Lo and behold! One of America’s most loved sitcoms is coming to India, guys: Everybody Loves Raymond!
The show was my absolute favourite growing up. Everybody Loves Raymond tells the story of the hilarious Barone family that comprises an interfering mum, a cynical dad and a resentful elder brother who stay across the road from the pampered Raymond’s family. Ray’s wife, Debra, has to deal with her childish husband and her overwhelming in-laws.
Pretty soon, we’re going to have our very own desi version of this show on Star Plus. Uh, I really don’t know how I feel about this – especially since my sources have told me who’s going to star in it. For now, only the names of the Barone brothers, Raymond and Robert, have been doing the rounds and you’ll never believe who have made the cut.
So Raymond is going to be played by Ronit Roy. I have always been a Ronit Roy fan. His character portrayal in Udaan was definitely one of the finer performances in Bollywood. Given his impeccable talent, you know that he has much more potential than just being a drunk disgruntled father onscreen. The character of Raymond, hence, will be a very good shade on him.
Now for the ‘shocking’ section of this information. The elder brother Robert is hilarious on the show. Extremely resentful of how everything just works out for younger brother Raymond all the time, and strangely funny just by virtue of how terribly big he is – Robert often manages to steal the show. You’d think the makers would take a powerhouse performer for this part but they’ve chosen to go with Vindu Dara Singh instead. It’s not secret that Vindu may be known for a lot of things, but acting isn’t one of them.
Rajat Kapoor, who directed the critically acclaimed Aankhon Dekhi, has been roped in for the desi adaptation for the show. With Kapoor on board, there is still some hope from the ambitious project, don’t you think?
I also hear that it would be more inspired than copied. A source has been quoted as saying:
“The remake of the serial will be original, yet attached to the American series. Everybody Loves Raymond aired in the US for a good nine years. It has a very strong recall value for fans of the original. However Star Plus wants to create a whole new fan base among the non-metropolitan viewership for the Raymond saga.”
It’s too early to make a comment about the quality of the show just yet. It sure is an interesting proposition and I’m looking forward to see how ‘inspired’ they get by this classic sitcom. What about you?