Thursday, July 10, 2008

Why SO serious?

IT MIGHT BE THE CASE THAT I was asleep a little too long. Or maybe the logistics of the small screen world have undergone a major paradigm shift. I really cannot say. But there is definitely something amiss since what I see makes absolutely no sense.

My trips to Bangalore are always peppered with a lot of interesting sightings each year. This time, one such sighting occurred during the time slot my family dedicates to television between 7 PM and 10 PM. Those three hours of our definition of entertainment. Do not get me wrong – there is nothing wrong with spending three hours in an 18 hour awake-schedule for the idiot box. But what caught me by absolute surprise is the amount of tears, deceit, over the top melodrama and a general sense of mass hysteria! We have a woman decorated in bright flesh colored foundation and what can only be described as some sort of jewelry malfunction all over her ears and nose. She walks around with a shocking orange vermillion on her forehead, without blinking, prophesizing the downfall of some family she has had a bone to pick with. Moving on we see yet another fashion ignorant lass weep her eyes out every time she is on screen for pretty much any reason. Come to think of it I don’t think I have ever seen that girl smile. It is such a shame though since she happens to be quite attractive. If this is the state of women, men are no pretty picture either. There is usually one guy who always sits in the same room with the same expression and the same bitterness talking of conspiracy and backstabbing. We also have shows that celebrate infidelity and loudly talk about sensitive issues concerning women and their health. And please do not get me started on the “special effects” that are now being used as a substitute to acting. All the actor has to do is stand and stare – the effects take care of the rest. I feel nauseas just thinking about it.

Honestly – what has happened to television? Why is there so much emphasis being given to long drawn out family feuds, divorces, adultery, child abuse, loveless marriages and not to mention the very popular women-against-women conflicts that always seems to happen with stinking rich folks only? Don't financially lesser endowed women have issues with each other?

Being part of a generation that found good old Doordarshan a gift to mankind, I found myself roaring with laughter at these cheap attempts at “capturing human emotion”. When did meaningless and ham-struck acting start getting passed off as entertainment? And why are people still watching these? Could this be why people are hostile and unfriendly in the city? Would this be some sort of pervert culture that is being sown into our social fabric? How can we possibly have the nerve to talk about unity and peace when all we do in the name of entertainment is portray the ugly and nasty side of human kind? Where are those rib tickling comedies? Whatever happened to intriguing mystery series like ‘Guddada Bhoota’, ‘Byomkesh Bakshi’ and ‘Karamchand’? How did concepts like ‘Malgudi Days’ and ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ disappear from the horizon of modern television? When did we stop making socially relevant images like ‘Rajni’ and ‘Hum Log’? Why can we not recreate something similar which actually celebrates what we really are rather than a fictitious image of some mutated Indian gene? Indeed – looks like with passing time, ironically so, our standards for what entertains us have fallen steeply. Do we want something more real? I hate to mention it since clumsy 'reality shows' come to mind.

It saddened me that from the current collection of “human science” series, I only had one show I genuinely looked forward to seeing – “Mukta…Mukta…”. If not anything else, at least it doesn’t show me a woman entering a room thrice in slow motion and fast forward along with a background score that seems to announce a battle.



1 reflections:

Madhura said...

Good Review brought out here! Small screen was an alternative to going to theaters to get some entertainment in the comfort of home. Unfortunately, it’s a thing of past. Apart from all those horrible things you have mentioned, It’s so ridiculous that the stories of tv serials are stretched out for so many years!!! Blame on all private commercialized channels who work only towards profit. I think DD and chandana TV still telecast good messages and information oriented programs. Television is an influential medium which goes out to reach the masses. But these serials are so horrible and are passing negative effect on the public. It’s better to engage ourselves in other activities during these times.