Tag Archive: Asian tv

Desi Rascals

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FITNESS: Owais Khan overcame a stutter in his youth before entering the luxurious world of modelling, and now, at 35, says he is ready to settle down when he finds ‘the one’

FITNESS: Owais Khan overcame a stutter in his youth before entering the luxurious world of modelling, and now, at 35, says he is ready to settle down when he finds ‘the one’

The good, the bad, and the not so ugly

Whether you’ve been watching the latest ‘real-life’ drama series to hit TV screens or not, the odds are you’ve heard of Sky Living’s newest show - ‘Desi Rascals’.

Airing every Friday night, the series follows the lives of a multi-generational cast, within the British-Asian community, who live in the affluent area of West London.

FUN: Mother-of-one, Amita Patel, describes herself as funny, loving, caring, and happy-go-lucky, whilst others say she’s sarcastic

FUN: Mother-of-one, Amita Patel, describes herself as funny, loving, caring, and happy-go-lucky, whilst others say she’s sarcastic

Much like TOWIE and Made in Chelsea before it, the series tells the stories of a modern, dynamic and aspirational group of characters across a range of ages as they navigate their social, professional and family lives in a fast changing community.

From award-winning director, Gurinder Chadha, (Bend it Like Beckham) and creator of TOWIE, Tony Wood, the series was shot just days before transmission and is one of the most active shows on social media on a weekly basis.

However, as with any programme, it all depends on whether this reaction is positive or negative, and thankfully for this series, it seems the majority of critics approve.

Whether it is single-parent Amita who audiences relate to, the loveable Anita and Jay Vara, perhaps Owais Khan or Yasmin Karimi, whichever one it is, the formula seems to be working.
Of course, as with any programme there are also the ‘not-so keen’.

The real-life drama concept still fails to win many critics over with seemingly staged story lines, despite assurances from the creator’s that every scene is ‘absolutely real’.

Gurinder Chadha says he has loved making the show and explained why he was so passionate about releasing it to the British public.

He said: “Desi Rascals is a fantastic show about British-Asians living in West London. It’s unscripted, so different to what I normally do.

“I haven’t written these characters - in Desi Rascals we have real people who have brilliant spontaneous exchanges that I could never write.

“What Desi Rascals offers is a massive burst of energy, storytelling and characters that would take me years to put together if I was making a movie.

“The most important thing when we were casting was that it had to be authentic, real people who are going through real issues that affect our community, and I also wanted to show the fun elements of our community.”

With romance, gossip, laughs and a whole host of good looking folks, Desi Rascals could well be the real life Asian TOWIE.

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Asian’s takeover the TV screens

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In what seems like a record-breaking week for Asian storylines, three of the most watched programmes on television have all focused in on the new families on the block.

Perhaps most notably, on Wednesday 15th January, the long-awaited return of the controversial Kumar’s finally arrived. With almost 400,000 people tuning in to Sky One, Madhuri and the gang returned to evening entertainment for the first time since 2006 when they left BBC2.

The only difference now is that the family no longer resides in their Wembley home but above the father’s Hounslow gift shop. Guests on the opening show included Daniel Radcliffe, Olivia Colman and a rare appearance from Chevy Chase.

COMPLAINTS: Albert Square’s newest resident, Shabnam Masood, has already been causing controversy in the BBC soap since returning last week

COMPLAINTS: Albert Square’s newest resident, Shabnam Masood, has already been causing controversy in the BBC soap since returning last week

Seven years ago the general consensus was that ‘you either love them or hate them’, and now it seems nothing’s changed with a huge variation of responses on social media about the Kumar’s.

Elsewhere, back on terrestrial TV, Rakhee Thakrar debuted as Shabnam Masood on Eastenders as the character made a return to Albert Square for the first time since leaving in 2008.

Zahra Ahmadi, who used to play the role, left after just 14 months because of a lack of storylines yet the new Shabnam already looks to be offering a new venture for the outspoken resident.

On Tuesday, Shabnam told her father, Masood Ahmed, that he shouldn’t have dated a white woman (Carol). Cue the complaints.

The BBC acknowledged the complaints yet stuck by the storyline adding that the matter is due to be tackled in upcoming episodes.

“We received complaints from some viewers who were unhappy with a comment made by Shabnam…,” a BBC statement read.

“Shabnam has returned from Pakistan with a renewed religious faith, devoutness and with some strong views. In this episode, Shabnam's comments came from her personal beliefs, but as viewers will see in future episodes, she is strongly challenged on her views by her father Masood.”

With both shows showing heightened interest it is Coronation Street which will be welcoming a piece of history to their soap next as the street’s first Muslim family gets ready to move in next month.

HISTORIC: Jimi Mistry (right) is currently playing fitness trainer Kal on Coronation Street. Next month, the soap will introduce its first ever Muslim family, with the father’s role, Sharif, to be played by Marc Anwar (left)

HISTORIC: Jimi Mistry (right) is currently playing fitness trainer Kal on Coronation Street. Next month, the soap will introduce its first ever Muslim family, with the father’s role, Sharif, to be played by Marc Anwar (left)

Jimi Mistry, who currently plays fitness trainer Kal, will welcome his family to ITV’s most famous cobbles as Corrie prepares to open its doors to some new cast members.

Marc Anwar, who recently appeared in Hollywood blockbuster Captain Phillips, is the only named family member so far, and will play Kal’s father, Sharif.

With Asian television stars rising up the ladder, watch out for exclusive interviews in upcoming issues of the Asian Express with some of the screen’s biggest names.

RETURN: The Kumars are back on Sky One

RETURN: The Kumars are back on Sky One

What Twitter is saying!
It seems not everybody was overly impressed with the return of Number 42’s former residents but please let us know what you thought of the show by tweeting us @AsianExpressUK

Sonia Bhatia
The #Kumars just wasn't the same :(...bring back Goodness Gracious Me!!!

Elizabeth Wright
Some things are better in the past

Jack Keane

Just finished watching #TheKumars. My god, it's like they never left.
The cast are all still absolute pros. LONG LIVE THE KUMARS!

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