you are a TV viewer, even an irregular one at that, you couldn't have missed all
that song n dance about cricket currently engulfing the tube.
hasn't been missing a single commercial break across its channels, to remind us
that we have only so many days to go before the World Cup begins. News channels
devoted the mandatory three hours to finance minsiter P Chidambaram's budget and
its implications, and then shifted gears to cricket. The great Indian team (or
Team India, as television seems to have re-branded it) was leaving for the West
Indies that evening. News channels moved away from the corridors of the CII and
FICCI to the bylanes of Chandigarh and Nagpur, to dwell on cricket frenzy - young
girls breaking into dance to cheer the team, and caught up with office goers to
gauge their expectations from the World Cup. India TV even had an obscure Haryanvi
singer called Hansraj Anand compile and sing an ode to Team India, a
composition that had neither tune nor a decent beat. Yet, when the fever rages,
it's all cricket!
you are a lover of any other sport other than the nation's favoured one, you would
have reason to tear at your hair this week. Even Zoom's Popkorn Newz, that
corny show that delves into anything and everything film and TV stars do, quizzed
starlets on how they would juggle their shoot schedules to be able to watch the
World Cup matches. "My biggest contribution to the World Cup is that I will
spend all my time watching the matches on TV," gushed small time actor Payal
Rohatgi. "I looove cricket." All this, when the tournament is still
10 days away.
commercials have caught the cricket bug, understandly so. Dravid and his boys
are all over the tube, endorsing anything and everything from biscuits to credit
cards. It's time to make hay guys, while the media and rest of the country gets
into a froth over anticipated triumphs. Another month and we will know if all
the media frenzy has been worth the effort.
in on the budget
Union budget's one of the rare days that reminds us that despite the smart analyses,
and hi tech graphics that accompany it, all the news channels rely on good old
Doordarshan for the actual footage of the event. But IBN7 was one of the rare
channels this time that displayed prominent credit to DD for the footage. The
rest, prominently Aaj Tak and India TV, devoted considerable screen space to advertising
and sponsored spots. Aaj Tak even cashed in on viewer interest in the budget,
by getting audiences to SMS their satisfaction (or lack of it) with the budget.
channels have been prompt to take advantage of the blackout imposed on AXN (lifted
as of this midnight). Zee Cafe for one, which went to town, promising that 'all
the action has shifted to Zee Cafe'. Cafe Xtreme, a daily dose of action and adventure
post 11 pm, is indeed gripping.
Outdoor Outtakes and Blue Addiction were all worth sitting up for. They may not
be the programming equal of the World's Aexiest Advertisements that got
AXN into trouble with the authorities, but the blackout may just tip the scales
in favour of the ones which had been quick to fill the temporary gap left by AXN.
Sharma grilled filmstar turned politician Shatrughan Sinha on India TV's Janta
Ki Adalat this week. This show too reeks of the same malady that afflicts
the re-introduced detective saga Karamchand. Two decades ago, it touched
a chord with the audience, made you ask for more. Today, the formula seems insipid,
the pace is slack. The viewer does not have the patience to sit through a tedious
'grilling', which has probably been discussed beforehand by the still-smiling
Sharma and his 'victim'. News channels have become a 24-hour-a-day adalat (court)
in any case. Sharma needs to have a fresh look at the formula, which once made
him a household name.
potato's whacky pick of the week -A
Nat Geo docu on a royal descendant,
called Latika Tiger Princess,
who owns (?) the Bandhavgarh sanctuary, and her moist eyed efforts at tiger conservation.
Someone should tell them the British Raj is over.
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