we need entertainment channels at all? Violence, sex, comedy and drama - it's
all available on our home grown news channels.
am fairly certain that soaps recorded a dip last week, when news channels went
ga ga, first over the Richard Gere-Shilpa Shetty clinch on stage and then into
a tizzy trying to get a sneak peek at the big Bachchan wedding that no one seems
to have enough of. For those who like a bit of action, there was enough footage
of the rampage at the Star News office doing the rounds too. And for late night
voyeurs, nowadays there's India TV offering a live call in show that talks about,
what else, sex.
course, neither the Gere-Shetty incident nor the Abhi-Ash extravaganza deserved
the kind of attention it is getting. In what has become the norm for news channels,
the innocuous embrace played out in an endless loop on screen wherever you cared
to flick, and the accompanying commentary made it appear as though the entire
nation's modesty had been outraged by the Hollywood actor.
may have gone a bit overboard, but Shetty had taken the incident in her
laughing it off and had to appear on TV itself to exhort media 'not to make a
fool of themselves in front of the world'. As for Gere, he wisely stayed away
from comment. The unwarranted attention to the two minute incident however was
enough for the country's moral police to jump on to the bandwagon and disrupt
subsequent press conference, and getting their own share of the limelight. When
again, naturally, the TV cameras were on hand to capture the brouhaha. Our news
seems to be made up of a series of non-news events these days.
panting like bloodhounds after Liz Hurley and Arun Nayar, the media pack has now
targeted the wedding of Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. Neither the Hurley
wedding nor the Abhi-Ash do has extended an invite to the media, but the TV cameras
aren't letting go, chiefly it appears, just to ensure that no rival channel gets
a glimpse or sound byte more than they do. So, you are treated to the laddoo shop
owner who's come down from Lucknow with a truckful of sweets for Abhishek, the
henna sellers who have been commissioned to get the stuff from some remote village
or the guys commissioned to bring in the hundred air conditioners for the event.
Till late Thursday night, CNN IBN's Paras Tomar and company were stationed outside
Prateeksha, making inane talk, climbing trees and haggling with neighbourhood
watchmen just to sneak into the bungalow and have a look at the festivities. The
efforts were all in vain, of course. The other channels are repeatedly airing
what's next best - footage from films featuring Aishwarya, Viveik Oberoi, Salman
Khan, Karisma Kapoor, anything... just to keep talking about the event. Because,
naturally, none of the players involved are doing any talking.
Star News fracas just showed up how a simple human interest story can make a news
channel the target of flared emotions. Interestingly, head honchos of all news
channels rallied to the defence of Star News, on air, stressing the need to put
up a committed media front against attacks by fundamentalist groups. True. No
one knows who can be targeted next.
on entertainment channels, it was a with a twinge of sadness that one had to bid
adieu to Shah Rukh's KBC this week. The guy had just slipped comfortably
into the skin of the character he was playing, and the wit and humour had just
begun to show. But better to leave when at the top, than leave after the audience
same cannot be said of the several new soaps that have launched in the last few
months. After an initial push of two to three weeks, they all seem to slip into
auto pilot mode, preferring the conventional route taken by all soaps before them.
Kaajjal , Maayka, Paraya Dhan, Virasat... none of
the shows appears to have a track that's worthy of a mention. Sony's Jeete
Hain Jiske Liye, which hasn't really lived up to the standards one usally
associates with producers Tony and Deeya Singh, is now going in for a leap. This
soon? The show has barely been on air for two months. But a leap at least temporary
respite in ratings. If that too doesn't work out, will Jeete Hain... go the Kulvaddhu
way? Does anyone even remember Kulvaddhu?
potato's pick of the week - Karan Johar's interaction with Jaya Bachchan and
Hema Malini last weekend in which he got Jaya to say that Viveik Oberoi 'is on
a mission'. KJo's getting better every week... wonder what he will get Rakhee
Sawant to say when she appears on the show next?
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necessarily subscribe to the same)