The battle between content and stereotypical presentation on television continues to intensify with ages passing by. Shows come, shows go, but the war is always on.
The makeshift is surely happening, but the pace is slower than that of a snail. Courtesy, the urge to be competitive and successful, several content-driven presentations have succumbed to run-of-the-mill viewing when it comes to Indian television.
Today, I would like to highlight how several shows were launched with a lot of promises, but turned out to be everything we never wanted them to be.
Time and again, a LEAP has been introduced as an excuse to cope up with the number game, however, what follows is most often than not, quintessential drama.
The Beginning is the Best Part
Before talking about anything, the least thankful we can be is to the fact that we've seen the phase where TV was dominated by shows like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Kahani Ghar Ghar Kii to present age, where we have shows like P.O.W - Bandi Yuddh Ke and Beyhadh among others.
Apart from them, there have been several shows in recent times which were launched with a lot of promises and expectations - Uttaran, Udaan and more recently,Naamkarannto name a few. These shows not only caught the attention immediately had everyone applauding the sheer guts that it takes to take up unconventional concepts for celluloid presentation.
The Initial Days Could Have Been Better
Be it Uttaran or Udaan, the idea of both the shows were undeniably a winner in the first place. From a show being about a maidservant's daughter who is deprived of materialistic things and is friends with a rich girl to a show about a little girl going against the autocratic and unjust ruling in her village; the sheer truth was brought before the masses and child actors, Sparsh Khanchandani and Spandan Chaturvedi couldn't have done it better.
Then comes the 'Need' to PLEASE everyone
However, things begin to degrade herein and the makers along with the channel decide that 'Ok, we have decent viewership; but how do we get decent to become immense.' This desire is fulfilled by doing what everyone does and there goes 'Run-Of-The-Mill.'
A LEAP, marketed as the 'Leap of Faith'
Almost every other TV show has adapted the format of presenting a leap in order to spice up things or increase drama. From a 15 days leap to 24-years leap, we have seen it all. However, when a show is unable to sustain viewership for being 'real' and 'straight', a leap comes to the rescue.
For example, once the leap was introduced in Udaan or Uttaran, it was all about how X person was plotting against Y person and how there was betrayal, drama, tears, and of course, some gobsmackingly illogical sequences. I mean, from being a show about the 'udaan' of Chakor (Spandan Chaturvedi/Meera Deosthale), the show now focuses on the complicated love stories of the four leads. And that's not it, there have been more such shows - Balika Vadhu, Kaala Teeka and Veera to name a few.
Naamkarann justified it all overwhelmingly
While some makers may vehemently deny the above 'allegations', things couldn't have been more obvious when it comes to Star Plus' drama Naamkarann. We still remember how pleasantly surprised all of us were with the initial episodes of the show, which showcased a little girl's struggle to have an identity along with her mother who also doesn't have a real identity due to her husband's secret life. The next thing we know is little Avni (Arsheen Naamdar) was shown scheming, hating, disrespecting and even being cruel towards Dayawanti (Reema Lagoo). And when all that did not seem enough, the ingenious trend was ready to be adopted by this show too. At one point, the actors from the show even confessed that they were forced to spice up the show in order to sustain and even increase viewership.
Soon, a leap was introduced where Avni (Aditi Rathore) is vengeful with the assistance of Neela (Sayantani Ghosh) and has multiple possible love angles with Neil (Zain Imam) and Ali (Gautam Vig). The unconventional drama became bluntly conventional and how!
The Sad Truth
Taking all this into account and cribbing about it doesn't deny that one sad and disheartening truth. The truth that this change actually works for the show and the makers. When a show gets stereotypical and over-dramatic, that's when viewers, somehow, get intrigued. The ratings of all the above shows were fair till they showed unconventional content, but increased visibly after going conventional and mainstream..
We were fortunate to witness a show like P.O.W - Bandi Yuddh Ke on television, but did we make the most of it? Absolutely not! The ratings were negligible and we switched over to cringe-worthy sagas otherwise.
It's about Time that the Change happens
The transition period in media has begun and the digital boom is the best example for it, where genuinely good content is finally getting appreciated. However, it's about time that the same happens for the masses and the idiot box doesn't stay idiot anymore.