The plot of “Alex Inc.,” a new comedy from ABC, may seem tired on paper. In reality, though, it’s a surprisingly heartwarming comedy that keeps getting better with each new installment. In order to follow his goal of starting a podcast business, Alex Schuman leaves his comfortable career. He will primarily be recording his significant family events for the podcast. Right, big whoop Wrong. The idea here works because Alex and his family—his Bengali-American wife Rooni and their two children, Ben and S
oraya—are a great, sincere, and hilarious group of people.The on-screen connection between Zach Braff and Tiya Sircar, who play Alex and Rooni, is effortless and natural. In addition to being an excellent mother and public defender, Rooni is also a patient and devoted wife. Rooni is the ideal match for Sircar, who excels in her role as devious Vicki on “The Good Place.” In fact, she is most likely “Alex, Inc.’s” standout feature. The entire group has found a comfortable rhythm in the five episodes that have been broadcast so far. The actors who portray Ben and Soraya, Elisha Hennig and Audyssie James, are given more to do and excel at it. The Mother-in-Law, which aired last night, made this quite clear.
In it, Alex struggles to come up with a name for his business while striving to launch it with the aid of his cousin Eddie and assistant Deirdre. The family is also visited by Rooni’s mother Joya (Anjali Bhimani), which throws Alex for a loop because he keeps attempting to win her over and worries that she still disapproves of him. He even configures a classical music-themed alert for any nearby Indian events.
Contrarily, Joya does seem concerned that Alex is passing up the opportunity to make a lot of money and provide for his family, but she makes an effort to avoid passing judgment in accordance with her daughter’s desire. I appreciate that Joya wasn’t portrayed as the stereotypically negative and controlling mother-in-law from India. She is sassy and lively. She assists Ben in making singaras, or samosas in Bengali, as he attempts to impress a lady in his class with his multicultural background. She admits that she doesn’t know how to prepare for white kids when they turn out to be too spicy for them to stomach.
You may be wondering how I am so sure that the school scene when the white people can’t handle the singaras is fantastic. Because the other Indian student in the class discreetly requests more while they are busy whining, and he devours them.
Particularly in the crucial scene where Joya and Alex eventually connect, Bhimani excels in her guest role as Joya. She congratulates him on starting something fresh for the family despite losing the security of his previous position. She understands since she followed suit when she migrated to America. After that, Joya records a message for Alex in which she gives a very personal account of how her dadu (grandfather) inspired her to never be afraid of the ajana when she was a small girl (the unknown).
Everything resonates with Alex. He apologizes to Rooni, providing us with yet another instance of depth in this comedy and allowing Braff and Sircar to exhibit the brilliance I mentioned before between them. Additionally, Alex chooses AJANA as the name for his business!
The Hindu celebration of Holi was also highlighted in this show, which I had never seen on American television before. Alex overheard Joya earlier discussing how much she and even Rooni enjoyed it as children. He brings Joya and the kids to a Holi celebration, which proves to be the height of appropriation. There were beers everywhere, loud non-Indian music, and, surprise, no real Indians.
Alex and Rooni host a little Holi celebration in their backyard exclusively for the family to make up for it and thank Joya.
Now, I haven’t often seen Indian holidays observed on the American shows I adore. For “The Office,” Mindy Kaling wrote the song “Diwali.” “Todd’s Holi Wars” was the title of an episode of “Outsourced.” Even though the Holi celebration on “Alex Inc.” was brief, it had a big impact. I was left wishing for more.
I sincerely hope the show doesn’t hold back from showing us more instances of South Asian culture that are just as wonderful or from having Bhimani back more frequently. Similar to this, you can’t help but support Alex and Rooni as they have a happy and fulfilling intercultural relationship. “Alex Inc.” is functional and has the potential to grow and become something extraordinary.