Netflix’s Fabulous Lives: Perfect Blend of Ignorance & Privilege
On 27th November, The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives was released on Netflix. A ‘reality show’ about 4 women who gossip, have trivial fights and are rich – this is basically the story of the show. Produced by Karan Johar’s Dharmatic Entertainment Productions, this show is a love child of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Sex and the City, the only difference being the fact that the show it unapologetically heavily scripted.
There are random cameos, staged arguments and breakdowns, and last but not the least, it has a lot of drama and it endorsed kids of famous and rich people who happen to be aspiring actors just like Kylie and Kendall Jenner who became household names by the time they ventured into their own careers, thanks to Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
However, whilst it was over dramatised, it’s a hate-binge watch kind of show, where the people on the show also know that they are being ridiculous but they just don’t care. Fabulous Wives shines a light on four wives who are overshadowed by their husbands’ popularity. Neelam, an actress who is unable to decide how to make her return to the industry and is currently married to Samir Soni and they have an 8-year-old daughter. Bhavana is Chunky Panday’s wife and Ananya Panday’s mother, who runs a fashion label. Maheep, married to actor Sanjay Kapoor, is a jewellery designer. Lastly, Seema, actor and producer Sohail Khan’s wife, runs a boutique in Bandra, Mumbai.
There are seemingly random cameos with Ananya Panday, Jhanvi Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Ekta Kapoor, Gauri Khan and Shah Rukh Khan as well! The only cameos that gave some reasonable advice and brought even a little sense in the show were Arjun Kapoor who talks about dealing with trolls and hate online and Ekta Kapoor who advised Neelam to take a leap of faith in her Bollywood career. The most absurd scene was SRK talking to these four women and telling him how great they are as people at a party organised by Gauri Khan. It’s hard to picture this as a genuine, spontaneous and heartfelt speech in the middle of a party.
Evidenced by the fact that every restaurant or location they went to happened to be completely empty with maybe a few people here scattered who are clearly extras, every single scene is staged to the maximum. On an all-girls trip to Doha (doesn’t that remind you of Sex and The City: The Movie which had an all-girls trip to Abu Dhabi) a man spotted Neelam in a mall, took a picture with her and followed her and her friends to a restaurant which was completely empty other than the table occupied by the ladies and another in which Neelams ‘fan’ had occupied. At their resort, a handsome French man brings the ladies their drinks while they ogle at him. Such kind of frivolity, oblivion to their privilege, and loud screams of classism is the kind of show people love to hate because while the Indian audience cannot relate to this kind of content, they aspire to have this kind of privilege. So watch it if you have time to spare or want to watch rich, privileged women discuss trivial matters and hang out all the time.