Abhishek Tripathi (Jitendra) who took up the job in a village in Heartland India out of no choice finally started trying to make the village his home by the end of season 1. Season 2 begins exactly two months after he climbed up that tank and now he has almost blended in his surroundings. Less irritated, more productive, and slowly accepting his life (with often self-doubts), Abhishek tries his best to give Phulera everything that he can.
Panchayat Season 2: What Works:
Relatability, simplicity, and heart are the driving forces of all the shows that have come out of the TVF mill. Panchayat turned out to be the first that took the scale above in terms of creating a bigger world for the studio, and Amazon joining only made them capable to take that plunge. A man who feels he is the underachiever and world around him has outdone itself to be a winner. Isn’t that all of us at some point in our lives? Abhishek Tripathi turned out to be a representation and that is what exactly connected with the audience.
An over achieving hero telling the stories of his glorified doings is the staple. But a hero who has self-doubt and is pushed to a side where he is made to feel even worse in his head is you, me, and us maybe a couple of years ago, right now, or in the years to come. So when in season 2 you meet Abhishek accepting his surroundings partially and not really whining much about coming out of it, we all know where he is mentally. Credit to writer Chandan Kumar that he doesn’t write his main protagonist in a way that he is suddenly celebrated, like many returning titles tend to do. He is still the underdog struggling to give Phulera there toilet seats. He is still the man who complains about the lack of urban life in a small village.
So what does Chandan Kumar change. The bonds. These people have now understood each other, so what is left is building a relationship. Pradhan (Yadav) and his dynamic with Abhishek. Abhishek and his man Friday relationship with Vikas (Chandan). Prahlad’s (Faisal Malik) presence that in a binds them all unknowingly. Neena Gupta’s Manju Devi who has now suddenly realised there is power in what she has and she has all the right to practise it. A woman rising above her mundane routine and asking for work suiting her calibre is always a fun watch. And when this woman is Neena and the man in front is Yadav, you are up for a fun ride.
Panchayat also depends heavily on its landscape. The village is almost empty. Like there is room for an equally double population and there are just a few families. Abhishek like his loneliness, lives in the Panchayat office that has only barren land and a bumpy road that leads to it around it. It is almost his state of mind converted into a landscape. So everytime the Panchayat office shows up, you feel that void.
Throughout the 8 Episodes there is organic humour, everyday concerns, a nod to patriarchy, a hint at the corrupt system, and on top of that emotions. The climax is made to shatter you. Director Deepak Kumar Mishra (Permanent Roommates 2 & Humorously Yours) knows how to balance these things out. Nothing over powers the other and that’s the good part. Maybe an episodic approach has helped it too.
Panchayat Season 2: Star Performance:
Jitendra Kumar is the hero of the masses. I know it’s a term you use for a guy who manages to bring in 200 crores on the big screen. But think of it, who seems more accessible? A Hrithik Roshan or Kumar? Whom have you seen around you and in you? Kumar knows what is expected of him and he delivers that with a newness everytime. He is a driving force and a mentoring character in most of his shows and he manages to make them all look different. He doesn’t hide his bald patch, or has a groomed demeanour. He is relatable, believable and that helps us in feeling his emotions.
Raghuvir Yadav continues to be the prolific actor he is, so does Neena Gupta. The two together create a power structure where the reigns are always shifting from one hand to another. It’s so much fun to watch them trying to win over each other.
Chandan Roy deserves to be celebrated. He has made Vikas a parallel lead in no time. Of course, he must be written that way, but the actor has only taken the writing to the heights unexpected. So has Faisal Malik who plays Prahlad. He has the most emotional lifting this season and be ready to have your hearts broken by his performance.
Panchayat Season 2: What Doesn’t Work:
Panchayat season 2 takes its own time in bouncing back. The season doesn’t open in a way that you would not leave the couch at all. Rather the first 2 episodes kind of feel very basic and in some parts stretched. But episode 3 takes off and you are treated well.
The makers should have used Sunita Rajwar in a more edged out manner. She is a brilliant actor and can pull off things beautifully. The same happens with the antagonist of the season (you will see). He seems half baked in many ways.
What the show also lack yet again is given Abhishek a family. I mean, letting us know about his past. His entire angry young man demeanour can’t just be the result of this job or not cracking CAT, there has to be something more and it must be explored.
Panchayat Season 2: Last Words:
Panchayat season 2 deserves to be watched. It is a show that will make you laugh, cry, and feel content maybe. And a thing that makes you feel loved, shouldn’t be missed at all.