After a rough breakup, Aparna decides to get her breakup retribution in the trendiest way possible: with a healthy lifestyle change. And, of course, she convinces her best friend Quinn to join her for the ride. Aparna, played by Nikita Redkar is on a mission to get a “revenge bod” in the first season of “Gym Buddies” with her friend Quinn, played by Chelsea Lane.
Aparna is a South Asian Indian, aged about 20 to mid 30s and represents the “millennial” stereotype – self-absorbed, shallow, and obsessed with social media and Internet culture. Quinn is her Caucasian friend, also 20 – mid 30s years of age. Quinn is more responsible than Aparna and cares deeply for her friends, although she can be a bit of a pushover when it comes to Aparna.
Aparna tells Quin, “Think about it. We’re going to work out together, I’m going to get a superhot bod, I’m going to accidentally tag Neil in one of my transformation photos.” You laugh out aloud. The audience relates to the “sleight of the Internet hand” plan. “This isn’t about health, Quinn, this is about getting back at a douche bag who thinks I need to emotionally mature a little, and coming out on top. This is about feminism.”
Ah feminism, the catchall hook to hang all angst on.
Austin-based comedy writer Shruti Saran wrote and created the show. “We’re passing through a really interesting cultural moment right now for women’s rights and feminism, and as a female writer I obviously have a lot of thoughts on the subject,” Saran said in a press release. “I chose not to create something super on the nose, but it was important to me that ‘Gym Buddies’ be female-focused.”
Gym Buddies democratizes fun and normalizes South Asian characters by putting them in a story not explicitly about the South Asian American experience.
Towards that end we laude Shruti Saran, the Michigan gal who almost became a doctor.