TVF’s Sixer Is a Shot of Nostalgia

An authentic portrayal of the politics of local cricket matches powers the show
TVF’s Sixer Is a Shot of Nostalgia

TVF (The Viral Fever) is known for weaving simple, nostalgic, funny and family-friendly narratives. Sixer, out on Amazon Mini TV, is no different and that's not necessarily a bad thing. On the contrary, the TVF flavor is exactly what works in favor of the show. Art and reaction to art is always subjective. Having grown up in small town and having been a part of the tennis ball tournaments that are an event in themselves might have amplified my liking of the show. Good art is also sometimes about how it makes you feel more over how it tells the story.

Co-written by Shivankit Singh Parihar, the man behind some of TVF and Screenpatti's most viral sketches, Sixer is the story of Nikku (also played by Parihar). Nikku, or "Nikku The Destroyer" as he is referred to, is the star of local tennis ball cricket tournaments. The moniker "Destroyer" is an ode to his penchant for hitting sixes almost at will. The moniker is also used to evoke a comparison to the mythological character of Bhasmasura, who destroyed everything and everyone that came his way. In this boon lay his bane, for Bhasmasura could potentially also destroy himself. Nikku’s temperament poses a similar conundrum for his life. Along with his team, Vijaynagar Vijetas, Nikku enters a tournament organized by the MLA Anant Pratap Singh where the winning amount is INR 5 Lacs. This team is quite like the 90s Indian cricket team with people passionate about the game but banking solely on one man to see them through – Nikku. It helps that Shivankit had a say in writing his own character because Nikku is written to highlight the strengths in Shivankit’s acting skills. The show also seems to come from lived experience. These tournaments in small towns and cities always find an ardent fan following in the locals. The players seem to reflect the childish megalomania of jocks from American high-school dramas. Their existence and fame is tied to their performance in these matches. Like DJ from Rang De Basanti, they are reluctant to face their life outside the field. Local politics has an important part in these tournaments. From fielding their team to sponsoring the event is a matter of pride for the politicians. It is also a game for enhancing their vote bank. Sixer gets the authenticity of this world spot on.

TVF regular Badri Chavan as Aussie, Karishma Singh as Gargi and Brij Bhushan Shukla as Rajesh stand out. Aussie is the stereotypical sidekick but his character quirk of a die-hard Australian team supporter is played well for the humour. Rajesh is the aging family man who has long left his sports certificates and kit to gather dust in remote corners of the house but his love for the game remains alive. A particular scene of him playacting to an imaginary audience as he “scores” yet another century will surely take cricket fanatics back to their childhood. I did reach into my cupboard to pick up that cricket bat for a similar session of my own. Gargi’s character had the potential for a bigger part in the proceedings which I felt was shortchanged in the end. The family dynamics of Nikku — conflict with his father and its subsequent resolution — are written splendidly. The show has only six episodes and is an easy watch. The tournament as the adventure in otherwise mundane lives, the ego-fuelled existence of the participants and the passion for the game power the show. Nikku’s dynamism does the rest to clear the ball over the boundary. In short, Sixer delivers on expectations.

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