When Naagin first premiered in 2015, no one had imagined that four years later, we would still be talking about sultry, vengeful shape-shifting snakes unironically. But Ekta Kapoor knows how to make the unlikeliest of characters an essential part of pop culture, and her ichhadhaari naagins are no different.
Season four of this supernatural anthology premiered this weekend, and it's already dominating headlines. The plot doesn't seem very different from its predecessors - an ichhadhaari naagin is out for revenge from a hateful family, full of guilty elders and insufferable youngsters - but the naagins have changed.
In seasons one and two, the titular naagin was played by Mouni Roy, followed by Surbhi Jyoti in season two. This time, there are two parallel leads - Jasmin Bhasin and Nia Sharma - and while only Jasmin plays the naagin right now, I'm certain that by the end of the season, Nia will also turn out to be a naagin (or at least some kind of non-human). Trust me, everyone turns out to be a naag or naagin in these shows.
Over the weekend, I spent two hours with Naagin. I have way too many thoughts about the show to be able to keep them to myself. So, here we go...(spoiler alert, if at all you guys care about Naagin)
1. Right off the bat, a giant horrible CGI snake is here and then immediately we're taken to a wedding next to a mandir, right in the middle of the desert. Sayantani Ghosh is giving a monologue about true love, so you just know some shit is about to go down.
2. OMFG, a bunch of naags show up out of nowhere and the pandit runs out of the wedding as fast as he can.
3. So, the naags are Sayantani's parents. She is apparently the naagvansh ki rajkumari and after a ghor tapasya of 100 years, she became an ichhadhaari naagin. Now that she's marrying a human, played by Shaleen Bhanot, "naaglok mein hulchul mach gayi hai".
4. The moral of the story is that it doesn't matter even if you're a 100-year-old naagin, your parents will fuck up your wedding if you marry against their wishes.
5. She marries Shaleen nonetheless, and her mom basically curses her that she will lose her powers and her child will only become an ichhadhaari naagin at the age of 25.
6. Sayantani and Shaleen are now doing an incredibly sexy dance for two people who have just been cursed the fuck out by their parents.
7. One year later, Shaleen's family has come to get the couple and their baby girl. This is not going to end well for anyone.
8. Right on cue, the couple, their baby and Shaleen's entire family are taken in the middle of the desert next to the same mandir (why is this the venue for every momentous thing that happens in this show?) and everyone's brutally killed.
9. Only the ex-naagin and her baby girl manage to escape, but not before she tells everyone that the keher of an ichhadhaari naagin will befall them very soon. Fair.
10. The murderers are related to Shaleen's family's caretaker and have done all this for money. How original. They also already knew that Sayantani is a naagin and seem surprisingly chill about it.
11. Fast forward to 25 years and wow! The murderous women are really getting their money's worth by wearing every single piece of jewellery they own.
12. There are way too many characters to be able to follow who is who and who is related to whom and how, so I am not even trying.
13. Two of the kids are called Lilly, Milly, and they're being scolded for ruining the rangoli. Um, this woman is a stone-cold murderer but we're supposed to believe she cares about a rangoli?
14. It's the birthday of the baa of this family and these insensitive self-involved fuckers have forgotten that. But, bechari baa is thinking the family is planning to throw a surprise party for her.
15. The number of young people in this family is mind-boggling. It's like an entire season of Splitsvilla is being shot inside the house.
16. Apparently, the only two people who remember Baa's birthday are Dev ( one of the grandsons and Brinda (played by Nia who works for them in an unspecified capacity), the hero and heroine.
17. Dev seems to be doing some important business type meeting in Qatar, which he leaves midway to save his dumbass brother who is into gambling.
18. He's the son of the main Godmother-type of this whole operation. She's organising some huge puja for Dev. No points for guessing which mandir all of this will be happening at.
19. Omggggg the lead naagin's entry is happening! Her name is Nayantara and she is wearing some kind of a belly dancing costume with too much impractical pearls detailing?????
20. Her dialogue delivery is also super weird. "Ab iss ghar mein sirf maut ka taandav hoga," she says. Can't wait.
21. The annoying, completely inappropriate tradition of male leads calling their grandmothers their girlfriend in pop culture continues with this show.
22. Dev is coming to India despite his mom telling him not to.
23. His mom, the main villain aunty, is getting hallucinations of naags. Shit's about to catch up to you, lady.
24. Nayantara makes an entry into the family as the sexy friend of one of the cousins' fiancee. She's accompanying them to the mandir for the puja.
25. Everyone's dancing to Lamberghini on the way to the temple of doom. #Relatable
26. The boys are all hitting on Nayantara, but then one of them looks at Brinda and says, "Mujhe toh woh ladki chahiye jo mujhe na kahe, aur phir baad mein, main usse haan karwaaon. Aur woh bhi zabardasti." I feel like we've found the candidate for the first one to be murdered from the younger generation.
27. Everyone is suddenly trapped in some kind of a toofan. And so it begins...
28. Dev is also stuck in a place completely alone, away from everyone else. He's freaking out ki mummy ko pata chal jayega ki woh unhe bina bataye India aa gaya. #Relatable
29. The naagin is here. Dev is dead meat (but not really because he is the hero). She's hurled his car 50 feet above the road and he is being weirdly chill about it. Meanwhile, the elders are freaking out because a snake has just appeared in their hawan kund.
So, that's where we left off on the weekend. It's not at all difficult to see how things will go from here, but that is not going to affect the TRPs of the show at all, which will only keep soaring. Are you also watching?
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