Should someone have forewarned me that Koffee With Karan would make me cry due to its resonance with my mental well-being, I might have dismissed it, suspecting a channel misalignment. Yet, in this instance, the show appears to have seamlessly embraced a more fitting ambiance.

Ranveer and Deepika’s debut on the (in)famous couch, occurring half a decade post their wedding, crosses expectations, presenting a remarkably non-sensational and profoundly human encounter.

The inaugural episode of the eighth season signifies an evolution, with Johar’s acute self-awareness and profound comprehension of his show’s brand—arguably his strongest suit. Gossip relinquishes its dominance to genuine conversation. The audience is given a bridge between who we see on screen and who Johar knows off screen..

Yet, who are we to pass judgment on Koffee With Karan? Paradoxically, it is the very sensationalism criticized by both the audience and Karan himself that underpins the show’s triumph.

Karan served as the mouthpiece for our voyeuristic gaze into the lives of celebrities – Can these two women genuinely be friends, given their shared past with a common ex? Does this son dwell in the shadows of his illustrious father? Did these cousins once compete for the same fame? When will this actor marry? Are these two just good friends? Did she genuinely undergo plastic surgery? Is their marriage on the rocks?

Critique befalls Karan when he caters to sensationalism, denigrating his show as inferior. Conversely, when he orchestrates genuine conversations, his efforts are disparaged as mundane, and the show purportedly loses its charm. Perhaps, akin to Karan, we ought to introspect, discerning our genuine expectations from a show that provides fleeting glimpses into the lives of our cherished celebrities.

Ranveer and Deepika offer a genuine glimpse into their lives. They share disgustingly adorable dance dates and recount stories of helplessness around Deepika’s struggles with mental health. In short, Ranveer talks about the heart, while Deepika delves into the mind, resulting in a heartfelt conversation that reveals more about these actors as people than any of their previous interviews.

Given it’s just a talk show, I was taken aback when Karan verbalized what I had felt in a long time —the vacuum one feels when they see a genuinely happy couple, the sense of vacuum upon witnessing a genuinely happy relationship or the unexplainable sadness when anxiety and depression hit. Or deviating your existential crisis with something completely else – such as fashion in Johar’s case.

Unlike the previous season, the show doesn’t seem to be justifying its existence, reveling in its drawbacks, or being stuck in its shortcomings. Instead, Karan genuinely engages in conversation over a cup of coffee with a pair of smoking hot friends, discussing love, life, mental health breakdowns, and a random game that – hilariously – nobody understands for a hot second. Although, as a thorough Koffee consumer, I hardly think Ranveer’s sulk required any pacifying on losing the rapid fire round when he was anything but rapid.

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