F is for freedom in MTV show ‘The Big F’

Thanks to Randeep Hooda’s antics over the past fortnight, he’s at least ensured that some of us tune into the show


Randeep Hooda in a still grab from the promo video of ‘The Big F’.
Randeep Hooda in a still grab from the promo video of ‘The Big F’.

It’s good that actor Randeep Hooda tweeted about Gurmehar Kaur. It ensured that 20-year-olds who watch MTV would know who he was, when he made his debut as an MTV host on Sunday. On the beautifully titled, The Big F. Yes, I know. None of us watch MTV for cerebral stimulation. Their current shows are Roadies Rising, and before that Love School and Splitsvilla. So you know what to expect from The Big F. To set expectations really low, the print advertisement for the show stated various things including “stories featuring women’s dreams and desires” and “Orgasms don’t have a gender”, with a bearded and suited Randeep Hooda standing akimbo above the hashtag, #ForbiddenNoMore.

The promo video of the new show has a hirsute Hooda tell us, “The Big F will not liberate anybody’s girlfriend or give freedom to anybody’s sister. Because women have always been free. If they need freedom from anything, it is from the world’s ‘chhoti soch’”. Maybe he was referring to his chhoti soch while tweeting about Gurmehar Kaur. And maybe someone should inform him about the fact that women haven’t always been free. And we are still trying to break free from being treated and perceived as second class citizens in comparison to men.

I cannot even begin to underline the irony of Hooda mansplaining to us women how we can free ourselves from the chhoti soch around us while also telling us that we can achieve orgasm.

Irony again killed itself as the episode began with Hooda stating that whenever there is a voice of change, everyone immediately tries to silence it. (I don’t want to say the words Gurmehar-Twitter-Hooda again.) We were also told that MTV’s Big F is where women’s desires are #forbiddennomore. And the F is supposedly for Freedom.

The show will basically feature separate episodes of separate stories which will depict women getting their freedom. I may just have made the show sound deeper than it is, but it’s difficult to bring myself down to the lobotomized level of MTV’s new shows. The first episode was set in Goa and was about a young woman who is on her way to her destination wedding at a Goa resort. She is getting married to a man chosen to be her husband by her parents. She wants to have a spectacular wedding night with her husband —and we are informed of this in the first two minutes of the episode. The fiancé is not particularly impressed by her and thinks she’s a bit of a “behenji”. She meets the resort’s dance choreographer, who she finds very attractive. The choreographer thinks she’s a bit of a ditz and grudgingly agrees to teach her how to dance. She then walks in on her fiancé kissing another woman. She confides in her mother, who tells her to let it be and just get married. The woman then keeps dancing with the brusque choreographer, who takes a shine to her. Following which she does a horrible dance which shows how she’s broken her shackles and dropped her inhibitions. She then breaks up with her fiancé, kisses the choreographer and then walks off into the sunset. Really. That’s what the episode was. It was basically Dirty Dancing minus Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey and the great music.

Randeep Hooda reappears at the end of the episode to say that if we thought the woman would end up with the choreographer, we are idiots. Because such happy endings only happen in Hindi films of yore. How progressive. And that all women need is a little shove in the right direction to change their lives.

Did I care for any of the characters in the episode? No. Did I care for Hooda? Only enough to tell him to lose the beard and twirled up moustache. It’s very pretentious. Did I care for the storyline? No, because it was such a poor rip-off of Dirty Dancing and such a pathetic way to prove a woman’s freedom. She danced, dumped her fiancé and kissed the choreographer. What does any of that prove? Other than that MTV needs better scriptwriters.

All in all, if it wasn’t for Hooda heckling Gurmehar Kaur on Twitter, there would be nothing remotely amusing or ironic or worth writing about this show. But hey, all publicity seems to be good publicity. Thanks to Hooda’s antics over the past fortnight, he’s at least ensured that some of us tune into the show. But will we tune in again? I sincerely doubt that. But if you’d like to watch the show, The Big F is aired every Sunday at 7pm on MTV. You have been warned.

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