Koffee with Karan, Season 7 takes off to a lame start with 'nepo' jibes
There is a slightly jaded feel to the new season 7 of Karan Johar’s celebrated show, Koffee with Karan, currently streaming on Disney+Hotstar. As Johar, clad in a cloyingly bright red coat (looking like a ‘squeeze-worthy’ tomato, quips his guest Ranveer Singh about the filmmaker’s look) in episode 1, tries very hard to ramp up the salacious and entertainment quotient with his other co-guest, the freshly minted bride, Alia Bhatt.
In the inaugural episode, Johar focussed more on Bhatt hoping that she would slip up (which she’s known to do) or share some sensational revelation about her marriage, hoping that will get people to stay invested in his show. But Bhatt was composed and confident, probably after pulling off her role as a Kamathipura Madam in Gangubhai Kathiawadi with aplomb and with an international film under her belt. And, gushed over the “cultural” Kapoor family and how she had mastered the art of doing the aarti in poojas!
Though Johar tried to get her to open up and spill the beans on her romance with Ranbir Kapoor, on how she first hooked up with him or how he had proposed to her in their favourite place, Masai Mara. Even, how they spent their first night as a married couple. But, the lady was not so forthcoming and did not share much except that Ranbir is a traditionalist, and she loves to pose for photographs rather than listen to the pandit chanting at her wedding ceremony. The show went on to probe the “instant connect” between Ranveer and Alia, which to quote Johar was ‘boringg’!
Though, Ranveer and Alia are supposed to share this very cozy relationship, where he helped her to pick out jewels for her mehendi ceremony, at one point, Ranveer calls out Johar’s “nepo bias” for Alia. Sore at losing a game, Ranveer hits out at Johar for favouring her. Was that part of the script, to call her a nepo product? To which Johar hugs Alia and retorts, “So what? What are you going to do about it?” (Is this somewhere directed at Kangana Ranaut?)
Considering his second episode featured Jhanvi Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan, the nepo tag is bound to stalk him. The same Ranveer, however, at the beginning of the show called Johar his “little Ken doll” and said how both of them were alike. And, how people mistook them all the time for being frivolous because of their outlandish outfits but how they were actually souls who were “light-footed in this journey of life”. Well, well, who would have thought that Ranveer togged up in his white and black suit filled with stars (resembling a galaxy as Johar described him in the show!) could wax eloquent on “lightness of being”. Very Milan Kundera-ish.
This is the same Ranveer who had said he was ready to pinch Anushka’s backside on an earlier Koffee with Karan show and landed himself in a soup.
In Season 2, which aired today (July 14, there will be a new episode every Thursday), Johar again tapped the bonhomie and friendship between Jhanvi Kapoor (who was looking gorgeous in a slinky dress) and Sara Ali Khan (who came across as prim and fun). He established that they were good buddies, and not catty competitors (yawn, though Sara did slip out that Johar favoured Jhanvi more and gave her meaty roles in films. Nepo raising its head again!)
Johar tried hard to give the show a twist by probing Jhanvi about her late mother. But, even he could not go too far on that tragic topic and backed off. But, he couldn’t resist calling out that she was the more sexier one of the two actors on his couch. The secret to which apparently was because Jhanvi no longer gives a “giant f… about life”. There was a lot of talk about the two girls lusting after south star Vijay Deverakonda, which showed that even when it comes to hot male stars, the south film industry seems to be winning hands down.
Johar, who has been running this show for the past 18 long years, had ensured in all that time that viewer’s interest does not dip. He managed to provoke his guests to say something scandalous which would send the ratings of his show sky-rocketing. Johar confessed that he was however vilified and so badly trolled for his Koffee with Karan show that his social media pages were filled with “snake emojis”!
Is that the reason the show has taken off to a lame start? Or, is Johar running out of steam? The Season 7 premise is that people continue to be obsessed with “airport looks, cat fights and love lives of film stars”, but Johar, who somehow symbolises everything that the Hindi film industry stands for, fails to keep up the momentum. The jokes are lame and the show seems laboured having lost much its sheen and gloss. Ironically, somewhat similar to what is happening to Bollywood films today. Let’s hope, the forthcoming episodes have more bite or he may just have to bid adieu to the show.