The Kumars at No. 42 – Variety
The Kumars (TV Series –) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses , directors, writers and more. Sanjeev Kumar 6 episodes, Emilia Fox. Daniel Radcliffe meets the Kumars - S01 Ep1. by Hat Trick. Play next . Gareth Gates - Spirit In The Sky (Wiith Special Guests 'The Kumars'). by GarethGatesOfficial .. Play next; Play now. Emilia Fox meets The Kumars - S01 Ep5. Bringing friends home to meet the family is always a worry. Unfortunately, the Kumars refuse to leave Sanjeev to his task, with the result that guests found including Greeks on the Roof in Australia, The Ortegas on Fox in the US, Ghaffar at.
They also starred in the video. It reached number 1 in the charts  and sold more thancopies. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation screens it in Australia. It was very popular in New Zealand[ citation needed ], as well, where it was screened by Television New Zealand. In India it was also aired on Comedy Central. A new version of the show was planned for Sunday evenings on Foxrestyled as a show in the season featuring a Latino-American family called The Ortegas and featuring Cheech Marin.
Six episodes were produced, but never aired. The Australian version, Greeks on the Roof featuring Greek Australiansdebuted in but was soon taken off the air because of very low ratings. Rubik Allmighty; Rubik is a short for the Armenian name Ruben. There were just four episodes of the show, and it was soon taken off the air because of generally negative reviews from critics. The pilot was said to focus on a divorced Sanjeev and his family who now live in a flat No.
If these sit-com moves supply a great deal of the sur- face interest in the Grant interview, it is, nevertheless, the demands of the master-narrative that have overall priority. What is, perhaps, most interesting here, however, is the main strategy em- ployed by the Kumar family in this game of entrapment. Once the appeal to Grant as a past guest of Parkinson has been made, the Kumars deploy their most potent weapon, which is to identify their guest as a fellow immigrant to Britain.
What is more, as Ashwin is keen to point out, Grant is, when viewed from this unexpected perspective, an outstanding ex- ample of the immigrant success story. As the first interviewee, Richard E. Happy to join in the family game of putting Sanjeev down, he is even more will- ing to identify with Ashwin as a fellow immigrant, a willingness signalled by the flamboyant gesture of a spontaneous handshake. Only at the very last moment, when called upon to adjudicate between Sanjeev and Parkin- son, does he demur.
After the break for advertisements 5it is, at last, time for the main combatants to face each other. Grant before him, Parkinson proves more than adept in his gamesman- ship. And here, as before, the key to his success lies in his readiness to comply with the unwritten codes of the hyphenated text.
This adroitness is apparent from the very first moment, when Sanjeev reveals his ambition to have Parkinson end his career so as to leave the chat-show field clear for him. With evident pride, she pronounces the words they have all been longing for: Like many moments in the show, the hyper- bolic moment of victory is played for maximum comedy.
The three char- acters, Ashwin, Sanjeev, and Madhuri, are framed in a brightly-lit mid- shot, with the front door behind them. Ashwin raises a clenched fist, while Madhuri claps her hands together as if she has caught some- thing.
His is the classic pose of the model in the work of art, or modern philosopher, or explorer, but the shot is too wide for this pose to be fully realized. As we have seen, Parkinson emerges from his absurd encounter with the Kumars with his reputation fully intact. We would suggest, however, that things are not quite so straightforward as this.
It is of course true that, on the purely textual level, The Kumars never pretends to be anything other than an elaborate game, which functions self-evidently as a game and one which — in much the same way as a sporting event — ensures that conflict is played out in space that nullifies any deep rifts, tensions, or incommensurability.
But to read the show in this way alone is to ignore its more subtle effect as metatext or, more precisely, metatelevision. Despite its prevailing comic tone, the show foregrounds a very real entrepreneurial endeavour — the produc- tion was, after all, designed to be a commercial success — as the expres- sion of an equally real desire by the migrant to achieve recognition and agency within mainstream culture.
First, we will ex- plore the contest between Sanjeev and Parkie as a clash of new and old forms in the marketplace of contemporary British television. Then we will consider the confrontation between the two in terms of cultural politics. Finally, we will seek to place The Kumars against other representations of the South-Asian diaspora, considering in particular the curious way in which the show deploys the well-worn trope of mimicry.
Interestingly enough, when one surveys the immediate response to the show, it was this novelty factor that dominated popular discussion. Despite its self-conscious and comical reflection on the hegemony of market logic, and the inflec- tion of that logic through the migrant desire to occupy mainstream culture, The Kumars inspired very little commentary of a social or political nature. No one is more keenly aware of this new production context than Michael Parkinson himself.
After thirty years as a broadcasting institution his final show went to air inParkinson regularly utilized his pub- lic status to challenge the market logic that has come to drive the tele- vision industry today. The Agehttp: The outlandish set employed in The Kumars stands in absolute contrast to the stylish minimalism of Parkinson, a minimalism designed to create the impression that the guests on his show most of whom are major entertainment, sporting, and political figures are being enabled to stand out in their own terms.
As for the process itself, this draws upon a beguiling fantasy. Unlike Michael Parkinson, Sanjeev is determined above all to feed into and feed off the discourses of celebrity. It is insulting; Michael Parkinson brands many chat show hosts as wannabes and losers. But some critics feel he is going soft on his guests. Is he still such a fearsome questioner? Whereas the middlebrow style of Parkinson is premised on a denial of the processes of commodification — which, paradoxically, is its form as a commodity12 — The Kumars, in a complete reversal, foregrounds the celebrity as commo- dity and nothing but commodity.
Rather than try to locate itself outside the commodity form, the new show rests on its understanding that media culture consists of nothing more than surface play.
It is from this position that it can claim to have displaced the great man, Parkie himself. The Kumars confronts Parkinson with a hyperbolic and novel format, one conceived and produced within an unashamedly market-driven pro- duction context.
Six episodes were produced, but the show did not go to air. Twelve episodes were produced and aired. The for- mistake, he receives the following response: I might change my style after seeing this. On the other hand, I might not.
David Marshall, Fame Games: The Pro- duction of Celebrity in Australia Cambridge: Cambridge U P It is important to note that what has been sold in these franchises is not Indianness as content but, rather, the general concept of the migrant or minority ethnicity parodied and re-arranged via a hyphenated textual form. In this market-driven environment, The Kumars at No. We can be sure that they themselves never paid for the use of the sitcom or chat-show formats that are employed in the show.
After all, who would be paid? This is not a trivial matter. Unlike The Kumars, Parkinson could never have been sold to other networks as a format. The new, market-driven, television is all about securing and maximizing pro- prietary rights, and this is why The Kumars is the consummate success story.
The confrontation with Parkinson can thus be read as a clash of televisual cultures, in which The Kumars is comfortably — all too comfor- tably, perhaps — aligned with the new dominant form.
This leads us to the second of our trajec- tories. And yet he man- aged to elicit absorbing mini-dramas from each. This is the culture of the respectable middle class, and it finds its natural figurehead in Michael Parkinson, the embodi- ment of professionalism, intelligence, and reasonableness.
It is no surprise, then, that Parkinson is invoked as a model for emulation by the Times columnist Tim Hames in a piece excoriating the British Conservative Party. And, as in Fawlty Towers, a great part of the fun derives from the clash between the anarchic incompetent and the forces of British decency and civility. In the light of our discussion so far, it could be argued that the choice of Michael Parkinson as the focus for the all-important first episode of The Kumars was perhaps its moment of greatest inspiration.
Certainly, the characters of the show never appear more committed to their roles than in their initial engagement with the master of the chat-show genre. There are exceptions of course. In the words of the interview: In the event, he is subjected to a radical deconstruction, being obliged to play the game of celebrity against the grain of his own style.
The point is made with exquisite dramatic economy when Parkinson is escorted to the front door. Having been once again exposed to the unwanted sexual ad- vances of Ummi, the guest is warned that his face is now liberally adorned with her lipstick. Indeed, as if to rub salt into the wound, the show even presses the old model in the person of Michael Parkinson himself into its own service. Sanjeev can thus claim to have been doubly victorious.
The Kumars Series 1 Ep 5 Emilia Fox, Richard E. Grant & Caroline Quentin - wagtailfarm.info
This is, in fact, anything but the case. This will become clear if we explore what is arguably the most interesting fea- ture of The Kumars in terms of cultural politics — the representation of the migrant. When viewed from this perspective, the fictional Kumar family can be seen to conform to the well-worn trope of the migrant as alien in- vader, taking jobs and displacing the white, mainstream cultural establish- ment.
The key word here is re-works, a point which will be appreciated if we situate The Kumars against other recent repre- sentations of the South-Asian diaspora in Britain. As we have already remarked, The Kumars clearly draws its impetus from the forerunner show, Goodness Gracious Me — Good- ness Gracious Me was a B B C comedy sketch series that began its life on radio in Radio 4 and then migrated to television B B C 2 and ran for three series through to Accessible to the predominantly white audience, the show claimed to comically debunk the culture and values of the South-Asian diaspora, along with white British attitudes to South-Asians.
Smith traces the many conflicts within family, with friends, unions, and potential customers that the entre- preneurial Shiv Verma encounters on his way to setting up a business in the West Midlands. In like manner, the Film Four production Bhaji on the Beach dir. Gurinder Chadha, explores the intergenerational con- flict within South-Asian families in the s, as well as the hostile Brit- ish context in which they attempt to make a living through a small busi- ness.
Lee, and in that public house the stain on the car- pet marking where Jatinder Singh Mehta breathed his last. Oxford U P In other words, five or six white bastards murdering us, one individual at a time. But these examples will suffice to illustrate two points. First, these texts and others like them explore the violent disjunction between, on the one hand, the harsh realities of the xenophobic society in which postcolonial migrants have found themselves and, on the other, the neoliberal promises of a prosperous life for all within in this society.
Viewed in this context, The Kumars suggests that a significant shift has occurred. In the first place, its fictional migrants are located in what seems, on the surface at least, to be a much more tolerant Britain. Does the sit-com situa- tion of The Kumars reflect a new and more equitable terrain in Britain for the South-Asian diaspora? Is the figure of the migrant no longer a disturbing menace in this imagi- nation? It is too soon, perhaps, to propose definite answers to such ques- tions.
What is certain, however, is that any such venture will have to take account of the parody that marks The Kumars from beginning to end. It is with this topic that we will conclude. Ox- ford U P This is a show, after all, about the business of television.
And it is this business theme that links The Kumars directly to representations of the entrepreneurial aspiration of South-Asian migrants in the filmic and literary works that we have cited above. As we have sug- gested, these films and literary works operate as migrant-revenge texts, in the sense that the migrant embraces wholeheartedly the neoliberal rhetoric of the entrepreneurial self.
The backstory of The Kumars re-plays this motif. Complete Public State- ments —, ed. Thatcher clarified this statement in a later radio interview: I want them to have the same opportunities.
I had a good education on the State. We now have more teachers in proportion to pupils than ever before.
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We have more spent on every pupil than ever before. I want them, regardless of background, to have the chance to own property. More are doing so than ever before. I want them, regardless of background, to have the chance to have an occupational pension scheme. That was a great prestige symbol. I want them, regardless of background, to have the chance of owning some shares like British Telecom, like shares in the business they work in or shares in someone else.
More people are doing so than ever before. Complete Public Statements —, ed. Interestingly enough, it is the father and mother who are also the most obvious — even outrageous — stereotypes of British In- dianness. Such reliance on stereotypes is always dangerous, of course: Notwithstanding this danger, the show does permit a more nuanced reading. By converting the well-worn trope of migrant entrepre- neurialism into a comic mode, The Kumars works against its capacity to be perceived in terms of a threat to established values of Britishness.
In this way, The Kumars captures what may well be seen as a key moment in the British experience of postcolonialism. But what of Sanjeev himself in terms of the representation of British Indianness? In distinct contrast to the figures of his parents, the youngest of the Kumars is not readily understandable as a comic stereotype. As we have seen in the first part of this essay, his character is constructed around two principles: We will suggest that these two features are interconnected.
In order to do so, we will draw upon the work of Homi Bhabha and his well-known ideas about mimicry. It is defined as an assimilationist discourse designed to ensure the dominance of the colonizing culture over that of the colonized subject.
As he puts it, colonial mimicry is the desire for a reformed, recognizable Other, as a subject of a difference that is almost the same, but not quite […] the discourse of mimicry is constructed around an ambivalence; in order to be effective, mimicry must continually produce its slippage, its ex- cess, its difference.
The colonized subject was thus situated as a mimic with the task of copying, reflecting, and conforming to the image of the colonizer and his way of life.