Crushed (Season 2)
Onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the new Hindi series, the second season of Crushed on Amazon Mini TV. Now I have often said that I am at that stage in life wherein I do reminisce my good old school and college days. And so with the sane sentiment when I had watched the first season of Crushed earlier this year, I had absolutely adored it. The series had nicely captured the true essence of school life, be it the studies element or friendship in general or even the small crushes that we had back then. For those of you who have watched the first season of Crushed would know that season 1 had ended on an absolute cliffhanger, and that made me interested in the second season. Now that the second season of Crushed is out, here are my two cents on the same.
Story & Screenplay
The second season of Crushed picks up from the same point where season 1 had ended where the new semester throws in a fresh set of challenges including an inter-school competition. However, the story here is not half as good as the first season. The writing here just lacks that bite and fails to create some heartfelt moments. The screenplay standing at 6 episodes of 20 odd minutes each might seem like a brisk watch but if short episodes like these also turn into a slog then you know that there is trouble brewing, a similar fate that was observed in the third season of Girls Hostel.
The drama opens on an absolute shocking note with the absence of a character who was the protagonist in the first season. And it is here that there was a wrong creative decision made by the Dice Media team. Presumably, the actor may not have agreed to be a part of the show and so perhaps it seemed like the entire season needed to be rewritten because of that decision. Here, is where the writing may have suffered. This is something that TVF had smartly tackled in the third season of Hostel Daze. A lead character was replaced by a new actor who may have found time to find his feet and a connect with the audience but the writing did allow him that luxury of playing second fiddle for the time being. In other words, it did not seem like the script was changed or rewritten due to the absence of the character.
So things that transpire here are that the connect that was built up with the audience for a particular character needed to be rebooted and so there should have been some amount of world building for that new character, to win the trust again. That was missing and that had me distracted from the beginning. The writing never punches above its weight here, it glides at the same level throughout. It fails to create those adorable moments which formed an integral part of the narrative in season 1. The writing is rather dull and doesn’t exude much confidence.
I was just going through the motion witnessing a drama that was middling to say the least with not much happening in terms of the character dynamics or certain moments in the screenplay. To be fair, the drama does pick up slightly in the final two episodes with the preparation and later participation of the Inter School event. But in those scenes too the writing was very convenient and the proceedings were rushed thus summing up a screenplay that was disappointing this time around.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are decent and they get the age demographics right which is a good thing. The music is good, the BGM is decent. The cinematography is good although I did not quite get the flavour of Lucknow this time around. Director Mandar Kurundkar does an average job but his direction never rises to the occasion partly due to its sub-standard script. But he also was not able to create those heartfelt moments which were the USP of the first season which is where my criticism lies for him.
The performances are good here. Anupriya Caroli as Zoya is pretty good although her character is slightly underwritten this time around. Likewise for Naman Jain as Prateek who doesn’t get enough scope although he shines in the screen time which he gets. Urvi Singh as Jaz is cute and does a swell job although I wish her vulnerability was tapped into better. Arjun Deswal as Sahil has a good screen presence in a job well done. Chirag Katrecha as Samarth aka Sam is a good addition to the series, however I wished the writers could have spent a little more time on building his character which would have allowed the audience to warm up to him better. Aadhya Anand as Aadhya looks pretty and is probably the best actor on display. She has a great presence onscreen, is well restrained and does an excellent job even when things are crumbling around her.
The second season of Crushed is a middling high-school drama that is several notches below the first season. Available on Amazon Mini TV.