When the news of an Ishqbaaaz spinoff that focused on Omkara and Rudra’s love stories was announced, I was beyond skeptical. I don’t think we have ever had a spin-off to a series on Indian Television before and going by how it works in the west, a series gets a spin off only when it has been enjoying a considerably large amount of audience tune in and when one or more characters on the show have enough popularity and following backing them, ultimately convincing the makers to invest on a completely new show for the said characters. Ishqbaaaz however, is a relatively new show that hasn’t been on air for too long and though the show enjoys humongous online following, it isn’t really the biggest one out there when the TRPs are considered. Which is of course why the news sort of came as a shock. But soon after the initial shock wore-off, intrigue and expectations kicked in.
Omkara’s love story has somewhat been more of an experiment of sorts for the makers who clearly didn’t know where they wanted it to go and how. Meanwhile Rudra honestly never really got to do anything but being mostly the comic relief on the show. So it was natural to wonder how the makers were going to take these two characters and help them grow in order to hold their own against Shivay and other male protagonists on Indian TV right now.
But after having watched all 5 episodes of Indian Television’s very first spinoff ‘Dil Bole Oberoi’, I can’t honestly say the show has anything new to offer at all except of course the fact that Kunal Jaisingh completely nails his character as the dark, broody and uncaring Omkara. He’s got the Oberoi swag, the intense eyes, the hateful sneer and the disregard for general human feelings perfected to the T. Couple that with an incredibly handsome face and a much needed wardrobe upgrade and we have a winning combination. It’s great to see that the character is finally getting its much deserving due, the only thing that I see working on the show’s favor.
Otherwise, the show seems like a copy of the original series, even the characters. The Female lead opposite Omkara, Gauri with her typical sob story of being an orphan, her not so typical yet completely predictable accent, her love for everything loud, the lectures on self respect and even the ‘ghobar phekna’ incident is everything that screams Anika version 2. The new Omkara isn’t really a different story either. Having switched off of his ‘human feelings’, this particular Oberoi can even get Shivay to feel insecure about being the biggest most cold-hearted and calculative brother of the three. Gone is the pure hearted, overly sensitive, caring and righteous Omkara, giving way to the typical Lion’s hero-a spiteful angry young man. A shame really, seeing as how Omkara seemed like the one character that had the potential of being something different, something exemplary.
Back to the point, I was trying to make. Considering the show as it is now, I guess I was right in having my doubts about it. Right now, it honestly looks more like a spoof of the original show and its characters than a spin off. I see no reason why the makers couldn’t have just extended the old show to fit in Omkara and Rudra’s love story as well, instead of deciding to actually go for a spin off as it really doesn’t offer us anything new at all either in terms of the general setting, the style, storytelling or the script for it to establish itself as a show on its own.