Posted: 30 November 2008 at 11:45am
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Today fresh episodes of TV soaps are back on air after a 3-week long strike . A lot of producers and channels have used this time to rework on their content .
But are our soaps really going to be
refreshingly different? We try to think of stereotypes in shows that should be
permanently junked to help
Okay, we know generation leaps are the
'best' way to introduce new characters in a show that's
running out of steam (and TRPs). But can one justify 'young' parents
who don't look convincing in their designer suits and sarees in a changed
storyline? Think of the many occasions when actors have refused to age '
Amarr Upadhay, Roshni Chopra, Rucha Gujrati, Mandira Bedi ' and quit the
shows to be replaced by someone else. Why can't our soap-makers go for
'flashbacks' instead. Says actor Rajiv Paul, "It will give a
younger look to the soap and none of the actors will complain of 'not
acting their age'. Actors will not have to sport grey hair or spectacles
or dress up to look older. It will work wonderfully, only it's an
experiment that hasn't been done yet."
wondered why some characters in television shows seem so unreal? How many of us
ever meet these picture-perfect big families? Or do we know scheming relatives
who simply have nothing else to do but plot someone else's downfall? Or
see silk saree clad, mangalsutra flaunting bahus and betis cooking dutifully and
are the epitome of Indian womanhood? Then there are business tycoons who never
work for a living but still win business deals worth crores. Have any of us
actually met loud, manipulative women like Sindhura, Jigyasa etc in real life?
Renowned TV serial director Romesh Kalra admits that he believes in "the
simplicity of a character. It is important to have a powerful character to hold
a serial. Glamour might be important, but you need performances too. There
should be some connect with reality."
It's Not Fair
years ago, it was an experiment that worked. When Saloni (Rajshree Thakur in
Saat Phere) played the dark girl who finds her Prince Charming in a fair,
handsome dream guy, it was the perfect fairytale that one could think of. Oh,
yes, the show also talked about discrimination against 'dark skin'
and problems of the Indian woman who's reached a marriageable age and is
dark-skinned. The audience lapped it up. So did soapmakers. So, today there are
at least two more shows on 'dark skinned' girls and the stigma they
face on a day-to-day basis. Clearly, the makers haven't looked around and
seen real people who are dusky and mighty successful in
Not Without My
Television shows don't believe in deviating too much
from the tried-and-tested. At last count, every general entertainment channel
has a show on 'betis' of a marriageable age, from middle class
families. The stereotypes are predictable ' the honest dad, the feisty
youngest daughter (the elder siblings have to be docile) and the plain Jane
daughter. New feminists of the world might think that their fraternity has been
liberated years ago, but on the small screen, daughters are still a
'burden' and wait to meet their Mr Right, probably in an arranged
It's a formula that works wonderfully in the UK and the
US. In India, seldom do you have seasonal returns of fiction-based shows. There
are never-ending soap sagas which air for seven-eight years until they reach a
point of saturation and are pulled off.
Actress Bhairavi Raichura feels,
"If there have been daily soaps that worked for seven-eight years, we can
try to do seasonal fiction shows here. Producers and directors must not drag the
story beyond saturation point.Rather a sensible ending would work."
adapting concepts can work wonders for reality shows, can we do the same for
fiction shows? Naman Shaw says, "We must keep trying for new concepts
which may be from serials like Friends or Desperate Housewives as the social
dramas have become so boring to look at or even act in."
wishlist is rather long and probably never-ending too. But can our producers,
directors realise that soap-addicts too appreciate quality and out-of-the-box
content. As producer-Actor JD Majethia shares, "The content of a show has
to be good if we want eyeballs. We should never compromise on
Edited by Shubh_Aastha - 30 November 2008 at 11:49am
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