Thursday, March 19, 2009

Soap business: Change in Indian Television

I am not referring to the detergent business or, nor do I have plans to start one. Here I am referring to the soaps shown on Indian Television on almost most of the entertainment channels. All, with almost same set of story line involving some kind of disputes between family members. It could be between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law or two sister-in-laws fuelling their husbands to take up a fight or husband and wife.

How this era entered Indian Television when detective or comedy serials were prevalent? It all started with the advent of a soap called “'Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi'” (Mother-in-law was someday a daughter-in-law) by Ekta Kapoor. Most Indian women as a general nature are inclined in gossiping internal matters of a neighbour or some near relative. This tendency was well captured by Ekta Kapoor who cleverly portrayed the gossips in this soap.

TRPs for the channel (Star Plus) rose sharply breaking all records, prompting other TV channels to follow. It brought a drastic change in the way Indian audience viewed television. However, this also had ill effects as it corrupted minds of youth, especially the women folks.

Action of the women vampires in these serials are being taken seriously and some women audience even go to the extent of practicing them in reality. The dramatization and overreaction to the smallest of the issue in the house as shown in these serials started getting replicated in reality. This has lead to bigger disputes and issues in the house, and finally break-ups. To prolong the episodes, producers and directors add more disputes and drama to make it more interesting and spicy. Some audiences are so engrossed that every comment or issue in the house are compared to the similar event in these serials and are followed up, the way they were in those teleserials. In reality, this has allowed stretching up of issues without giving any second thought to the results.

Audiences need to get more intelligent in terms of solving family disputes and not take support from such serials, which are just doing their business. Serials are not there to leverage solutions to the disputes, but are only a form of entertainment which should be forgotten with the end of episode.

If at all I am given a choice to watch any soap, I would prefer watching some comedy. They are the perfect form of entertainment that makes you laugh and forget all kinds of stress and woes encountered in a day.

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