The Great Jackfruit Family

As most of you might already know, I am not a fan of the television series in Malayalam which have been part of different channels. But there was Thatteem Mutteem which became a show which I regularly watched, and that had changed. With the children in the series growing up to have children, things were never going to be the same again. Then, with the beginning of COVID-19, the episodes stopped, and we were no longer interested in this particular programme. I was never a fan of the much hyped Uppum Mulakum, even though in the beginning, I had found the same to be okay. As of now, one can be pretty sure that it can only live on its past hype and can come up with nothing new.

Then in August, we had another television show focusing on a family and its members at home, and that changed the situation by a long way. After watching television continuously for a long time during the pandemic, we had lost interest in watching anything anymore, and that was evident in the time spent in front of the television in the later stages. Chakkapazham which started its journey on August 10 was quick to catch our attention, and we have been watching the show without fail, every day from Monday to Friday. Even the presence of the WWE-like entertainment like IPL didn’t change that as we were stuck to this show like never before. It is after a long time that a programme has created such an effect.

This show feels that good because of its funny side which works so well, without adding any emotional side in between. Uppum Mulakum and Thatteem Mutteem have the tendency to turn emotional at times, but Chakkapazham manages to be a complete comedy with feel-good elements. The funny moments are all effective, thanks to a group of talented actors and actresses doing a great job. Lead by SP Sreekumar who plays Uthaman, a veterinary compounder who take care of the house which has more members than one would expect. The members of the family include Uthaman, his wife Asha, their three children, his jobless young brother Sumesh, his sister Painkili and her son, his brother-in-law who visits at times, his parents and also his grandmother.

SP Sreekumar is no stranger to us, as we have known him from Marimaayam, and as that villain in Memories. He does a natural job in the series as he has been doing for a long time. Aswathy Sreekanth who plays his wife makes the entry into acting from anchoring here with a touch of comedy, really well. Shruthi Rajnikanth who plays the sister Painkili is a joy to watch, and it is her along with Mohammed Raffi who plays the brother Sumesh that elevates the comedy to the highest level. Both are united by the interest in doing nothing, and if the former’s main interest is in sleeping, the latter spends his time trying to find some way of making the family members fight with each other or find any way of making some quick money without hardwork.

Arjun Somasekhar who plays Painkili’s husband Shivan makes some nice appearances, even though he is not there in all episodes. In his acting debut, he brings some memorable, funny moments. Amal Rajdev plays Kunjunni, the father figure who pretends that he was a pilot in the airforce until retirement, while Sabeeta George plays the mother figure of Lalitha. Both are also interesting characters, and blend in really well. Indira Devi plays the grandmother who is also an integral part of the fun. The children are also really good, and they contribute to the tale so well. Such natural acting from child actors are rarely seen, but they just manage to make the whole thing better.

The fight scenes in the television series are funny, and it is to be noted that there is something very interesting coming up every time. The characters are people whom we fall in love with – they are all simple people, and their life and tales are also really simple, even though strange in a really funny manner as we look at it. I would say that the best thing which started in television during these days is this programme, and telecasted at the same time as Thatteem Mutteem in Mazhavil Manorama, this one is sure to have won the battle. Flowers channel seems to have programmes for all categories of people – even Star Magic and Koodathayi seems to be much loved, while in the case of Mazhavil Manorama, we only have the new and updated Udan Panam, which thrives on its anchors.

At the same time when Koodathayi and Star Magic are running in Flowers, we have Udan Panam in Mazhavil Manorama, a show which has been lifted to the next level, thanks to its new anchors, Meenakshi and Dain. One has to say that other than these, there is not much that can be watched on television these days. There are the movies for sure, like Kilometres and Kilometers being released on Asianet, and we also have those songs which can be watched here and there. Then we only have the sports. Well, with the COVID-19 cases showing no signs of coming down in number, and the number of deaths increasing, we need to stay more at home, but there is not enough entertainment within, and the need to work is also not the same for everyone.

***The images used in this blog post are promotions used by Flowers TV.

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TeNy