When New York-bred film maker Mike Fontana observed an obsession with sitcoms among Bengalureans, it was like a pleasant bolt from the blue! As it intrigued him, he decided to rustle up a series titled, Breakfast in Bangalore, an American style sitcom programme. Documenting hilarious escapades of the Finklestein family, the plot centers around the comic culture clash that 3 ABCD’s from ‘Little India’ New York undergo as they try to find their place and identity in the city — A place where everyone seems to be so much more confused about what it means to be Indian, than they are! Currently living and learning more about the city, Mike and his cast share their excitement, just as this original English sitcom programme to be made in the city is all set to get aired on either Indian TV or online streaming services...
“When I came to Bengaluru to retire, I realised how ripe India was for English media entertainment especially for original comedy programmes. Seeing how many Indians were watching American sitcoms on TV/online and being somewhat of a writer already, I decided to create an American style sitcom programme for Indian audiences. It was also a time when many NRI families were returning to India in particular Bengaluru. Being so fascinated with ABCD kids, myself, I made it about the culture clash they would be going through coming to live in India. Also, since me and my Tamil Indian wife never had children, this was a chance to imagine what it would be like to have them. Of course, I created a quirky edgy sitcom with kids who I could laugh at and love at the same time,” begins Mike, who has done a course in sitcom writing and film making.
One thing led to the other, and things got rolling. The show, which features three youngsters Brinda, Adit and Spurthi, who have settled in the city ever since the filming of the show began. “The people we met in Bengaluru kept telling us about ‘the scene’ referring to the artists in town. We tend to reflect the stories we find universal within the context of a displaced American family, who happens to be Indian. I think in Bengaluru, as in our show, you find people who are made up of a diverse mix of influences, which makes for funny characters you can relate to,” opines Adit Dileep, who plays the role of Subu.
Spurthi Reddy, who plays the eldest daughter in the show, adds that the city being a hub for theatre enthusiasts is the best an international actor could ask for. “Bengaluru is an amazing and beautiful city. I don’t get a chance to come to India very often but I was constantly struck by how current the city is and how it really has its very own personality. We were able to enjoy some theatre while we stayed there and it was great to see that theatre has an audience. It’s such an ancient and beautiful art form that has so many roots in India so it’s beautiful to see people appreciating it,” she enthuses.
Speaking about what is next, Mike concludes by stating, “It is now time to get it aired on either Indian TV or an online streaming services We all feel we have a great show that will bring laughter and warmth to the Indian audience and a sense of pride to India in finally having its own original English sitcom programme. I say its about time no?”