March 4 2015
Reality TV series closes on a high, as broadcaster announces a second has been commissioned and we see some characters really let go…
By Chayya Syal
THE final week of “Desi Rascals” should have come with a warning that viewers must have a box of tissues at the ready. There were tears, tantrums, Paul Chowdhury, public outbursts, love and laughter.
It felt like Cupid had sprayed a bunch of his arrows over West London, despite Owais and Feryal calling time on their dating.
However, it all got a bit strange as Feryal set her sights on Shmoyel and suggested that they “hang out more.” Shmoyel’s deer-caught-in-the-headlights-face was a Kodak moment, as even we struggled to interpret what Feryal actually meant: friends or more than friends?
The main drama of the week was whether #MoJo had become #NoJo as relations between the Baigs and Shahs strained. Moses and Jo desperately wanted to be together, but her father Manoj and Moses’ older brother Anj had reservations about their relationship.
In the end, we saw Manoj go the gym with the intention of speaking to Moses. Instead he met Anj and what resulted was something none of us could have anticipated. They both opened up about not having a father figure in their lives and how difficult it had been for Moses to leave school early and help with the family’s expenses. It was so emotional to watch – I had tears in my eyes as they both hugged it out and Manoj agreed to step back and let #MoJo be together. It would have been a perfect plotline for a Bollywood film, as in the end, love prevailed! Yay to #MoJo
Romance continued to blossom as we saw Sunjay and Charlotte get engaged in a romantic and personal setting. We also saw glamourous love birds Arshina and Akshay get engaged against the backdrop of rose petals, candles and balloons. Congratulations to both couples!
Amita and Anu (Shreena’s sister) took the plunge and decided to attend a speed dating mixer. Anu seemed to have a bit more luck than Amita, who looked as though she needed the earth to open up and swallow her whole! The only thing I managed to deduce from the guy who was ‘chatting her up’ was that he liked fish biryani. And sweets from Gujarat. Amita: you dodged a bullet and we have our fingers crossed for you!
In other news, things got a bit too much for Owais. Bless him, he’s been rejected so many times in series one and had his character scrutinised by other members of the cast, that it was only a matter of time before he stood up for himself. Unfortunately, it wasn’t done in the best way.
In the final episode, we saw funny man Paul Chowdhury make a cameo appearance, as the cast attended a comedy night. After Chowdhury’s act there was an Open Mic session. As Owais took the stage, I hid behind my hands as I braced myself for what was about to happen.
It started off with Owais talking about his stutter and how he had to fake it in order to fit in at a speech therapy class. This was actually quite funny and had he stopped there it would’ve been nice. But it continued and got worse. He decided to use the mic to have a dig at Rita, Kavita, Yasmin and Feryal’s behaviour towards him. It would’ve been fine – and almost forgivable – had he stopped there but it carried on. He jumped back on stage to then talk about how he had been made out to be the black sheep of the group. Owais had well and truly proven his point, but it was not received well, as the girls sat with pursed lips, angry eyes and the boys awkwardly looking at the ground.
Minus this, I was sad to see that this was the end of series one for “Desi Rascals”. During the show’s final week, the Internet flexed its biceps and proved its influence. We saw numerous hash tags, #SaveDesiRascals and #DesiRascals2 suddenly trend on Twitter, as the fans spoke and listed their demands. To everyone’s delight, Sky Living agreed and officially announced that series two of “Desi Rascals”. It is unclear as to when the TV show will be back on our screens, but it is expected to start filming later this year.
Series one has been a refreshing and light-hearted entertainment show that has shown a variety of British Asians in west London. It’s been good, awkward in some parts, but has made for a memorable and warm week-night TV show. I, for one, am looking forward to series two. The only problem now is finding something to watch on a Tuesday and Friday night before “Desi Rascals” returns.
Main picture: Akshay and Arshina