More and more channels are experimenting with the concept of love in a
mature fashion of late. Where Bollywood has always seen success with
young romantic stories, televison seems to be headed in the other
direction. With shows like Astitva — Ek Prem Kahani, which was aired a couple years back to the current ones like Bade Achhe Lagte Hai, Kuch Toh Log Kahenge and Pratigya, among others, all seemed to have managed to grab audiences' attention.
DNA asks experts if there is positive change in audience sensibilities with regards to mature love stories.
One of the first shows on TV to talk about a love story between an older woman and younger man was Zee's Astitva — Ek Prem Kahani.
"Audience love to see things that have a realistic feel. Astitva was
a clutter-breaking, trendsetter show and is an example of a well made,
starkly realistic show that has not only won critical appreciation but
has also made lay viewers sit up and notice. It was a love story that
was aired for about four years focused on the concept of a woman's
identity," says fiction head, Zee TV, Sukesh Motwani.
was about Dr Simran Mathur, played by actress Niki Aneha Walia, who
enters a complex situation when she marries a man, 10 years younger than
her, played by actor Varun Badola.
Experts also say that such stories have new challenges because the audience haven't really seen such concepts on TV too often.
showsneed to be sensitive, real, moving and dealt subtly in a specific
manner. Astitva was successful as it was handled very well. After that
for a very long time, the viewer has suffered poor consumer-driven fare.
The current trend in Indian cinema is proof of this — it has accepted
change and repositioned itself as A-grade entertainment. TV audiences'
sensibilities have changed and today viewers no longer want to see
regressive middle class stories that resists change," explains a TV
Danish Khan, senior VP
marketing, Sony, feels novelty is the USP for any show.
"Be it Bade Achhe Lagte Hai or Kuch Toh Log Kahenge, both
are mature love stories but both are world apart. There is always place
for fresh and refreshing stories about romance which feels real as
compared to young lovey-dovey romantic stories. Our target audience has
certainly evolved and are looking out for realistic content," he