Half-way through the second season of ScoopWhoop’s Baked, you begin an interior monologue, debating who is more irritatingly imbecile – the impractical, homophobic moralist Haris or the foot-in-his mouth loyalist Oni. What emerges though, is the more vexing question throbbing inside your head – why would you put yourself through the excruciatingly non-fulfilling, amazingly inactive and depressingly banal existence of three college students a month before the nation faces a possible orange tsunami?
Baked is that semi-cooked batter of what could have been a real underdog of a show but which shamelessly misses the aftertaste, episode after episode, irredeemably, while you expect a turnabout in the next.
Three students – Anirban Guha Thakurta (Oni), Shagun Singh (Body) and the protagonist Md. Haris have succeeded in doing what is expected of the by-products of Indian bourgeoisie. Soon after their names have been proudly charted on the attendance registers of Ramjas College under the Delhi University, their joint roommate-ship and dimmed diligence births an all-night food delivery start-up.
Long before the Zomatos and the Swiggies, when campus bullies and college crushes reached for empty refrigerators in the middle of the night, the trio set out in Body’s red Vespa, delivering snacks to some door-steps, but mainly entangling themselves in silly gang fights, avoidable confrontations and lethal inactions. The duo of Oni and Body, as credible seniors of Haris, have already managed to attract enemies and bone-breaking hooligans like moths to their flame. This ensures that no delivery (that is, if at all they decide to deliver) by ‘Wake and Bake’ goes anywhere close to smoothly; by the end of the night they are either lying on the streets, ringing doorbells of Tara’s house to ask her out or riding high on the wings of weed in some alleyway in Delhi. For the most part, Haris’ country-cousin Tiwari and his sidekick Pradhan have their wrathful smirk of success on sabotaging their plans or at least, on taking them on serious bad-trips.
Oni is the pushy and over-bearing, foul-mouthing, unorganised, mismanaging manager of ‘Wake and Bake’; Body does enough in trying not to accidentally sleep with the landlady or with Tiwari’s sister and characteristically fails, while Haris is the most prominent eyesore of all. He is an uninformed patriot, confused in his pseudo-affections and dwindling in his loyalties at the slightest impressionistic gesture.
Baked is a world in which the characters traverse through waters of cringe-worthy racism, sexism, homophobia, insensitivity, chauvinistic fetishism of lineage – all on the canoes of modernity and urbanism and abandon it at that – they aim at no redressal, they sewn no resolution on to the open wounds.
Season 01 spans over misadventures and Season 02 is another shot at more unfortunate anti-adventures as they crib and complain over zero profits and plummeting demand for their start-up. In fact, they do everything to ensure that their food-delivery stays in shape, except provide quality service or customer concern. The tone gets predictable but is sometimes lined with slight intrigue. However, even as the second season closes to a rushed conclusion that has a negligible background story, you cannot help but wonder which man-hole the trio’s hamartia will next push them into.
Watch it here: Baked
Writers: Vishwajoy Mukherjee and Akash Mehta
Director: Vishwajoy Mukherjee
Editor: Shweta Rai Chamling