Nayi Umr Nayi Chunauti - Parvarrish - Agla Padav


Nayi Umr Nayi Chunauti - Parvarrish - Agla Padav
Nayi Umr Nayi Chunauti - Parvarrish - Agla Padav

TOI: Urban replaces rural

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Posted: 15 February 2012 at 11:43am | IP Logged

Urban replaces rural backdrops in soaps

TNN | Feb 16, 2012, 12.00AM IST
A still from Parvarish

That the tellyland has been the ideal ground for emotional quotient is not unknown. What makes the Tellytown lay another pitch with varied emoticons and actions, according to the industry needs to tread different. As a result of which the tube now has a mixed bag of content which in turn is placing the action and drama in the small town and urban backdrop.

With shows like Zindagi Kahe Smile Please, Kya Huaa Tera Vaada, Bade Acche Laggte Hain, Kuch Toh Kahenge, Humne Li Hai Shapath, Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha, Tum Dena Saath Mera et al having already set the innings on rolling, the programming mix has been spruced up with more drama.

While many in the industry say that the shift towards the urban backdrop is yet to happen completely, some say that the mixed bag of storylines and backdrops in the shows are a result of the need to present the viewer with stories with emotions and challenges in one package --the end result - increased TVRs.

Director Sumeet Mittal says, "Earlier, the television witnessed a wave of shows set in the rural backdrop. With many shows with different storylines to be launched, the viewer is getting to watch a mixed bag of content. And some shows have storylines that hop from rural backdrop to urban backdrop. This, in turn has shifted the focus on the story."

At the same time, director Gorky feels, the focus of a storyline now lies "in the growth of the character". This growth story is what shows are depicting, according to the industry. "Television has always been aspirational. Even when you see a show that deals with a hardcore rural backdrop one thing that's unanimous is the protagonist's role remains the same - to bring about a change," says Gorky who adds, "this change is obvious as we are changing. These changes just catapult them into a new settings. That is precisely what has happened in shows these days."

While, to director Ravi Bhushan, variety and a deviation from the run-of-the-mill dramas, always give creative satisfaction not only to the director, but also to the crew of a show. "As technicians, we too want to get involved in something new and challenging. And the crew does not enjoy one particular storyline all the time," says Ravi Bhushan.

However, almost everyone unanimously eggs on coming up with storylines keeping the target audience in mind. And the target audience remain women, be it the rural market or the urban and small town markets so far as viewership is concerned. "The target viewer looks for more emotional connect. Thus stories are more into emotions rather than backdrop, to be more specific," says Sumeet.

This could possibly tell us why the gradual shift. "When the story is centred around bigger cities, the possibilities of showing challenges becomes more feasible. And hence the protagonist, most of the times, comes from smaller places. The dichotomy of people from the small towns, who are innocent and people from larger cities, who are selfish makes the plot more interesting," says Gorky.

It does not necessarily mean that rural centric shows will lose their stronghold. Ravi adds, "It's just a cycle. There will be another cycle where again the rural backdrop will be back. What matters these days is the emotional quotient. Each show gets its share of loyal viewership base."

With the programming mix getting its dose of emotional quotient, shows can expect to rake in more TVRs while channels can bank upon the formula to put content at the focal point.

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