True Review



by Piroj Wadia November 13 2014, 6:29 pm Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins, 35 secs

It?s that time of the year, when a few shows will be winding up; the first ones are KBC Season 8 and Satyamev Jayate Season 3. KBC?s Grand Finale is over two Sundays, to fill in a programming lacuna perhaps. Or why else would the channel move a week day night show to Sunday night for its final episode?

The Aamir Khan helmed Satyamev Jayate served an ace with the finale episode. The actor and his creative team side lined another episode on atrocities on women, children and the underprivileged; instead the episode revolved around the macho Indian male who beats up women, teases them and thinks his bullying is a symbol of mardani, manhood. There were some authentic turning point stories, as well as horror stories of rape, acid throwing, etc. As a finale needs that special something, the special episode of Satyamev Jayate 3 also featured Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Kangana Ranaut and Parineeti Chopra. The latter was so right when she pointed out that ?Idolization is an important factor that influences men in our country. They imitate the actors to impress a woman.? Amitabh Bachchan reiterated with: ?People follow to forcefully instill values in the male child to constantly act like a man or to behave violently. This is wrong. They should not be taught such things. ? So last Sunday night, viewers had a double bill of stars and more.

Last weekend wasn?t indicative of weekends to come. If one were to look at regular weekend viewing, there is certainly a lack of content. On Saturdays, most channels have dance reality shows (Zee TV), episodes of their on going daily soaps and a reality talent show India?s Raw Stars (Star Plus), and the odd game show or Antakshri (Sony Sab). Of course, there is Big Boss, not the best watch, unless you are just a couch potato or the remote?s lost and Comedy Nights. Sony?s courtroom drama (a Perry Mason clone) Adaalat, a thriller CID and real life drama Crime Patrol are attractive, but can get tedious. At one time, Life Ok offered a good mix of weekend viewing with Devon Ka Dev Mahadev, Adventures of Hatim, Hum Ne Li Shapath, Savdhan India. Hum Ne Li Shapath was an entertaining police adventure show which went out of kilter when they brought in the supernatural element. The channel?s Dare2Dance left viewers not just entertained, but quite breathless with excitement; and asking for more.

With the kind of insipid content offered on most channels, it doesn?t leave the viewer with much choice unless the movie channels are showing a blockbuster or a mediocre film. If you haven?t trashed your DVD player, get it repaired and going; so what if DVD libraries are closing down, buy a bootlegged copy of a movie or American shows and telenovelas, or download a movie or a show on your laptop, which you can hook to the TV.

When there was just one channel, the mandarins of Mandi House were wise, despite its limited resources, DD Metro channel had some good shows on Sunday evenings. There was an animated Spiderman early evening, and later there was Bodyline, an Australian television miniseries which dramatized the events of the 1932?1933 England?s face off with Australia for the Ashes. While the National Network showed an old Indian film. Saturday nights you could catch the odd English film like Passage to India or some show.

Now with multiple channels which are still growing and a large number of players for content, the viewer is not spoilt for choice. None of the channels and the production houses have considered a weekend prime slot with customized narratives. In this case, Sony still is the leader, but to reiterate how much longer can the viewers watch thrillers? Thanks to smart phones, ?smart? is the operative word, what?s needed is smart programming ? only if channel heads and their teams considered a few out of the box options just for weekend viewing.

As for new shows which are expected to go on air from next week, the most awaited is Balaji Telefilms? new daily -- Itna Na Karo Mujhe Pyaar starring Ronit Roy and Pallavi Kulkarni on Sony. Life OK too is launching a bi-weekly finite show -- Pukaar-Call for the Hero.


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