Meme Boys Review
Aadhitya MS Bhaskar, Namritha MV, Jayanth, Devadharshini B, Siddharth, Badava Gopi, Latha Venkatraman, Sri Ganesh, Nikhil Nair, Guru Somasundaram, Rajiv Rajaram
Director: Arun Koushik.
Streaming On: Sony Liv.
About Aditya MS Bhaskar
Adithya Bhaskar was born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India on May 1, 1999. He is an actor who has appeared in films such as 96 (2018), Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu (2022), and Romancham (2023).
About Rajiv Rajaram
Rajiv Rajaram is known for Pandigai (2017), Moone Moonu Varthai (2015) and Aaha Kalyanam (2014).
About Nikhil Nair
Nikhil Nair is known for Ammayariyathe (2020), Intinti Gruhalakshmi (2020) and Meme Boys (2022).
About Latha Venkatraman
Latha Venkatraman is known for Pushpavalli (2017), Navarasa (2021) and Meme Boys (2022).
About Guru Somasundaram
Guru Somasundaram is an Indian actor who works in the Tamil and Malayalam film industry. He made his debut in Aaranya Kaandam (2011) winning critical acclaim for his role, before also appearing in the Tamil action film Pandiya Naadu (2013), Jigarthanda (2014) and Joker (2016). He rose to fame for playing the role of Shibu, a super villain in the 2021 Netflix Malayalam film, Minnal Murali.
There is no big event in Tamil Nadu that does not become a Vadivelu meme, whether it is political, cinematic, or reality television. No matter how dire the situation is, the people of the state always find a way to make light of it. Meme Boys, a Tamil web sitcom now available on SonyLiv, pays homage to this lively social media culture. Rajiv Rajaram and Drishya conceived the eight-episode show, which was directed by Arun Koushik. A Gokul Krishna is credited as the showrunner.
Meme Boys takes place at the fictitious Apoorva University, one of the many engineering colleges dotting the landscape in and around Chennai. The tale revolves on four students: Mohan Jyothy Babu (played by Aadhitya Bhaskar as Mojo), Karthikeyan (played by Siddharth Babu as Jumbo), Srikumar (played by Jayanth as Power), and Julie (played by Namritha).
Mojo's parents own a grocery shop and expect him to succeed them. Jumbo desires a powerful laptop, but his single mother cannot afford one. They conclude that winning the meme fest, which includes a monetary reward of Rs 10 lakh, will put an end to their torment. Because none of their motivations is strong enough to propel the plot ahead, the conflict is introduced in the person of Dean Narayanan (Guru Somasundaram).
It has a Don-like plot, but Meme Boys differs from the Sivakarthikeyan film in that all of their conflicts with the dean take place online. From the title card and background score to how the episodes are conceived, produced, and narrated, the series maintains a purposefully quirky, lighthearted, and enjoyable tone throughout. The youthful actors do their best to extract humour from the lines, which are frequently sprinkled with Tamil pop culture references. But the issue is that you can see them attempting.
Guru Somasundaram, on the other hand, gives a confident performance as the autocratic Narayanan. The part is a readymade caricature, but he plays it well enough to keep it from becoming one. Badava Gopi, his assistant, works with what he has, whilst the other 'grown-ups' on campus - the hostel warden and head of security - are caught in expected clichés.
The popularity of the picture and how appropriate it is for the situation determine the success of a meme template. The humour is light but razor-sharp. The show aims to capture this meme-like humour, but it is difficult to translate to a live action episodic comedy. Meme Boys deals with familiar situations from school life - terrible cafeteria food, ridiculous hostel curfew hours, and so on - that are likely to be quite sympathetic to the youthful audience that it targets; the humour, however, is overly dependent on the lines and not the situations. The jokes are many, and while some of them land effectively, the show becomes repetitious when the issues are not fully developed. For example, a student (resembling Rohith Vemula) is mentioned who is refused his scholarship. However, it gets swatted into a resolution before it can be converted into something substantial.
You get the routine too quickly: a problem arises, the Meme Boys post a meme, the dean becomes enraged, the conflict is settled, and the dean becomes even more enraged. What's the rush, boys (and Julie)?
The video memes that occur as part of the show are hilarious. But you need more than that to keep the laughter going for eight episodes. The creators are so intent on making the audience laugh every second that they have avoided anything slightly substantial that may have involved us more. The character sketches are also uninspiring and reliant on the lines that are repeated. The twist is reserved for the last episode, although it would have probably worked better if it had been introduced sooner and developed adequately to maintain our interest. The rushed narration makes the plot twists appear convenient and difficult to believe, relying on dubious coincidences.
What's exciting about Meme Boys is that it's a wholly original Tamil series that doesn't strive to be everything to everyone. The references will be lost on you if you are not familiar with Tamil pop culture. Meme Boys is a refreshing endeavour at a time when Over-the-Top platforms and film companies are attempting to make everything appeal to a broad audience while unknowingly eroding cultural nuances. However, it required stronger writing and ingenuity to keep afloat.