Firsts Rohan

Director: Nayana Shyam
Writer: Pranav Tonsekar
Cast: Rohan Shah, Apoorva Arora
Streaming Platform: Instagram, YouTube (Dice Media)

Dice Media, known for their sweet, ineffectual, urban breezes dabbled in an experiment: to create a web-show for Instagram- 24 episodes, 1-minute each, releasing one day at a time. 

Firsts tracks the love story of school-going Rohan and Apoorva, the episodes captioning the journey. “That first crush”, “That first look from your crush”… that first kiss, first fight etc.

A regular review format doesn’t suffice for such a choppy challenge to the gen Z attention-span. Hence, 24 thoughts, 24 episodes. 

  1. I hate Instagram poetry- it’s derivative and taps into our basest ‘aww’ instincts. This show vindicates this opinion; nothing of enduring beauty comes out of Instagram. 
  2. Of course the character played by Rohan Shah is Rohan and that of Apoorva Arora is Apoorva.24 Thoughts On Dice Media’s ‘Firsts’: 24 One-Minute Episodes on Instagram, Film Companion
  3. The show is meant to be sweet, and it is; but it is also about as memorable as a meme forwarded and forgotten.
  4. So the first episode is just eye-contact and a Cadbury ad? 
  5. Isn’t he the same actor who plays the Vikram Bhatt psycho stalker in Hacked? Cognitive dissonance!
  6. Ah! Lanyards, pigtails, and ties with the collar button of school uniforms undone; to be young and reckless. 
  7. Calling your lover Pingu is a cute throwback to peppy mute penguins on Pogo. The innocence is lost, but the cuteness endured. 
  8. I could skip two episodes and the story would still make sense, was that the idea? (The views for the episodes too fluctuate but not in descending order; for example, the 4th episode has more views than the 1st- those watching the fourth without the first would get it anyways).
  9. There are no cliffhangers on any of the episodes. It’s obviously meant to be seen like any instagram post, as and when it flits into your homepage. This irreverence bothers me. 
  10. His friend, also his wingman, is not subtle at all! But then, neither is this show. Everyone is saccharine, OTT, munching and gifting Cadburys, internalizing its excessive, inoffensive sweetness. 
  11. The music reminds me of the fresh innocence of Closeup and Cadbury Ads of the yesteryears! (The band, Jatin and Wangs is the music composer).
  12. There’s no way a scene of a lovers’ hands hovering to collapse into one another won’t induce a sugar high vicariously. I plead guilty. 
  13. It’s frustrating because these characters have the genuine potential to be more than just meme-excuses.
  14. Ayush Mehra, fellow Dice Media offshoot’s supportive comments on most episodes is the kind of cheerleader we all deserve, but don’t get. (We will be reviewing Operation MBBS with him in it soon, keep an eye out!)

  15. Rohan has a Greenday poster on his wall. That’s… hmm.   
  16. He keeps a chocolate in her bag; she finds it the next day and it isn’t melted. Excuse me, what city is this with such cool weather? 
  17. It is fitting that there is no episode titled ‘First Sex’. A one-minute episode … might not quite make the cut.  (Also because it is inappropriate, they are high school children- come on.)
  18. So people become boyfriend-girlfriend when they say “I like you”? Then what happens when they say “I love you”? What’s the escalated label you give to yourself?  (Here, crush becomes bae, what more can I say?)
  19. Following your lover on Instagram (as opposed to following your lover) is now a valid milestone towards a fulfilling future. Progress?24 Thoughts On Dice Media’s ‘Firsts’: 24 One-Minute Episodes on Instagram, Film Companion
  20. He has an HP laptop, she has a Macbook, is this a commentary on class or just budget constraints? 
  21. “Koi aa raha hai!” “I don’t care” Uh-oh, slippery slope towards exhibitionism!
  22. Both Rohan and Apoorva have such an easy, awkward charm. 
  23. I loved how they showed the passing of time while on their phones with her page filling up with doodles as the midnight oil burned.
  24. Firsts is not bad, it’s just dispensable. Perfect to watch on commutes, unless you use the Mumbai local, the 3G blackhole. 

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