October 2011 archive

How shows like Bade Ache Lagte Hain and Parichay can revolutionize Indian soap opera?

Since it’s inception TV soaps are known to target only home-makers, but not any more! With soaps like “Bade Acche Laggte Hain” on Sony and “Parichay” on Colors this might change (and it’s already changing) very soon.

Recently these two soaps have grabbed our eyeballs (yes, we do not watch any other soaps on TV :D ). This is what we have observed –

These shows have dared and been successful so far in catering the audience of age group 25+ Males in addition to the usual 35+ Females, which is the usual benchmark for any Indian soap opera show.

My only question- Was this intentional? Did Ekta actually gave this a thought (that she can hack the minds of nomads like us)? Or is this because youngsters like us are not getting anything worth to watch?

Well it will take some time to really understand the true reason behind this. So why am I talking about this today?

Well, I might have never touched this genre but was compelled when my 30 year old married brother mentioned it last night that even he watches these 2 shows on TV every night. I was shocked. Why? Coz like us he hates all other soap operas.

Coincidentally both these shows have been produced under Ekta Kapoor’s banner of Balaji Telefilms, who is undoubtedly the queen of Indian soap operas. “Bade Achhe Laggte hain” which was launched a little earlier than “Parichay”, has Saakshi Tanwar and Ram Kapoor in the main lead. The show has been in lime-light because of the extraordinary storyline where Saakshi who is in her early thirties and Ram who is in his early forties get married for the sake of their families and then the show depicts their struggle to adjust with each other. Also how they both start developing affection for each other. The show entails a hilarious bickering between these two which is the most interesting part to watch as many couples in the same situation will be able to co-relate themselves.

Parichay” was launched in August which has Samir Soni playing the male protagonist as Kunal Chopra, who has lost his interest in life due to his failures and continues to lead an indifferent life. Life takes a major u-turn when he loses his brother in a bomb blast on the day of his wedding and he is forced to marry his deceased brother’s fiancé, Siddhi Kunal Chopra (role played by Keerti Nagpure). The story has been given very typical treatment but the role essayed and portrayed by Samir Soni is what keeps the viewers glued to the show. The show is a major hit and has already beaten some of its competitor shows in the same time slot on other channels.

Both the shows have lead couples with awesome chemistry and that is one of the most compelling reasons for millions of viewers across the country to get hooked to these shows. Either they will create a niche for them and will be one of the few shows that cater to a larger audience. However we also feel that if they continue to be in the same league they will survive otherwise if they introduce the regular drama/ or not required turns then they will also fail with the new created audience just like any other soap opera shows in India.

Are we going to see more of such soaps targeting youth?

Curiosity on Discovery- Teaser

Prelude for Curiosity on Discovery: Starting from 17th October

Can you live forever? What would happen if aliens attacked? Did God create the universe? What lies beneath Egypt? Do you know all about orgasms? Is there a parallel Universe? Why sex is fun? Is death optional? What lessons can we learn from Steve Jobs and Apple Inc.’s success? Do all these questions make you curious or what are the big questions that keep you up at night? Welcome to Curiosity. This television series guarantees to be one of its kinds, with an escapade of discovery and an expedition to unravel the truths behind life’s most simple yet challenging questions.

This hour long journey will take you through a thrilling collection of confrontational and puzzling topics with an unappeasable craving for answers and questions. Celebrity guests and hosts will join in every episode on this ride for truth, the answers that will astonish even the most curious among us.

“Did God create the Universe?” is the premiere episode of the new series “Curiosity” which will air on Discovery Channel from 17th October every Monday at 8PM (India). The pilot episode will have theoretical physicist and cosmologist, Stephen Hawking who segregate critics about this question along religious and scientific lines. Hawking clearly acknowledges the controversy about the rift between two opinions however he gives his strong opinion that “Why he is certain God did not create the Universe”.

So are we wondering that what is Curiosity? What really makes us Curious? Each episode of the show will center around one single question pertaining to countless topics like science, technology, Earth Science, education, computers, arts & architecture, environment, medicine & health, psychology and many more. So tune into this one, every Monday 8 pm on Discovery Channel if you want to know the answers to the most insightful questions.

Don’t forget to Tune in!

What do Roadies, Bigg Boss, Emotional Atyachaar, Spiltsvilla, Comedy Circus have in common?

Whenever I even think about reality shows in India I can only think about getting embarrassed if I have to watch them with my parents. Yes, that is the bitter reality of reality shows and that’s what I’m going to talk about today [I'll still end up on a positive note about few "healthy" reality shows which are on-air].

The first show that comes to my mind (and eyes, ear, tongue) is obviously Bigg Boss Season 5 as this is currently the most controversial and over-hyped reality show famous for its not-so-famous celebrities (amazing isn’t). The show has recently received lot of flak from its viewers as the 10 days old season have only one male contestant this time with 13 female contestants. Very interestingly one of the female contestants, Sonika Kaliraman recently made a voluntary exit as she couldn’t take the chaotic atmosphere in the show with all the cat fights among other housemates. iDubba also posted a tweet about the same on 3rd October, just after a day Bigg Boss was launched and proved clearly that these shows are indeed scripted to get attention and apparently gain TRPs. The show has now got another male contestant actor Amar Upadhyay to give company to Shakti Kapoor, the solo male member in the house. Of course we can expect more male contestants coming in with its “wild card” entries. The show has always been in debate as they keep or remove any contestant to manage their TRPs.

Emotional Atyachaar is another show that has raised some eyebrows as they have shown adultery and disloyalty to an extent that I can’t remember even one episode where the so called “Suspect” came out clean. It is funny how my couple friends talk about their relationship and say to each other in a rather light manner-

Don’t you dare go anywhere without informing me otherwise I will have EMOTIONAL ATYACHAAR test conducted on you

Roadies (Roadies season-9 coming soon) and Splitsvillaon MTV were few of my favourites that I followed religiously. However these shows have depicted violence, ensuing abuses, inappropriate sexual content so much in the last few seasons that I can’t remember when I switched to MTV Channel last time to tune in to these shows.

Language is another problem that these reality shows have these days. I remember switching to Comedy Circus ka Naya Daurthat is aired on SONY channel currently when I was having a nice Sunday breakfast with my dad. The obscene language and remarks used by the contestants, which is supposedly aim to make others laugh, made me leave the room with a disgust feeling for the show. I missed the clean and wonderful jokes that the original “Laughter Challenge” had, that gave us some incredible stand up comedians like Sunil Pal, Ahsaan Qureshi, Raju Srivastava and Bhagwant Mann.

There was one positive impact that I could find was that there are few dating shows that have helped LGBT community by featuring gay couples and showcasing to Indian society that we need to come out of our mind shackles soon.

In midst of all these shows I could find one show, Axe ur Ex on Channel V that I can enjoy with a great laugh and without worrying about obscenity. This show has concept of irritating (to hell) the ex boyfriend/girlfriend with some great ideas that are harmless and fun to watch.

There are many popular shows that sell and cash on adultery, violence, sex and fraud. Most of the reality shows in India are poor imitation of their foreign counterparts from where the ideas are adopted and used blindly in India. These fail to gain TRPs normally and thus thrive on controversies and scripted plots. However if we look closer we can definitely have shows with less embarrassment for us to watch along with parents or kids.

Any one who wants to play Devil’s advocate here?

Proof that Bigg Boss 5 is scripted!

BiggBoss tweet

On 3rd of Oct, just after a day Bigg Boss started, iDubba got to know from an insider that Sonika Kaliraman is in the show for only a week. Above tweet which iDubba did on 3rd of Oct is a proof of same.

Sonika Kaliraman

Now, as expected we saw yesterday that Sonika was given this opportunity to leave the house and happily excepted that citing the reason as “turbulent environment in the ‘Bigg Boss’ house”.

Proof is in front of you friends, all of this is scripted to get maximum attention from press and people. Stories are scripted and viewers are made to believe that all of it is reality.

But we all watch the show, isn’t ;) ?

How India's Got Talent's final episode ruined the whole season?

Reality television busted the dullness of Indian television few years ago with its attention-grabbing scripts and out-of-the box ideas. The prime time shows still rule the TRPs however reality shows have been successful in creating a niche for themselves. These reality shows are based on themes such as talent hunt, celebrity based shows, game shows and many more but they all have one thing in common – they either place ordinary people in extra-ordinary situations or celebrities in real-life situations and then let viewers enjoy the masala flavor.

IGT finals with shahrukh

Now the question is – Are these Reality Shows truly real? If you think this is a controversial question, well we have made our point. The credibility and realism of these shows are forever arguable. But we do have more than enough examples to prove that most of the time these reality shows are “STAGED” and “SCRIPTED” to the core. We are living in a time where people don’t mind putting their personal life in public to make a quick buck and viewers get excited as they get their daily dose of cheap fun in the name of “reality”.

Let’s look at what happened at the recent grand finale of India’s Got Talent aired on Colors:

  • The whole episode of finale was “sold” to a movie that was being released soon -Ra.One (yes, SRK starrer).
  • All final performances had something or other to do with Ra.One, although these         performances were not accounted for voting.
  • The special guest was Shahrukh Khan, who of course was there to promote Ra.One
  • He gave away autographed posters/standees, G.One toys etc to the contestants during   the show.
  • Though the show promoters or Shahrukh didn’t promote Ra.one overtly (by beating their chests), but still it was very evident.
  • SRK was promoting the brand SRK itself, alongside (as usual).

All the above mentioned highlights gave the grand finale a kick and (so called) perfect entertainment. But somehow I felt the show lost it’s originality and charm and everything looked like a paid gimmick.

This was the trendsetter in India’s Reality TV, with an entire episode sold to Ra.One for promotions.

Now contrary to above we also have few shows that still haven’t lost their touch and share of “reality”. I personally followed the complete season of MasterChef India last time and it was indeed a great pleasure to watch it. The rationale is effortless – the show kept itself away from any kind of controversies and cheap publicity gimmicks. The show’s simple yet appealing concept kept the interest in it. The winner of last season Pankaj Bhadouria now hosts her own show “Chef Pankaj ka Zayka” on Star Plus. Yes, agreed having a star (Akhsay Kumar) might have helped to gain TRPs initially but the second season which will be on air by next week has dropped Akshay and roped in world’s famous India based Chef Vikas Khanna.

Although you can argue about the “type” of content of both the reality shows but important thing to note here is that soul of a reality show should remain intact. Otherwise it looks fake and disoriented. Do you guys feel the same?

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