fake, but for sure he was formal. He had his talking points in mind and what he had to say to/about each woman, he went through it, and he wasn’t really relaxed and enjoying himself. He certainly wasn’t opening up the shell and being “real”. Like you say, it was similar to the AIB interview. But that was an interview with two comedians he’d never met before, this is (supposedly) him hanging out with close friends in private. And it was SO NOT. This is not “private” SRK, this is SRK on camera doing a bit on a show. You know? I also liked Gauri’s admittance, especially since she framed it in terms of her store. No faking about “oh, it would be so fun, to go on trips, with my besties”, just straight up “yep, great for Gauri Khan Designs”.

      Since you didn’t see the whole show (and there’s no reason you should!) one thing that struck me when I was thinking about it after it was all over is how very very little filming time it probably took. One two day getaway trip, one lunch, one dinner, one major event. A few planned things in each woman’s life for the cameras to follow her, like Neelam’s fillers appointment and Sanjay and Maheep going to Le Bal. But really, this is like a 2 hour commitment once a week, at the most, for maybe 4 weeks. It’s nothing!!!! I was thinking “who would want to do a reality show and have cameras following you all the time?” but that’s not actually what it is at all, it’s hours of make-up prep before specific planned filming opportunities, and then the cameras are sent away not to return until the next planned moment. So maybe these woman aren’t desperate for fame to the point of sacrificing all privacy, they are just desperate for fame to the point of sacrificing a little micro amount of privacy.

      Maheep and Sanjay for sure seemed to have the most solid relationship, and Karan mentioned that she is his closest friend in the group too. Makes me think there is something there. None of the women came off well, unfortunately, we were just seeing these very specific moments of their lives when they are at their shallowest.

      For sure, Karan is bringing the show alive when he comes in. As producer, he clearly had a vision, and he pushed them towards the best possible version of their “characters”. Talking about their past, fighting and making up, all of those things. I wish he had ducked in a few more times to keep it lively.

      My friends used to say good-bye with hugs. And now I am missing that!

      On Sat, Dec 5, 2020 at 3:54 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yes! I also noticed that the cost was really low and filming was a few hours but it was spread over some months…I actually did some stalking…Le Bal was early December, Doha was shot in late dec (as per KJo’s insta posts), Filmfare was early Feb, and during the Jhanvi dinner, they talk about how it’s Valentine’s day today (though at that dinner they also talked about the “upcoming” Doha trip)….so they must have shot the key events early on and then filled in the show with small planned segments here and there…

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        • Yeah, feels like the film crew went into each woman’s household for an afternoon and then everything they shot was squeezed on through out all the eps so it felt more natural.

          Purely from a production perspective, good on Karan! He really nailed the whole cheap reality show concept.

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      • That is interesting, thinking about how little they were actually in front of a camera. The thing about the English vs. Hindi… Is there resentment in India over their lack of Hindi speaking, I mean it is the Hindi film industry!! What would the British do if their royals spoke only medieval English? I know that comparison doesn’t work, I can’t think of a comparison that works. But if I were in Mumbai, working as a set designer, the lack of Hindi among the city’s elite would get under my skin. Of course Mumbai is filled with Marathi speakers…. There is just nothing to compare it to.

        Liked by 1 person

          • And now there is Young Victoria and all these other shows, and they continue to have her anachronistically speaking English all the time.

            Anyway, Christmas Trees! Totally worth it to have a foreign ruler if you get Christmas trees out of it. They are the best.

            On Sun, Dec 6, 2020 at 1:32 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I have a post on this!!! Actually, two posts:

          https://dontcallitbollywood.com/2020/06/04/hindi-film-101-what-english-language-skills-mean-in-modern-hindi-cinema/

          https://dontcallitbollywood.com/2019/07/23/hindi-film-101-south-asian-languages/

          In this particular show, there’s a couple layers to it. First, the Bandra/South Bombay globalized rich folks all speak English, film folks or not. So it is something to resent in a sort of class/economic way, just like them having big luxury cars and fabulous vacations and stuff. Second, as part of the Hindi film industry, there is a growing problem with people not actually speaking Hindi. The critical community has written about it a lot, the dialogues are just sucky now, and so is the dialogue delivery. But you have to be able to work in the global market, and the global language is English, so it’s tricky, everyone has to be 100% bilingual and that’s hard.

          In terms of class resentment, there seem to be two opposite reactions. On the one hand, there is the “I can’t believe these people don’t even speak Hindi and we are supposed to admire them” reaction. But on the other hand, if they weren’t speaking English, there would be a “I can’t believe these people are so uneducated that they can’t speak good English” reaction. Really there’s no way to win.

          On Sat, Dec 5, 2020 at 8:18 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • There was a moment that struck me, when Janhvi visited. They were talking about Kylie Jenner and she said “should I talk like them?” and put on a valley girl accent. I thought oh yeah, she grew up in Texas, right? She can probably speak flawless American. I wonder even which accent is more put on, her Mumbai accent of her American accent, or if she just code switches based on who she’s with. And also what that does for her career.

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          • I’m sure Jhanvi code-switches. On her father’s side, she would have had Bombay Hindi. On her mother’s side, Tamil. And then high school in America means American English. So she must have at least 3 “natural” accents that she would drop into.

            I am also sure that is part of the reason they moved to America. A few years in the US to brush up your accent is a very useful thing for anyone.

            On Sun, Dec 6, 2020 at 11:11 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. I loved this show…it was so dumb and so entertaining!! My fav moments were the fake group poses…like when they all wear matching denim jackets and pose in front of the airport sign…or when they do those slow-mo group catwalks!! At Gauri’s event, I think they did like 5 slow-mo catwalks in various combinations it was HILARIOUS!!

    And I loved the men on the show…Sanjay and Chunky are actually hilarious and self-aware…

    Can’t wait for Season 2!!!

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    • Yes, Sanjay and Chunkey were great! And I liked that they positioned themselves accurately. No pretending of “I am a massive star!” instead just “I was a big deal for a second, now I just want to keep working”.

      If there is a season 2, I may leave it up to you to watch for us. I can’t take any more posing!

      On Sat, Dec 5, 2020 at 5:48 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Okay I’m surprised by your opening paragraph! Isn’t all reality tv dumb by default? And they all have ‘star-wife jobs’ – fashion/jewellery/interior designer, candle-maker, no surprises there. I found the show quite enjoyable. I went in expecting them to be scandalous and bitchy, but it was just 4 close friends hanging out, being funny, dumb, crazy, doing things which we may laugh at, but is clearly normal for them. It made me miss hanging out with my friends!

    Taking up your points:
    Arjun was being the chill and level-headed guy he is, and the best person to talk about trolling, given what he deals with.

    Karan was in full KwK mode, most of what he said felt like needling to create drama. I was bracing myself along with the women whenever he spoke!

    The most scandalous thing on the show was learning about Sohail and Seema, but I assume it’s not unusual for people in that class. From what I’ve heard, most people on the ‘Real Housewives’ type of show are separated/divorced, so this is in line with that.

    As soon as I heard about Bhavana’s facial, I was rolling my eyes 🙂

    I missed where they were talking in front of Neelam’s daughter, I recall only the conversation in the restaurant.

    Not surprised by Malaika-Seema, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them together at family functions and stuff. Haven’t you mentioned before that the Khan family is super close? I’m more amused thinking about Arjun being Maheep’s nephew, while Malaika is their friend! But then apparently Chunky is Seema’s uncle!

    If Karan/Netflix was sponsoring, I’d absolutely do all the things they did in Doha!

    You’re a Ranveer fan! Why the surprise?

    I developed a fondness for Sanjay and Chunky after this. They were hilarious at points but their frustration and sadness over their careers was real and touching! I don’t care about Ananya, but Chunky’s emotions over the award was sweet. Samir Soni came across as a lazy bum, who just lounges on the couch! Yeah he was high at the party!

    Gauri is always classy. It could have been snarky when she said to her friends her husband is too big for her to be on the show, but she was sincere!

    Gauri-SRK’s entry would have been something if they hadn’t already ruined the slow-motion walk by then! First the women by themselves, then with Gauri and then with Karan, ugh!

    SRK did it for Karan and also for Gauri, right? This is essentially her circle, the families are close because daughters grew up together, the personal connections go back a long way, he just chose to highlight certain things.

    For not being actors, I felt they did well with following a script. In fact, it was Neelam who I felt was ‘acting’ at times, especially the crying! The interactions felt natural, probably because they are close friends. I have to say, after the year Karan’s had, to come out with a show that is blatantly celebrating everything he’s been attacked for, is ballsy. Because I think one of the purposes of this is to familiarize us with all the starkids who’re gonna try to enter the industry. But I don’t think it succeeded in winning any favors for them, nothing I saw made me keen to see more of them. It just made it more obvious that they don’t know the world outside their cocoon of privilege, or even the language!

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    • I don’t know reality TV! This is the less mean version? That just confirms I never want to watch any of the other versions.

      Loved Arjun. So chill, so calm, so nice, so not getting caught up on playing to the camera.

      Karan for sure was needling, but it’s what he needed to do to make this show work. Just like with KWK, come to think of it. He’s producing a show, he knows what the audience is looking for, and he’s gonna push to get it.

      I’ve heard conflicting reports on whether the Khans are still close with Malaika post the divorce. So this was nice, to get confirmation that it didn’t really make a difference.

      If Karan/Netflix was sponsoring, I would go to Doha and just eat a bunch of room service and enjoy the hotel! Probably use the viewing room/bed/thing too, that looked awesome. But I don’t need to go on a flying rickshaw or to a luxury shopping mall or whatever else it was they did.

      Yes! I already kind of liked Chunky and Sanjay, because they really did have that moment of fame and they really have just kept working all that time. This show just confirmed it for me, which was a relief. I would have hated to discover they were secretly whiney bitter guys. But no, they are just the same grounded sincere hardworking people I thought. I even felt like Sanjay had a bit of doubt over trying to push his daughter, thinking that fame isn’t all that great.

      Yes! It didn’t come across as snarky at all! Just saying the truth of their respective positions.

      And don’t forget all those other people on the red carpet! The only one I recognized being Sid M I think. Everyone gets a big entrance, even if we don’t really know who they are.

      Oh yeah, I think he did it for Karan and Gauri and also probably Shanaya and Ananya. This show is helping them out, Shahrukh has known them since they were little girls, he might as well show up and do his bit. And he seems to spend a lot of time with Bhavana and Maheep as well, we’ve seen them and their husbands coming to small couple parties. So it’s a nice favor. But didn’t feel like it was his favorite thing to be doing.

      It was Neelam where I was most side-eyeing the “and we are all super close!” story. Bhavana and Maheep, we know they are close because we know about the Gauri-SRK friend circle. And I could believe the Maheep-Seema closeness, they sold me on that, and the family connections and so on. But Neelam? She just felt like the odd one out. So with the other three women, that closeness and stuff could feel real and they could act natural together, but Neelam was like a little bit the odd one out and maybe they were acting awkward partly because she was there? And Neelam had to “act” instead of just “be”.

      Like

      • Yes! Felt that too…It didn’t seem like Neelam was besties with this bunch… During the whole Doha trip they kept saying things like we didn’t know this about Neelam etc. etc….so prob was the first time they really spent time with her…

        Like

      • About the girls, how did each family end up with these tall, leggy creatures for daughters? Is no one short anymore? Also, I couldn’t help thinking there must be pressure on Ananya and Shanaya to debut and get a foothold before Suhana arrives.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Neelam…she admitted that she is more on the reclusive side…I rhink (and feel it as a nice gesture) that one (one person or more than one) liked to help her to get a renewing of her acting career…and honestly, I think, she really was moved about something ShahRukh did or said…I think he is this kind of a person who gives you comfort when he knows you needs it.

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        • No one is short any more!!!! Although after seeing how these families push, I wouldn’t be surprised if they had special tall people diets from childhood and stuff.

          I was thinking the opposite a bit about Suhana. I was watching Ananya and Shanaya and thinking how young they were and how wrong it seemed to have them working all the time and being on camera and stuff. And then we get Suhana on face time and she’s not wearing make-up and in a college dorm and, like, normal. If I were SRK and Gauri, watching Ananya and Shanaya deal with all of this would just make me more eager to delay Suhana’s debut as long as possible, if not cancel it entirely. But yes, Ananya and Shanaya’s families might be feeling that pressure, even if in reality they have years and years because Suhana is not going to be forced into this life.

          On Sun, Dec 6, 2020 at 12:17 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I am more interested in seeing an Ananya film now because she was charming and charismatic on the show. And the bit with her dad and the filmfare award was sweet. But I’m not interested in the other daughter…

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      • Yes! Ananya is really charming onscreen. You should check out Pati Patni Aur Woh, she is great in that.

        Shanaya, not so much, Oh well, being on camera is still a little new to her.

        On Sat, Dec 5, 2020 at 8:12 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. I have three episodes to go, they just got to Doha, so just a couple thoughts. One, yes, that plastic surgery bit was super weird. I had come around to thinking huh, actually I could see getting along with some of these people, Bhavana and Neelam seem kind of level headed, and then we hit that episode and it’s nope, never mind.

    Second, my theory is that this is Neelam’s relaunch, with the others tagging along either because they wanted to be on camera or because their jewelry or fashion businesses would benefit. (Really hard to tell from the outside how real the businesses are. That moment when Bhavana walks into a shop under construction and says she aspires to be like Zara I almost dropped my drink. Zara is the biggest brand in the biggest fashion retail company in the world, lady. Your shop is nice and all but come on.)

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    • YES! Oh, I bet you are right about Neelam!!!! Karan needed one name that people actually know to be in the show, and once he got Neelam, he was ready to blast off. The other woman are just bored housewives there for a break on camera, and to help promote their daughters, but Neelam is what makes the show.

      I can handle Bhavana just being incredibly naive about the energy facial, but I can’t handle Neelam expecting us to think this is the first time she got fillers! How dumb does she think we are?

      On Sun, Dec 6, 2020 at 12:28 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • There was no difference between the pre and post-fillers Neelam at all!! I couldn’t see a thing. I’m sure she’s been having things done for a long time. It seems it was forced into the show because they felt it would look really risque to show it on TV.

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    • The Doha episodes were the most boring ones of the show. They are easily skippable. It’s the Mumbai stuff that at least holds your interest and has fun cameos from more important people. I enjoyed Maliaka Arora calling bullshit on Seema making excuses for not really working like how she has to take care of the kids.

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  8. Oh, so so much to say and not nearly enough time right now. So, I’ll start and then do a second post later. Full disclosure: I have never watched any American reality shows..hate them. I watched the last episode only because of Shah Rukh and Gauri and then wanted to see the rest. I have to admit in these Covid times it was great fun. They are so much nicer than any of the American counterparts. Aside from Maheeps cursing, it is most sweet. They are laughing with you and at themselves. I loved Neelum who have I loved since KKHH; I think she was the new comer and they were clear about that. Okay, more later.

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    • Yes, it definitely feels like they aren’t taking this show too seriously. Everyone is kind of going through the motions but not caring, which is nice.

      Like

  9. I cringe-watched the entire 6 episodes. There was so much to cringe at:

    * Neelam’s accent. I know she is from Hong Kong and all that. But I know quite a few people from there, and no one I know speaks like that. Also, the way they hyped up her acting was strange. She was a popular actress but she never did anything very memorable, and all her roles were just glam doll roles. Yet, everyone was acting like she was a superstar of the 80s and 90s!
    * Neelam’s hubby is weird. I found that whole walking out of the party thing super-weird, and it was even more obvious by the way Neelam was giving excuses for him. The two of them made one strange couple. He seemed completely checked out of everything.
    * Gauri Khan was weird too. First of all – super unflattering dress. The next was the way everyone was sucking up to her. Karan called her a queen and she acknowledged it without even a demur. It just felt odd.
    * Am I the only one who thinks this is exactly what Karan is? Sure, he has a serious businesslike side to him, but this is his personality, and it wasn’t at all attractive.
    * I actually appreciated that Seema was fairly honest about her relationship with her husband. It would have been a simple thing to hide. But she was quite ok with talking about how they live in different houses.
    * Chunky and Bhavana are adorable. Such a sweet couple. Maheep and Sanjay weren’t too bad either. Although I disliked Maheep the most – her nails, ugh!
    * SRK was hot! Whatever surgery he’s had, it’s done really well! He looks younger than he has in years!

    Like

    • -I wondered about Neelam’s accent! I couldn’t hear anything different about it, but it was mentioned enough by the other women I figured it must be really odd.

      -I can’t tell if Neelam’s husband is just a weird guy, or if being in the show made him really stressed/resentful so he came off as weird.

      -YES! It was a very unflattering dress!!! Everyone on the show said she looked amazing, so I thought it was just me. Thank you for agreeing. I thought she came off as slightly shy more than anything else.

      -I think this is part of his personality, I just wish he let other parts show a bit more in public.

      -I just found it weird that Seema was half and half. She didn’t hide that Sohail lived separately, but she also didn’t just say “we are separated”, instead she was all “it’s a great marriage”. Very weird.

      -Chunky and Bhavana were really sweet! And kind of innocent, they seemed the most lost in this world.

      -He does look good!

      On Sun, Dec 6, 2020 at 1:38 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

  10. I don’t think SRK has had any surgery. There was some kind of blurring filter that was being used on everyone. It’s not noticeable with the ladies since we are not used to seeing them normally so we can’t detect a change.
    This pic was taken now or at most a few days ago and he looks the same as always. I never thought I’d see him willingly wear white pants though!! I like the resort wear look he has going here. He looks like he belongs on a yacht somewhere in the middle of the ocean.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CIdq6KdskxH/

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  11. I wonder if SRK ever gets tired of all his friends constantly using him to boost their projects. Whether it’s ADHM or Bhramastra or Bollywood Wives, they just won’t leave him alone! The movies are at least understandable even if eye-roll worthy but dragging him into a downmarket reality show is the limit. And that too in a year when he clearly wanted to take a sabbatical. He should work up the courage to just say no sometimes.

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    • These are his wives best friends, his daughters best friend, the people he takes vacations with. Given how little we have seen of him in the last year was a few hours one evening really too much to ask? Also, the show really built him up as THE mega star, which after Zero doesn’t hurt his brand. Additionally, if he WAS still in the throws of depression after Zero, getting him out of the house is not a bad idea. I have heard nasty things from people he has said no to, I suspect rather than saying no he tries not to answer his phone. But that doesn’t work for the people you vacation with…

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      • Yeah, it was a pretty harmless cameo in the end. A few minutes polite chat in his house probably on his own schedule. Did you notice the way the party was filmed? Clearly the big crowd stuff was at a different time of the night, and even there they only filmed the little corner where the “stars” were. And then the SRK convo could have been hours later or hours earlier, whenever he was free to do it, just with them. Heck, it could have been two weeks later! They just had to show up still in their fancy clothes and fake it like it was a casual party thing.

        On Sun, Dec 6, 2020 at 4:43 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Is it really an “Indian” thing to say “no” in a frank way…I don’t think so.
          In this case, Gauri clearly stated that it was clear to her that Karan would drag them into the show somehow…so it was saying yes because there would be a profit – reputation wise and advertisement wise (as the party was at her Gauri Design shop).
          I’m sure that it was the goal of the show to take private friends of Gauri (& ShahRukh) because it gave the possibility to drag both into it.
          I don’t like Karan anymore (since he made escalate the PC-thing by commenting on her) because I also thing that he deliberately wants to profite from his relation with Gauri and ShahRukh’s good nature side.

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    • If something is popular, it is worth talking about. If only to untangle why it is popular. To do otherwise is to deny the reality of the world we live in and prefer to remain within an ivory tower.

      Also, it’s nothing is a waste of time if it gives us pleasure.

      On Sun, Dec 6, 2020 at 5:24 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Sometimes it just should be literate people to write about certain things that make others cringe or regard them as “crap” …especially intelligent literate people (thanks Margaret 🙂 )
        In addition, this “reality show” has a lot to do with people, we know through movies…so, it is okay – imo – that on this blog one also talks about a thing like that – either seriously or with a wink or with giving in to a “guilty” pleasure.
        I, too, admit that I wouldn’t have watched a single part of the show if not for SshahRukh and Gauri.
        What I found the most interesting thing that I was – again – witnessing Gauri’s fondness for ShahRukh and a certain practical-positive view.

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        • Your tone is not appropriate to this comment community. I am not going to block you, but i am going to stop responding to you and encourage others to do the same.

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        • Why are you being so antagonistic? People are capable of enjoying multiple things from ‘high art’ to ‘trashy’ for different reasons. You’ll see many intellectual and thoughtful discussions on this blog on serious topics and funny, light-hearted ones on frivolous topics by the same people. Just move along if something is not to your taste.

          The reality is referring to the world we the audience live in, not the ‘reality’ of the show.

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          • I read about an accomplished chef who found McDonald’s french fries to be a perfect taste combination that she savored as much as gourmet dishes. The moral is, if it works for you then it works!

            Like

  12. Do try to untangle the enigma of so called “popularity”? No, you don’t, because it is your *yuckpolitics* taboo. Your play, your rules.

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    • Hi. You may have noticed there are almost no new movies out because of the, you know, global pandemic, and new content that is released is split among a whole bunch of different paid platforms, so in order to have a conversation about TV or movies you need friends who not only share your taste but share your subscription services. Speaking for myself, I am stuck at home with the same people as I have been since March and while I love them fiercely I value the chances I get to have other conversations with other humans even if they are asynchronous blog chats with internet people. This show isn’t your jam? Cool! It’s not really my jam either. But it’s something I can have on while trying to organize some kind of normal feeling Christmas for my kids that requires no emotional or intellectual investment from me, and then I can come here and have a shared experience to talk about with the DCB humans. If you’re feeling grumpy and negative, yep, aren’t we all, but no need to share, we all have enough going on. Wishing you peace and happiness.

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  13. The role of Gauri and Shah Rukh in the end is clearly a ratings booster and a draw. These are their close friends. Chunky was very good to them when they first came to Mumbai and they stay very loyal to those early friends. And annoying as Karan is, they are close and would always be in his production.
    As to the women working.. Bandra 190 where Seema, Neelum and Maheep all have stores. It is mini mall fo luxury stores. They DO work. Look, they are ‘hobby’ jobs but work they care about never-the-less.
    Its beyond dumb and I really enjoyed it. We need silly now…..or at least I do….

    Like

  14. I don’t understand why some people try to act cool by saying”omg this show is so cringey and I’m so smart I dont watch such shows bla bla.. like what do you expect it’s literally called the fabulous lives…its supposed to be EXTRA not everything has to be content oriented or Oscar worthy. Sometimes we just want to escape from our sad realities such as this pandemic even if it means through a silly reality show. Why can’t we enjoy fun, silly films without acting like eww like it’s the worst thing ever because it does bring joy to a lot of people and here’s the thing if you dont like it thats fine but dont bring down others and be all judgemental

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  15. OK, now I’ve finished. In the last couple of episodes it was even more obvious that this is a set up to relaunch Neelam. She’s the odd one out, she’s not in the stories or photos in the party episode. Yet we come out if the show with all of this information: people want her back, this is how she looks on camera (crying scene included), she’s taking care of her appearance, she doesn’t want to audition but could be talked into it, she’s still proper and doesn’t want too much sex or cursing in a role but she knows how to party and have fun, everyone in Bollywood was a huge Neelam fan, there’s a young guy in Doha who knows who she is and tracked her down to try to cast her in a commercial. And then the quarantine scene clinched it. What do you think? Did it work? I didn’t know who she was going into this, and I still wouldn’t run out to see her new movie, but I know who she is and have the image they made for her in the show.

    Party episode:
    – when Neelam talked about going through a phase and SRK and Gauri were the first to visit her, what do we think? pregnancy issues?
    – the talking about the kids was super sweet
    – Gauri was the most relaxed and natural I’ve seen her onscreen (though agreed the dress only looked OK from the front)
    – the scene with them all together made me squirm a bit because the others were kind of fawning over SRK and Gauri and they were all yelling
    – SRK looked skinny to me
    – did not like most of the dresses much but I did dig Bhavana’s dress and sneaker look
    – how come the women have to have fittings and full hair and makeup and totter around in 6 inch heels and the dudes get to roll up in jeans and sneakers?

    Like

    • I did know Neelam going in, but (as she actually says in one episode) her image was this youthful bubbly thing. So my challenge would have been seeing her as a mature person instead of just Neelam-Old. The show definitely worked with that, showed her as a mother, hanging out with other mothers, being successful in business, dealing with aging issues, and so on. I could buy her now in a role like a mother, or an older romance, or something. Definitely worked for that. And worked for the audience with having at least one cast member that we had actually seen before.

      -I hadn’t thought of that! But yes, it makes total sense. Pregnancy/motherhood. It could also have been adoption hold ups. Or learning that surrogacy was not an option for them. Any big roadblock, Gauri and SRK have been through it themselves and would understand.

      -I did like the talking about the kids. And we know that isn’t fake, because we have 20 years of photos of the three girls together. It was sweet.

      -Thank you! The dress was terrible from the back! What happened to her figure?

      -Definitely fawning, but then this was a favor they were doing for the show. I hope this isn’t the usual dynamic, SRK and Gauri pay for the vacation or whatever and the others fawn over them.

      -To be fair, that tuxedo was super slimming. But yeah, he’s been looking skinny for a while. Especially in candids where you see him just with regular people in regular places. Related thought, was he standing while they were sitting so we don’t see how short he is?

      -I dug that Bhavana called home to have Chunky bring her shoes

      -YES! And it’s not just in this! Every time I go to a live performance, I see all these women in fancy fancy fancy, and guys in jeans. It’s just not fair. And maybe another reason people like Shahrukh and Karan? Because they actually make an effort most of the time?

      On Tue, Dec 8, 2020 at 12:48 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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