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Desi Rascals: First Impressions

Topless totty, an extravagant Asian wedding, awkward match-making…just in episode one

Posted: 21.01.15

The much anticipated reality series Desi Rascals was finally aired yesterday and is being compared to the likes of Towie in mainstream media. Created by British Asian director Gurinder Chadha, who brought us highly acclaimed movies like Bend It Like Beckham and Bride And Prejudice, she has already put British Asian related topics of interest in the limelight, so we are thrilled to hear that her main focus is to make this series popular, because it is entertaining - not just because it stars Asians. 

Featuring a vast array of a cast, each character resonates something we can either relate to or that we can associate with someone we know, which means Gurinder has picked the right bunch of people to gage familiarity with the audience. Introduced to these compelling personalities for the first time, amongst the girls are Yasmin Karimi, a lawyer turned make-up artist – we all know someone like this in our crowd, who has a professional qualification as a back-up or because their parents forced them to, but later pursue their dream career.

You can’t have a TV show dedicated to Asians without marriage and weddings being one of the focal points, which is where Shreena comes in, the bride-to-be who hosts a lavish wedding to Prakash, whose brother lays down the rules on the wedding day itself, declaring that his new bhabi is expected to cook for him and not interrupt his TV viewing! Keeping the marriage theme consistent are the parents of Jo and Nathalie – their Indian father is particularly eager to marry them off, but even their English mum is keen to find them a suitable boy!

Ladies are in for a treat, as eye-candy is plentiful with hunky property developer/model Owais Khan, whose strong stutter is actually very endearing and the cheeky but handsome chappy Shmoyel, with the intriguing name, both of whom were awkwardly vying for the attention of pretty Yasmin. Owais and friends spent most of the hour-long episode loitering around in just their swimming trunks, for reasons unbeknownst to the viewers - not that we were complaining!

It seems that the 6 and 8 pack trend in Bollywood has definitely made an impact on this side of the world, as Mr Muscle Anj Baig and regulars at his gym demonstrated, all of whom were shown grunting and groaning as they lifted weights together, whilst flexing their robust, ripped bodies. Flamboyantly gay Naman, who happens to be Muslim and hopes to have a big fat Asian wedding with the man of his dreams, is sure to cause quite a stir with his outwardly open discussion about his orientation and preferences. The diverse character range and areas of focus are a current blend giving an insight into real British Asian lives, which is a refreshing and much needed breath of fresh air considering the negative images being portrayed in the media of Asians and Muslims today. In its light hearted manner, this will show people that not all brown faces on TV have to be associated with terrorism, forced marriages and a pre-historic mindset.

We all love to sit down and watch desi entertainment with our whole families, so how will they capture the attention of all the aunty and uncle jees? By also including their parents! Gurinder wanted to ensure the series covers all generations, so that Desi Rascals could be viewed by all ages. Keeping it family friendly also reflects the core beliefs of the cast and concept – although they are living in UK, the show follows ambitious, young people looking for love, but at the same time, respecting their culture and values. This is definitely something many of us can identify with, as we experience our personal journey, whilst amused by theirs.

Watch Desi Rascals every Tuesday and Friday at 8pm on Sky Living

Fariha Sabir

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