The four-episode YouTube series, Adulting, from Dice Media, suffers from the problem that most other Indian millennial-centred web series aspiring for “youth connect” seem to have. The writers do not go beyond highlighting a lifestyle to tell a story that has actual character development and serious plotting. It can be argued that Adulting’s characters have not developed substantial interior lives in their earlier twenties, but does that shallowness need to extend to the script itself?
Written by Ayesha Nair and Maitreyee Upadhyay, and directed by Jessica Sadana, Adulting is currently available for streaming on YouTube.
Adulting is the story of Ray (Yashaswini Dayama) and Nikhat (Aisha Ahmed) who are sharing an apartment in Mumbai and hustling through adulthood. Each of the four episodes looks at these two millennials going through an issue typical of their time and age that they will soon find out is a non-issue.
The characters themselves are hardly endearing. They incessantly whine about living in a small apartment that looks too spacious and luxurious to be paid for by two people who have just begun working in Mumbai. They complain about other things from episode to episode, such as their number of Instagram followers, and the lack of job satisfaction.
The casting works as caricatures of young, working millennials straight out of a five-minute YouTube sketch. The hipness is also forced – one episode is called Broke AF. Adulting does not use the complexities of life as a starting point to tell a story. A kind of lifestyle itself can make for interesting viewing, such as in the case of Richard Linklater’s slacker movies or Judd Apatow’s stoner comedies, but there, the moments in themselves are well written. The lack of effort in Adulting, and many similar Indian web series being made at the moment, is astounding.