If you are also not able to find humor in our comedy shows then you are definitely in the category where people are waiting for good and ‘clean’ comedy on Indian television and if you have already find it then please share what I am missing. Oh yes… and if in case you ask me to switch on to latest shows on SAB TV then I agree there are two or three good shows which are worth giving time like Taarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashmah and recently launched R.K. Laxman Ki Duniya. However all the remaining shows fail to impress even a bit.
Apparently the Indian Television industry was expected to grow over 500 billion by the end of 2011 and currently it has over 500 channels broadcasted. But I still find dearth of substance in our tv shows. For example comedy shows which are my all time favourite are definitely way too below the level of good comedy or sitcom shows. Let us take a look at the journey of Indian television in terms of comedy shows in last 28 years.
Yeh Jo hai Zindagi was India’s first sitcom aired in 1984 on Doordarshan. The show written by comedy writer Sharad Joshi was such a huge hit that even box-office openings in cinemas were affected due to the airing of the show because it aired on Friday nights. Then came the ‘era’ in 1993 of two most widely admired comedy shows ever in the history of Indian television: Dekh Bhai Dekh and Zabaan Sambhalke. I am sure that these two names certainly brings a big smile on everyone’s face and those unforgettable characters like Balraj Diwan (Navin Nischol), Samir Diwan (Shekhar Suman), Gareema (Deven Bhojani), Mohan Bharti (Pankaj Kapoor) and many other became an integral part of our lives. Within two years Doordarshan launched another hilarious comedy Srimaan Srimati in 1995 that gave India one of its favourite characters ‘Dilruba’. Simultaneously Zee TV launched its most popular comedy show till date Hum Paanch in 1995. Another hit show Padosan was launched on DD Metro in 1998. All these have left a legacy behind them and I can’t find any show matching up to their level currently or in these all years.
In modern day classics i can count Office Office easily which was launched in 2001 on SAB TV. This hugely popular and admired sitcom was based on corruption and bribery in public offices. The story revolved around Mussadilal (Bollywood actor Pankaj Kapoor) who was often harshly greeted by the corrupt officials. “Mussadilal” was the favourite character of viewers for a very long period and we remember him fresh as ever even now.
Now coming back to today’s topic of this post “Why comedy shows are drying up on Indian television”? Honestly after all these years finally in 2005 I thought that there is a chance that Indian comedy can get back to track when a new reality comedy show “The Great Indian Laughter Challenge” was launched. The Star One’s laughter show won millions of hearts and before we knew there were four seasons in their kitty. The laughter challenge gave way to all these shows on “Comedy Circus” that are aired on Sony TV regularly. However the quality of the comedians and their so called “punches” has deteriorated immensely. In terms of another blogger whose post I read the other day “the contestants of these shows grew up with time and became big-time perverts”. The reality comedy shows today are nothing but a sign toward the hypocrisy of Indian television that call these laughter shows full of double-meaning jokes family shows.
So what is the exact reason? Are we short of good comedy writers, or we are short of good character artists who can do good comedy or it is just the mindset that is not able to accept some clean and good talent? Tell us your views if you have answer to these questions.