In the middle of a heated argument, Kavya (Mithila Palkar) asks Dhruv (Dhruv Sehgal) in the trailer for Little Things: “We are changing. Aren’t you realising we are growing up?”
Along with the young couple, the hit web series also seems to be coming of age. In its second season, Little Things will get a bigger platform – Netflix, where it will available for streaming from October 5 – and tackle grittier themes.
“Season one was our honeymoon phase and now there is conflict and big picture stuff,” Palkar told Scroll.in at a Mumbai cafe one weekday evening. “Dhruv and Kavya have grown up and so has their relationship.”
The two were introduced as the much-in-love couple in Dice Media’s Little Things in 2016. The five-episode series, set in Mumbai, followed the couple as they juggled their personal and professional lives. Sehgal is also the show’s writer and creator. The first season of the show was streamed on Dice Media’s YouTube channel, where it notched up several million views.
While the first season was high on charm, the second season aims to present a real relationship with honesty, Palkar said. “Every relationship goes through its own ups and downs and this season is about finding this balance in this imbalance,” she explained. “As Dhruv used to say beautifully, we wanted a specific departure. We didn’t want to write the sixth episode, but the first episode of the second season.”
Kavya is more assertive this time around, Palkar said. “I think we have left the first season at a place where she was not happy with the choices she made career-wise. Now she is enjoying what she is doing and is more confident in terms of things that she wants.”
However, there were apprehensions about stirring things up. “We had comments on the first season that said the show was too nice to be true,” Palkar said. “And now that we are showing the real side of it, there are also comments that say that we are too dramatic. Just because people are loving the cuteness of the show, you cannot make that stay. Finally it is about how you deal with differences and that was the pressure.”
In July, it was announced that Netflix had collaborated with Dice Media for Season 2. The streaming giant’s involvement gives series added heft, Palkar said. “It puts us in a different place altogether,” she explained. “It has more production value and is richer in terms of quality. It is amazing to know that we are going to be screened in 190 countries at the same time.”
How did slice-of-life, short-format series on YouTube go on to reach such heights? It is all about resonance, Palkar declared.
“Relationship struggles across the board are I think the same,” she said. “There is some nuance of this relationship that resonates with somebody in some corner of the world. The general skeleton of a relationship is the same: two people trying to make things work. Everybody comes from their background and tries to fit in. I think the fact that it is a relatable show is what struck a chord.”
In the two years between the two seasons, Palkar has also moved on to bigger things. She starred in Varun Narvekar’s Marathi film Muramba (2017) followed by Akarsh Khurana’s Karwaan (2018), starring Irrfan and Dulquer Salmaan.
The journey has been surreal, Palkar said. “The last two years have been quite overwhelming,” she added. “The fact that internet opened itself up as a medium and became a legit medium today is incredible. Now as an actor you have another addition to the things that you can explore. The opportunities are just endless. You are not just a Bollywood actor or an internet person. Everybody is everywhere.”
At the heart of her success is a simple strategy. “I do not overthink it,” she said. “It probably sounds trivial, but I go with my gut feeling.”