Wednesday, 20 August 2008

The Great Indian Television

I get to do some guilt-free TV watching during the summer, when I have practically nothing else to do. Going outside is not an option, because I still have some unscrewed nuts in my otherwise rickety brain, which tell me that I'll get scorched in the Dubai heat if I step outside. So, in the comfort of my air-conditioned house, lying on my soft bed, I soak myself with some Indian television.

Alas, yes people do say "alas" even now, I am restricted to just 2 or 3 watchable channels. I'm bound to watch NDTV ( the one and only decent news channel), Channel V or MTV India ( for some decent music) and maybe Star World. The rest I usually flip through, and cringe as I go along. The movie channels have decent films on weekends, but weekdays are nothing short of doomed. The entertainment channels are a disgrace as well, but they are not even in the running when it comes to the disaster of the zillion or so news channels. So, an overall bleak picture.

Let me begin with the worst..the oh-so-dreaded news channels. I don't get it, do they want to be laughed at or are they really so brain-drained ( I wanted to use a ruder term, but I'm restraining myself, with difficulty) to realise that their so-called "news" is nothing but a cheap mockery of reporting? Here's an appalling example; A few days back Zee News was showing a story of Abhinav Bindra not having a car to go back to the hotel. The news reader actually sounded hurt and insulted that the gold-medalist had to go back in a taxi. GASP! How hurt Abhinav Bindra must be feeling that there was no car for him! How significant it is that there was no government servant to bend over twice before the athlete and serve him like a faithful slave! GASP GASP GASP! How important it is for me as an individual, that Bindra had to stoop down to take a, hold your breath, taxi ( oh no!) to get back to his hotel! Well, I guess Zee News found this important enough to air for 2 hours, and make Everest out of a pimple. Meanwhile, on the same day, at the same time, common people die in Kashmir, but who wants to know about that, right?

Star News is not much better. There's a vein in my head which pops every time I hear the news being told on this channel. Everything is "breaking news" and all news needs at least 2 hours coverage. Everything is sensationalised and the mere tone of the news reader's voice makes me want to climb into my television and slap the living daylights out of him/her! These people need to be taught that high volume and pitch does not make their news more important, talking rapidly does not make us more hooked on to their rubbish reporting, and background hindi film music does certainly not make the story more involving or touching. It makes me want to laugh, it makes me want to scream and it makes me want to throw my remote on the television. If I ever do that, I'm definitely suing these news channels for instigating violence!

Moving on now, to the entertainment channels. I remember 8 years ago, when the first saas-bahu soaps got really popular, I used to walk past all the apartments in my area, and the only music I heard from every house, was the music of those two soaps, Kyunki... and Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki. Even then, it bothered me to see these soaps with the weepy bahu, the overdressed saas, the dutiful devar, the vamp with the atrocious jewellery, the sidey cousins, the righteous son, the duffer husband, the invisible father in law and the gazillions of other useless characters. But it was alright, the ordeal lasted a mere two hours. Now however, things are absolutely and ludicrously out of hand. Any channel I flip through, I see teary-eyed dressed-up doormats, with their georgette saris, and gaudy jewellery. With headache inducing camera angles and loud background music, laughable storylines and sketchy characters, these soaps all look identical, so much so that I can't tell one from the other without reading the title! Don't even get me started on the reality shows, I promise to write a post dedicated only for those!

There was a time when Indian television came out with genuine gems, with daily or weekly family entertainment, that was well made and not mass produced like some toy in a chinese factory. I miss the days of Dekh Bhai Dekh, Mirza Ghalib, Fauji, Circus, Hum Log, Buniyaad, even as recent as the 90s, I miss watching the first season of Hip Hip Hurray and be able to relate to the lovely school kids, miss the excitement of waking up on sunday morning to watch Bournvita Quiz Contest followed by Sunday Ke Sunday, remember the craze around Mahabharata, I remember watching Barkha Dutt interview Capt. Vikram Batra and hearing the words "yeh dil maange more", I even remember watching and loving Antakshari and Saregama, when music was all these shows were about. Currently, there are only two regular shows that are worthy of watching. One is We The People on NDTV, hosted by Barkha Dutt, debating current issues and the other one is Saregamapa which actually has some loyalty left for music.

Today, I'm just left to riminisce those times of good television, while I flip through scores of mind-numbing junk that we're currently, mercilessly, subjected to watch. Indian Television has finally lived up to its name of The Idiot Box!

23 comments:

Rambunctious WhipperSnapper said...

Oh, I only watch Star World, Zee Cafe and VH1. That also sparingly, when one of the few shows I watch is on. Most of mny entertainment comes from downloading american and british sitcoms and you tube. :P :P

Neha said...

Oh i've grown up on those american sitcoms...I just wanted to watch something indian...thoroughly disappointed!

Which american shows do u like? Im addicted to Grey's Anatomy, Sex and the city, Desperate Housewives, Will and Grace...etc etc

Rambunctious WhipperSnapper said...

Oh, almost all of em .. :P ..

Boston Legal, Scrubs, Real Time with Bill Maher, Will & G, of course, Friends and Dharma & Greg, everybody Loves Raymond, Fraiser, Two and a Half me .... :P ...

I love the british ones too like Coupling, Keeping up Appearances and My Family ....

And those are just the ones I can think of right now.

Scribblers Inc said...

I was a part of BQC in 1996...even my electrician recognised me, can you beat that!!I miss those days...sigh..nice writeup!!

Scribblers Inc.

P.S.-have you seen India TV??dude thats a blast!!:D

Neha said...

Rambo: Oooh I love Keeping up Appearances!! Thats hilarious! Of the British ones, I like Shameless, Skins..cant think of anymore right now..

Scribbler: Oh cooool!! I really wanted to be a part of BQC..guess i wasnt smart enough :P!

Thankx for the comments guys!

Anonymous said...

Hehe.. I hate them all. We don't get NDTV here. We get those dreaded hindi news channels - Aaj Tak and Sahara Samay.

But I have been watching one daily soap. LOL. Kuchh Is Tarah. It is NOT a saas bahu show. It was very funny when it started. It was more of a comedy. But alas it has not turned into a typical kekta soap. Good thing is, it is ending next week.

I do watch a few shows regularly though - Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai, Kadvi Khatti Meethi, Saibaba, Prithviraj Chauhan, SaReGaMaPa.

Even American shows suck nowadays. They all just copy other successful shows. Grey's Anatomy is good. I cannot stand Will and Grace.. ewww.. glad its over. 24, Lost, CSI are now stale. They repeat same stuff now.

How is life in Dubai.

Munir

Rambunctious WhipperSnapper said...

Oh, oh ooh, skins I've just seen those parts which shows Mitch Hewer's err..ummm.. performance. Seems like a nice show. And Shameles has been limited to Jody Latham.
And hollyoaks for Marcus Patric.

Okay, I am so friggin shallow :( ...

Neha said...

Muniiiiiiiiiiir: Always nice to see u back at my blog :)! Life in Dubai is good...im just relaxing as of now..enjoying the asian setup :)! Hehe and Hey! I love Will and Grace! Lost, I "lost" track of after season 3 :p...hungry for new shows now! How're u doing? Howz everything?

Rambo: hahaha...well, I dont blame you. Jody Latham is awesome! And skins, i'd started to watching it but left it at some point..so havent seen much, but i loved what I saw! So will surely resume that! Hehe and dont worry...shallowness is endearing at times :p!

D said...

Apart from the staple on Star World, I'm not much of a TV-person. But there are some kickass shows on Color - a new Indian channel. They have this show on child marriage which is great, another one on pre-Independence India, there's Krishna and Bigg Boss. I also love Discovery Travel & Living!

Neha said...

d: Oh we dont get colours in Dubai, so can't comment on that. Have heard its pretty nice, so must check it out when I go to India. For now, i'm getting my entertainment from movies and blogs :p!

DewdropDream said...

I'm so not a TV person but have managed to catch Scrubs, Gossip Girl, MASH and Ugly Betty online.

I really want to watch Kshitij Yeh Nahin again though. I watchd it when I was very young and although its content was a bit much for my young mind then, I LOVED it. Always been a great fan of Tushar Dalvi.

Don't you have libraries or something nearby to keep you occupied with reading?

Renu said...

U have echoed my sentiments.There is hardly anything to watch on TV. even american TV is also same, once i started watching Bold and beautiful and Santa barbara,but they also stretch them looong and their sensibilities are so different,like I cant imagin in my wildest moments even, a mother having a relationship with prospective son-in-law. They have taken the freedom to anther label completely.
I love watching Full house, eevrything is good about it, then there was--Boy meets the world and Blossoms, sometimes judging Amy

Neha said...

Dewdropdream: I'm becoming a non-tv person too. I was living away from Indian TV for so long, I felt like catching up with some. Only to be disappointed, not going that way again. American shows are fun, but I'm a bit bored of them now. Hehe im sure there are libraries here, but i'm new to the place and still havent gotten around to looking for them. Have a collection of my own though...so that should keep me busy :)!

Renu: Hehe, yeah I agree with u. Even popular shows like Desperate Housewives tend to go over the top lots of times. Oh and I love Full House! Haven't watched it regularly though...it comes at weird times!


Anyway, thanx for the comments people!!

oakleyses said...

gucci handbags, michael kors outlet online, chanel handbags, longchamp handbags, michael kors outlet online, cheap oakley sunglasses, tiffany jewelry, jordan shoes, coach purses, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton handbags, ray ban sunglasses, kate spade outlet online, louis vuitton outlet online, oakley vault, polo ralph lauren outlet, christian louboutin shoes, true religion outlet, louis vuitton, polo ralph lauren, nike free, prada handbags, nike air max, burberry outlet online, coach outlet, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet store, true religion, coach outlet store online, longchamp outlet online, coach outlet, michael kors outlet online, tiffany and co jewelry, oakley sunglasses, prada outlet, kate spade handbags, tory burch outlet, christian louboutin outlet, burberry outlet online, ray ban outlet, christian louboutin, nike air max, red bottom shoes, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton outlet, nike shoes, louis vuitton outlet

oakleyses said...

oakley pas cher, hollister, longchamp, true religion outlet, nike air max, north face pas cher, chaussure louboutin, new balance pas cher, michael kors canada, converse pas cher, ray ban pas cher, longchamp pas cher, hollister, nike air max, sac vanessa bruno, sac louis vuitton, north face, louis vuitton, nike free pas cher, hermes pas cher, guess pas cher, timberland, nike air force, vans pas cher, barbour, air jordan, abercrombie and fitch, lacoste pas cher, louis vuitton uk, ray ban uk, air max pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, scarpe hogan, nike free, burberry pas cher, air max, sac michael kors, tn pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, nike roshe, michael kors uk, true religion jeans, lululemon, nike roshe run, mulberry, ralph lauren, louis vuitton pas cher

oakleyses said...

canada goose outlet, valentino shoes, babyliss pro, ugg outlet, uggs outlet, ghd, canada goose outlet, ugg soldes, ferragamo shoes, ugg boots, canada goose, uggs on sale, bottega veneta, rolex watches, insanity workout, giuseppe zanotti, soccer jerseys, nike trainers, beats headphones, ugg, soccer shoes, mcm handbags, wedding dresses, jimmy choo shoes, canada goose outlet, north face outlet, longchamp, herve leger, new balance outlet, abercrombie and fitch, birkin bag, instyler ionic styler, hollister, asics shoes, lululemon outlet, p90x workout, chi flat iron, marc jacobs outlet, reebok shoes, nfl jerseys, north face jackets, roshe run, mac cosmetics, mont blanc pens, vans outlet, nike huarache, celine handbags

oakleyses said...

pandora uk, moncler, hollister canada, thomas sabo uk, moncler, timberland shoes, oakley, air max, nike air max, louboutin, moncler, gucci, canada goose pas cher, parajumpers outlet, moncler, toms outlet, ugg, replica watches, iphone 6 case, canada goose, pandora jewelry, louis vuitton canada, moncler, juicy couture outlet, canada goose uk, karen millen, hollister clothing, ralph lauren, swarovski jewelry, links of london uk, montre femme, supra shoes, pandora charms, swarovski uk, vans, converse shoes, ray ban, converse, lancel, wedding dress, moncler, coach outlet, juicy couture outlet, baseball bats, hollister, moncler outlet, canada goose, uggs canada

ninest123 said...

ninest123 16.03
oakley sunglasses, nike air max, ugg boots, louboutin shoes, gucci outlet, oakley sunglasses, coach purses, louboutin, louis vuitton, coach outlet, jordan shoes, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, prada handbags, replica watches, prada outlet, louis vuitton outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, true religion jeans, tiffany jewelry, kate spade outlet, louis vuitton, oakley sunglasses, tiffany and co, true religion jeans, kate spade handbags, longchamp outlet, nike free, coach outlet, chanel handbags, cheap oakley sunglasses, longchamp, replica watches, uggs on sale, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton, nike air max, louboutin outlet, true religion outlet, ugg boots, ray ban sunglasses, true religion jeans, nike outlet, replica handbags, tory burch outlet, ray ban sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet

ninest123 said...

sac longchamp, air force, michael kors, michael kors, nike air max, burberry, michael kors outlet, ray ban pas cher, michael kors outlet, michael kors, vanessa bruno, ugg boots, converse pas cher, nike air max, sac guess, michael kors outlet, nike blazer, hollister, new balance pas cher, nike free, louboutin pas cher, michael kors outlet, mulberry, hollister pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, burberry outlet online, nike roshe, timberland, ralph lauren uk, north face, michael kors, vans pas cher, ray ban uk, michael kors outlet, air max, tn pas cher, ugg boots, air jordan pas cher, longchamp pas cher, burberry, abercrombie and fitch, nike air max, north face, lacoste pas cher, nike roshe run, michael kors, hogan, nike free run uk, hermes, lululemon, oakley pas cher

ninest123 said...

instyler, insanity workout, reebok shoes, nfl jerseys, lululemon, north face outlet, timberland boots, ipad cases, babyliss, mont blanc, iphone 6s plus cases, valentino shoes, giuseppe zanotti, nike trainers, nike huarache, nike air max, new balance, iphone cases, chi flat iron, wedding dresses, soccer jerseys, iphone 6s cases, celine handbags, ghd, louboutin, asics running shoes, soccer shoes, north face outlet, iphone 6 plus cases, ralph lauren, herve leger, iphone 6 cases, longchamp, hollister, hollister, nike roshe, oakley, mcm handbags, mac cosmetics, ferragamo shoes, birkin bag, iphone 5s cases, abercrombie and fitch, baseball bats, vans shoes, beats by dre, jimmy choo shoes, bottega veneta, p90x workout, hollister, s5 cases, nike air max

ninest123 said...

canada goose, moncler, links of london, pandora charms, karen millen, louis vuitton, canada goose, pandora jewelry, coach outlet, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, ugg boots uk, swarovski crystal, swarovski, juicy couture outlet, barbour, converse, gucci, moncler, louis vuitton, canada goose, juicy couture outlet, converse outlet, montre pas cher, bottes ugg, pandora charms, supra shoes, wedding dresses, thomas sabo, doudoune canada goose, ray ban, canada goose outlet, moncler, ugg pas cher, louis vuitton, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, replica watches, marc jacobs, moncler outlet, vans, louis vuitton, canada goose, moncler, hollister, barbour jackets, moncler, canada goose uk, moncler, sac louis vuitton pas cher, canada goose outlet, lancel, toms shoes, moncler, pandora jewelry
ninest123 16.03

Zheng junxai5 said...

zhengjx20160720
tiffany and co
true religion outlet online
air jordan homme
vans sneakers
coach outlet canada
christian louboutin wedges
cheap jordans
cheap toms shoes
adidas originals store
louis vuitton bags
abercrombie and fitch
louis vuitton handbags
toms wedges
replica watches
coach outlet
jordan 11
louis vuitton bags
fitflops
kd 8
jordan retro 8
air jordan shoes
nike trainers women
coach outlet store online clearances
nike store
ray ban sunglasses outlet
nike blazers uk
true religion jeans
christian louboutin shoes
longchamp le pliage
toms wedges
coach factory outlet online
oakley canada
gucci outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
gucci outlet
michael kors outlet
jordan retro 11
air max 95
ralph lauren
christian louboutin outlet

soma taha said...

https://decor-ksa.com/
http://caravank.com/us-for-sale/
http://caravank.com/car-caravan/
http://caravank.com/for-sale-in-jeddah/