‘Aim for perfection and settle for excellence,’ is one of the dozen cliched phrases thrown at the jaded Srikant Tiwari (played with aplomb by the outstanding Manoj Bajapee) by his 28-year old jargon-sprouting IT firm CEO. Of course, those well-versed with season one of the espionage thriller will know that Srikant is certainly not”the minimal guy.”

So it’s not long before the FOMO-ridden intrepid former NIA (National Investigation Agency) agent chucks his conventional 9-6 desk endeavor to rejoin TASC (Threat Identification and Surveillance Mobile ) in hot pursuit of a dreaded terrorist who has joined hands with a deadly opponent to wreak havoc on India.

The action moves out of Chennai and Mumbai into Jaffna, London and even Normandy as TASC attempt to piece the mystery together prior to the Sri Lankan Tamil Liberation commando and fighter pilot Raaji (Samantha Akkineni at a restrained yet energy packed functionality ) accomplishes her explosive mission.

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The Family Man series owes its success to a combination of excellent writing aided by excellent cinematography, underlined by a few superlative acting, and plot twists that encircle the dynamics of a modern family drama with the essence of a spy thriller.

But even as some rivetting action sequences anchor the story using bullets flying thick and heavy and well-orchestrated chases down narrow alleyways and on rooftops, somewhere the plot falters and you are left twiddling your thumbs waiting for the certain scene to pick up speed.

Maybe Srikant’s wife Suchi’s (Priyamani looking stunning but at a one-dimensional function that doesn’t do any justice to Indian wives) angst-ridden character best reflects this. When confronted with the terrifying news that her teenage daughter Dhriti (Ashlesha Thakur who bears an uncanny resemblance to her real-life mom) has gone lost in the middle of the night, she responds much as she sleepwalks through the show, in extreme slow-motion.

TFM creators obviously wanted to flaunt their fundamental character as the real hero who has to combat not only deadly terrorists from across the borders but an unfeeling, illogical spouse who through the amount of the present 9-episode series, is saddled with a dialogue sheet filled with much more sighs than actual words. And Sharad Kelkar is so under-utilized at a role that showcases him because the absolutely understanding colleague using a beat Suchi but isn’t called on to lift the weight.

Samantha on the other hand gets a meaty role to sink her teeth into with a backstory that is as heart-wrenching as it is terrifying. She is a quiet presence for much of the show but the scenes in which her ferociousness erupts will startle you with its primate nature.

Sharib Hashmi as JK is just another standout actor – the bromance involving Srikant and him, enlivened by a few witty repartees, might seem pushed at certain junctures but enliven the proceedings.

We are, of course, in awe of Manoj Bajpayee’s ability but in this series can’t help but respect his well-tailored clothing in addition to his crowning glory whose coiffured splendor remains intact even after he’s chased a dozen bad guys or been engaged in a deadly shootout at the middle of the night.

The creator’s Raj and DK have scored enormous yet again using a homegrown series that is organically Pan Indian and straddles two differing genres using elan.