Activism But No Substance: Made In Heaven Season 2

"Instead of breaking the stereotypes, the show kind of plays into them: the pseudo-empowerment attempts appear phony"

Activism But No Substance: Made In Heaven Season 2

Made in Heaven Season 2 was clearly not made in heaven. Seven episodes each carry a social agenda, trying too hard to prove a point. 

The two protagonists of the show, Tara and Karan, end up exactly where they started, except for the big shiny mansion. Now whether Tara deserved it or not in the divorce settlement is a whole other debate. Karan, on the the other hand, gets high and dry in every episode, be it Delhi or Nice. He finds solace in drugs to deal with his mother’s explicit disapproval of his sexuality. He is immersed in gambling, cocaine, cheating or getting mugged. There was little to no redemption for him, which frankly made him a little hard to digest. He develops a messiah complex, helping strangers and kids in sorrow – all the while deflecting his own problems at hand. Apart from Karan’s good looks, there really was no redemption in this character. 

Our dear Tara is driven by betrayal and revenge. Betrayed by both her best friend and husband, Tara wants to squeeze a nice juicy deal out of her divorce, despite knowing how she tricked her husband in to it. Some developments between the leading characters are just left afloat and delved in to at all. For instance, did Faiza ever find out why Adil gave the house to Tara? Does this matter? Adil has a new sister but the story never explores this dynamic.

The emphasis of the show remains on the beautiful wedding aesthetic, legacy of season 1. Every episode is a visual treat when it comes to the exquisite wedding outfits, destinations and decor. This is in continuation of the bar set in the previous season. 

One can credit the team for maintaining the greyness of all the characters. There are no saints in this game and the show is essentially built on that manifesto. The protagonists are all flawed in how they are perceived. However, the problem arises when all this greyness leads to no further no character development and the plot revolves in circles. The addition of Mrs Johari and the issues that her character brings to the limelight add the only layer of substance in an otherwise cotton candy content – all fluff and no substance.

The activism in the show comes across as rather preachy and surface-level. The writers of the show assumed a social responsibility to talk about a plethora of marginalisation issues, but the effort comes across as forced and ingenuine. The real structures of power are rarely ever touched. No light is shed on the infringement of minority rights, such as ethnic violence against Muslims or the systemic stereotypical gender norms women are trapped in to – such as Tara being a manipulative gold digger. 

Instead of breaking the stereotypes, the show kind of plays into them. The pseudo-empowerment attempts appear phony as the show is set in a make-believe world of its own.