If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘surreal humour’ or ‘absurd humour’, TVF Shots will make sure that you know them by the end of this four episode mini web series. TVF Shots uses a heavy dose of surreal humour to produce a comedy that surpasses all expectations. Though really short, the series manages to leave an impression onto the watcher. In addition to being hilarious, TVF Shots propounds a healthy lifestyle and a healthy mentality by addressing contemporary issues without being preachy. Instead, it imbues the reality with stream-of-consciousness absurd comedy to create a perfect balance between entertainment and education.
TVF Shots 1: Proxy laga de (Mark my proxy)
‘When the time comes, that you don’t want to attend the class, when going out for a movie is more important than going to class, when going to eat maggi in the canteen is more important than going to class, when going out to buy a vest is more important than attending the class, then…then you need someone to mark your proxy. He’s the hero we’ve all needed in our lives. He’s the star of our new video, “Proxy Laga De”.’
The first TVF Shots addresses the plight of every student studying in a college that requires mandatory attendance of seventy percent to allow sitting in exams. The short film opens with a gang of boys who are living the high life and skipping classes in a pseudo-rapper façade. But there is one among them who resolves to attend every single lecture. After his admission, he is hounded by all his classmates to mark their proxies in a mix of hilarious scenarios; written on the walls of the bathroom, written behind their shirts, written on what is ‘apparently’ a note from the guy’s crush.
Soon the episode takes a darker but more absurdist turn, which allows the appearance of a student comes from the future to ask our protagonist to mark their proxy. It all ends, however, when our gullible protagonist meets another one like him who wants to attend all the classes and dumps the proxy responsibility on his shoulder.
TVF Shots 2: Asli mard (Real man)
‘Ever come across a man who is so masculine that he has to prove it in every possible way? We have a man exactly like that. Watch TVF Shots: Asli Mard to find out where his manliness leads him…’
The second TVF Shots film explores the deeply-ingrained patriarchal concept of the ‘real man’ and exposes its hypocrisy and pretentiousness through the protagonist who is always preaching about what real manliness is. In his world view, real men don’t brush or take baths, they don’t ride behind or on another person’s bike, they don’t drink cheap beer but drink whiskey, and take opium instead of ganja (marijuana).
In its incorporation of stream-of-consciousness absurd humour, the episode ends with the death of our protagonist due to drug overdose. But his spirit raises its voice to exclaim that real men die without a thought.
The portrayal of toxic masculinity and its hypocritical nature is on point and leaves no doubt of its dire consequences. The surreal humour perfectly tempers the seriousness of the subject to create a balanced comedy that reproaches toxic masculinity with irony and sarcasm.
TVF Shots 3: Chadhi nahi hai (I’m not drunk)
‘We all have that one friend like Badri who, no matter how drunk he is, says chadhi nahi hai. But, Badri will soon realise that this habit is not healthy. Watch this Video and find out if Badri will ever admit he’s drunk!’
This next TVF Shots film makes fun of that one person who always denies getting drunk. The protagonist keeps insisting that he is not drunk, even though it is crystal clear that he is drunk beyond reason. His friends tell him so but he boasts about the ‘tanker’ status he has acquired due to his ability to drink copious amounts of alcohol.
He is still in denial about his drunkenness even after he falls flat on his ass and has to be raised up by his friends. He eventually meets a terrible fate where he throws of blood and then his organs and meets an untimely demise. The scenes do not come off as dark owing to the veil of absurd comedy but it is clearly underlined with the sinister effects of alcohol and denial. The episode is a stark reminder of drastic consequences that comes with alcohol consumption.
TVF Shots 4: Bill mai dunga (I’ll pay the bill)
‘Baap ka, dada ka, Jija ka, saale ka, bua ke bete ke totle saadu ka, padosi ki behen ka, sab ka bill bharega re tera…?’
This one is another light-hearted absurd comedy with a playful theme criticizing or rather making fun of the frivolous conduct of men when it comes to paying the bill. The film starts off with a scene set inside a diner where four men, who are relatives, bickering over who should pay the bill.
Each one of them is determined that they should be the one paying the bill on grounds of status and money and other absurd reasons. The bickering soon takes the turn of an all-out war with guns, bows, and rocket launchers being drawn.
The matter finally settled, the foursome begins another tussle over who gets to go out the door first at the end of the episode.
Is it worth watching?
The answer is a big, fat “yes”. The series is really short so it won’t take up too much of your time. It’s a worthwhile show that addresses and criticizes human follies in the most humorous way possible that will leave you nodding your head along and howling on the floor with laughter.
Where can you watch it?
You can watch all the episodes on YouTube for free. Watch the first episode here.