we get over the Tulsi hangover?
on 14 December 2007)
is not something makers of Indian soaps and shows can
boast of. Most reality shows owe
their formats to foreign markets, and soaps are themed
on tried and tested Ekta Kapoor sagas (who, too, picked
up the 'joint family' theme from another long-forgotten
even a series that had established itself as a successful
show has felt the need to bring in Smriti Iraani, almost
in her Tulsi avatar as benign matriarch, complete with
the imagery of a tulsi plant in tow. Why a rising star
like Zee, which has already established itself as a
successful competitor to the dominating Star Plus and
its Balaji shows, needs to ape the fading leader is
a mystery. It's like acknowledging the continuing overwhelming
shadow that Ekta and her soaps cast over the entire
TV scenario in the country. Zee's 'bahuraniyan' were
doing a good enough job on their own, without needing
the shoulders of the 'country's most famous bahu' to
cry on. Why Zee, why?
why can't these and other bahuraniyan get real
and get closer to the viewers? Star World's Desperate
Housewives, in spite of showcasing a 'firang' culture,
are yet so real...they don't wake up with heavy mascara
on their eyelashes and make no bones about expressing
their frustrations by banging doors. They all have issues
with mothers-in-law, problematic teenage daughters and
no good husbands; but Bree, Lynette, Susan and company
don't get their problems solved by an overdressed maternal
aunt who bows before a tulsi plant every time she needs
to make either a mundane or life-saving decision.
World's other less talked about show American Inventor
is just as original, spontaneous and fun
to spend a Sunday evening with. Last weekend, the trio
of judges had a tough time turning away earnest participants
who thought they had come up with the best invention
since the wheel - when all they had created were cup
holders, fancy lingerie and a table top game. What sets
the show apart is the very concept that feeds on the
enterprising American spirit, accompanied by crisp editing
and some (staged?) dramatics. Zee's Shabash India
came close, feeding on the Indian aptitude for breaking
records of the most dramatic and sometimes, inane kind.
Unfortunately, it had to be shot on location for most
of the acts and lacked cohesiveness.
While on foreign shows, Disney's High School Musical
2 has it all - pace, energy, peppy youngsters
and to top it all, a music score commissioned for Indian
audiences - done specially by Shankar Ehsaan Loy. What
more could one want? The show is pure fluff, but the
music is gripping enough to keep even the elders to
One's new show Anu Ki Ho Gayi etc etc had Anu
as a chef cooking up exotic dishes in its promos.
But for the most part, the inaugural week concentrated
on getting Anu married and the entire family engrossed
in the preparations. How is it supposed to be 'different'
from all that we have seen on TV thus far?
potato tip - With Mir Ranjan Negi out of the fray,
Jjhalak Dikkhla Jaa is down
to the final three for a finale this weekend. If you
are still interested in watching a fight to the finish
between Prachi Desai, Jay Bhanushali and Sandhya Mridul,