I had a chance to view the Mid-Season finale of “Corner Shop” an online web-based series. The show is directed and written by Islah Abdur-Rahman, who also plays the lead role of “Malik.” He has released 4 total videos online, beginning with Episode 3. Basically, the story revolves around “Malik” who aspires to follow his fathers legendary footsteps when the family business has been passed on to him as the new manager. Episode 3 deals with how Malik’s corner store was burned down 3 months prior. Episode 4 explains that after the inspection, Malik is struggling on his own as his staff has left. His friend, Mia, then recommends he take part in the “High Street Competition.” A new rival “The Off License” open up across the road, proving to be his biggest nemesis. Episode 5 (Mid-Season Finale Part 1) deals with the aftermath of the High Street Competition, while Episode 6 (Mid-Season Finale 2) centers on the next big competition – the carrom board competition. I saw all the episodes to date, but the review primarily concerns the last episode – i.e. Episode 6.
Spoiler Alert – The review below may contain some spoilers, so do watch the videos before reading on if you don’t want any spoilers!
The concept, basic plot line, and direction are all done well. Casting is also done well as all the actors – especially Islah – have done justice to their respective roles. The show has potential, but I wish there were even more original elements in the series. Many of the elements I saw in Episode 6 are cliched. For example, the ending is reminiscent of the ending of Rat Race. The soap-opera style filming in the middle of the segment is also an overly done feature of Indian comics at this point. So many Indian comedians tend to use that over-acted, loaded with sound effects, quick panning of the camera-style footage to mock Indian soaps. It is funny when done right, but wasn’t really needed in the current series as it was good on its own. Also, I wish the soundtrack for the rival store was something other than the theme song to Don.
Still, the show does have some funny moments and some well-etched out characters. The scene at the beauty salon was well-written and “Shantelliqua Knows” can easily become a catch-phrase. Overall, the”Corner Shop” is worth watching at least once. Plus, it’s available online, so you can watch it from the comfort of your own home!
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