Out of character
Dil Se Diya Vachan (Zee) has turned the saas-bahu formula on its head: here, Dr Kalyani loves her daughter-in-law, Nandini, even before she marries her son.
With the loose cannons surprisingly muted and saas doting on bahu, TV's taken an about-turn.
This week's headlines: we may not be breaking news but we are breaking fresh ground. After NDTV 24x7 allowed journalists to grill its very own Barkha Dutt, Headlines Today put Vir Sanghvi and Prabhu Chawla in the firing line for their Radia-taped conversations. Now, all we need is for the public to join into the inquisition - perhaps a We The People featuring all three?
President Nicholas Sarkozy and wife Carla Bruni visited India but not so you'd have noticed. They made headlines when CVC P. J. Thomas and the Supreme Court let them, but after the three-day non-stop Obama fest, the coverage of the French president and his wife was like the length of a commercial break. As Hillary Clinton discovered during the American presidential race, Obama's is a hard act to follow.
Amitabh Bachchan is taking a break — from TV. Or more accurately, from Kaun Banega Crorepati (Sony) which wraps up today, but pine not: he's still there in the next commercial break: last week, on DD National's telecast of the ODI between India and New Zealand, the three ads between overs featured AB in Boroplus, AB in Gujarat, AB for Zen mobile. We'll miss KBC: it's so, so alive. The contestants match AB (but does he know how to hold his breath before revealing an answer? Ask Manoj, a contestant, who waited what seemed like a lifetime to discover if he had given the right answers for Rs 25 lakh and Rs 50 lakh). And, although the show revolves around AB, the contestants recite dialogues, sing songs from his films, hug him, etc. he manages to give them a starring role.
Last we checked, Rakhi Sawant had been banished to 11 pm on Rakhi Ka Insaaf (Imagine) but Dolly Bindra and Samir Soni have returned to Bigg Boss (Colors). Dolly needs a silencer — did you hear the screech she let out on Tuesday night? Enough to get the show yanked off the air for noise pollution. Must say, she's using something in her toothpaste (Soni, too) that has cleaned up her language. Maybe she can share the formula with Ashmit Patel whose turn it is to be bad - watch only if you must.
Recommend you look the other way and to some of the new soaps. Dil Se Diya Vachan (Zee) has turned the saas-bahu formula on its head: here, Dr Kalyani loves her daughter-in-law, Nandini, even before she marries her son. And she does everything to thwart her disapproving family and support the girl. In Saas Bina Sasural (Sony), the girl and the boy are getting married and his family, consisting of men only, is in a tizzy. It's lively, amusing and such a relief. Sasural Genda Phool (Star Plus) is the other gentle, but delightful serial about a rich spoilt girl married into a middle-class family which loves her despite her wealth and tantrums. What's happening here?
There's Gulaal (Star Plus) on the issue of drought in a Gujarati village with a village belle possessing extraordinary powers that allow her payals to tinkle whenever there is water beneath her feat (ahem). This is cinematic, vibrant colorful Gujarat where prejudice and faith vie for the hearts of the villagers.
And, reservation has come to TV with Armano Ka Balidan: Aarakshan (Imagine). It's about how the "quota system" helps Aakash join government service and become a district magistrate while depriving others like, Shivam because he belongs to a "higher" caste. There's romance and female emancipation too with the required "quota" of melodrama but it is going where none has so far gone.
And finally, there's Sony's Krishna- ben Khakhrawala sponsored by LIC (another novelty). As you might have guessed, Krishnaben runs a khakhra cooperative business of desperate housewives — they need the money. Along the way, she strictly distinguishes right from wrong in a matronly sort of way. So when a couple of police officers try to steal some khakhra packets, she calls them bhai and asks them to be generous to their behenein who made them. The embarrassed guys end up paying double. Moral of the story? You can't have your khakhra and eat it too!