TVF’s heartwarming series Yeh Meri Family, which took us back to the simpler days of the late 1990s, is back with its second season on Amazon miniTV. While the first season revolved around the Guptas of Jaipur, the second season — directed by Mandar Kurundkar — gives us a glimpse of the Awasthis, a middle-class family of five in Lucknow.
Unlike the first season, which was told from the perspective of 12-year-old Harshu (Vishesh Bansal), this season of Yeh Meri Family revolves around Ritika (Hetal Gada), a rebellious teen who wants to break free from the rules and limitations imposed by her parents — Neerja (Juhi Parmar), a strict school teacher, and Sanjay (Rajesh Kumar), a soft-spoken engineer who works in the telecom department. Her younger brother Rishi (Anngad Maaholay) keeps complaining about Ritika to their parents, adding to Ritika’s woes.
Season 2 takes a look at the trials and tribulations in Ritika’s journey of becoming a young adult — wanting a separate room for herself, nursing a crush at school which eventually leads to heartbreak, her tiffs with her strict mom and finding an ally in her grandmother. By the end of the five episodes, Ritika is a more mature person, forming a strong bond with her brother and coming closer to her parents.
The writing, once again, is the show’s greatest strength. The dialogues are crisp and laced with humour. The nostalgic factor — the arrival of cable TV, talking endlessly on landline phones, blank-call pranks, playing ludo with the family — plays a significant role in the show’s appeal, transporting us back to a time when technology hadn’t taken over our lives and the simple joys. The series also scores with its attention to detail in recreating the late ’90s feel, from the costumes to the pop culture references.
Ritika’s struggles feel relatable and Hetal Gada, as Ritika, carries the show on her young shoulders. Playing a couple raising two kids, Juhi and Rajesh bring out the challenges of parenthood. Juhi shines in her OTT debut as a disciplinarian mother trying to outwit her rebellious daughter. Anngad fits the bill as the naughty younger brother and Veena Mehta softens the rough edges of this family dynamic in her role of an affectionate grandmother.
However, Yeh Meri Family Season 2 is slower than the previous season. And with a heavy focus on Ritika, the arcs of other characters, specially the father, haven’t been fully etched.