Escaype Live review: The 'Y' in the title is to make you question why this cringe fest of a series was made at all
A contest on talent based social media app makes the users go to unimaginable ends to win three crores.
- Siddharth Kumar Tewary
- Jaaved Jaaferi,
- Waluscha D’Souza,
- Shweta Tripathi Sharma,
- Swastika Mukherjee,
- Plabita Borthakur,
- Sumedh Mudgalkar,
- Ritvik Sahore,
- Geetika Vidya Ohlyan,
- Jagjeet Sandhu,
- Rohit Chandel,
- Aadyaa Sharma
- Disney+ Hotstar
Escaype Live might not be the first attempt to highlight the perils of social media and the two minutes of fame it grants it users but it certainly is one that might make you cringe the hardest. Having watched just three episodes in a preview of this eight-episode series, the heightened sense of drama in a cry for attention makes you want to run far away from the madness as possible.
The series that makes users on an app compete for diamonds to win a cash prize of Rs. 3 crores is as desperate to win you over as any of the competitors of this absurd race. While on the outside, a serial prankster, a young dancer, a parkour enthusiast, an adult entertainer and a trans singer go to extreme ends to the app users to shower them with diamonds, inside the office of Escaype Live a bosses Ravi Gupta ( Jaaved Jaaferi ), Gia Bose (Waluscha D’Souza) are more concerned with the business than the entertainment.
A moderator Krishna is the only one with some semblance of a moral compass still intact and will seemingly be the one to put an end to this madness. However, hopes aren’t to high given Siddharth ’s own conservative ideas are often times what drive his morals. His character who is seemingly running his sister’s life as the man of the house at home, comes to work to object to the adult entertainment served by one of the highest earning users on the app, Fetish Girl. While his objections seem to be coming from an obvious place, it is the morals of the business that begin to bother him more and he puts his software engineer brain to use to get behind what the company is not obviously revealing.
The episodes are long but move along fast enough taking you across the country into the lives of these various contestants both real and reel. Some of the characters are actually repulsive and hard to watch while all seemingly band together under the umbrella of over-the-top attention seekers. Bloated and morally ambiguous plotlines certainly don’t help in rooting for any of them.
One of the users of Escaype Live, Dark Angel aka Darkie played by Sumedh Mudgalkar is a prime example of the case. Trying and failing to be the menacing Joker from Batman of the social media world, to Darkie his popularity is everything. The performance and unfunny pranks that the character performs for the app both make it difficult to be dragged through his storyline.
A child user, Dance Rani who is so taken by performing on item songs that she wants to be a ‘big girl’ is another uncomfortable plotline that the series explores and makes you wonder why only the series is hell bent on focusing on despicable characters alone.
Plabita Borthakur’s Festish Girl to Ritvik Sahore’s Amcha Spider Escaype Live’s bloated universe has no short supply of contestants that will make you feel irritated or question the existence of the series itself. But the first three episodes are just setting the tone and the action awaits in the remaining five episodes.
Using desperate and cliché tropes to hide the very basic story line can only take you so far in the series which becomes more frustrating by each episode.
The show is a Tik Tock version of a Black Mirror episode at best and provides no compelling reason in the first three episodes at least to sit through it.