TVF’s comedy-drama “Panchayat” is an off-beat & refreshing entry to India’s Web Series sphere. Written by Chandan Kumar, directed by Deepak Kumar Mishra and launched on Amazon Prime in April 2020, the series revolves around the lead performer Jitendra Kumar aka Abhishek who is an engineering graduate and takes up the Governemt job as Panchayat Secretary in a remote village, Phulera in UP. The village sarpanch is Neena Gupta aka Manju Devi but her husband Raghubir Yadav aka Brij Bhushan plays a proxy sarpanch. Soon, Abhishek feels bored & tired of his job due to remoteness of the posting, low salary & repetitive nature of the job. Inspired by his friend who has a corporate job, he vows to prepare for CAT and join IIM for MBA. On this journey, he faces several hurdles, one of which is lack of electricity in the village in the night. The office and residence of Abhishek being same, Abhishek often finds support in his secretary played by Chandan Roy aka Vikas whenever in a difficult situation.
He plays a good negotiator while defusing the superstitious beliefs villagers associate with a tree on the village outskirts. Witnessing this & finding that Abhishek is antidowry, Brij Bhushan discusses with Manju Devi the prospects of marrying their daughter to him.
All characters have been portrayed well. Raghubir Yadav has got into the skin of the character aptly. Neena Gupta has been fantastic as ever but director would have introduced more events for her in the series. Chandan Roy, the assistant, deserves special mention & all the appreciation. His character was well written & he performed it even better.
The dejection Abhishek gathered up after failing to get through the CAT in first attempt & Brij Bhushan for acting as a proxy Village head instead of his wife – all this ended on a positive note when Manju Devi sang the national anthem as challenged by the District Magistrate & Abhishek meets Brij Bhushan’s daughter atop the water tank.
Will we see the love happening & Abhishek dropping the idea of walking away from the village? Let’s wait for the 2nd edition.