A Review Of Jasmeet (Jus Reign) Raina's Late Bloomer
"Like I said from the onset, go in with tempered expectations and this show will either pleasantly surprise you or insult your very being."
January 22, 2024 | 3.5 min. read | Opinion
Late Bloomer, a show by Jasmeet Raina, more popularly known as Jus Reign during his YouTube era, debuted on Crave TV in Canada this past Friday with an initial two episodes.
Simply put, if you liked Jus Reign and his style of comedy during his YouTube days, then this show will likely resonate with you. If you didn’t appreciate his style or found it in any way degrading or insulting at either a communal or personal level, you’ll likely feel the same way about this project. To be fair, the show is much more in-depth and layered than any of his YouTube skits or vlogs.
Late Bloomer itself feels like a biopic following the life of a young Sikh influencer who drops out of med school and is starting to find some fame online. He navigates the conflict of juggling his creative endeavours while also managing familial and societal expectations that don't fully comprehend them.
Making online content is a sort of therapy for navigating all of that, he shares at one point in the show.
The first episode centers around Jasmeet taking some nudes of himself, which he saves to his computer, to exchange with a Cute Girl From The Club. Unfortunately for Jasmeet, his laptop later gets stolen, and he spends the episode tracking it down and getting it back to save himself from embarrassment.
Where the show goes a bit sideways is it takes place over Gurpurbh with Jasmeet talking about the stolen laptop in the Langar hall while visiting the Gurdwara. He makes comments about there being too many Gurpubhs, much to the disappointment of Jasmeet’s mother in the show, and speaks about the Gurus in a way that many would deem disrespectful. Maybe a little too casual with the Sikhi references, especially in light of the fact that much of the audience will not be from the community.
Are they laughing with us or at us? This is a question some will ask, and one that Late Bloomer is clearly self-aware of as the show introduces another popular YouTuber and old collaborator, Babu, embracing his once again popular Amrtidhari Khalsa Singh Sikh character. A loud, abrasive, and very confident character.
The Singh and his group of friends confront Jasmeet at the Langar Hall and essentially warn him not to embarrass the community with questionable conduct or content as his videos continue to grow in popularity online. It follows with a scene later in the show of Jasmeet dreaming up a situation in which his nude images get leaked and the fears of the shame it’ll bring his family and community with the Singhs also storming his house with Kirpans out.
It is hard not to feel that the scenes are likely an intentional nod at the controversy that Jasmeet was embroiled in late in his YouTube career before his exodus, when a short video went viral that featured him and a phallic toy of sorts.
It is easy to get the impression that Jasmeet is tackling the kind of criticism he has received in the past right from the start to seemingly draw a line in the sand. “This is the type of humor you can expect, and if you’re not down with it, so be it,” that is.
To that end, it comes back down to if you found Jus Reign funny, you’ll likely continue to enjoy this show. If you found him insulting, then you’ll continue to find him insulting in this.
It seems like Jasmeet has made peace with that dichotomy.
Some online have called the show a breath of fresh air when it comes to Sikh representation in the media, but that may be overstating it. It’s a show aimed at a specific demographic, and whether it finds widespread appeal outside of the brown, second-generation minority bubble seems questionable.
But it’s a fun watch, and I hope it finds the metric success it needs to stay on and get renewed for future seasons. It made me smirk and laugh, and I found it to be a decently well-written and produced comedy. The debate surrounding whether his stories poke fun at the community from the inside for the entertainment of others versus it being a communally shared experience for many children of immigrants will likely rage on as the show continues.
If I was going to draw any comparisons, the show at best reminded me of A Man Like Mobeen, but with a focus on a Sikh identity, and I’m happy with that. It’s great seeing local talent rise up.
If this acts as a springboard for even more shows in this subgenre, I’m here for it.
Like I said from the onset, go in with tempered expectations, and this show will either pleasantly surprise you or insult your very being. Either way, be careful watching this one around parents or your children if you’re hoping to avoid some awkward moments.
Shinda Singh is a Sr. Mobile & Web Architect, with a background in InfoSec, and a passion for gaming and decentralized system design. You can find him on Twitter at @shindasingh.
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