‘Perfect or nothing’, is a statement that defines a key character trait of Miss Perfect’s protagonist Lavanya Rao (Lavanya Tripathi). Snapshots of her lifestyle reveal her obsessive-compulsive disorder to keep everything spic and span. At a therapist’s clinic, she adjusts the slant photograph on the wall, throws away a chocolate wrapper… you get the drift. For this Disney+ Hotstar Telugu web series, director Vishvak Khandero helms a story penned by Shruti Ramachandran and Francis Thomas, which unravels the drama when Lavanya gives in to the urge to clean her neighbour Rohit’s (Abijeet Duddala) apartment.
Miss Perfect marks the web series debut for Vishvak (who directed the feature film Skylab). He tries to make the slim storyline engaging enough for an eight-episode series of 20 to 25 minutes each and manages to deliver harmless fun and family-friendly viewing, since it steers clear of nudity, violence and foul language. But the superfluous storyline that sometimes borders on absurdity does not translate into an engaging drama.
Miss Perfect (Telugu)
Direction: Vishvak Khanderao
Cast: Lavanya Tripathi, Abijeet Duddala, Abhignya Vuthaluru, Jhansi, Harshavardhan
Storyline: An HR professional is mistaken for a househelp when she tidies up a neighbour’s house and drama ensues.
Streaming on: Disney+ Hotstar
The story begins just before the first lockdown in 2020 when Lavanya moves to Hyderabad as a HR consultant. There isn’t enough time to get to know the employees as things come to a nought during the lockdown. A sprightly Jyothi (Abhignya Vuthaluru), Lavanya’s cook who aspires to be a playback singer, is stuck in a containment zone and requests her also to inform Rohit, one of the neighbours where she is a househelp, of her situation. When Lavanya knocks on Rohit’s door, her tendency to tidy up gets the better of her and he mistakes her to be a househelp as she cleans up his messy living room. The comedy situation works since we know Lavanya’s obsession with cleanliness in the first episode.
However, when this charade continues it begins to get silly. By and by an unlikely romance blooms and Rohit makes the best use of his interest in cooking to impress Lavanya, alias househelp Lakshmi. The kitchen and dining table conversations make the romance portions charming. But I couldn’t help wondering why an accomplished HR professional like Lavanya would struggle so much to tell Rohit the truth. All that talk she has with her friend about white lies isn’t enough to keep us invested in the proceedings for long.
The portions in which Jyothi, accompanied by her younger brother who wants to be a YouTuber, and the apartment complex’s watchman (Mahesh Vitta) embark on a mission to find the truth about Rohit and a mysterious househelp allow more room for comedy.
What makes things slightly interesting is Jyothi’s vivacious characterisation and her journey as an aspiring singer. An original composition by Prashanth Vihari comes in handy to take the story further. Another subplot involving Lavanya’s father, Gokul Rao (Harshavardhan), and retired principal Rajyalakshmi (Jhansi) as an older couple giving romance a second chance also perks up the proceedings.
Despite all this, the limited scope of the storyline makes the eight episodes feel stretched. There isn’t enough to make us root for the characters.
Lavanya, Abhignya and Abhijeet do the honours for their parts with sincerity and Jhansi and Harshavardhan are fun to watch as the older couple. The production design, music and cinematography are in sync with the sunny disposition of the series.
Miss Perfect is pleasing while it lasts. It doesn’t have much to make for a memorable watch though.