Return of Ramany Vs Ramany 3 on Aha echoes a throwback to the good old days of television-Entertainment News , Firstpost

The nicest thing about the Ramany series remains the fact that it showcases people in all their states — gullible, angry, foolhardy — without judging them, without taunting them.

When Ramany vs Ramany, directed by Naga and presented by K Balachander, first aired on Sun TV in 1998, the first thing one learnt was that a married girl could wear skirts without being judged, a young couple could return early from their honeymoon due to incompatibility (he refuses to tell me who his favourite actor is, she wants an air-conditioned room in Ooty, etc), that parents from both families can be friendly. It also told you that hope floats — by the end of episode one, the two Ramanys (played by Vasuki and Prithviraj) decide to figure out what marriage is, and give it some time.

Part 2 followed a few years later, and it was louder than Part 1, had a different cast (Devadarshini and Ram G), and a different ambience. This was most popular for its takes on upma and variety dosa. 

Part 3, which began airing recently on Aha Tamil, takes off where Part 1 ended. The lovely Vasuki Anand, who many of us in our 40s have sorely missed on screen, is back after a break and Ram G from Part 2 plays the husband Ramany. As always, trouble comes seeking the Ramanys and the way they deal with it is part funny, and part a commentary on our lives.

Return of Ramany Vs Ramany 3 on Aha echoes a throwback to the good old days of television

This season has eight episodes, and the first one stole my heart. A middle-aged couple, with a grown-up daughter (Ponni Suresh) and a young son (Param Guhanesh impresses in places as Ram), go searching for a space for themselves in a family photograph, and later to cozy up, because the decades of togetherness have not dimmed their love for each other.

The two Ramanys remain as adorable as ever. The wife Ramany counsels people over a web call, while the husband Ramany has worked hard in his youth and has retired in his 40s. He now looks after the house and cooks and cleans. Credit to Naga that he does not use this even once to ridicule men who choose to stay back at home. And, credit to Ram G for folding clothes the way they ought to be, and for mopping right, and not as if he is just doing it for the camera.

Vasuki is effervescent as wife Ramany, still a little unsure of things, and righteous as always and courteous to a fault — she even delivers two food orders because the delivery executive fainted at her home. Ram G has aged like fine wine — he’s so sure of his life and what it holds for him, sure about Ramany’s love for him, except once when his daughter Ragini (Ponni Suresh) reminds him of the 3rd seven-year-itch. He’s a man sans ego, and that is adorable to watch, because we get so little of it in pop culture.

The nicest thing about the Ramany series remains the fact that it showcases people in all their states — gullible, angry, foolhardy — without judging them, without taunting them.

Any other show would have milked the watchman episode dry; here, the family moves on, carrying on with life. 

Return of Ramany Vs Ramany 3 on Aha echoes a throwback to the good old days of television

There’s the father-in-law played by Poovilangu Mohan. That creators have not used him in a post-serial world is deeply saddening — even the tremble in his voice has nuances. And they take with them all people, from Chinnamma the domestic help who has many aliases, Alamelu the pet the son has brought home, and the numerous chameleons and cockroaches he befriends. Vaidynathan Padmanabhan plays the wife Ramany’s father, the same person who picks up a quarrel with all, including a passing motorist, 

The daughter is the cool teen who thinks she knows better and ticks off the parents for cosying up in their room. Without missing a beat, the mother ticks her off saying, you entered our room! The show has tried to move with the times — there’s work from home, food delivery, Instagram and apps galore, but there’s also a charming reference to what life once was like.

Not that the show comes without issues. There’s one where the humour falls flat after the son has been told by the sister for a lark that he’s adopted. There’s a long-winded scene where he mops around before extracting his pound of flesh. The one with the thief and digital detox was a bit underwhelming too. The music triggers nostalgia, but is too 90s and did not work for me.

The last episode, hit and run, signifies what this madcap family is about — even if one of their own is affected in a road rage case, they will want to enquire thoroughly before arriving at a decision on whether the perpetrator is guilty or not. So what if there’s constant confusion over whether someone turned right or left. 

But, this apart, the show is well written. Oh, the blessed relief of knowing that a super-efficient grandmom has been taking credit for a dish all these years, and unfairly so. That she’s fine with ordering out. That she has zero issues about being a grandmother with a life of her own. For that, thanks Naga.

Ramany vs Ramany 3 is streaming on Aha

Subha J Rao is a consultant writer and editor based out of Mangaluru, Karnataka. There, she keeps alive her love for cinema across languages. You can find her on Twitter @subhajrao.

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