Indian TV industry of today has broadened up and expanded itself tremendously. There was a time when only Doordarshan was the mode of entertainment for the TV audience. Doordarshan played its role well by catering the audiences with thought-provoking serials, critically acclaimed short films, light-hearted comedy, and proved a treat for 90s kids by showing Shaktimaan for sure. This was what a single channel did maybe 35-25 years back, but now with hundreds of channels dominating our TV screen the entertainment quotient is not that top-notch.
I would here specifically talk about the TV series that are telecasted on the channels. When you see serials like Naagin and Brahmrakshas topping the TRP list, you sense something wrong right then. We are living in the 21st century, we talk about curbing superstitious behavior and here we are watching the love story of Icchadhari Naagin and revenge saga of Brahmrakshas. Brahmrakshas, the one who has a gigantic body structure but is scared of Lotus how stupid huh. These shows piss me off and I am sure many out there also feel the same.
These are the shows that are supernatural but still attract a majority of viewers toward them. Now these shows come on air only on weekends, but shows that are a staple of every Indian family and are telecasted on a daily basis completely lack sane storylines. Shows like Saath Nibhana Sathiya, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai and others like them gets multiple leaps and still the female protagonist remains young and fresh. The stories that started 8 years and 6 years back has now nothing left to show other than nonsensical plotlines, coming back from dead, new jewelry and saree trends. The greatest issue with all the TV series is that they are not designed to end.
Now there are also shows where the protagonist turns into a fly and fights with all kind of Aatmas, Chudail, Dain and whatever holds back her and her family’s happiness, that family which has more than 20 people but the safety of the family lies only in the hands of the protagonist. Shows like Vishkanya and Kala Teeka also exists in our country. The storylines are not even single percent believable. There is the same monotonous saas-bahu drama, planning and plotting within the family, rebirth and what not. You just name the insanity and you would get it all.
It is not like there is a dearth of concepts or stories but you would notice once a serial begins with a strong storyline or based on a social issue, just after some weeks it will turn out to be of the same saas-bahu genre. Recently I saw an episode or two of a show called Shakti-Astitva Ek Ehsaas Ki which is based on the story of a transgender and her life. I was quite impressed with the storyline and thought might be the trend of TV is changing, but for my dismay, after few days the storyline became the same stale stuff.
And the stories that stick on their storylines doesn’t get enough attention and are victims of low TRP. I remember a few months back there were two serials introduced on StarPlus Tammana, which was story of a girl who wanted to play cricket for India and the problems that she faced and Dehleez, story of a young and vibrant lawyer who works for poor gets married to a civil servant and end up fighting with her mother-in-law’s ideologies. With bold and relatable stories they were a breath of fresh air for the TV viewers but to their bad luck, they hardly existed for 5 months even.
Breaking the stereotypes are the new web-series which are short lived most importantly, and are real enough to get related to it while watching. Generally, the stories are based in cosmopolitan cities and dealing with its issues. Series like Permanent Roommates, Love Bytes brings us close to the very important issues of long -distance and live-in relationships. Then there is series like Baked, Girl In The City which shows the real struggle of the youngsters to make a life they have dreamt of.
The pattern of TV viewership is quite disturbing. Then there comes the reality shows to our rescue. With platforms for each kind of talent, this is the only mode of entertainment for us. Shows like The Kapil Sharma Show, Voice Kids, Dance India Dance are the ones which we look for detoxifying from our weekday’s drama.