SHOW TITLE: Hey Bangladesh
PRODUCER: Serendipity Production
HAILING FROM: Minneapolis
SHOW DESCRIPTION: After a serendipitous run-in with a cow, Boltu decides to launch his own music reality show. The rhythm and music of Bangladesh will take you on a wild ride.
…and here, I must confess my profound ignorance of Indian culture and music (I’m only really familiar with cross-cultural pop icons like Ravi Shankar, and a handful of enjoyable parodies). Consequently, while my impression was that it was in places bizarre, I can’t really be sure if that’s attributed to the inventiveness of the creative team or cultural touchstones I’m unfamiliar with.
This is in no way, by no stretch of the imagination, a polished production. Scenes don’t end so much as peter out. There are many stumbles and awkward pauses. The central plot is weirdly unresolved. I witnessed multiple walkouts. This whole thing really coasts on enthusiasm and charm.
For my money, the enthusiasm and charm were there in spades, particularly in the person of the protagonist: he was just so damn effusive through everything that happened, so committed at every moment, that I can’t bring myself to hate either him or the show. In fact, there’s one Western cultural touchstone that both put me in mind of, and that’s The Muppet Movie.
Seriously, there’s almost a scene-by-scene parallel. It features an unflappably positive hero, in the face of severe obstacles and cynicism. Every random personality he meets, he finds some hidden talent in and invites along on his quest. The whole thing is punctuated by musical numbers, hacky jokes, and an unshakably optimistic pursuit of fame and fortune.
I can’t call this a great show. I can’t even guarantee that you’ll enjoy it. But I can guarantee that I did.
Questions? Comments? Enraged invective? Check out my answers to occasionally asked questions in Notes on Notes, or the contact info linked from that page!