Do you remember the one dialogue our parents had for every problem that plagued our lives? “That’s what happens when you’re always on your phone.” While it’s infuriating to receive this answer to some issues, it can’t be said that they were sometimes right. In many ways, director Shivakar Srinivasan Fingertips Season 2 is the web series’ equivalent of this ominous warning. It tells us how most of our problems can be solved by more careful use of this palm-sized electronic device.
Although it is quite a fresh season, there are not many differences from the first one. In fact, it’s both a standalone season and a sequel. The first season was treated like a true anthology with five different stories dealing with five specific internet applications that have the potential to wreak havoc in our lives. In the second season, we have five stories again, but it’s treated as a series. The narratives run parallel this time around and merge seamlessly at several points throughout the season.
Starring: Prasanna, Regina Cassandra, Aparna Balamurali, Vinoth Kishan, Kanna Ravi, Sharath Ravi
Director: Shivakar Srinivasan
Broadcast on: Zee5
Fingertips Season 2 tells how the individual stories of a psychiatrist (Aparna Balamurali), food delivery boy (Vinoth Kishan), cop (Prasanna), actress (Regina Cassandra), high-achieving troll (Kanna Ravi) and a proprietary perfumery (Sharath Ravi) unfold in dramatic fashion and, in doing so, preach to the public about the vagaries of the digital world. However, this doesn’t remove the easy way out of blaming all the tech, but places it squarely on the humans behind the tech. But then, one can’t help but wonder about the intention of a series like Fingertip. Is it to tell a story, no matter how scary, or is it to make us feel morbidly afraid even when reaching for our phones. However, it’s understandable that the creators chose to use this style of storytelling because the question is relevant and extremely threatening.
Various issues like hacking, trolling, cyber-harassment, deepfakes, non-consensual sex tape recordings, etc. are dealt with in Fingertip season 2. It’s smart that the writers chose to edit this season in series because it allows a lot of those questions to be organically molded into the narrative with a lot of finesse. With the exception of the Regina Cassandra storyline, all the other stories have a direct connection to each other. The starry world run by Regina deals with body image issues, and if she makes peace with them… Such issues are largely swept under the rug as “rich people” issues, but the writing in these parts doesn’t sell. not really the hard sufficient concept. This distance from the other stories makes the relationship a bit more difficult, and the one “takeaway” feels more like a sermon than a shared experience.
There are no such issues when it comes to the other arcs, as most of us can see ourselves as either part of the problem or even the victim. Such content thrives on making the audience part of the narrative, and the writing mostly works but misses a turn or two and sometimes keeps us at bay. Nonetheless, Shivakar highlights a few strong points when it comes to dealing with the horrors of the internet. I especially liked how the sex video leak scandal is handled by women. When a distraught father wants to pay off the blackmailer who has a video of his daughter, it’s the mother who stands up and says, “Let him leak the video. If we support our daughter, what does she have to fear? Who can do anything to him? It’s something that has resonated through the stories. It is women who take the most important step to claim their individual choices.
By playing what is by far the most unique character on the show, Regina once again proves that she is a powerful performer who absolutely must get the roles she deserves. The same can be said for Vinoth Kishan and Kanna Ravi. They play two sides of the same coin, and it’s interesting how the contrast in their character arcs is brought out. One trolls for a trade and the other does it out of one night’s misjudgment, and it’s the latter who goes through tumultuous times to shake off the guilt. It’s an interesting parallel to see how one who has remorse suffers greater consequences. Prasanna has a strong emotional arc, not often seen in cop roles, and he delivers a compelling performance. Another interesting character sketch is that of Aparna, and I particularly liked how Shivakar and Roju used most of these roles to get the audience to question their own biases.
Another impressive aspect of Fingertips Season 2 this is how he advocates the need not to repress feelings and to find an outlet to ask for help. The outlet can be friends, family, or skilled professionals, and it’s a solid step forward when it comes to depicting the aftermath of relentless digital damage. In fact, Fingertip is a series that can afford to be preachy, and it’s encouraging that the writers know when to go all out and when to master it. Basically, Fingertip season 2 is the web series equivalent to another oft-repeated statement on social media — It’s important that we’re smarter than our smartphones. But are we? Well… let’s not give unnecessary permissions to another app to find out.