Joined: 08 January 2011
Though, love stories have always been the main flavour on entertainment television, most prime time shows these days seem to feature lead couples who love to hate each other. Love with a tangy twist is the new formula to success!
The most common pattern that has emerged is the much-in-hate married couple going through a transformation of feelings, which leads them to surprise, surprise, falling in love with each other! You don't need to wrack your grey cells too much to think of the set situations that soapmakers follow to drive home their 'hate turns to love' formula - in the beginning the romantic leads usually hate the sight of the significant other, then by a quirk of fate/circumstances, end up married to each other, and after a series of verbal duels and a lot of eyelock, almost consummation scenes, cupid gradually strikes. Shows like Bade Achhe Laggte Hai, Phulwa, Dil Se Di Dua...Saubhagyavati Bhava?, Parichay, Dharampatni, Diya Aur Baati Hum, Mann Kee Awaaz Pratigya, Sasural Simar Ka and Saath Nibhaana Saathiya are perfect examples of this trend.
One wonders though, what inspires the producers/channels to create such concepts? "Times have drastically changed. People have become more career oriented and there is hardly much time for love. So, TV shows need to change as well. The love story can start only after a few rocky beginning," says Sangieta Rao, director of Bade Achhe Laggte Hai, as she goes on to add, "In case of arranged marriages, you can't expect the newly weds to be madly in love. Sometimes the protagonists come from different social strata, have different emotional values, so they need to know each other a little before they actually fall in love." Producer Rajan Shahi of Kuch Toh Log Kahenge says, "The audience loves the process of the lead couple falling in love. They like to see the entire transformation of emotions, from hate to love. The entire process of that transformation keeps the audience interested."
Few show makers feel that the surprise element in a show works for the best (read helps the TRPs). "If the audience expects a particular couple to fall in love and that doesn't happen, they wait for them to fall in love. The longer a couple takes to fall in love, the more curiosity it creates amongst the audience. And once the lead couple are together, we give new dimensions to their relationships, so that the love story grows from strength to strength," says producer Siddharth Kumar Tewary of Phulwa.
Of course, most actors enjoy the entire process of playing a character who undergoes so much emotional turbulence. "I think the audiences love the process of two people falling in love. If they are an unlikely couple or a couple who don't like each other, there's more curiosity value to seeing them as a couple," says actor Manish Raisinghani of Sasural Simar Ka. Some actors feel that there's a dash of reality in the fact that two people aren't crazy about each other in the beginning eventually end up in love. "Today shows depict the real life of people, so that the audience can stay connected. Arranged marriages do happen in our society," says actor Deepika Singh of Diya Aur Baati Hum.Actor Sargun Mehta of Phulwa says, "It's the wait for the couple to fall in love that makes the love for a show stronger. The fun is in the fight and the nok jhok which later leads to love. Well, this is the most easy and commercially tried and tested formula to success. It's just about playing safe now."
Love or hate, looks like TV shows are only about TRPs!
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