Contrary to this opinion, Netflix India’s most loved boy-next-door Dhruv Sehgal, who co-writes and stars in the popular web series “Little Things”, believes that language is a very small part of the content and instead of focusing on the usage of swear words, people must raise their voices against everything that promotes hate and negativity amongst the youth of India, or globally.
“The only content that needs to be censored is the content that generates hate or creates differences between diversities in India. Other than that, no other content should be censored”, the 28-year-old writer-actor says.
Launched through a digital channel “Dice Media” on YouTube with just five 15-minute episodes back in 2016, the USP of “Little Things” that propelled it into fame has always been its relatable content, based on how a young Indian couple in their twenties live, think, and manage a relationship while navigating through their own personal lives.
The show, which garnered over 32 million views back in 2018 after it first premiered on Netflix with its second season, has occasionally been criticised by conservative viewers for showing the use of cuss-words in a widely-watched series - which has millennials as the target audience.
However, as writer Dhruv firmly believes that in this day and age of competitive over-the-top (OTT) content on web platforms, stories about characters that associate the audience with themselves will always turn out being successful.
“Tell them stories of characters that they could resonate with themselves. Do not alienate the audience. What I wrote is how I look at life. The whole idea of talking about everyday life is your current perspective – which connects with the viewers,” says Dhruv, who just wrote and starred in the third season of “Little Things”, opposite his on-screen lady love Mithila Palkar, who plays the role of curly-haired Kavya Kulkarni.
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Unlike the first two seasons of "Little Things", the latest addressed the messiness and working out of long-distance relationships that were filmed with backgrounds full of silence and intense dialogues between the lead characters.
The season was rated 86 percent by the audience on American review website Rotten Tomatoes. However, viewers complained that they were left confused and without a decision on judging which character was more to blame.
“Was Dhruv getting distant, or was Kavya getting clingier? I still cannot figure out!” asked Ankita Mishra, a 24-year-old Mumbai-resident.
Answering the question, Dhruv said this season could not fall into a black or white shade because it was a grey season.
“It is a very traditionalist Bollywood mindset to look for good and bad in terms of characters -- who’s right and who’s wrong. Sometimes we exist in the world of grey. Not all actions are good or bad actions. Some are just grey”, the actor-writer notes.
Dhruv, who wishes to direct in the future and does not see mainstream Bollywood as a benchmark, has advised new-age artists to focus on their work, without seeking social media validation.
“Because of social media writing, a lot of budding artists appear to be practicing their art for appreciation and validation and not for themselves. Some of their best works could be the ones they never publish on social media", Dhruv adds.