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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Kahani Hamaray Mahabharat Ki on 9X

When it became known that Ekta Kapoor was going to be making her own version of the Mahabharat on 9X, there was a lot of fear that with her concept of entertainment, TRP's, and popularity being pegged to things such as the drama of saas-bahu serials, abrupt screen transitions, plastic surgery, and so on, this will be a Mahabharat that will remove the positive memories of the BR Chopra version. And now the serial is on air, having been launched on July 7, 2008, and appearing on 9X at 9 PM on weekdays.
The serial started out with depicting the episode of 'Draupadi Vastraharan', and this one did not go down too well. There was a lot of screaming by Anita Hassandani (playing the role of Draupadi), and one could actually see her using the full level of her voice while exhorting the Pandavas to take action to save her, while also screaming at the Kauravas. Over a period of time, the serial has started to reveal its cast, and the cast is essentially all the regulars of her serial (so far, no major new faces).

Kahani Hamaaray Mahabharat Ki on 9X

The costumes are very different from that of the original Mahabharat serial, more in the nature of costumes that would be there from the Indo-Greek fights shown in the 'Bharat Ek Khoj' serial. There is less of an emphasis on color (as in the original), and more of a focus on tight skin, functional costumes, a slightly darker hue, and tattoos. Acting is okay for the episodes that one is now seeing, although the initial reaction was one of shock.
Some of the traditional TV artists that one can see in the serial are / were Kiran Karmakar (Shantanu), Makrand Deshpande (Ved Vyasa), Rakshanda Khan (Amba), Chetan Hansraj (Bheem), Saakshi Talwar (Ganga), Ronit Roy (Bheeshma), and so on, all people from the various saas-bahu serials.

Link to Youtube videos on the serial (link)

The promise made by Bheeshm

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ek Se Badkar Ek on Zee TV - Another contest show

With all other channels having their mix shows dealing with getting the previous contestants from reality shows (music, dance, etc), Zee could not be far behind. Given that all the previous year finalists from Sa Re Ga Ma Pa would still be in a contract with Zee, it was pretty easy for Zee to launch a new show feature Raja Hassan, Anik Dhar, Harpreet Deol, Amit Paul, and so on. Combine them with a dancing person from the world of TV (and which TV actor does not want publicity today), and you have a reality show with teams comprising of one dancer, and one singer, and their performances are evaluated on that basis. Try and get a new host, the Bhogpuri film super-star Ravi Kishan (I find him most irritating, not a particularly good host).
Like most other shows, it is now mandatory to bring in celebrity judges, and so in addition to the usual judges of singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya and choreographer Ahmed Khan, the following celebrities have so far made their appearance on the show (Jackie Shroff, Salil Chadda, Vivek Oberoi, Priyanka Chopra, Harman Baweja, Manoj Bajpai, Ganesh Acharya, & Hansika Motwani). These celebrities also appear to promote their forthcoming movies, and as more movies get released, there will be more film stars who will show up in the form of celebrity judges. The show appears on Sat-Sun at 7:30 pm

Ek Se Badhkar Ek - Jalwe Sitaron Ke on Zee TV

The contestants, have been formed into the following teams:
* Sanchita Bhattyacharya & Kushal Punjabi
* Emon Chatterjee & Purbi Joshi
* Raja Hasan & Jasveer Kaur
* Harpreet Deol & Amrapali Gupta
* Aneek Dhar & Shayantani Ghosh
* Sumedha Karmahe & Abhishek Awasthi
* Amit Paul & Rajshree Thakur
* Poonam Yadav & Apurva Agnihotri

As always, the singing performances of Aneek and Raja Hasan have always impressed. And since no show nowadays can proceed without the usual burst of controversy, the channels always like to show dispute, objections, and even arguments. No longer do the judges object to this sort of drama anymore.

Video of Raja Hasan singing on Ek Se Badkar Ek (Youtube)

Other Youtube videos of the show (link)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

10 Ka Dum on Sony

There can be no easier way to make money. If you get 5 questions right, then you are going to make Rs. 10 crore, so how can you make money easier than that (unless you are a MP / MLA and every vote will count) ! The format of the show is pretty simple; you get on stage, shake hands with Salman Khan, do some polite chit-chat, he asks about your family, makes a few funny jokes, and you are on. So what do you need to do ?
You will be asked a question about something that they have gone and asked people in India about, and you need to give an answer that falls close to how the average person in the street has answered. So, for example, you could be asked:
"how many men would like to have a harem" and you have to give an answer. Suppose you say 30% - 60%, and the correct answer is 49%, then you win and move to the next round. As you move, the amount within which you have to guess the right answer keeps reducing (so it is 30%, but could come down to 5% or 10% near the end).

10 Ka Dum

The show is basically an attempt to get starpower onto the screen, to also compete with the Shahrukh Kya Aap Paanchvi Class Se Tez Hain on Star Plus. Here also, celebrities are brought in from time to time, such as cricketers Yuvraj and film stars Aamir and Imraan (seeking to promote their movie Jaane Tu .. Ya Jaane Na).

Videos from Sify site (link)
Another 10 ka Dum blog (link)
Videos from Youtube (link)

Yuvraaj and Harbhajan along with Salman in video:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ghar ke Laxmi Betiyaan on Zee - the return of Pavitraa

Today was a strange episode of this serial. So soon after Pavitraa was literally made an outcast, she is again brought back into the mainstream of the serial. Yuvraj had met this pretty girl called Niyati, and married her. She settled very fast into the family, and started getting along very well with the others (and this was inspite of Pavitraa trying to kidnap her to keep her away from the marriage). Soon after, Niyati declared that she was pregnant, and lo and behold, everybody started to anticipate the heir to the household. Pavitraa could not stand any of this and she started plotting how to get rid of Niyati. And she finally managed to get Niyati out of the house and into the open, and of course an accident was bound to happen.
The accident killed Niyati's child and also left her unable to conceive again; and this was a killer for the household - where would the heir come from ? And of course, Pavitraa has a baby growing in her from the time when she was with Yuvraj, and she is ready to become the heir generating mother for the household. Except for Menaka and Niyati (why does the daughter in law always out of guilt agree to such things ? There are so many other options available nowadays as IVF, surrogate mothership and so on), everybody else is against this. However, you know what will happen. Kavitraa comes back to the household, all ready to do her manipulation again.
In a side drama, Menaka is getting blackmailed by her own brother, who finally reveals that Yuvraj is not her son; Menaka in fact gave birth to a son. If this is the case and this gets revealed, this will be a massive shock to the entire household and change Menaka's position in the household.

Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii - the murder mystery

Balaji serials have the unique ability to spin a murder mystery into a long and complicated hunt with one common characteristic - at one point, all the characters have become suspected of the murder before they are one after the other proved innocent. And so it is starting to happen in Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki. Consider the scenario.
The wayward daughter of the house, Tanu, becomes more and more rebellious, and soon after the real life case of the Arushi murder case, the serial starts advertising her death in a similar manner. After much public criticism, the serial denied that it wanted to cash in on the Arushi murder case.
However, soon after, Tanu starts becoming even more confrontational, not caring about whom she is speaking to. She even starts learning secrets of the others in the family and threatening them with their secrets. Soon after that, she is found murdered, poisoned by a chemical. Her friend was suspected of the murder, but soon after that, her friend is also found murdered. And Om Agarwal is suspected of the murder on the basis of some evidence (the evidence seems to be incredibly light, and seemingly with no actual proof).
The complication in this is that Tanu's friend who was also found murdered, was the son of Aditya; which was a separate story. Aditya was a person from England who seemingly saved Parvati from being accused of adultery, and became very trusted. So trusted in fact, that he managed to easily deceive Om into transferring the entire business over to Aditya, leaving the Agarwals in so much penury that they could not even afford to spend the Rs. 4 lakh plus for an operation (although Rs. 4 lakh is a very high amount to spend for an operation).

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Tripti is back in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi

After Tripti faced a court case and was shown to have become crazy, it would seem that she had exited from the serial. However, she is probably the one to have made the quickest re-entry. Hardly had the entire issue about Mandira and Juhi Thakral died down that the serial brought forward the old issue of KT, Ansh's son Eklavya and the return of Lakshya from his forced trip abroad (when KY got married to Eklavya).
Anyhow, Lakshya is back, and one was never sure about what KY wanted. She was not exactly very enthused about having Eklavya as her husband, and he is insanely jealous; but she is traditional and Eklavya is after all her husband; so she counsels Lakshya that there is no point cribbing about the past. Lakshya must move on, and he does in a very quick way.
Lakshya had gone for a wedding along with Joydeep (one no longer knows what the relationship of Joydeep with Bhumi is, they don't focus on that anymore), and there he encounters his friend getting fresh with the to-be-bride Vaidelhi and she does not appreciate even her would-be husband trying this with her before marriage. So she fights back, and Lakshya helps her. When faced with the issue about who will marry her now, Lakshya steps forward and marries her, and then returns to ShantiNiketan.
And then the twist, Tripti is actually the badi maa (respected elder parent type), and she instigates Vaidehi to file a case of attempt to burn. So, now Tulsi and Ganga are facing charges of trying to extort dowry. Nobody can believe this is happening. Lakhsya reacts most violently. Fortunately, Vaidehi realize that Tripti is trying to take revenge, and takes back her charges. So it ends well this time, but with Tripti back, one does not know for how long.

Teen Bahuraniyan - moving into the ghost zone

This typically has not been seen before. There are not that many prime time serials in the past that have brought in a ghost / spirit into a hindi serial that appears on real time, but Teen Bahuraniyan on Zee TV has done that now (maybe their TRP's were going down). Other serials in the past have used the concept of a ghost, but have later explained this as the tactic of someone to scare another person, or to get them to reveal the truth.
In Teen Bahuraniyan, the spirit is of Kaajal, and she appears to possess Bindiya (who has otherwise been shown to be a very sweet but also the least intelligent among the bahus of the house). So, Kaajal suddenly would take over Bindiya, with the objective of defeating her own sister, Payal, who has just entered the house as a new bahu. Of course, in the serial, the expectation is that everybody in the house will believe Bindiya when she makes all sort of allegations against Payal (maybe because she has been a member of the household for a long time).
The only time when you can be sure about Bindiya still surviving her independent spirit is when a mandir or some puja is involved, in which case Kaajal has to leave Bindiya, and then the Bindiya who comes back cannot understand what all is happening. And of course, other people in the house are not able to understand either.

Enjoy Nautanki TV