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Why 'Baked' comes close to being India's best show for youth

Produced by Pechkas Pictures and ScoopWhoop Talkies, the fiction web-series chronicles the misadventures of three university flatmates.

 |  3-minute read |   24-06-2015
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Since the beginning of time, India's TV shows have been an infinite clown car of sadness. We have crash landed at the so called crap certain music channels airing in the name of "youth culture," starting from Hip Hurray and Remix.

Heck, even a movie with its name rhyming with Prudent of The Fear was supposedly for "the youth", but was essentially a pile of first world problems lit on fire by dumbassery and body oil.

Problem is, the decisions to make these shows and movies are taken by 40-50-year-olds, who spent their "youth" in a different India. Neither do they understand the current 16-25 demographic, nor do they take risks.

"Mainstream movies and TV shows play safe in certain areas. This does not apply to the internet which is the touchstone of relatable content, which is being privately viewed. This allows us to be experimental," said Rishi Mukherjee, co-founder and CEO of Scoopwhoop.

This is why the web series Baked, produced by Pechkas Pictures and Scoopwhoop Talkies, kicks ass of everything that came before it. It is not a race to win your daddy's heart, it is just three dudes from DU (Delhi University) smoking and lighting up doobies, while trying to figure out a "business" which could help them make some cash.

bakers1_062415063817.jpg In Baked, conventional structure is thrown to the dogs, and what ensues is a shitstorm. [Courtesy: ScoopWhoop]

The show follows their life and the revolving cast around them. It sounds simple, but what it does in terms of narrative is a giant leap for original Indian content. After the first couple of episodes, conventional structure is thrown to the dogs, and what ensues is a shitstorm.

Baked isn't flawless, but it gets this right. The characters are flesh and blood and the show leverages their insecurities and wants to drive itself forward.

"The plan was just to play around with the options we have. We wanted to get expectations up, in fact huge, and yet not have anything come of it. Let the comedy be with the randomness of life," added Vishwajoy Mukherjee, director and creative force behind the show.

One such instance occurs in the first five minutes of the show as Harris walks into his new apartment and sees a girl reading a book while just wearing a shirt.

baked3_062415063834.jpg Tara isn't the stereotypical representation of the virgin girl one falls in love with. [Courtesy: ScoopWhoop]

"Harris meets Tara for the first time just after she's had sex. Two key things here are, one, she isn't the stereotypical representation of the virgin girl one falls in love with, and two, Harris isn't the stereotypical small-town boy who has a problem or wants a virgin girl to be the love of his life. And the thing is that he isn't caught up with this, he just thinks she's pretty cool. He doesn't care about the context he sees her in," says Vishwajoy.

This is what Baked is in its essence: A search for cool without judgment.

Baked has nearly seven lakh views on YouTube but might not have a season two as the creators feel it is better to go out on top rather than just keep spinning crap.

This is India's best show for the Snapchat generation, and let's hope it leads to even better things.

Writer

Parth Arora Parth Arora @parthsarora

He is a journalist at India Today.

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