You might recognize Puja Mohindra from her kindly cutting comedic response to Ashton Kutcher’s infamous brownface Popchips incident, or perhaps from her blonde-wigged persona in “Shit White Girls Say…To Indian Girls.” Mohindra has been working as an actor, writer and producer for years, with a range of TV, film, web and one-woman-show stage credits to her name. At this year’s SXSW festival, she lead and presented a panel called “#YoutubeSoBrown: Diversity and Digital Storytelling.”
Her new comedy web series “Geeta’s Guide To Moving On” adds to the growing richness and diversity of digital storytelling with the tale of fusion dance-loving Geeta (played by Mohindra) learning to move on with life, with the help of her family and friends, after her fiancé Dani (Andy Nagraj) unexpectedly dumps her 10 years into their relationship. Watch the trailer:
The first three episodes from the series premiered today on Open TV, a beta platform for indie arts and artists. Ranging between six and eight minutes long, each of these episodes offers a fast-paced dose of humor plus pathos, and left me wanting to see more of the zany assortment of characters in Geeta’s life, including her BFF Akua (Danielle Pinnock), office-mates, and her family — dad Jagdish (Ray Raju), brother Rohan (Darshan Bhatt), and mom Neelam (played by Mohindra’s real-life mother Neetu Lalmalani), with aunties in tow.
Here’s some of what I thought made this web series special:
- The Chicago setting. I liked some of the scenes shot on Chicago’s streets with glimpses of L tracks in the distance, and the minor Cubs jokery.
- The banter between BFFs Geeta and Akua — at one point they refer to each other as Princess Jasmine and Oprah.
- Geeta’s t-shirts all have different pop culture quotes/sayings on them that seem to amplify themes in the episodes.
- The three aunties as a narrative device that opens episodes, offering real-time commentary, motherly wisdom and comic relief.
- Almost nothing’s beyond poking fun at, even Geeta’s passion for “Indian classical hip hop dance fusion,” dismissed as “the least marketable name for a performance genre” by her ex and as “Slumdog Millionare shit” by an impatient dance studio patron.
In a video about making the show, Mohindra talks about using the three aunties as a Greek chorus and the series’ dance theme, plus other background to the series. Watch it below, followed by the first three episodes. Find future episodes on Open TV.
Episodes 1, 2, and 3
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