Director Charukesh Of Disney+Hotstar’s Triples produced by Karthik Subbaraj, speaks to Baradwaj Rangan about the genesis of the show, the influence of Crazy Mohan, and the possibility of more seasons. Excerpts
When we open YouTube, there are clips from Goundamani-Senthil, stand-up comics and movies. What is the incentive for someone to watch a comedy series that requires the commitment of time?
Though Triples is a full-length comedy show, there are also other elements in it such as romance and action, and it is a sort of homage to the Crazy Mohan era of comedy we have all grown up watching. It has the kind of innocent comedy, you see in Ullathai Allithaa, and when we play it in long format, it has its own graph, which is again dealt with in a comical way. So, not just as individual jokes, but as a storyline, my calculation is that it will be very interesting.
You’ve been positioning this as Crazy Mohan-style clean comedy. Today, there is a lot of stuff going around where people are taking advantage of the web to put across adult content and swear words. Did you have to decide between sticking to Crazy Mohan or pushing the edge?
The soul and the spirit of this show was conceived by writer Balaji and its beauty was that it appealed to the child in us. So, we wanted to keep that intact. The story also did not require an edginess. It is a very simple line and about how all of them get into a confusing situation. Crazy Mohan sir himself says that ‘samalichification’ is the base of comedy. So that samalichification is fully there in the situation and we never felt the need to meddle with it.
What are your favourite comedy films?
Kadhalikka Neramillai, Thillu Mullu, Michael Madana Kama Rajan and Panchatanthiram.
As a viewer, are you an OTT person or a theatre person?
I am a huge theatre person, but Corona has changed me into a huge OTT person.
Is Triples a one-off series or will it be developed into more seasons?
Triples definitely has the scope to be multi-seasonal. The entire series is synonymous with “The adventures of Ram, Madhu and Cheenu” — its lead characters. The writer is discussing more ideas and we are excited. There are two villains, played by A Venkatesh Sir and Manikandan Achari, and their characters are very interesting and the season ends with a small scope of development, so there is definitely scope for Season 2.
Can you mention five shows you like on OTT and why?
The Wire, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, The Sopranos and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The Wire and Sopranos opened the gates to OTT, and they are the pioneers and had superb old-school writing. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a fun positive show and Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul have a superb screenplay.