Friday, February 23, 2007

Indian TV Serials

Now a days TV serials in STAR, ZEE, Sony are very popular in India. It’s not a second grade acting business anymore, rather now it is as gorgeous as cinemas.
I am watching more than a dozen serials for last few months in TV and really like some of them.
I prefer to see Star Plus serials because of the grandeurs and directions, but Zee and Sony provide various tests of serials.

But the best 3 TV serials I have seen so far are all in DD1, the national TV channel. The best one so far is MAHABHARATA. I can remember those days, when the whole India used to watch this serial, holding all their work. Television was just started entering in middleclass house that time. B R Chopra was excellent in directing the serial and this is best Indian serial so far. It was far better than the slow Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana.

Malgudi Days and Swaviman are another two favorites. Shobhaa de’s Swaviman is first TV serial, which expressed the high society on India. Asutosh Rana and Manoj Vajpayee were major actors in this serial. After this, they got better chances in Cinema.
Malgudi Days was based on Twentieth-Century Classics by R. K. Narayan (Author), exquisite representation of ground reality of India. The child character, Swami, was smart and impressed me a lot in my childhood.
Some of the favorite serials in my childhood were Ham Hindustani, Bagle ki Duniya, Mungeri Lal ke Hasin Swapne, Fauji(Shah Rukh Khan’s debut: He started his career in 1988 by appearing in the television series Fauji playing the role of Commando Abhimanyu Rai. He then played a minor role in the serial Circus), Santi etc.

Slowly the changes happened in Indian TV serials. From short story based or one episode based serials it evolved as a continuous story line, which last as long as viewers want it and ends soon the demand is less. Ekta Kapur’s K series serials are the pioneers in this serial era. The most demanding one were “Kyunki Saas bhi Kabhi Bahu thi”, “Kahani Ghar Ghar ki”. Some more are “Kahi to hoga”, “Kasauti”, “Kumkum”, “Karam Apna Apna” etc all in Star Plus.
Sudeshna Roy, a bengali serial director told that the channels are only doing their job. To speak of the K-serials, I’d say that Ekta Kapoor is a very successful women who has started a completely new genre. And you are bound to be copied when you show the road to success. I have no issues with it, since what matters is not the makeup or the melodrama, but the charm of the storyline and the way it’s being narrated.

New generation of Indian Serials are mostly based on Leading Female Characters of Elite business families. Be it Tulsi, Parvati, Kosis, Prerna, Kumkum, Gauri, Priyanka (Virasat), respectively. These characters are the main force to drive the continuous story line. These are no where related to normal Indian middleclass society. The family dramas are sometime so much exaggerated that often it loses the credibility of the viewers.

But the central characters are ideal and framing the mindsets of common Indian, remembering our traditional values in the age of Globalization and shaping today’s Indian families to some extent. I like some of them specially their unique way of handling situation at the time of family crisis.

In Zee TV and Sony, we have some serials with village life and middle class background, but the driving factor is always Family Drama influenced by high class. Jab Love Huya, Durgesnandini, are these types. True high class dramas are in Kasam Se, Sath Fere, Banu May Teri Dulhan, Kulbadhu, Baidehi where again Bani, Saloni, Biddya, Niyati and Baidehi are playing the central women characters respectively. The storylines are something that some evil characters want to make mess and after a long struggle some good character or the central character get win over the evil.

My best serial now is CID (detective serial) and I like history based TV serials, like Ravana and Prithiraj Chauhan.

Love affair, Family Drama and conflicts, Fight with villains etc were the common traits in Indian Movies few years back. Probably Indian people like this kind of story line. We are so engrossed in different struggles of daily life, which we want to avoid the reality in TV or cinema and like to see our fantasies in the form of entertainment.
But since TV serials are now more focused on this kind of storyline, our film directors can go for different one.
I sometime think that it is waste of time to watch these kinds of serials. The nature of serials widely varies from country to country. General Indian does not like the serials like Bay Watch, Street Hulk. Every society has its taste and keeping it in mind the directors produces these serials. Some of them like “Kyunki Saas bhi Kabhi Bahu thi”, “Kahanni Ghar Ghar kii” is continuing for more than 5 years on public demand. So, in these TV serials we can find the reflection of our society somehow, the respects for relation, the cultural values, social occasions, religious bonding etc are reflected in different story line. With the huge demand, its now became a mature industry and big shots of Bollywoods do not hesitate to be a part of it.


sam said...

you forgot mouthful of sky!!

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