This article seeks to explore the great saga of the Indian television. The sensational news, melodramatic soaps, boisterous comedy. I am skipping channels(I just don’t know where to stop!)
BREAKING NEWS: “A shadow has been seen on Mars(pic was shown). Could it be Osama bin Laden’s?” – a story by a popular Hindi News network. (Imagine!)
There was a time in Indian television’s life when it was appreciated for the brilliance of Mahabharata and the Malgudi days. I still watch them on Youtube. Why is it that the youth, or at least most of us, cannot stand any Indian television show now?
1. Need for masala : Indian television thrives on masala. The ideal show on the television is one which is overloaded with spice, and unexplainable circumstances(Kya… kya… kya?). Our comedy was Mihir making a comeback after his death in Kyunki Sans bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. And, lets be realistic, who can ever produce this awesome science-defying humour? (Even though we secretly wish that Ekta Kapoor can reveal her secret to Shonda Rhimes, so that we can have Mark Sloan and Liz back on Grey’s Anatomy)
2. Stereotypical loud characters: On the television,characters are stereotyped, and unluckily, nerds have on space on the television. We have the Mihir Stereotype, the Ram Kapoor stereotype or the Pavitra Rishta Stereotype…err..wait, they all are basically one character. In women, we have the Tulsi stereotype and the Komolika stereotype. Old orthodox dadi, strict papa, caring mom,conspiring in-laws.
3. ‘I don’t want to be Independent, Papa’ : Irrespective of the fact, that the women on TV have a career, they are sort of independent and earn money. The roles they embody are exact opposite. I will divide the roles and the independence that they can have.
Firstly, there is the initially independent women(this can also be caused by certain factors like financial crisis in the family, absence or death of the father etc etc) , who is homely also, her secret aim in life is to get married. She bumps into this rich man who she confuses for a jerk, but ultimately, falls in love with him, marries him and gives up her career.
Second is the Homely girl whose happiness is in housework and appeasing the step-mother who hates her. Ultimately, she gets married to a man who isn’t interested in her. And hence, all her life is spent in appeasing him. So, basically, how can we expect Penny, Rachel or Monica to survive on Indian Television.
4. Yeh Family Show ka Jaal hai- Family shows dictate our television, all of them aim for the family. Trivial problems are inserted in the setting of a joint family to bloat them into an elephant. The family with the jealous Chacha Chacha, with the cunning Bhabhi, the rotlu Nephew and the ideal Ram and Sita. ( Are all Indian families like this? Mine is not for sure )
5. Sex doesn’t exist. Period.- Indian Television has excluded to project the most natural process on television. I must pause and give a huge round of applause to ‘Bade Ache Lagte Hain‘ for airing a kiss between the protagonists. Hopefully, in the next decade, the characters might begin to touch each other also, because so far they have been restricted to eye contact, shy smiles and constipated facial expressions.
6. Badly inspired shows – Remember, ‘Small Wonder’? It had an Indian version too called ‘Karishma ka Karishma‘. If you are still confused as to why India can’t have their own version of these shows. Please watch the travesty that Karishma ka Karishma was.
Indian Television is an acquired taste( or is it? ). It gives you the thrill of break ups based on confusions, of miraculous disappearances and appearances, and ultimately, to spread the message, that we, Indians, are the best Plastic Surgeons in the world!
Will we ever be able to create the quality of shows like The Big Bang Theory, FRIENDS, Grey’s Anatomy, Mentalist etc? I guess that will only happen when our audiences stop enjoying the melodrama, the over sensationalising of news and start enjoying stuff which touches the real side of them. Till that time Indian television shows are No-No for me. I will let Sheldon’s Bazinga… Grey’s life… Patrick Jane’s mentalism and others entertain me.
What do you guys think? Write in the comments below.