“The story of David and Goliath,” is how Adeel Suhrwardy, the co-writer-director of the show describes the second season of his television series,Mangoes.
The Pakistani-Canadian production, which is known for featuring Pakistani pop-legend Alamgir in the theme song, is set to return after a gap of almost three years.
For Adeel, the idea for a show like Mangoes came from his experiences of growing up in England and North America. Having spent most of his life in these two places he was taken aback by the depiction of Pakistanis in foreign productions and felt the need to create relatable Pakistani characters.
“With Mangoes we infuse the idea of how the world looks like from the point of view of Pakistanis. We have the same aspirations like any other citizen of any other country” Adeel told The Express Tribune.
The second season of the show which features an ensemble cast mainly revolves around the characters of Sami (Adeel Suhrwardy), Asha (Maha Warsi) and Rakey (Khurram Suhrwardy) and the varied situations and characters they encounter in their daily lives.
“Everyone considers them as David and each has their own Goliaith to conquer,” Adeel said of the story.
Although ‘the central characters and their evolving chemistry stay the same’ as the first season, it is the situations the main cast encounters that have changed.
“By providing an alternative point of view to many daily encounters, we try to focus most on the narrative.”
Terming the cast for the second season as a ‘mix of ethnicities’ Adeel told brought in students from Subhash Ghai’s film school – Whistling Woods International during the development stage in an attempt to better explore the nuances of the Indian characters .
“The cross border involvement makes Indian Characters in a Pakistani-Canadian production more believable. It also opens up doors of creative discussion between likeminded individuals who want to build on the similarities between the two countries,” remarked the producer-cum-actor.
Having famously roped in Alamgir out of semi-retirement to sing a reprised version of Keh Dena, he was keen on going on pushing the envelope even more this time round and had a special surprise in store for audiences – but unfortunately it never materialised.
“Talking of surprises there was a really big one, the Ultimate Warrior of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) fame had agreed to show his appreciation for Pakistani fans by becoming a part of Mangoes. Unfortunately, he passed away before we could film him.”
Despite missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime, he said that like the first season they would be paying a tribute to yet another Pakistani artist – Bismillah Khan; best known popularising the sound of shehnai.
“This time around we are paying a tribute to Ustaad Bismillah Khan, a maestro who has single handily kept the sound of Shehnai alive for generations. The background score presents Shehnai with a new sound and feel and music producer Taha Malik has shared his talent in this endeavor,” stated Adeel.
Explaining the close to three year hiatus between the first and second season of Mangoes, Adeel said they wanted to try and do things a little differently.
“When we work on projects we make sure that there is a natural growth in all areas that is why we didn’t come up with a second season until we genuinely had something to add to the previous one,” added Adeel who shares writing and direction credits with his brother Khurram Suhrwardy.
Recalling the feedback they received after the first season, he remembered how countless people had sent them messages on Facebook telling them how touched they were by the show. And with the trailer for the second season to be aired very soon Adeel is hopeful of replicating that success.
Mangoes season 2 will be released online for people living in Pakistan and will cater to the expats through local TV channels in Canada and US.