Panchayat is a comedy-drama, which captures the journey of an engineering graduate Abhishek (Jitendra), who for lack of a better job option joins as secretary of a Panchayat office in a remote village of Uttar Pradesh. The story of this TV series is simple for the heart and is very realistic. It makes you serious in one scene, and then breaks you into a smile in the next.
Manju Devi (Neena Gupta) is the Pradhan of this village, but only on papers, as last year the seats were reserved for women only and Brij Bhushan Dubey (Raghuvir Yadav) – who has always been the Pradhan – elected his wife instead of himself so he could still run the panchayat. Now he is the Pradhan Pati of Phulera. Upapradhan Prahlad Pandey (Faisal Malik) is Lakshman to Brij Bhushan’s Ram. Vikas (Chandan Roy) is the office boy who is smarter than he seems and is content with his life. He also becomes one of the good friends of Abhishek.
Panchayat is not half dramatic. It is in fact driven by a self-centered young man who is in no mood to be a preacher. All he wants to do is crack the CAT and get out of Phulera.
The second episode shows Abhishek debunking the myth of a haunted banyan tree. In another episode, Abhishek inspires the Pradhan, to make a difficult leadership decision about population control in the village. In an excellent episode, Abhishek unintentionally highlights the ills of dowry by puncturing the ego of an arrogant groom who wants his chair with wheels. In yet another episode, he angrily inspires a woman to overcome the deep-rooted patriarchy of her surroundings only because she taunts him about his own career. Neena Gupta’s limited screen time is a payoff, as the final episode rests squarely on her shoulders. The use of the National Anthem and its importance is shown brilliantly in this episode.
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Panchayat TV series tells us why rural India is possibly more equipped to handle isolation compared to its urban counterparts. As there are scenes where everyone is ready to help Abhishek in some or the other way.
Jitendra Kumar and Raghuvir Yadav drove the show but wanted to see much more of Neena Gupta.
The World of Movies Rating of Panchayat TV Series 09/10
Year of Release: 2020
Original Network: Amazon Prime Video
Director: Deepak Kumar Mishra
Writers: Chandan Kumar
Cast Members: Jitendra Kumar, Raghubir Yadav, Neena Gupta, Chandan Roy, Faisal Malik, Biswapati Sarkar
Genre: Comedy, Social, Drama, Web Series, TV Series
Number of Seasons: 01
Number of Episodes: 08
Episode Length: 23-35 minutes each
Reviewed by: Namita Tribhuwan