When it comes to Tamil shows that portray the lives of Indian millennials, we've had almost no options.
Until As I'm Suffering from Kadhal, which premiered on Hotstar, all we had were terrible, and sometimes terribly dubbed, TV serials. Usually, the uber-traditional, super dramatic kind.
Web series have always been the first step for the kind of entertainment that needs a playground with fewer rules, which is why it isn't surprising that the first truly woke, relatable Tamil series, Livin', aired on YouTube.
Livin' is light-hearted, with an engaging sense of humour and lilting background music. And it manages to break several barriers at once.
It follows the lives of Harish, a sweet, well-meaning photographer (Kanna Ravi), his roommate, Swami, a likeable stoner (Naveen George Thomas), and Haritha, Harish's messy, badass feminist live-in girlfriend (Amrutha Srinivasan).
Did you read that bit?
That's right, guys. We have a Tamil show that casually includes a live-in relationship, without making a huge deal out of it. (Lookin' at you, OKK)
There's also a fun changeup of gender roles. Haritha's the messy one. Harish is the organised, clean one. Haritha sits on the sofa with her feet up despite Harish telling her not to dirty it. In fact, she's the headstrong one in the relationship.
And she's just as capable of cracking open a cold beer at the end of a long day as Swami is.
There's lots of onscreen smoking up, which is one of the most predictable hallmarks of a relatable millennial show, but a step forward for Tamil entertainment nonetheless.
And, in the second episode, we have beautiful takedown of forced arranged marriages and patriarchy.
This show is shaping up to be a really great watch.
Two episodes of Livin', made by Prabhuram Vyas, have already released on Madras Central's YouTube channel. Watch them here: