The second season of the reality series Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives puts us back in Planet Bollywood, a place that most people pretend to despise but can’t stop wanting to visit. Here are three takeaways from the Netflix show, which is led by Neelam Kothari Soni, Seema Kiran Sajdeh, Bhavana Pandey and Maheep Kapoor.

These women have been friends for years and are either directly involved with or linked to the Hindi film industry through marriage.

New beginnings

The pandemic is on its way out and it’s time to make a fresh start, suggests the new season. At least one of the four women is no longer a “Bollywood wife”. Seema Kiran Sajdeh has split from her husband Sohail Khan (Salman Khan’s brother and an occasional filmmaker) since season one, which was premiered in November. In the new season, Sajdeh attempts to carve out her own identity by embarking on a new clothing line.

Bhavana Pandey and Chunky Pandey decide to renew their wedding vows. Maheep Kapoor worries about her daughter Shanaya Kapoor’s acting debut and almost convincingly fakes marital tensions with her husband Sanjay Kapoor.

Neelam Kothari Soni gets worked up about her first acting role in years. Cast alongside her husband Sameer Soni and Sanjay Kapoor in the new season of the wedding-themed series Made in Heaven, Neelam Kothari Soni worries about whether her strait-laced image will suffer if she kisses onscreen?

Friends with benefits

Made in Heaven co-creator Zoya Akhtar is one of many guests in the new season. Gauri Khan, Manish Malhotra, Mehr Jesia, Arjun Kapoor, Avinash Gowariker and Shweta Bachchan are among the buzzy celebrities in star cameos. A leading character is, of course, is Karan Johar, whose company Dharmatic Entertainment has produced Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives.

Johar’s upcoming film Rocky and Rani Ki Prem Kahani, starring Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh, gives the quartet an opportunity to meet Singh, who greets them as “cougars” and the “MILF squad”. Are you admiring my dedication or my derriere, Singh asks the goggle-eyed women – one of many fake-candid moments destined to be memefied.

Club class

The new season expands on the “friends with benefits” principle that gave the first season its cringe-binge appeal. The show’s makers – including creative director Manu Maharishi and series director Uttam Domale – proudly flaunt Bollywood’s notorious tendency towards clubbiness, led by the glam-cool sub-set that has sprung up around Karan Johar.

There is knowing shallowness in the manufactured situations, contrived spats between friends and carefully stage-managed glimpses into the inner lives of celebrities. Neelam Kothari Soni, Seema Kiran Sajdeh, Bhavana Pandey and Maheep Kapoor perform their roles to the hilt. The women leverage their easy chemistry with each other to play versions of themselves in the full knowledge that the trolls will show up, but so will the gawkers.

Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives season 2 (2022).

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‘Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives’ season 1: Bling and the benefits of friendship in reality series