TVF Pitchers (Season 2)
It was way back in 2015 when the concept of a webseries did not exist, our country was introduced to the beautiful world of startups through a “show” titled TVF Pitchers. The show was out on Youtube and it slowly but surely became a hot topic of discussion amongst the youth. I still remember how people around me were discussing the episodes and the content of the show while I hadn’t watched it yet. I finally did succumb to it and binge watched all 5 episodes in one night and the vibe of the show was so positive even though I still did not fully understand the concept of a startup then! This while the noise of a potential second season was doing the rounds!
Cut to 2022, I have a little startup of my own with Harsh and me being the Co-Founders(wahi jo jeet ke haarte hai😅) of Popcorn Reviewss and your truly continuing to do what he does best which is to write about films and shows. We are aware of what it us to nurture a product and to slowly make it grow. Even with shows like Shark Tank being a massive success, the vibe of the nation is tilting towards startups! So when TVF, after an unending period of 7 years announced the second season of Pitchers, I was absolutely excited.
My excitement levels did slightly diminish when I did not see Jitendra Kumar in the promo or its trailer. Given the track record of replacing artists/iconic characters resulting in a mess with shows like Crushed, I must admit I was skeptical before entering the world of Pitchers again. After all, it was a cult show with a massive fan following, would it ride on the high of season 1 amidst massive expectations was the question on my mind. And so finally I have finished watching the second season of Pitchers which is streaming on Zee5, is it worth your time, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
The second season of Pitchers follows the story of the gang(minus Jeetu Bhaiyya) who are now running a startup company. But with bigger sharks in their arena, will they survive or will they buckle under pressure? The story here is a very matured take on the functioning of startup companies and a far cry from the entertaining setup of season 1. This for me was an excellent decision from the creative team of TVF given that already 7 years have past since the first season. And so you would need to address the natural progression of characters as opposed to the same setup which would result in a few laughs. Again, this setup may not appeal to everyone who do not understand the startup culture, yet it would appeal massively to young entrepreneurs like me, giving a glimpse of the things which could go wrong in a startup company. So in other words, the drama is a niche, so do not go in expecting the magic of season 1, instead treat this like a separate season from the viewing point of view!
The screenplay standing at 5 episodes of roughly 60 to 70 odd minutes did make for a daunting task to begin with, but the proceedings are so well written that I did not feel that the drama was dragging even for a single minute. The first thing which I did notice about the drama was its brilliant setup. It is often a norm that once you open a company your boat will slowly but surely continue to sail. That is not the case. The struggle is real and the only constant wherein you are daily slogging away to make ends meet. And that is something which was established early on in the show. There are moments of disappointment where some things do not go your way and yet you often tend to gulp down your ego with humility but with a smile on your face.
The drama here is supremely engaging and engrossing primarily due to its matured writing. The hustle of the protagonists is evident in every scene, be it in trying circumstances or in times of being over-ambitious. For instance, a character was working for a deadline despite being hospitalized. Yep, it is a reality that I can relate too. No breaks even when you are unwell! The drama tactfully breaks down and does give you a bird’s eye view of the things to note while running a startup. And one of the features is the motivation of employees and understanding their concerns. As they say, you take care of the employees and the employees will take care of your company. But it is easily said than done given that you have so much to do and different hats to don in your startup. And this was brilliantly shown in an episode where all the employees did put in their resignation only to be convinced by the gang!
The drama does boast of solid characterization and character dynamics with one virtue of insecurity and uncertainty being a prime feature. There are moments where as an entrepreneur you are alone with almost no support and totally vulnerable. And that is when you do everything to pick yourself up from the ‘death valley’ and that is again something well tapped in the drama. The drama formulates for so many moments which act as metaphors. Be it a spiral staircase where two principal characters are seen climbing down, something that seemed like an endless labyrinth. Elsewhere, in an emotionally moving scene, the gang is stuck in a lift at a time when things aren’t well between themselves. In a spectacular turn of events, each one of them helps another to get out of that ‘sticky situation’. So after endless fights, what matters is collaboration and support!
Probably the worst thing with respective to the startup would be to watch your little baby sinking, a feeling that I have experienced too. But you do keep holding onto it right till the end to make it work. And that is so well represented in the series through a series of events that I found to be relatable. The final act does end with a lot of hope with the typical TVF vibe kicking through. The messaging here is also well defined – There will be obstacles but it is your ability to see out that situation which truly defines your character as an entrepreneur.
In other words, the writing here is excellent although niche with the extensive use of jargons which may not appeal to everyone looking for entertainment. Also, while the presence of Jeetu was going to be felt, the makers do well in not replacing the artist or the character which otherwise would have disrupted the proceedings. It was weaved beautifully in the story although it did not reveal a lot with the reasoning bit. On a side note, the product placements in the show(once a trademark of TVF) made me nostalgic in more ways than one! Long Live The Pitchers!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues may not be as spunky as some of the iconic lines from season 1(for instance : Tu Beer Hai BC). But the organic conversations are subtly impactful with the emotional baggage which it carries along with dollops of hope. The music is fabulous here and the BGM too is ‘pitch’ perfect and something that blends so well with the drama. The cinematography is fabulous as well. Directors Vaibhav Bundhoo and Arunabh Kumar have done a terrific job here in dealing with the proceedings in a rather matured manner. There are no frivolous talks or subplots featuring a romantic angle. This was focused storytelling of the highest order but probably a tradeoff for the Entertainment Quotient which many might seek!
The performances by the ensemble cast is phenomenal! Ashneer Grover and Vineeta Singh(playing themselves) add a lot of authenticity to the drama. Anandeshwar Dwivedi as Agastya has his moments to shine. Ankit Motghare, Ketaki Narayan, Durin Das, Madan Deodhar, Jasmeet, Luv Vispute and Vidushi Kaul all are excellent here and add different flavours to this delicious drama! Saad Bilgrami and Shreya Singh are endearing and sincere. Gopal Datt and Vipul Goyal add some nice little humour to the proceedings. Ashish Vidyarthi delivers another one of his dignified performances which was great to witness. Abhishek Banerjee is just so effortless as Bhaati and owns every scene he features in.
Sikandar Kher as Prabhas is excellent and a perfect nemesis to the protagonists. Ronjini Chakraborty as Appu is very well restrained and does a fabulous job. Ridhi Dogra as Prachi looks very pretty and does a phenomenal job here. But in absence of Jeetu Bhaiyya, it is the three musketeers or should I say entrepreneurs that steady the ship before making it sail! Abhay Mahajan as Mandal is one of my favourite characters this time around. The character was presented with so much maturity with his goofiness reduced to a sprinkle. But more importantly he was the glue of the group and so well essayed by Abhay. Absolutely a brilliant act. Arunabh Kumar as Yogi is excellent as well, shining in a few emotional moments yet staying true to his character. Naveen Kasturia as Naveen has a quiet charm to his character. He is assertive and always hopeful although a lot more ambitious this time around. He is phenomenal here in a subtly towering act!
The second season of Pitchers is the best TVF outing of the year! It is niche in terms of entertainment but brilliant with its matured writing and performances that makes it a winner! Available on Zee5 and Highly Highly Highly Recommended!