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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Jab Love Hua - Does anybody watch this ?

I was trolling around the TV serials after 10:30, and I came across this strange looking serial on Zee TV. It was based around a village, and seemed to have a village bumkin and a smartly dressed girl. Seems interesting .. so much different from the saas bahu kind of serials; and it was interesting, to some extent. Started on April 24, 2006, it appers on Zee TV.
The serial is about a rich girl, Aanya (Priya Badlani) whose family is rich, and she is like any other rich spoiled girl, somewhat of a brat, brash, imperious, sorrounded by luxury. She seems like having it all. However, a turn of fate takes away all this, and she has to go and live in a village. You can imagine the reaction - a city girl in a village. She can't stand the strange ways, and boy, do they consider her strange. Her dressing is so different from the village style, she behaves in ways that are normal to her but are considered so different by the villagers, and maybe they even consider her somewhat more forward than how village belles are supposed to behave.
Then she meets Raghu (Sudeep Sahir), a boy of the village, and they fall in love (well that's how the ads used to put it); but it isn't so simple. He is still a villager, and if I use the term used by city people, something of a bumkin. He works in the fields, dresses as a villager would, and so on. They run into each other a few times, with no obvious reaction.
And this is where it turns corny (or rather, the serial starts to gain strenght), they start to fall for each other over a period of time. His mother is a nice cooperative lady, and she does not do anything against this. However, this is a serial, and you cannot not have evil or somewhat bad characters in the serial, or else the serial will end very fast. So, you have Raghu's dadi coming into the picture suddenly, an imperious lady who does not quite appreciate her grandson contemplating marriage with a shahar ki mem. She tries a lot of things, such as getting in another girl who is more to her taste, and arranging for some crazy competition between the 2 girls to see who can be a better bahu. In addition, there is another comic couple of a town girl and a village lad which is pretty much atrocious.
At this point, the serial started quickly going downhill, and now seems like a forced twist and turn in the story. They are married in the serial now, and are making up some story as they move along. And somehow I end up blaming the Balaji telefilms for all such things, they are the ones who make their serials go on and on by twists in the story, generation time leaps, and so on; and everybody wants to follow in their footsteps. Would it not be good to be able to terminate a serial on time before it starts to turn stale, and you hit the channel change button as soon as the serial starts to come on ?

Using one's own serial for advertising

For a person not familiar with the goings-on in the media industry, this was pretty interesting in terms of strategy. In the past, on Star Plus, I have normally seen that when a new serial is about to be introduced, the buzz for the serial starts on the channel much before in terms of teasers and ads. Which is all well and fine. But, when a regular 30 minute serial is taken, which already has time cut due to ads, explanation of what happened in the serial in the past, we are left with around 20 minutes. And now, here is what Balaji Telefims did.
Balaji Telefilms makes popular teleserials appearing at prime time, at the 10 - 11 PM slot on Star Plus. It also was the producer of the recent movie called 'Shootout at Lokhandwala', with a large star cast - namely, Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Vivek Oberoi, Suniel Shetty, Arbaaz Khan, and gentleman called Tusshar Kapoor (who incidentally happens to be the brother of the main person behind Balaji Telefilms (Ekta Kapoor)).
I am not going to do a review of the movie here, but recent comments from people who have seen it was not very complimentary. So here I was watching this serial at prime time, and what do I suddenly see ? A discussion suddenly started on watching a film, and what do you observe ? One character telling the other than a good movie to see is 'Shootout at Lokhandwala', having some excellent characters and with some very good performance by Tusshar Kapoor.
Now, Ekta Kapoor is entitled to praise whom she wants in her serials, but it was very strange. Such open promotion of a movie seems almost mercenary, given that the script (if any) of the serial would have to be changed to accomodate this praise. Other people present in the room had that strange look in their face, 'How did that dialogue get in there?'. And then burst out laughing when this strange incident in the episode finally ended.
I wonder whether Star Plus was actually a party to this ? I do not know how they would benefit from such open advertising ? Somehow I ended up comparing serials that show up on the English side, and I have never seen anything like this, so maybe this is an Indian innovation. Did people notice this particular scene ?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

India TV: A news channel with a difference

In office, the discussion around the lunch table typically is about what's the next news on India TV (or what the last interesting news was). India currently has a large number of news channels, and when some major event takes place, all the channels concentrate on that. So, for example, when the blasts happened in UP, this was covered on all the channels, and was only replaced when Maninder Singh was caught with cocaine, and there was the sight of each channel trying to find their own set of people to interview, including people on the sight, former cricketers, and so on. The one glorious exception to this entire new coverage was the news on India TV.
India TV seems to have a found a niche of its own. It tries to cover sensational news, leaving behind the likes of Star News and Aaj Tak. So, for example, India TV was the first channel to investigate and find the news about an illicit sex racket running on the premier Rajdhani trains, it periodically covers tales of haunted places, about other sex rackets running with plenty of description (in fact, on a lighter note, a friend of mine got a blasting from his wife for watching such a sleazy channel when she occassioned to see some of the coverage, but he managed to wriggle out of this situation by explaining it as a national TV channel). At another time, the channel was trying to run a story about a ichadari (snake that can change shape and become a human being as well) snake as well. Similarly, late at night, they have a discussion where they get doctors and advisors and get people to phone in and talk about their sex related problems.
So I normally do not have much of a tolerance for such kind of news, but this seemed interesting enough that I thought that I would try it out. Today afternoon, I switched to India TV, and found them running an exclusive on a snake couple writhing together in the water somewhere in Madhya Pradesh. This was running for around the 3-4 minutes that I was watching the channel, and this seemed fairly interesting :-). In the night, I ran into something that seemed far more stable, this was Rajat Sharma interviewing Rakhi Sawant on his adalat program.
Overall, the more I thought about it, the makers of India TV seem to be making a hit out of the attempts to make it a niche channel, abandoning too much serious news. After all, if people know about it as a distinctive channel out of the so many news channel out there, and talk about it to each other, then it is a success. And people need a break from serious disaster news.
Maybe I will end up watching it more often, we all need a break from serious stuff going all around us.

The biggest loser on Sahara: Should we have such programs ?

In the line of reality programmes that are popping up left, right and center, add a new one. This is a program called 'The Biggest Loser' airing on Sahara One on Friday, Saturday and Sunday right after Sahara's most popular serial 'Woh Rehne Waali Mehlon ki". All of the reality shows draw inspiration from the success of the original KBC on Star Plus that not only got very high ratings, but even pulled up other shows on the same channel. The biggest Loser is a copy of an international program that first started in 2004.
So what is the biggest loser all about ? It is about bringing together 2 teams of 16 people in total, and forming the Red team and the Blue team. For star quotient, you have Suneil Shetty as a fading Bollywood celebrity. These teams are under the control of personal trainers who make them follow a regime of diet and exercise in order to weight lose. But not everything is nice and sweet. The teams will be weighed every day, and the team that loses less weight at the end of the week will have to remove 1 player from their team till there are only 3 people left as finalists, and the ultimate winner will get the grand prize.
The program has got a heavy boost of advertising, with a lot of promos before the start of the show, and even now, there is an incredible amount of advertising on FM radio. Sahara really seems to believe that this will be the show that will bring it up. When you watch the show, already one person has been kicked out, and some of my worst fears are coming to light.
In order to make this a selling program, they will have to put in a large amount of emotion and drama, and you can assume that with the lure of money, there will be a lot of peer pressure, especially in a situation where one person can be seen as making a team fail.
So what are the things that can go wrong:
- Weight loss and gain is a very person dependent nature. It is nice to say that if a person eats less and does more exercise, then there will be a weight loss. This is however a very simplistic statement. Weight loss depends on a person's biology, their metabolic clock, and so on.
- Point related to the one above. People can not lose weight for weeks under a strict regime, and then start losing weight suddenly. Under the program situation, such a person would get kicked out very quickly.
- In India, people who are fat or obese suffer a lot of social pressure, with total strangers coming to them and offering about how to lose weight; if they go to social occasions where there is food, people will admonish them to eat less, and so on. In such situations, if a person gets kicked out for not losing weight,
then it is very likely that a person can conclude that even with trainers and diet regime, it is impossible to lose weight and be extremely disappointed.
- Slim people watching this show are more likely to go to fatter people and offer even more advise such as getting trainers or controlling their diet.
- There is a real risk of biological damage under a harsh regime. The human body needs to slowly settle into a new regime, not suddenly be exposed to massive changes. Under channel pressure, even expert trainers could be provoked into pushing these people much harder than necessary.
- One is not sure about the level of safety in such programmes. If you read this article by Sakshi, then you can see that unsafe events are happening.
There are some plus points of the programme, such as maybe pushing more people to take care of their bodies, but my overall impression is that of a channel willing to do anything to gain more ratings.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Fauji - Shahrukh Khan's first serial on air

I was reading some stuff about good old time when there was only Doordarshan, and my thoughts went back to some of the serials we used to watch at that point, and of which memories are somewhat dim. I remember Fauji as one of them, and one of the reasons why it is so remembered is because it was the serial that introduced Shahrukh Khan to Indian television, and then I found an interview with Lekh Tandon who had made the serial, and he revealed that Shahrukh had actually started shooting for another serial called Dil Dariya first, but Fauji was the first one to be released. One interesting point was that he forced Shahrukh to cut his hair for the serial.
Fauji was about commandos joining their training school. Shahrukh Khan was Abhimanyu Rai, a bright young, but naughty trainee. His elder brother Vikram is a senior training officer, who cannot behave with any leniency towards Shahrukh. In one incident, Vikram sentences Shahrukh to a rigorous punishment, but then forgets about him. When he remembers, Shahrukh is still struggling with that punishment even as he is near collapse.

Great India Laughter Challenge 3 - Hope it is better this time

The Great India Laughter Challenge, when it came for the first time, was like a breath of fresh air in the midst of all the family drama serials, and became fairly popular even though it was not on a prime TV channel, instead appearing on Star One on the weekends. However, the combination of a good hostess, of 2 celebrity judges (Shekhar Suman and Navjot Singh) and some great characters made this show a must-see for a number of people. Clips of episodes became a fast moving digital item. People such as Sunil Pal, Raju Shrivastava, Bhagwant Mann, etc became very famous.
However, the second episode seemed a bit stale. The jokes were not so good, and viewers felt a sense of disillusionment that the program seemed to have gone down in quality. In addition, rumours of rifts between the hosts were circulating everywhere, and there indeed seem to have been some differences between the hosts. However, there were more guest celebrities with some second line film stars appearing on the show.
Now, the third round has launched, with the first episode of the Great India Laughter Challenge 3 appearing on May18, and is styled as 2 episodes per week on Star One, on Friday and Saturday at 9 PM. The talent hunt for the episodes ran at 11 locations in India so as to get more local talent. The winner is likely to be announced in September.
Read this interview of Navjot Sidhu here.

It was an afternoon Shekhar Suman and Navjot Singh Sidhu would like to forget as mediapersons grilled them about the falling standards of the jokes in the second season of the television show, The Great Indian Laughter Challenge and the reports of growing differences between Sidhu and Shekhar.
"Never before has any programme reached the heights which this programme has achieved," Suman stated. "I have had personal reasons for not appearing in the programme with Sidhupaaji because I was cutting an album, shooting for films and doing other assignments. Minor differences do arise between two personalities when they sit together. But it wasn't as if we were not on talking terms."
Both of them admitted that they had received complaints about the falling standards of the jokes in the show. "We try to refine the jokes and language and teach the participants some techniques. But sometimes, they get out of hand. Just like a coach cannot be blamed for a poor shot of a master batsman," Shekhar explained.
Sidhu blamed the editing team for pasting his laughter on some of the jokes even before they began. "Bhai, yeh pooch ke aapne meri izzat bacha li," he said with a broad smile when a journalist asked him why he laughed even when there were jokes about dead people.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Music reality shows, their judges and fighting ..

I was watching Hero Honda Sa Re Ga Ma Pa for the first time in this season. It was really good to see that Ashaji is there for the judgement,she makes everybody feel so proud that we have such a gem in India.
I have written about this show earlier also but I could not resist writing again on it again. Watching this show after all the melodramatic shows during the week (any family drama you watch) brings the moments of freshness and pride that we have so much great talent in the world. On the same hour, a new show named Voice of India hosted by Shaan and judged by Alka Yagnik, Abhijeet, Aadesh Srivastava and Jatin or Lalit(i am not sure). Everybody who is watching these shows can easily make the difference between these two shows, partly due to the quality of judges. Without doubt, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa has more weight. But one question that came into my mind was abouot why did Shaan not host the show? He had left this show and Zee TV also and switched over to Star Plus. Sure there must be some differences, but nodoby is saying anything much...
I could sense that there is a discomfort between Himesh Reshamiya and Ashaji when the two
contestants of Himesh's gharana were judged. I was quite satisfied with what Ashaji said but the tone sometimes Himesh uses is so rude and full of attitude. The arrogance comes right through. I dont know whether this is just to gain publicity and increase the TRPs or whether it is actual.
It is equally likely that all this fighting is there to keep user interest, given that these people are all in the show business, and Himesh has a movie coming up soon (Aap Ka suroor; so far I have yet to find a friend who will publicly admit that he/she will watch the movie). But I just hope this show keeps going on like this...All the Best!!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki: Can they sustain interest ?

This is another serial from the Balaji Telefilms stable, as can be somewhat guessed from the fact that the name of the serial starts with 'K', an alphabet that most of Ekta Kapoor's serials start with. It appears on Star Plus at 10 PM. This is another long running serial, with a number of twists and turns in the story, and the mandatory leap in the story of 2 decades happens (I believe more than once since the lead actor came into the story when she was a young bride, and now her daughter has a adult daughter). Of course, like with other time leaps, there is no change in types of cars, no change in the house, etc.
Sometimes, when you watch these serials for some time, it is very difficult to identify with these stories. These are rich people who talk of 500 crores without much problem, who worry about people coming after them and killing their husbands and sons, who remain the same (in fact, the lead actor Parvati (Sakshi Talwar) looks younger after a time gap of 18 years (some excellent plastic surgeons ?). And then you have people who are pure evil, such as Trishna (Mita Vashisht). The funniest part is when you read in the papers about some quarrel between an actor and Ekta Kapoor, and realize that either the person will have cosmetic surgery, or will suddenly die (Imagine changing the story of the serial to get rid of a character !)
So what is the story of this serial ? There is this Agarwal family (a big joint family) that live in a house that they love, and running a business. In the past, the episodes were mainly about the hatred by Pallavi (Achint Kaur) towards the family due to a failed marriage ceremony, and then a failed marriage. She keeps on trying to poison people towards Parvati, whom she detests.
Once these episodes were over, we have the spectacle of Om (the first son of the family and Parvati's husband) dying in a flood, and realizing that Om was also married to Trishna (the shock of knowing that the saintly Om was cheating on his first wife).
This is where the drama increased. Trishna was married off to Kamal (Ali Asgar) by Parvati, not realizing that here was another lady who wanted to take her revenge. She gets her revenge by getting Om and Krishna killed and eventually getting Parvati blamed by everybody (including elders and her own daughter who is suddenly shown in a negative light). In the meantime, Parvati marries Suyesh Mehra (Mohnish Behl) to get some money back, and then suspects him of killing Om.
After being successfully blamed by Trishna, Parvati goes to jail, supposedly dies and then re-emerges 18 years later as the rich and modern (and arrogant) Janaki Devi (with exactly the same face as Parvati). In these 18 years, Trishna has taken control over the entire house, and made everybody dependent and beholden to her. So now Janaki has to take her revenge on Trishna, her family members (who did not back her) as well as her daughter who believed her to be responsible for Om's death. In addition, Parvati / Janaki has to save her grand-children from the terror of Trishna. Right now, the story gets interesting from time to time, but the temptation to drag the serial is intense, and many times you wish for the serial to move on.
This is advertised as Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani, but I would not know a single household outside of movies where such things happen. This could be more appropriately titled as Kisi Aur Ghar ki Kahani.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Kasam Se started off okay.. but now drags

Kasam Se...started off OK but ...
Another Ekta Kapoor serial that is going on strong now-a-days (Zee weekdays at 9 PM). It has different new faces, the faces that are not seen in any of the Star Plus serials. A story of three sisters Bani, Pia and Ranu
who land up in Mumbai at Jai Walia's residence after their father's death. Jai Walia is an arrogant person and one of the culprits responsible for their mother's death (but that mystery is pretty much resolved). Bani is a very responsible person, caring for others, and who can do anything for family members. Pia is very modern, and right now a total negative character in the serial who has spoiled her sister's life like anything to fulfill her own desires. The third sister Ranu, on the other hand, is a very stable girl who is a true copy of Bani.
Story of the serial in the beginning was, Jai Walia falls for Pia even with an age gap since he is impressed by her, but Pia ditches him for Pushkar (much closer to her age). To save the honour, as well as egged on by a conniving Jai Walia's sister Bani gets married to Walia (a very very unbelievable sequence, imagine getting married by mistake). When he finds out the truth, he is absolutely mad, but her innate inner beauty and nature smoothens out the relationship as the
time passes. But this is a serial, and things can never be good without some issues coming up. The sister, Pia is not moving well with Pushkar and she wants to return into Jai's life. And things keep happening, at one time the good Jai Walia slips up and Pia is now pregnant, everything just messens up.
There are more things happening, in the sense that all possible things happen, a memory loss, a blackmailed husband, a 5 year transition, and so on. At this point of the serial, Dev(Ronit Roy) uses Bani who is full of anger and anguish against her husband and her sister.
I was a bit surprised when I read somewhere that the main character of this serial Bani is just 18 years old and she was to give her 12th exams. And she is playing a mother of two in the serial right now. I mean she doesnt look like a teenager. But she is a sweet girl, a girl next door.
When the serial started it was going on fine, I was seeing it as it seemed interesting, but somehow I lost interest in middle and as I have got somewhat busy, I am normally not able to watch this one. But if it stretches very long as normally is done with Ekta Kapoor's serials
this would again become another KSBKBT (Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi). And please God Give Me A Break.............No more Kyuki...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Ek chabhi hain padose mein - middle class angst

This serial is a vastly under-rated serial. Appearing on Star Plus every Saturday at 10 PM, it is a weekly serial appearing once in the entire week, and very easy to miss. Only dedicated serial watchers or those who watch mostly Star Plus on a regular basis will actually catch this serial.
I consider this serial to be an inheritor of Nukkad, in the sense that this serial takes a middle class neighbourhood of a town called Colonelgunj and spins the serial around regular short-story like approaches. The characters in this story are getting more finely delineated, and you get to see characters being more finely defined. It is vastly different from the saas-bahu kind of serials.
I initially found this serial somewhat grating, especially with the focus on how a the neighbourhood takes an interest in what is going on in the house. The initial story was about a person coming from abroad to get his father and sell the house, and how the entire neighbourhood did not like this whole process. With a new generation in metros not very appreciative of neighbour poking their nose in their families, and with families becoming more nuclear, the concept of neighbourhood sharing is almost non-existent (in the large metros, and increasingly, in smaller cities).
Quite a lot of the people involved in the serial seem new, with the exception of Varun Badola (playing Sandeep, a character looked up and trusted by everybody). Other main character is Urmi who plays a girl deeply in love with Sandeep, but unable to take the courage to directly tell him about her feelings. This romance is implicit, but unstated, although her friends know about her feelings.
There are a fair number of other characters, but one set of characters who remain the focus of every episode is the set of 4 boys, essentially good for nothings. They play the whole day and roam around the neighbourhood, not bad characters, but the despair of their parents because they do not seem to be capable of making a mark for themselves.
Some of the plots covered in this serial so far show the serial to be sensitive, such as the old lady wanting to give her secondary exams (that she never gave) and how her son and husband were not encouraging, about the Muslim girl who gets picked for an audition, but somehow does not have the talent to clear the audition, and so on. All seemingly middle-aged characters. In the end, it would seem to me that this serial has the potential to continue for a fair amount of time, but somehow the spark is missing that would make this serial a super-hit.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Kyonki Saas bhi Kabhi bahu thi .. when will this end ?

This serial is the jewel in the Balaji Telefilms crown, being released in 2000, and slowly became a craze. When the first version of KBC pulled audiences to Star, it picked up a lot of the new traffic and generated a lot more TRP's. 7 years later, it is still there, although one feels now that maybe the time has come to say goodbye. Who am I kidding, it fills a good half-hour slot, makes decent TRP's (although not as high as before), and no way is this serial going to go off the air. No matter how much people suffer through it. The characters of Tulsi and Mihir (now almost absent) are very popular across countries (in fact, Tulsi aka Smriti Irani leveraged her image to become a political leader)
The concept at its base is a good concept of a strong lady coming into a family where the condition of her joining this rich family is disliked, and she slowly, after many circumstances wins them over. She is able to withstand the infidelity of her husband, and build the family. For a running commentary of the story, read this page on Wikipedia.
The serial has been a good experience of a time machine, with twice the time having clicked over by a full generation in the space between one episode and the next episode. And this is the part that always bugs me; the house remains the same (both inside and outside), the ladies look as beautiful as ever, the cars have not changed at all; and they never discuss anything political or global related that you can identify as having changed in say 20 years. The grandmother of the house becomes a great-granny and then even greater, setting new records for longevity.
Ever since they did the last time machine bit for this serial, it has been getting extremely dull. They introduced new characters, who are either pure evil or very good (and these are kids who are supposed to be still in a learning phase). So what's going on now ?
There has been a lot of media speculation that Tulsi is going to make her exit (character remains, but Smriti Irani goes) - somewhat linked to the fact that Smriti has her own serials now and Ekta Kapoor is not supposed to be very happy about this competition. So, slowly Tulsi has been shown to making a series of mistakes when she hunts for the wrong-doer, just like the previous time when she was trying to hunt for a killer (and does not find Nandini until almost everyone else had been suspected). She acts impulsively, while the viewer can see that she is making a mistake.
The other issue is that one would really not want to live in such a family. Family members really can be very bitchy to each other, and not really believe the other person. So, everytime, whenever Tulsi does something (may be morally right), she is accused of being overbearing, including frequently by her husband. And of course, when things starts to flag, either an old enemy is pulled out, or something majorly wrong happens.
You may suspect that I watch the serial a great deal to write so much about it, but I have lots of gaps in my knowledge of current affairs in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu thi. And I am not very apologetic about it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa- a talent show with a different format

Though I am not a very regular spectator of this show but I still feel that this is one show which brings into limelight the real talent. The singers that come on the stage and perform knows the real meaning of music, and they have been trained to some extent as well. That is a different thing to say who is better but all of them at least know ABC of music. As far as I remember the first host of this show or should I say that when I started watching this show was Sonu Nigam, at that time it was like no body can replace him as a host. But then Shaan came and he had his own peculiar style of hosting the show. May be I started watching it more often when Shaan was there, I liked him better.
In 2005, Hero Honda Sa re Ga Ma Pa- Challenge 2005 came that promised to go beyond just the participants. It was a contest between the 4 Mentors themselves - Aadesh Srivastav, Himesh Reshmayiya (whom I recognized after that show and started becoming more popular), Ismail Darbaar and Jatin-Lalit who came together only to battle against one another in a bid to make their team win the title of the Challenge 2005 series. And in that Ismail Darbaar won through Debojit of Assam.
In 2006, came Sa re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs which was meant literally for those 'L'il Champs' who had an ear for music. Those between 6 - 14 years of age gave audition for the same and on the basis of selection by the esteemed jury - Alka Yagnik, Bappi Lahiri & Abhijeet Bhattacharya. If I am not wrong Sanchita won but kid that got the major limelight was Diwakar, a very sweet guy who could not see.
In 2007, Sa re Ga Ma Pa sangeet ka pratham vishwyudh has started with judges being Ismail Darbar, Himesh, Bappi Lehri and Vishal-Shekhar.Their entry into the first episode was very dramatic. Ismail came on a elephant, Himesh in a big car, Bappi on a horse and Vishal-Shekhar on motor-bikes and of course escorted by other people. All the more for for drama. Then there was some mystery about who the host will be before he was finally introduced.
The show is hosted by 20-year-old singer Aditya Narayan (son of Udit Narayan) who made his debut in playback singing as a ten-year-old with veteran Asha Bhosale in 1995 in the blockbuster movie ‘Rangeela’ about tension of going to school and drinking milk. So far he looks cute, let's see how this show goes. There would be confrontation, heated words, etc - just don't know how much of this is staged to get more people to watch the show.

Monday, May 7, 2007

INDIAN IDOL 3- starts all over again with all the hu-hulla...

And why not??
This is one of the first reality shows that has made the whole nation crazy. Immense participation from the public via SMS's making Sony happy over TRP's + their mobile operator and Sony earning from all the SMS's. The first Indian Idol was Abhijeet Sanwant, second was Sandeep Acharaya and the third one ... yet to find out !!
This show is shown on Sony Entertainment and hosted by none other than Mini Mathur who
hosted the other two Indian Idols and nonono ... not Aman Verma (whom I dont like) but
Hussain (Sumit of Kumkum fame).
Indian Idol provides a platform for real (or people who might think they have) aspirants to show their singing talents to the nation and make their mark in this talent show to determine the best undiscovered talent. The judges for this show are Anu Malik, Udit Narayan, Alisha Chinoy and Javed Akhtar. If they can impress the judges, then an excellent career awaits them.
I was watching Indian Idol 3, in one of the episodes there was one fan of Alisha, he had just come to see her, brought a cake, flowers and what not for her and to be very true was a horrible singer. The judges told him that he had touched them emotionally but not on the singing part.He already knew that, he just wanted to see Alisha and cried when he was going. So what I want to say is there are many contestants who just come to have a look of their idols.
And sometimes you feel bad for the participants when these judges make fun of them and dismiss them as no good. Actually I have always got a mixed view on this, sometimes
I feel that they are doing right but sometimes they (from what I have seen in the last Indian
Idol) really make fun of them. That is something I don't appreciate.
Indian Idol is an adaptation of the blockbuster ‘Pop Idol’ format. It took the nation by storm in its very first season and followed that with an equally popular season 2. I wish 'ALL THE BEST' to Indian Idol 3.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Ghar Ek Sapna - Can be interesting if handled correctly

This is a serial that has only spent around 4 months on air, and by the standard of Indian soap operas, it has only just started, so the story is sure to take on a number of twists and turns. One thing is clear though, it is very different from the K-serial type saas bahu serials. Here people are shown with good parts and bad parts, but you can see a motive. You do not get to see somebody being evil just because the director wanted to cast that character as evil.
This serial started only a few months back and is broadcast on Sahara One. It stars such leading characters as Alok Nath, Himani Shivpuri. The people playing the lead cast are Ujjwal Rana (Samman) and Shayantani Ghosh (Kakul). The story is somewhat different from other stories. It revolves around forced marriage, and what impact this forced marriage has on the lives of the people involved. A sensitive topic, when handled with care. Since the director of this serial is Ajai Sinha, who earlier directed Astitva - Ek Prem Kahani, one can hope that this subject will be treated in a good way.
So what is the serial all about ? It is about Samman from a metro, and Kakul from Bihar. Samma is already in love with Vanshika. They meet at a marriage, and Samman flirts with her. Kakul falls for him. In a twist of fate, Kakul's brother-in-law forces Samman to marry her at gun-point, and Samman does that out fear for his life. He certainly does not love her. His family refuses to accept her, but slowly she is able to convert most of them to like her. Samman's mother however cannot do so, and continues to detest her.
Another turning point in the serial comes when Samman finally forces her to leave the house and go back to her father's house. He does this even when he is scared of whether this could cause problems due to Kakul's family. Another twist (although somewhat predictable) comes at this precise interval when you see Kakul turning sick. Having watched enough serials, you know that she has to be pregnant, and of course she is.
However, she still leaves, but does not tell her father that the marriage is over. So, her father is glorious over her pregnancy even when the rest are wondering how to tell him. However, he is not very stupid, and so realizes that something is wrong and needs more investigation. This is where the story is at this point of time. Samman in the meantime is with Vanshika who accepts him back with the condition that he can never meet Kakul again.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The time machine of Indian serials

Easy way to see a Time Machine: Our Daily Soaps!!!

Have you ever wondered how is it like sitting in a time machine? The simplest way nowadays is to see our daily soaps, especially the K'series (Kasam Se, Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kasauti Zindagi Kay, etc). You never know that today the character who is 30 yrs old will be 50 yrs old in the next episode and you wonder there are no white streaks, no wrinkles, no loose skin, I mean no sign of getting old.
Our beauty parlors should take some tips from the make-up person of these serials, I am sure that the beauty parlours can make good money if they follow their steps.
I am not a very regular watcher of Kasauti Zindagi Kii but what I can understand from the trailers is that it has again taken some years leap and this is second such leap with Prerna coming up with a new hair style. But, she is looking young, a total distortion of everything that moving a few years into the future could be. Kasam Se goes on the same track, this serial took a five hear leap recently. And all this is done just to make the story line lengthy, introduce new faces, build TRPs etc.
Most interestingly, after a leap of twenty years the cars remain the same with the same number plate, the house with all the same furniture properly intact, BAA of Kyuki... remains the same, I don't know how many generations is she going to see still.
I have read interviews of channel executives, and typically the comments are to the effect that we wanted to bring a change to the serial and bring in fresh faces, hence the years gap. Earlier the jump used to be a uniform 20 years, but now it can jump as little as 5 years. Atleast some variety is there !

Enjoy Nautanki TV