TV Talkies

Chewing Gum

Channel: Channel I

Directed by: Sajjat Sumon

Cast: Tawsif Mahbub, Mishu Sabbir, Safa Kabir, Tasnuva Elvin

When I first heard the name of this show, I grew an immediate distaste towards it. No one can simply expect anything good from a show named "Chewing Gum", and I was pretty sure the name only implied some bad comedy conundrum that typical Bangla TV shows are full of. The opening song confirmed my initial impression; it only talked about common scenarios and problems in daily life, another extremely common theme in Bangla serials. However, upon watching a few episodes my sternness began to change. The dialogues weren't as tacky as I expected and the characters were actively contributing to the scenes in vivid manners. Before I knew it, I started enjoying the show.

To sum up the serial in a few words, "Chewing Gum"revolves around the life of certain people living in the same neighborhood. While that sounds like the most common setting of Bangla serials, "Chewing Gum" churns the tried-and-tested formula a bit differently by producing memorable and genuinely entertaining characters. The unique combination of cast brought a colorful range of characters to life; all of whom are active components of the plot progression. This is something that I feel is lacking in most other Bangla serials: the story doesn't really go anywhere. This is the most apparent in comedy serials, where only the daily troubles of the characters get prime spotlight with no actual characterization. 

The lack of plot isn't a case with "Chewing Gum". It specifies from the get-go who the characters are and what they do, and how each of them has their own story to tell while interacting with others."Chewing Gum" also does justice to the whole "local neighborhood" setting by keeping characters we can all relate to. There's the area commissioner who acts like a king but is disliked by everyone, the respected 'boro bhai'/musician who thinks too highly of himself, and the local friend circle consisting of three guys with their own love problems.

Despite all that, it is difficult to pinpoint just what makes "Chewing Gum" an enjoyable watch, especially compared to other serials in Bangla channels. For me at least, this serial doesn't try too hard in being particularly funny. In fact, I think I laughed only once or twice through the span of the first six episodes, and spent most of my time engrossed in how the plot was unraveling itself. I consider myself a critical person and even I found myself curious to find out what happens in the next episode. Considering the schedule-based programming of TV shows, having such an aspect is an instant success. 

Of course, one cannot expect absolute perfection from a Bangla TV serial and "Chewing Gum" was far from being the 'best thing ever'. There's this nagging feeling of not feeling too connected with the characters at certain scenes, even though they can be quite relatable at other times. Long story short, "Chewing Gum" seems to have lesser flaws compared to most other Bangla serials I have come across recently, and maybe that is why I enjoyed it so much. Give it a watch, who knows, you might enjoy it too.

Now can someone please tell me why this show is called "Chewing Gum"? I am okay with spoilers!

Shams Rashid Tonmoy is a Literature Major who loves to pointlessly analyze TV shows and movies. Recommend him something good (or bad) at [email protected]


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