Panchayat: Season 3 Review | An Emotionally Hefty Season That Works as an Appealing Second Act

Season 3 of any series feels like a tricky space. The first season always has the advantage of something new being delivered to the audience. The second season has the edge of the premise and characters being familiar. The makers can either scale up the story or even repeat the same thing, and it might not feel that tiring. The new season of the TVF series Panchayat has reached its third season, and if you look at the story, it is evident that it is not an ambitious series. The preferred texture is humor, and because of that tonality, the graph of the story till this point has been pretty stable. When it comes to season 3 of Panchayat, there is an effort to make some characters a bit heftier, and even though this jarring tone difference is a bit unsettling, gradually the decision to go with this storyline makes sense as it takes the story to a different direction.

Post the events in the second season, the secretary got transferred, and we can see that he is preparing for the MBA exam and is also thinking about resigning from the job. The people at Phulera were not willing to accept a new secretary, and thanks to many things not happening in favor of the MLA, the secretary Abhishek got reappointed. What we see in this season of Panchayat is the political game played by Bhushan with the help of the MLA and how the people in power respond to that.

There is a light-hearted humorous grammar to the setting and events of Panchayat that makes it this relaxed watch with compelling characters and story elements. The world-building always had the company of humor. But this time, the script decides to be on the serious side. It is not like the series is deprived of humor. But because of the events that happened towards the end of last season and some characters reaching a different stature in life, there is a mature and melancholic feel to the narrative. After the death of his son, Prahlad hasn’t gone to his house, and he has become a drunkard. His grief is actually visible in the way the script is constructed, and it is actually in the fifth episode, season 3 getting into the rhythm of the Panchayat we have all liked.

The delay in getting into the established rhythm is actually a gamble in my opinion. On one side, it reduces the fun elements for a considerable amount of time for the series, but on the other side, there is this emotional gain that somehow makes the characters even more friendly and humane. The dialogue Prahlad says in the meeting with DM and the scene where he invites the old lady to his empty home, who had made a false claim to get a house etc., sort of helps the series have a solid emotional foundation. And it’s not like these events are inconsequential to the core plot. The repercussions of the events are eventually leading to the fight between the village and the MLA. From the fifth episode onwards the humor is flowing freely, and the writing is pushing the story to a semi-violent zone almost making you wonder whether any characters from Mirzapur might show up at the end.

Jitendra Kumar, as Abhishek Tripathi, the secretary of the Panchayat, is in his element, and the story this time is more about the village rather than his experiences. Neena Gupta as Manju Devi and Raghubir Yadav as Pradhan Ji are fine in their roles. Chandan Roy gets to play an evolved version of Vikas as he has more responsibilities now. In terms of scope to perform, the most memorable performance of the season came from Faisal Malik as Prahlad. Even when he is mourning his son’s demise, there are bits in the series that are comical. The emotional scenes are also performed in a very controlled manner, which makes his grief all the more real. Pankaj Jha as the MLA gets a bit more prominence this time, and the series ends with the promise of seeing more of him in the next season, along with new characters. Durgesh Kumar reprised his role as Bhushan and was fun to watch. “Dekh Raha Hai Binod”, Ashok Pathak, has earned a full-length role this time.

I am not saying Panchayat Season 3 will floor you by delivering something you never expected. There is that comfort watch tag associated with the series, and when you look at that factor as a creative boundary, they have managed to push the story from the possible repetitiveness. The events in this season have more of a second-act nature to a possible big-scale showdown that might happen with the next season, and when you look at that totality, this moodier and slightly rougher season makes sense.

Final Thoughts

There is that comfort watch tag associated with the series, and when you look at that factor as a creative boundary, they have managed to push the story from the possible repetitiveness.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.