In a television landscape dominated by violent crime dramas, it’s refreshing to stumble upon a sweet and harmless family comedy series like Amazon Prime video’s Happy Family Conditions Apply. Written by Atish Kapadia, the mastermind behind beloved TV shows like Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai and History, Happy Family showcases the domestic goings-on within a gloriously Gujarati family.
Compared to shows like Khichdi and Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai, Happy Family feels like an old-fashioned comfort watch with a new-age majority and quietly progressive sensibility. There’s nothing in this show that feels stated, yet it manages to surprise, delight, and feel fresh. It’s no small feat for a writer like Kapadia, who has been telling stories for years.
What sets Happy Family apart from other shows is its sharp writing and great performances. It’s full of comedy magic, and even when you’re not laughing amidst the party giggles galore, the show’s warm breezy energy ensures you’re consistently smiling. With four episodes released so far and the remaining six coming in the next three weeks, the creators have taken an unusual approach to the release schedule, but it’s okay considering the show’s sweet nature.
The series revolves around four generations of the lovably animated Tolakia family living together in a four-bedroom flat. The show’s star, Ratna Pathaksha, who portrays the huggably offensive and unapologetically judgmental Bare Swigging Firecracker Daddy, Hemlata, along with her husband, the balanced voice of reason played by the always soothing Raj Babbar. Together they live with their son Ramesh, played by the endlessly endearing Atul Kulkarni, his wife Pallavi played by Aisha Jhulka, along with their kids and respective families.
Ratna Pathaksha’s Dadi and Atul Kulkarni’s Ramesh take center stage as the show’s primary characters, and their dynamic is fantastic. Ramesh is the no-filter pharmacy owner who prescribes medication left, right, and center, and Ratna Pathaksha’s Dadi gives her designer-in-law Tiska, played by the striking Minal Sahu, a rotating roster of different hurtful nicknames, which is one of the funniest parts of the show.
Happy Family reminds us of familiar and relatable conflicts like clashes of liberal and conservative mindsets, overly nosy family members, and the younger generation just wanting their own space. It offers a simple message that the things that connect us far outweigh those that divide us. What brings us together will always trump what threatens to keep us apart.
Overall, Happy Family is a well-conceived comfort comedy that shines brightly in a world of violence and crime dramas. In a time when we are bludgeoned with violence and crime shows, a sweet and harmless comedy like Happy Family is much needed. It induces laughter and joy – emotions we don’t get enough of these days in the world of streaming. You can watch Happy Family Conditions Apply on Amazon Prime video.