“Aur yeh hai mera personal torture chamber (this is my personal torture chamber)”, says a character of Netflix India’s newest OTT release, Class, as she refers to her bedroom that looks more like it belongs on the cover of an Architectural Digest. The girl in question belongs to one of the richest families in all of Delhi and she is speaking to a Dalit boy who is attending Delhi’s finest school, Hampton International, on a scholarship. Although this is meant to be a moment of awareness for the rich characters, the show is sadly rife with such glib remarks.
The main problem with Class is not that it is a trashy show; it is that it is not trashy enough. Simply put, it’s painfully boring. Class was written by a group of millennials who clearly have no idea about the thoughts, feelings, conversations, and actions that students in an elite private school today would have. The result is a screenplay that throws around random hashtags and lot of curses very frivolously. Some of the dialogues, in fact, sound like they have been translated from English to Hindi by Google Translate.
Class does have its moments of triumphs. Two of the main characters are a Dalit and a Muslim, and the show does not shy away from showing how these identities impact their lives. An attempt is also made to reflect on the high school experiences of queer teenagers, and if I for one found the depictions of substance abuse by most of the characters realistic and refreshing.
Class is the first of its kind in India but it is not the definitive teen-drama we deserve. It isn’t scandalous enough to keep you hooked, and the story doesn’t hold up either. But it does offer a promising new cast, here’s to hoping we see more from them soon.