Ravi Kishan’s week couldn’t get any better. After a hilarious turn as a police inspector in Kiran Rao’s movie Laapataa Ladies, Kishan is the heart, soul and funny bone of the series Maamla Legal Hai.

The Netflix show is set in the fictional Patparganj sessions court in Delhi. Kishan plays VD Tyagi, a smarmy lawyer who has his own chambers, a bunch of colleagues and a pair of interns he has nicknamed “Law” and Order”.

Tyagi’s energies are focused on winning the upcoming Delhi Bar Association election. To this end, he pulls favours, inveigles himself with Supreme Court luminaries and tries at every turn to outwit his rival Phorey (Yashpal Sharma).

Other characters provide a peek into the small causes that turn up at the court. These include Sujata (Nidhi Bisht), who has barely any experience with litigation but dreams of having a chamber of her own. Vishwas (Anant Joshi) maintains the roster and generally runs the place. Newbie advocate Ananya (Naila Grewal) arrives there armed with an American degree and the noble ambition of representing clients pro bono.

Each of the eight episodes contrasts Tyagi’s election campaign with cases based on real-life, absurd demands on the legal system. Tyagi’s single-minded quest to emerge a winner is always wittier and more revealing than whatever goes on the courtroom.

The prevailing mood – flippant, cheerfully cynical, mildly outraged at human foibles – makes this series a legal version of TVF’s Panchayat on Prime Video. Maamla Legal Hai has been produced and created by ex-TVF alumni. Writers Saurabh Khanna and Kunal Aneja and director Rahul Pandey keeps the laughs coming, smuggling in cheeky observations at elitism in the judiciary, the advantage of being born into a family of lawyers, and the barely disguised contempt that lawyers have for their hopeful clients.

The lightweight material and short duration of episodes – the longest one lasts 38 minutes – includes jolly turns by Nidhi Bisht and Anant Joshi. The series has a fine collection of grasping advocates making the best of a low-paying, going-nowhere-fast situation.

The most attention has been paid to Tyagi, whom Kishan portrays with deadly comic timing.

Tyagi wears clunky-looking reading glasses because “Salve, Subramaniam and Sibal wear them”. He’s ambitious and unscrupulous, with only occasional stabs of decency. But since his hamming is as thick as his hair product, he makes snackable content resemble a feast.

Maamla Lagal Hai (2024).