The mini-series is a winner — there is romance, there is comedy and there is diversity, just like the times today.
First things first, when you are attempting a reboot of a cult classic — a movie that created an unprecedented fan base across generations and defined for many the idea of sweet romance, then you already treading on troubled territory. There are bound to be comparisons and soaring expectations. So, to begin with, one must give credit to Mindy Kaling, for believing that she can pull off a reboot version of the 1994 British comedy – Four Weddings and a Funeral, and give the audience a ten-part mini-series that is sweet, charming, witty and relatable.
Streaming now on Hulu, Kaling, who is the writer and executive producer of the mini-series, Four Weddings and a Funeral, calls the concept of the series as something that takes inspiration from the classic movie. Kaling, in her trademark style, shakes things up, adds her own nuances and if the first four episodes are anything to go by then the results are charming.
But what makes the new series particularly interesting is not that it’s got the wit that engages millennials or that it has a whiff of sweet romance and not the cliche, steamy love story that you often see on TV; but that it brings diversity to the core of the storyline.
For American audiences, it may not be very often that they are able to witness a perfectly relatable comedy at which the heart of it is a Muslim family that is funny, quirky and lovable, just like most families across the country. Why this is so, that we don’t see them enough on TV is a discussion for another time; because for now we are loving the lives Kaling has created and brought to life so mindfully in the series.
There is Maya played by Nathalie Emmanuel, a New Yorker in London planning to attend a wedding, who also happens to be in a relationship with a married man. Then there is Kash, who is played by Nikesh Patel, a British Pakistani. Anisley (Rebecca Rittenhouse) is Maya’s best friend. Together the friends explore the static nature of their professional and personal lives. There are other characters in the story that add fun and diverse takes to life and emotions as well.
There are four episodes out and we have seen a wedding and a funeral already thus far. Just like the movie, the funeral is larger and elicits an emotional response. The diversity doesn’t just end at the fact that there are brown actors or there are interracial marriages, but there are also Americans living in London, living the quintessential global life and normalizing homogenization amidst the cacophony of visa talks and immigration in America.
Kaling’s work is compelling for these reasons and of course because it also looks like a sweet, charming, little story.