In the SonyLIV show Pet Puraan, “Good news” has four legs and a warm belly that demands rubs. The title of the Marathi-language series is a clever play on words – it refers both to a childfree couple and the domesticated creatures they invite into their lives.

Finance executive Aditi (Sai Tamhankar) and chef Atul (Lalit Prabhakar) have been blissfully married for four years. Is the source of their happiness the fact that they don’t have children? That certainly seems to be the case, but their relatives won’t leave them alone, especially since Aditi’s younger sister Anjali (Deepti Lele) has a swollen belly.

A cat-owning friend converts the pet-averse couple to the cause. Parag (Rushi Manohar) is the kind of animal lover who refers to his pet as his child and chooses his kitty over a girlfriend.

Aditi and Atul bumble their way towards the light, visiting a crummy pet shop and a shelter run by the exacting Ms D’Souza (Rasika Agashe) along the way. After the couple take in the easily distracted kitten Baku and the mischievous Golden Retriever Vyanku, they learn that parenthood has many meanings.

Lalit Prabhakar and Sai Tamhankar in Pet Puraan. Courtesy Huge Productions/SonyLIV.

The series has been created and directed by Dnyanesh Zoting and written by him and Digant Patil. Situational comedy and fuzzy romantic moments accompany the couple’s transformation from sceptics to believers. Aditi is a goner from the moment she starts mush-talking to Parag’s haughty feline, a fine specimen of the species. Atul’s conversion is a bit delayed but once he takes his vows, he too starts insisting that the world stop referring to Vyanku as a dog.

But a dog is what Vyanku is, and a handsome boy at that. Baku too is the kind of big-eyed critter whose every transgression is pardoned when she lets out a resolute meow.

Restrictions on the depiction of animals in films and shows has led to the use of computer-generated creatures instead. Whatever else Pet Puraan achieves, it’s a sheer relief to watch flesh-and-blood creatures run about instead of fake-looking objects that claim to be representatives of the animal kingdom.

The actors are hardly immune to the charms of their co-stars. There is obvious glee on the faces of Sai Tamhankar and Lalit Prabhakar as their characters fuss over and cuddle the new additions to their nuclear unit. The perfectly matched actors excel in other ways too, displaying the kind of equation we might expect from a real-life couple. Their terrific coupling ensures for all the fussing over the Baku-Vyanku combo, it’s the humans of Pet Puraan who matter the most.

Pet Puraan (2022).

Aditi is the more forceful of the two, forever spoiling for a fight. Atul is the overgrown adolescent in the relationship, a humanoid version of Vyanku in some senses who melts Aditi with his infectious boyishness. The cast includes Satish Alekar in a hilarious cameo as the building’s curmudgeonly secretary,

The tone is forever light, even when some of the themes are not. The six-episode series pokes fun at social expectations rather than taking deep stabs. (Some of the Marathi humour is lost in the subtitling, which doesn’t adequately translate the intent and import of the dialogue.)

The pressure brought to bear on couples who don’t have children simply because they don’t want to, the inter-caste coupling between Aditi and Atul, the near-obsessive love showered on pets – the series operates in a register of amusement and consternation. The result is a mild-mannered entertainer that can be wolfed down in a single sitting in the same way that Vyanku and Baku attack their meals.