Devanshi Patel is developing The CW’s next big dramedy. If the network gives it a go, South Asian-Americans will finally get the show they deserve with “Make Divya Great Again.” Indian-American writer Patel, who has worked on shows like “black-ish” and “Ground Floor,” is helming this project with Eric and Kim Tannenbaum. In it, Divya’s parents are forcing her to get married so she invents the perfect Indian boyfriend but her lies catch up with her when her ex-fiance is comically killed and she is the prime suspect.
Patel promises the show doesn’t rely on desi stereotypes but uses them “to propel the series to explore deeper issues of race, class, sexism, sexuality, politics, culture, and apparently, possible homicide.” It’s exciting to know that a show like this is in the works. In fact, 2018 may end up being the greatest year for South Asian-American representation on-screen.
As we wait for more news on the fate of “Make Divya Great Again,” we created our wishlist for who we would like to see essay this challenging, nuanced titular role.
1. Janina Gavankar
Gavankar is no newbie to the small screen (she’s even friends with Princess-to-be Meghan Markle!). Her credits include “Sleepy Hollow,” “The Mysteries of Laura,” and “True Blood” amongst others. The beautiful actress has garnered quite the fanbase, especially with her most recent voice role as Iden Versio in the video game “Star Wars Battlefront.” Her experience playing the strong femme fatale will come in handy in this role.
2. Tina Desai
After headlining “The Exotic Marigold Hotel” movies alongside Dev Patel, Desai’s claim to fame in America came with her Netflix show “Sense8,” in which she plays Mumbai pharmacist Kala Dandekar However, now that it’s coming to an end, it frees up Desai to lead her own show. Her background in Bollywood and Hollywood will lend an authenticity to Divya’s Indian-American heritage.
3. Dilshad Vadsaria
This talented “Greek” star would be a good fit to portray Divya. She obviously comes with the dramatic and comedic experience. Since the series ended in 2011, Vadsaria has appeared on several TV shows like “Revenge,” “Second Chances,” “Castle,” but not as the lead. We’re ready for that to change.
4. Tiya Sircar
Spent the day talking all about Vicky’s delusions of grandeur on #TheGoodPlace this season & the return of #StarWarsRebels. 🙆🏽♀️ Came home to discover this rad @SaloniOfficial dress perfectly matches my newly painted house. 🏡✔ Bout to go stuff my face with pasta & red wine. 🍝🍷 All in all, a pretty dang good Friday. Happy weekend, errybody! #pressday #Friyay #okayyyy (P.S. got this face beat & hair did by @drodbeauty today. Thanks, David! 💇🏽♀️💄💋💯)
Admittedly, this is a tough choice because Sircar already has two ongoing projects under her belt. She recurs as Vicki on “The Good Place” and will lead ABC’s upcoming comedy “Alex, Inc.” To top it up, she recently appeared on two brilliant shows with desi representation, “Master of None” and “The Mindy Project.” While it’s a lot to take on, it proves her capabilities as an actress. It’s why she would make the perfect Divya!
5. Freida Pinto
There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big. The “Slumdog Millionaire” actress is coming off of a successful role in the mini-series “Guerrilla,” and wrapping up two big films, “Jungle Book” and “Love, Sonia.” All of this points to the fact that she is hopefully available for her next big role. Her star power will definitely attract the audiences.
6. Shenaz Treasury
Runaway bride in Jackson Heights today! Jackson Heights is the Indian Pakistani Neighbourhood of New York in Queens. When in NYC and want Real Indian Food, this is the place to go… and yes scenes like this one are pretty common here 😀😂 This is a shot from my current film shoot-, “My Cousin Sister’s Wedding”. #travelwithshenaz #travelvlogger #traveldiary #traveltheworld #worldtraveler #goobejoggers #treehugger #traveltheworld #travelblogger #travelblog #travelvlog #travelinstyle #traveljunkie #travel #traveling #keepmoving #instatravel #ootd by @rahulny
Treasury has appeared in her fair share of Bollywood films like “Ishq Vishq,” “Delhi Belly,” and “Hum Tum,” but on this side of the world, she’s had roles on the soap opera “One Life to Live,” Netflix comedy “Brown Nation,” and most recently, she showed up in “The Big Sick.” She’s also a vlogger, a panelist for “The Late Late Show with Larry Wilmore,” and a TV host herself. The multi-talented actress and her bubbly personality would charm “Make Divya Great Again” viewers all the way through.
7. Hannah Simone
Simone’s claim to fame was her excellent portrayal of Cecelia Parekh on the FOX comedy “New Girl.” Unfortunately, the show is coming to an end after seven seasons. Fortunately, it means Simone is available for her next big role. A dramedy like this one would be perfect for her. As witnessed on “New Girl,” she is talented and hilarious and it would be criminal to make us wait to see her on our screens again.
8. Sujata Day
The actress can be seen in several projects like “Insecure,” “Brooklyn 99,” “Life in Pieces,” and “Grinder,” with each of her roles proving her might as an actress. While she has done these shows, she is relatively a fresher face amongst South Asian-American talent. If “Make Divya Great Again” wants to go down the route of featuring a newer actress, look no further than Day.
9. Melanie Chandra
Chandra played pivotal roles on “Code Black,” “The Brink” and “Brown Nation.” She’s also the lead in the 2015 indie movie “For Here or To Go,” about the plight of visa holders in the U.S. The actress and model is clearly talented and stunning. She chooses all her roles wisely, which is why she has a roster of great shows. Here’s hoping “Make Divya Great Again” can be added to it.