Four More Shots Please! from the beginning has been aesthetically pleasing with its glamorous sets, haute couture looks, and attractive star cast. But what kept worsening with every season was its character development, and at this point, the choice of the word ‘development’ also feels pretty ironic.
The visuals of four women trying to lift each other’s spirits at an outset capture the essence of female friendships. But when you look a little closer, you will find several problematic ideas being nurtured within their narrative. Particularly in season three, the selfishness and entitled behaviour of these four characters become unbearable.
Starting with the character of Siddhi Patel (Maanvi Gagroo). Her father’s death gave her a free pass to behave irrationally with everyone around her, and control her mother’s life. The only respite was her trying to make amends towards the end of the season. Then comes Anjana Menon (Kirti Kulhari), who refuses to take any responsibility for her inappropriate romantic relationships but still surfaces as a mature adult who is protective of her daughter. She barely takes the time to reflect on her actions and is not even remotely relatable to the single moms of urban India. Umang (Bani J) is somewhat tolerable except for her lack of restraint when it comes to jumping into intimate relationships. With Damini (Sayani Gupta), it is hard to decide whether it was her snobbishness or her complete lack of emotional intelligence that made her unendurable. She coerced her boyfriend into moving in with her while projecting her own insecurities onto him and blaming him for being judgemental after cheating on him. She barely communicated her feelings or took accountability for using her boyfriend as an emotional cushion until the next big thing came along.
There was a scene where they confessed all the bad decisions they made, and instantly decided that they come as part of being flawed human beings. It was too easy an excuse to get away with all the hurt they had caused to the people around them. Apart from the toxic environment this show crafted, it almost pained me to think about the shallow portrayal of female friendships.
The show cannot be called feminist solely based on its abundance of female characters. It is not empowering to watch women make mistakes and use their past as a justification to get away with it. Four More Shots Please! can redeem itself by not overlooking these problematic elements in its future seasons and by making the characters more relatable.