01 Oct 2018
#SeriesInFocus: 'Inside Edge', despite sloppiness, gets International Emmy nomination
'Inside Edge' recently got nominated for the International Emmy Awards. The cricket-themed Indian show that aired on Amazon will go up against Brazil's 'One Against All', Spain's 'Money Heist' and UK's 'Urban Myths'.
Produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani, the original web series aired in July 2017.
Stars like Richa Chadha, Vivek Oberoi, and Angad Bedi are part of the series.
Here, we dissect the show.
Cricket's dirty underbelly gets exposed
As the name suggests, 'Inside Edge' is about betting.
The show focuses on the politics in cricket, the match-fixing, and the stakes involved. Of course, all this takes place in a world of glamour where people use sex as a means to an end.
The story itself focuses on a particular team, the Mumbai Mavericks and their journey through the national Power Play League.
Real and reel
The similarities that keep things interesting
One of the best parts of the show are the real-life references.
The most obvious is the Power Play League which refers to the Indian Premier League. Richa Chadha plays a fading actress who tries to find glory in cricket by owning a team.
Another striking resemblance is Tanuj Virwani's character Vayu Raghavan, an aggressive, foul-mouthed star cricketer.
Doesn't he remind you of someone?
Good story arcs
The roles that stood out and kept the show going
Manu Rishi, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Amit Sial all deserve special mentions for their fantastic roles. Rishi plays the scheming owner of a rival team, Haryana Hurricanes.
The best part was Chaturvedi's role as the UP Dalit cricketer Prashant Kanaujia, and Sial as Brahmin Devender Mishra from the same place.
Prashant's loss of innocence and Devender's despicable caste discrimination serve as the show's cornerstone.
The lack of depth in characterization
'Inside Edge' really missed out on utilizing the space television shows provide, to build characters in depth.
Most characters on the show were stereotypical, the villain, the damsel in distress who eventually finds her voice, the bad boy with a heart of gold. The broad character aspects aside, they did not go into details, which differentiates great shows from the average ones.
Keep your balance between slick, sleazy and predictable
While the show relies on cliffhangers, sleaziness, and sex to hook audiences, as a story it was extremely cliched.
A big bad villain exerts power on the owner forcing her to bend to the will. The team looks to be compromised before a protagonist has a change of heart. The villain ultimately gets thwarted, of course.
The story's overall predictability was a huge letdown.
Vivek Oberoi and the hackneyed villain
One of the biggest letdowns was Vivek Oberoi's acting.
He played the stereotypical villain Vikrant Dhawan. Instead of subtlety, he made a caricature out of it, looking like a comical James Bond villain.
The maniacal laughs, lewd comments to women and evil arching of eyebrows got really boring.
Oh, and what was the deal with relaxing in some breathing chamber in his free time?
King of the trash mountain
Despite the show's Emmy nomination, there's no call for overt excitement.
'Inside Edge' is an entertaining show, but has the same local masala that goes into show-making.
If 'Inside Edge' is our best television show, we need to do better. The sky is the limit with shows like 'Breaking Bad' being made abroad.
India surely does not lack the talent to create better content.