'The Family Man' season two: What to expect as Manoj Bajpayee's hit show returns

The action in the new season of the Amazon Prime Video show is set to shift to South India

It’s been almost two years since Amazon Prime hit The Family Man ended on a cliffhanger.

Coming to a close in the middle of a gun fight and with a terror attack impending, the high-octane ending left fans flummoxed and desperately wanting more.

On Friday, when season two of the Indian show returns, fans will hopefully find out if terrorists were successful in wreaking havoc in the capital city of Delhi, as well as if special agent Srikant Tiwari and his team survive the ordeal.

For now, they can take comfort in the fact acclaimed actor Manoj Bajpayee, who portrayed Tiwari, is set to return as the lead.

So will South Indian actress Priyamani, who played his wife, as well as Sharib Hashmi as JK Talpade, Tiwari’s colleague at the fictitious Threat Analysis and Surveillance Cell.

The story of a middle-class man with a seemingly boring government job, whose family has no idea he’s out saving the country as a member of India’s intelligence wing, The Family Man won rave reviews when it was released in September 2019.

Directed by the acclaimed duo Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK, known popularly as Raj & DK (Shor in the City, Go Goa Gone), the show’s second season looks set to up the stakes and levels of danger, judging by the trailer.

While the first season was centred around a plot to annihilate Delhi, the action will now shift to the south, where rebels have joined hands with a foreign entity to plan another attack.

With South Indian star Samantha Akkineni joining the cast to play the main antagonist, here are some of the things you can expect from season two of The Family Man:

Samantha Akkineni makes her streaming debut, as a villain

The South Indian actress, mostly known for her roles in Telugu films, will play the role of an assassin from an armed rebel group. She said it’s something she has never done before.

“It will certainly surprise and delight my fans,” she told The Indian Express in 2020.

Streaming also gave Akkineni the opportunity to break the rules, she told news agency IANS, saying she has “really experimented with something extremely new".

"I am very happy with the product and with the output. It's going to be a good surprise for everyone who is used to seeing me do a particular type of role," she said.

More family drama

One of The Family Man’s biggest draws was its protagonist’s seemingly unassuming domestic life contrasted with the high-stakes terror threats he’s assigned to investigate.

In season one, Tiwari’s unravelling relationship with his wife and two rebellious children was as much the centre of the action as the gun-toting evil masterminds he’s after.

In season two, the family drama is set to come to a head as Tiwari’s wife Suchitra, played by Priyamani, ponders whether or not to act on her growing fondness for a colleague.

A scene in a hotel room with said colleague was deliberately left ambiguous in season one, and the new season is set to delve further into that relationship, and what will eventually become of Suchitra and Tiwari’s marriage.

Calls for a ban

The makers of another Amazon Prime show, Tandav, found themselves in hot water in January when members of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded the political thriller be banned for “hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus”.

Bowing to pressure, director Ali Abbas Zafar offered an apology and vowed to make changes.

The delay in releasing the second season of The Family Man, which was initially set for February, was reportedly in response to that controversy, although directors Raj & DK have not addressed such rumours.

Manoj Bajpayee in season two of 'The Family Man'. Amazon Prime Video
Manoj Bajpayee in season two of 'The Family Man'. Amazon Prime Video

Now, the show’s facing another call for a ban, this time from Eelam Tamils – a minority Tamil ethnic group from Sri Lanka, many of whom also live in India – who claim The Family Man depicts them “in a highly objectionable manner".

Akkineni’s role as a Tamil-speaking rebel was “condemnable, inappropriate and malicious”, said Vaiko, the leader of the MDMK party in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, in a letter to broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar last week.

The recently released trailer was aimed at discrediting and distorting the historical struggle of Eelam Tamils in Sri Lanka, he said.

Directors respond

Directors Raj & DK issued a statement urging those concerned to wait and watch.

“Many of our lead cast members and key members of the creative and writing team are Tamilians. We are very cognisant of the sentiments of the Tamil people and Tamil culture and have nothing but the utmost love and respect towards our Tamil people," they said.

"We have put in years of hard work into this show, and we have taken great pains to bring to our audiences a sensitive, balanced, and riveting story – much like we did in season one of the show. We know you’ll appreciate it once you watch it."

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Updated: June 1, 2021 07:01 PM

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