2014 and 2015 have been a good year for web content in India. Past two years have witnessed a huge shift of the young TV viewing audience to web. And why not! With web –series connecting with the young crowd more than TV shows, a larger audience has
Sumeet Vyas may have been a known face on the small screen but it was his role in TVF’s web series ‘Permanent Rommates’ that made him popular. Vyas played Mikesh- an analyst in a finance company in America who travels to Mumbai, India to propose marriage to his girlfriend of 3 years. While Mikesh is convinced that he and his girlfriend Tanya are a match made in heaven, she is not that convinced.
The show premiered in 2014 and was an instant hit. Till date, the series remains one of the most popular web series on the internet and has even featured in IMDB’s Top 250 shows of all time. As the series starts its second season on 14th February, we caught up with Vyas on how he landed the role in the series, writing for web and why web series are gaining so much popularity.
“I was at a friend’s place and they showed me some TVF videos. I recognized Nidhi Bisht, (the casting director) from the videos- both of us had worked together in the past in one of the plays. I called her up and told her that I’d love to work with them if anything comes up. Nidhi later then called me up and told me about ‘Permanent Rommates’ and I agreed immediately.”
Vyas admits that initially that he got impatient. “I was told it would be 10 days of work but it stretched to two months. And when the first episode came out- no one had a clue how it was doing. Only after second episode did we realize that we were on to something big’.
Vyas' character Mikesh is an unabashed, honest man who can come across as annoying to many. "I don't think he is annoying. But unlike all of us, he doesn't filter his thoughts. Whatever he sees, he thinks - he speaks it out," Vyas reasond and adds "I would say he is over-expressive."
The success of 'Permanent Roommates' led to many others dabbling into fiction on web, including Yash Raj Films' youth arm Y -Film which made 'Bang Baaja Baraat'. Incidentally, Vyas is a co-writer of the show along with director Anand Tiwari.
"Anand and I have done plays and short films before. And we have written stuff together earlier as well. We approached YRF with the script and things fell into place."
As a writer and an actor of two popular web series, we ask him how important it is to have humour in the storyline." It’s an important element but not the only pre requisite. It helps to get people hooked on to a story but that can't sustain viewership if the content is not good."
"Web is the future. Bigger people backing it now so a lot of interesting stuff is coming up on web and not on TV," said the actor and added, "The content has to be good on web. People choose what to watch on the internet. So you can't fool people on the internet."
Vyas refused to divulge whether Mikesh and Tanya finally get a happy ending in season 2. "I don't know the end myself," replied the actor tactfully and revealed he is writing another web series for TVF.
Vyas will also be seen in Leena Yadav’s film 'Parched' and will soon start writing the second season of 'Bang Baaja Baraat'.
Before signing of, we asked him which is his favourite web series? ' TVF Pitchers' came the prompt answer.