Jugaadistan is comedy-drama TV series directed by Akarsh Khurana and Adhaar Khurana and stars Ahsaas Channa, Sumeet Vyas, Taaruk Raina and Rukshar Dhillon and consists of 8 episodes, each with a runtime of around 40-45 minutes.
Lionsgate describes the series as:
A vibrant and mostly funny coming-of-age story of a diverse group of university students who encounter one of the most corrupt, widespread and long running academic scams to hit the North of India. They are drawn into an entrance examination, admission and recruitment scam that involve academicians, politicians, senior and junior government officials and businessmen systematically employing imposters to write papers, manipulate examination arrangements and supply forged answers.
– Jugaadistan review does not contain spoilers –
Jugaadistan’s first episode itself proves to be something of a dud. Not because the story itself is uninteresting, but the way that it presents itself is quite the dud. These characters that we get to know are ones we’ve seen too many times in the past and are, thus, extremely boring. Their interactions seem ingenuine and although the story itself holds some weightage, the way that these actors fill the same roles makes it quite the repetitive watch.
The exam scam plot is interesting. Understanding that the people who take part in these scams are regular people hoping to make it big but without the resources to do so makes the stakes higher. The other interesting part is how journalism plays a part to keep society in check. Of course, there’s a lot of stonewalling on the way to the truth, but it’s still an interesting angle. Although it’s not new, journalists bringing people to justice hardly is, but I am glad it’s not just scammers getting away with stuff or getting exposed accidentally.
Taaruk Raina has this easy charm that makes you want to believe that impersonating people in state exams isn’t actually a crime. But we’ve seen him behaving like a horrible person before in almost every show he’s in. So, really, it’s not new. Sumeet Vyas, too, plays a politician who plays nice in front of people but you know he’s bad news. The others in the series feel like unnecessary additions and an afterthought, but the worst part of the series are those text message fonts that pop up on the screen. They’re atrocious.
No, but seriously. So much happens in this show. Elections in a college, bullying and how people tackle them, friendships, people having sex in a dorm room after paying for it, the scam and just literally so much more. The chaotic energy as the series shifts from one topic to another is blinding and gets a bit much. You want to focus on one thing and then maybe get into another thing but nope – it zooms past and mixes together 20 things in the span of 40 minutes. It’s too much and takes away any and all tension of the matters at hand.
It’s true that Jugaadistan has some really serious topics that can and will interest you, had it had a clearer idea of what it wanted. But now it feels like chaos all around. Yes, the topics are connected somewhere down the line but it’s not enough to create any sort of interest. Yes, I get the point of ‘jugaad’ that the series tries to show us – the baseline of a college education. But, like, focus on one thing at a time.
Summing up: Jugaadistan
Jugaadistan’s chaotic energy is, honestly, my worst nightmare, more so because it doesn’t piece these important plot points together. It’s a decent watch but doesn’t ever reach that level of intensity or interest. These are not unreasonable or unbelievable situations, but even stories seeped in reality should flow better.
Jugaadistan is streaming on Lionsgate Play.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.