Get ready for a full-on desi family to hit your television screen real soon (hopefully). CBS’s multi-camera comedy “Pandas in New York” just cast its lead. Written by Ajay Sahgal, and directed by Mark Cendrowski, this show is about the lives of a family of Indian doctors.
The family has a successful practice in New York, and now they are working to control the life of their youngest son, Rishi. They’re trying to arrange his life without his knowledge, basically, this show is about the life of every South Asian kid ever.
Though Rishi’s role hasn’t been cast yet, many of the actors playing his family have been cast. Hina Abdullah will play his younger sister Asha, a rebel who wants her brother to live his life however he wants, she doesn’t want to control him like her family. She’s the complete opposite of their elder sister Gita, played my Nishi Munshi who keeps telling Rishi what to do. Dan O’Brien plays Jim, Gita’s husband who is an overworked physician that is constantly flipping out over the cost of college attendance of his triplets.
Bernard White will play Om, a physician and the father of Rishi, Gita, and Asha. He’s an old-school desi dad who wants his son to marry a nice Indian girl with a medical degree so they can all be a part of the family practice. His latest passion is golf, though he’s failing terribly at it. Gita Reddy has been roped in as Pushpa, an ACL surgery expert, and mother to Rishi, Gita, and Asha. Like dad, Pushpa also wants Rishi to marry a traditional Indian girl with a medical degree so she can join their family orthopedic clinic.
Rishi’s parents are shocked and appalled that he doesn’t follow through with their Panda family traditions and joins the Bronx free clinic instead.
Though this story sounds a little too familiar, it would be interesting to see how it all plays out on television. It has a “Fresh off the Boat” vibe, except instead of following the real lives, family expectations, and cultural assimilation of an Asian family, it’s a South Asian family.