Drama with dance, a potent combination!

Finally, there was some real action on Nach Baliye this week. No ordinary
performance could have matched the tugging of the heartstrings that Shweta Tiwari managed with her dance with choreographer Sagar.

Hubby Raja Choudhary‘s liver abcess couldn‘t have been more of a blessing in disguise, prevent as it did him from appearing on the show this week. Shweta and Raja couldn‘t really have hoped to last a couple more episodes, considering Raja‘s limited dancing capabilities and Shweta couldn‘t have soldiered on alone, despite avowedly being Saroj Khan‘s favourite. But Monday‘s emotional disqualification ensured Shweta a place in audience hearts for a long time to come, as she swayed and sashayed with trembling lips and eyes moist with tears. What more can a TV actor ask for?

Drama, with a capital D, is essential in all ‘reality‘ and talent shows, whatever their levels of reality, particularly on Indian television. It‘s this drama that is starkly absent on Zee‘s latest edition of Cinestars ki Khoj. The lacklustre AVs that trace the participants‘ journey thus far, the flat performances, nothing seems to be setting off that spark so far. Even the blunt aggressiveness of judges Pooja Bhatt and Anupam Kher has no bite. As for the third judge,

Madhur Bhandarkar, he looks clearly uncomfortable having to pass judgment on the anxious-eyed young hopefuls. The show obviously misses the Gajendra Singh touch, which uplifted the other Sa Re Ga Ma Pa talent hunts on the channel all these years. It just shows how a dedicated director, passionate about his shows, can make a big difference to how it finally appears on screen.

If Cinestars is nothing to hum about, nor is Jeena Isika Naam Hai, which too is appearing in a second, refurbished avatar. Where Farooque Sheikh sparkled with a quiet dignity in the first season, Roshan Abbas is overbearing. Farooque merged with the backgroud, Roshan makes sure of his share in the spotlight. Even the production standards are glaringly different. NDTV‘s handiwork was sophisticated and subtle. Shashi Ranjan‘s idea of playing on motions is to have blaring music every time the guest gets misty eyed about any reminescence.

NDTV preferred to have Farooque on his feet all the time, moving comfortably around. Roshan, last week, propped himself on the sofa with guest Satish Shah last week and made it sound like just any other interview. And finally, the first Jeena... brought in first rung celebs from the film industry as well as other fields. Why does it seem that this time round, we will have to be content with ho-hum TV celebs?

Zoom‘s Popkorn, now rechristened as Popkorn Newz, is also back with a fresh edition. It‘s offering the same fluffy Bollywood and tellywood news and ‘masala‘, but with a different anchor. Barkha Bisht, freshly out of work after ‘Pyar Ke Do Naam...‘ wound up on Star Plus, is a refreshing change, with her petite looks and vibrant style. Good choice, Zoom!

One can‘t resist putting in a bit about Bigg Boss. The third week was as abonimably fascinating as the earlier ones. It showcases neither talent, skills nor does it tell a story. And yet, everyone seems to be watching goggle eyed as Rakhee Sawant goes about breaking glasses and quarreling with Amit Sadh, and Aryan Vaid cosies up with Anupama. Bigg Boss forever verges on the edge of becoming monotonous and tedious with nothing much for the participants to do except live together under one roof.

But amazingly, it doesn‘t get boring at all! Either it‘s extraordinarily lucky in the excitement it continuously generates, or there is an element of manipulation, unknown to the viewers. But so long as the viewers get their daily dose of voyeurism, who cares?

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