Mismatched is a romantic-drama web series directed by Akarsh Khurana and Nipun Dharmadhikari, written by Gazal Dhaliwal and is based on Sandhya Menon’s When Dimple Met Rishi. The series stars Prajakta Koli, Rohit Saraf, Rannvijay Singha and Vidya Malavade.
You know those pretentious a-holes that you have in college who find solace in bullying others and the sight of whom just makes you stressed? Mismatched’s title characters, at least the ones that we are made to follow, are these people. Sure, there’s a lot of diversity that the makers tried to incorporate – different social backgrounds, sexualities and the likes, but the series never really delves deep into most of the different things that it brings to the plate, and instead, is just another one of those weird romantic shows that leaves a foul taste in your mouth.
Mismatched is a show about Dimple and Rishi, who are from very different backgrounds. Dimple’s mother wants her 17-year-old daughter to get married, while Rishi is that stereotypical guy who doesn’t believe in the “new age dating” scene and is much more “traditional”. That means arranged marriage, which is fine, truly. However, the first time Rishi meets Dimple, he calls her his future wife. Dimple’s reaction is on-point, but soon she turns into the “problematic feminist” for pointing out legit unfair things.
This isn’t to say Dimple is the hero we all want and need. She’s a proud “anti-social” who doesn’t care about anyone or anything. Honestly, none of the characters is very likeable. Harsh, Anmol, Krish and Simran are just foul people. For instance, they try to use Anmol’s disability as an excuse for his bad behaviour, however, it’s not desirable and neither is it ok for him to bully people. And the things that he says and doesn’t make you feel bad for him in any way. These people are bullies, they misdirect their anger and have fun at the expense of other’s misery. How do we feel bad for or relate to them in any way?
However, not all is lost though. I do like Zeenat and Namrata’s characters. They’re sweet and kinda naïve and are not repugnant like the rest of these people. The creators, however, use the gay relationship only as a plot device to create conflict in the lead’s lives, which has been done one too many times and is just yuck at this point.
Mismatched is a good-looking series, the lead is absolutely cute together and would’ve made for a really cute series if, well, the people were not horrible and the dialogues weren’t so tacky. Every time someone said something, it made me cringe and say to myself that no sane person talks like this. It’s a whole host of characters that no one needs, and somewhere in between, the coding gets lost.
The show tries to fit in too much, instead of concentrating on one thing, and thus it goes nowhere. Mismatched has moments which are sweet, but those are followed by an endless barrage of rich, entitled people thinking that the world owes them something. It tries to incorporate the social stigma of being dark-skinned and people’s obsession with women’s marriage, body image issues, hair loss, disability, the social stigma around being LGBTQ+, the stigma around working at “uncool” places etc. That’s a lot of things to focus on in one half-an-hour-long six-episode series, and the result is confusing, annoying and aimless.
Summing up: Mismatched
Mismatched has some good talent who are lost with a story that is annoying. Prajakta Koli and Rohit Saraf are perfect for the roles of Dimple and Rishi, and fill them out with ease. Koli, as the “jhalli” and smart Dimple, brings in some good intensity, and you feel bad for her when she goes through some tough times. On the other hand, Saraf is absolutely gorgeous and is probably the perfect example of the “boy next door” trope. He’s sweet as the old romance-loving Rishi. Together, they make a good pair and their chemistry is also enjoyable.
The supporting cast is great and could’ve done better with roles that somewhat redeemable and not flat-out bullies.
Mismatched, with a story that’s about how competition can bring out the worst in people, really doesn’t focus much on the competition. Although yes, the finale is about a gaming battle and a leaked software, that portion feels superficial and like an afterthought.
It’s a light watch if you’re tired of dons and gang wars, but expect to feel very uncomfortable at certain points.
Mismatched is streaming on Netflix.
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