Yes, I do. There were two articles in the newspaper yesterday about how the standard of TV has gone down etc. (I say etc because I have really had enough of this cribbing and complaining about TV.) Apparently everything is either regressive or sleazy. And that Animal Planet apparently is the only good thing on TV. Right? I say wrong!
Why do I watch TV? Because there is not much else in the world that can entertain me with not more effort than clicking a button, literally. I watch TV for entertainment. NGC depresses me. On top of it, shows like India irritate the living daylights out of me – they concentrate on the high rise buildings and megastructures (sic!) of the rest of the world and the slums of India. Bloody firangs. I don’t mind Fox History and Travel and Living, but I would still stick with shoe string budget travel shows on NDTV because that is closer to my reality. But for a while let’s forget these shows because I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like them, or at least claims to.
Let’s talk about “sleazy” reality shows – Vinita Nangia recently asked for Broadcast Ministry’s attention to shows like Spiltsvilla and Bigg Boss. Please! We don’t need any more censorship. My question is, who is forcing her to watch them? At her age, she should may be stick with… I don’t know… Not watching MTV? Splitsvilla provides me with bitchy entertainment and a lot of laughs. Intentionally and unintentionally. Bigg Boss too. And then there are always commercials and ticker. I watch TV for all that and more. Getting educated/ smarter/ spiritual/ intellectual is not on the list! There is enough all day that we do to “add value”. Why does even mindless weeknight entertainment have to follow suit?
People seem to have a problem with American sitcoms too. Let’s face it. Connect as we may with these shows, they don’t speak of the culture we belong to – so don’t criticize them just because jokes with sexual undertones are not your “taste”! Some of us like them, you know? Some of us live to watch those shows and hear those jokes. We get our weeknight kicks from these shows you know. Call us losers, or lacking in any intellectual capability, we don’t like our favourite shows being trashed over and over again! Don’t even get me started on the success stories of these sitcoms. Name ONE show on whatever “intellectually driven” channels you watch that ran for 10 years without losing its viewership. People make what sells. Thank God for small mercies.
And then Indian Idol. I have a major problem with kids’ talent shows, but this post is not about the TV shows I have a problem with. Why does everyone worth their graduate degree (especially in something high and mighty) trash Indian Idol? I love Indian Idol. I vote for their contestants. Honestly I haven’t been able to follow it as religiously this year as I have in the past. But Indian Idol for me is good hour long entertainment. There is music. There is nonsense. There are these two jokers on stage – Abhijeet and Hussain (personally I prefer Mini Mathur over Abhijeet – everyone can’t do everything you know). And there is our home grown rockstar Sunidhi Chauhan and Annu Mallik’s really weird shayari. I miss Javed Akhtar, Farah Khan, and Sonu Nigam. But the new ones are strictly OK too, as long as it is entertainment you are following Indian Indol for.
I have heard people question regressive TV shows ever so often. I used to, too. Until recently a tennis champ I know happily got married into a family that at least in Facebook pictures looks exactly like Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai. Jazzy, decked up, waiting every evening for their men to turn up. And spend the rest of the day cooking and Facebooking. (Do you realise how once it was music that broke all barriers, now it is Facebook.) It may be a case of chicken and eggs. But the similarity is striking. So maybe, just maybe regressive shows like those have a target audience too – those on the edge and those already on the other side of the world that we live in.