Thursday, 16 June 2016

Are Indian TV serials ruining our society?

Everything, small or big, contributes to the making of a society. Since each house has, at least, one idiot box, it suffices to say that the role played by it is a major one. The concepts which are portrayed in various shows are either inspired by the society or they are influencing it one way or the other.

Television is closely associated with the film industry. Film stars work on small screen to get closer to the audience. With their weekly shows, these big screen celebrities become a more common face just like small screen stars who becomes part and parcel of every household. Similarly, many television artists are lucky enough to get a chance on the silver screen. Shahrukh Khan started his career with shows like Fauji and Circus. His talent was recognised by the filmmakers and they launched him in movies. The rest is history. He is the king of Bollywood and also world’s highest paid actor, according to the Forbes magazines. Sushant Singh Rajput and many other stars are following his footsteps with the hope earning the same fame as him.

Along with that, the promotion of movies is not possible without appearing on these daily soaps. So, why are we accusing these serials? Why some of us think that they’re ruining the society? Clearly, they’re working as a boon for the wanna be actors and Bollywood stars too.

The answer is pretty simple. Whenever I pick up the remote and switch to a channel with a hope of watching some good shows, all I stumble upon is a melodramatic show with similar storylines. Mother-in-law hating her son’s wife and trying everything in her power to make her life miserable. Either that or a love-hate relationship followed by a forced marriage where the couple will re-discover romance. If by any chance, producers decide to twist the stereotypical storyline, they would begin with a new story sans the relationship trouble but, in the end, they are bound to go the same old way because they want to drag this show for, at least, ten years.

Running time of a show is not a problem if they’re showing sensible things and not rubbish, different yet acutely similar storyline. 'Friends' was on-air for roughly ten years and 'Grey’s Anatomy' has been on television for more than eleven years. The difference lies in the manner. Dividing a show into various seasons keep the viewers interested and invested. While Indian television shows go on for years, no one bothers to divide them into seasons. It is troublesome to keep a track of episodes and storylines.

The other thing which makes it unbearable is the cowardliness of the creative heads. No one wants to go beyond the household issues. They are more than happy to exploit relationships.  When can we expect them to produce something which goes beyond the kitchen dynamics?

It is definitely ruining the society. With an exception of a few serials, all of them consist of powerless female leads who have two important objectives: dress up as if life is a never ending party and be weak and garner the sympathy of the viewers with teary eyes and doe-like face. It displeases me to end when I see these characters. They do not go beyond the house chores. Hardly any of them is working and having a successful career. Is this the message they are trying to give? This is certainly not the present scenario. A lot of women are earning and living off on their salaries. They have a life beyond the four walls of the house.

If they’re present the society, they are definitely living in the past. But their restricted mindset is working as a hurdle and viewers minds might narrow down by this. We need some forward thinking characters with a new mindset.

Other than that, there is no visual treat for the audience neither are they introduced to the new concepts. Viewers’ desires to watch something different like Game of Thrones or intriguing like Sherlock will have to wait for another decade or so.

Earlier, we have sitcoms like Office-Office and Sarabhai vs Sarabhai to keep us entertained without employing any serious characters. Pity, those days are gone.

Now, we have shows like Sasural Simar Ka and Yeh Rishta and they can never live up to the expectations of the youths. This is why youngsters are turning to American TV series and prefer them over Indian serials.

Written by Priyanka Chauhan
A bibliophile and an aspiring writer who lives with a  dream to travel the world.

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