August 5 2015
The reality TV cast of loathsomes (?) and lovelies (?) and a few in between, are back and are dishing it or taking it on the chin…who is shaken and stirred?
By Chayya Syal
IT’S BACK. “Desi Rascals” has returned to Sky 1 for a second series, but so far it’s gotten off to a rather tepid start.
Viewers were confronted with an ample dose of testosterone, rippling muscles, fake friendships, shiny sports cars and the inevitable heartbreak or two.
Following the glamour of Anj and Wajma’s party, it’s all gone downhill for some of our characters’ love lives.
Moses and Jo are officially #NoJo; Jasmin looks set for trouble with Ross, while Yasmin and Adam are locked in an irritating mind game with regards to their heated ‘friendship.’
We saw a mish mash of lukewarm loyalties clash with friendships, as Feryal came to blows with Kavita about their companionship and Yasmin. Judging from Series 1, regarding their unconvincing alliance, this really came as no surprise, considering recent events and that infamous showdown in a café (very classy ladies!). Their friendship is reminiscent of the Plastics from Mean Girls and we all know how that ended!
Luckily for Yasmin, a new face has joined her posse in the form of George. He’s her personal assistant come confidant, advocate, spokesman for her love life and is really quite adorable. George was undoubtedly the Hero of Episode 2 after pointing out that Feryal’s behaviour is what led to the problem between Kavita, Yasmin and herself. He says it ‘how it is’ quite fearlessly and shoots from the hip, which makes him a breath of fresh air, and definitely the sort of friend that we all need.
An overriding theme, which seems to contradict the purpose of what reality TV is supposed to show, is how afraid everybody is to be themselves. There was plenty of pouting, hair flicking, bicep flexing and laddish behaviour – as was to be expected – but it felt like these mannerisms are merely adopted as a defence mechanism for everyone on the show.
The biggest example has been between Yasmin and Adam; it is so obvious that they have feelings for each other but are too frightened to come out and say it.
So, they have engaged themselves in an emotionally damning game of cat-and-mouse, where they pretend that they don’t care for one another, when they actually do. When one thinks about this, it certainly changes the perspective of how each member of the cast interacts with each other and why certain friendships continue to be upheld.
Towards the end of series one, we saw a divide emerge within the cast, which has well and truly spilled into series two.
It’s made for some interesting television as far as entertainment goes. On one hand we’ve got Owais and his wolf pack (who supply us with humour and a healthy spoonful of ‘manly’ advice), the older generation (who are given minimal air time) and a group of aspiring Asians who feel separate from the rest of the cast.
At times, it felt like “Desi Rascals” was trying too hard to be like other reality TV shows (think wannabe ‘Shahs of Sunset’ but in good old north-weezy London), which is reflected in the way that various storylines are currently developing.
I can’t help but feel nostalgic for the original charm, cohesion, sincere interactions and thought-provoking topics of discussion that was championed throughout Series 1.
I, for one, hope that “Desi Rascals” manages to bring back some of its original flair which captured our attention and boldly stated that being British Asian is so much more than just doing a few Bhangra moves, attending weddings, fluttering our eyelashes and building chiselled bodies.