Consumer Pulse
- Indian web
series creating
new adulting
Disha Wanchoo

Young Adult depictions in popular Bollywood films have one recurring feature – weaving their story and characters around celebrating the “glory days of youth”. Almost all popular youth films like Dil Chahta Hain, Rang De Basanti and Wake up Sid largely revolve around the reckless, unabashed fun and lack of direction that youngsters in India seem to live their life by.
Young adults are depicted as typically care free, impulsive and hell bent on only living in the present, with no care or concern for the future.

There is a strong idea of them having to mend their ways, have a clear goal to be taken seriously or truly grow up (much like Hrithik Roshan in Lakshya).

While such rule breaking and impulse-driven behaviour could be seen as highly aspirational, I don’t know how many young Indians would have been given permission to become travel photographers like Ranbir Kapoor in Yeh Jawaani hain Dewaani or drive around India Gate in a jeep late at night like Amir Khan and gang in Rang De Basanti. And only SRK in the 90s could get away with saying “squeeze me” as a pick-up line to charm the ladies.
Most young adults in India probably had parents who are best defined by the memes below:

A sharp contrast is drawn with the coming of popular Indian web series in the last couple of years showing a completely different view point on youth and one that doesn’t involve making an active choice between freedom and responsibility. Rather, it is an ingenious attempt to balance both.

These largely rely on far more realistic and otherwise “uncool” depictions of young adults who are far more grounded, relatable, exhibit shades of responsibility and deal with REAL life problems. From figuring out how to move from a live-in relationship to marriage (Permanent Roommates) to running a successful startup (Pitchers), to managing changing dynamics with siblings as one gets older (Tripling) or sometimes just learning how to make the perfect coffee (Adulting). Even in Baked, shot around University of Delhi, where the three protagonists are invariably passed out or drunk, they run a semi-successful midnight food delivery service.

The focus, in these shows, is on highlighting adulting as a journey, rather than a milestone in and of itself; you don’t become an adult, you are constantly adulting. They focus on the rather bumpy and continuous transition one makes as an adult.

Recent advertisements too seem to have caught on to this trend. Whether it is Nescafe telling us to Badlo life ki raftaar or Facebook’s “Live what you love” with the many facets of Neha. Quaker’s "Fuel for the Real Fit" also tries to show a more responsible, in control side of the youth.

Aspirational adulting has taken on a new definition – it involves responsibility, a bit of struggle, following your heart, having fun – and most importantly, KEEPING IT REAL!


(Image source: Torrent Butler/


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