Web Series Review: Selection Day
The series Selection day is based on the book of the same name by Arvind Adiga. The first episode starts off with an interesting premise. A dominating father. Two sons who secretly hate his methods. A dying school. A failing yet overconfident businessman. All held together by cricket.
Radha and Manjunath are talented 14 year old batsmen who would never disobey their father. All this is made perfectly clear in the first scene where Radha hits 3 sixes in 3 balls to win the village cricket match immediately after his father signals him to do so. Radha is clear about his cricket goals. But, it seems that he needs his brother’s help for this.
Manjunath is good at cricket, but he hates it and dreams of being a scientist. However, he is too scared to tell his dad. He instead talks to a cool, scientific version of “God”.
Mohan Kumar tried hard to ensure that BOTH his sons become the best batsmen in the world. Calling them Champion No.1 and Champion No. 2 respectively, recording their every score and statistic, feeding them health tonics, and training them in English so that they can speak properly when they win a match in England. Throughout the series, even though things don’t really seem to be going as he had planned, he never does lose his ambitions. He boasts about his sons so much, that it almost looks like he is trying to market on their cricket careers.
There is Weinberg academy, a school in Mumbai, which is practically falling apart, and no funds to rebuild the school. The school also has Tommy Sir, an art teacher now, after a scandal that ended his career as a cricket coach. Of course, where there is a school, there are bullies. Here, he is a rich brat, also the captain of the school cricket team.
Then there is Anand, the ambitious business man with failed ventures and a girlfriend who believes all his lies. Anand dreams of buying the school to construct apartments in its place, but is refused by Mrs. Nelly Weinberg, founder, principal and science teacher of the school.
With selection day being only 6 months away, Mohan decides that Mumbai is the best place for the boys to train. However things don’t go as planned. Eventually the boys’ talents are discovered where “Sachin became Sachin” – in Shivaji Park by Tommy Sir, and amidst their fathers’ scepticism, the boys join Weinberg Academy and obviously, Tommy sir makes a comeback.
All these characters slowly unravel as the story navigates through its sub plots of the the fathers’ antics, the brothers’ unity, money problems, and obviously, cricket.
The mother is a mystery. It is clear that Manjunath is very close to his mother, and that she had some sort of fight with the father, but that’s about it. She is never seen in the series. The father is evasive when questioned about this, and turns violent when persisted.
The problem is that the first season is over just as it begins. The characters are barely introduced, the storyline just takes an arc, and poof, it is over. It feels like whole season is just the pilot episode for the series. So what actually is the plot, waits to be seen in Season 2.