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Tuesday 12 January 2016

Are You Being Entertained?

On your Entertainment Buffet platter: Pickled, Unimaginative, Stilted, Regressive and Regurgitated creations designed to stifle you! (Yawn)

Unbelievable! Do they think they are catering to imbeciles here? What kind of nincompoops watch these kind of serials? I do believe the media at large, be it small screen soaps, large screen films or print media, unanimously perceive the average Indian to be of  low intellect and probably incapable of any maturity! 
I am limiting my rants here to the small screen and theater - for the present!
At an exponential rate the quality and content of Indian media productions are going down. We are being fed watered down, mashed and easy to digest stuff; rather like baby food, with no thought to palate or intelligence of consumers.
On the other hand, we have visually/technically improved content, things that make you feel you have advanced! Yes, hi-tech fight sequences and digital special effects, for enhanced audio-visual experiences are in. But what about the content...aren't they even going to spend a fraction of the effort, thought and time on that?

When I watch my favorite serials like Sherlock, Grey's Anatomy, Friends, Game of Thrones, Castle, Desperate Housewives, Whose Line Is it Anyway, even reruns - one thing strikes me! Each dialogue that each character delivers has a punch to it; every scene counts; there is some serious thought going into the making of these serials. 
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They are the kind of stuff, that keep you thirsting for more, be it reruns or seasons! Thought-provoking memorable/cult dialogues, superb performances and yes of course, content that is different, eclectic even!

And then I, no...accidentally forced to watch when the remote refuses to respond....serials like Balika Vadhu where the only challenge I have is in deducing, how come Dadisa still exists? Then off course the rigors of Sasural Simar Ka and similar serials empathizing the travails and emotional atyachaar of imagined Indian households! You can get your kicks on regressive thinking watching Udaan, dumb down and dull your senses watching Chidiya Ghar!
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I am sure the makers of such soaps are well-meaning individuals, who started off pretty sensibly, but somewhere down the line, the story/plot, the cast, the production everything went deranged and haywire! That said, there will be a supply for such serials, only if there is a demand for them - ponder that!
Of newer serials, I optimistically started watching Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat
Well, a promising serial that has turned out to be yet another 'Saas-Bahu-Saga' in mythological disguise! 

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Poor King Bindusara and his council of Ministers along with the able Chanakya are all relegated to resolving disputes and plots between the queens and their maids, the queens and their creepy Greek 'Saas', and many more such permutations, leaving audiences to wonder, when does this emotionally overburdened king find time to administer his empire, and will Ashoka ever grow up to play out the role history attributes him with?

Then there are reminders of some intelligent, sensible, fun watches: Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai, Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta Chashma and ancient serials like Bharat Ek Khoj, Nukkad, Wagle ki Duniya, Malgudi Days, Tamas, Yeh Jo he Zindagi, Buniyaad etc
It seems the makers of such serials have become an extinct species.

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At this point, I do believe it is justifiable to argue that at the time that these brilliant serials were televised, the TV only had a single channel! Youngsters will go ballistic and take umbrage to such reminiscing - but sorry kids, it is the sad truth that you missed all the great stuff on television!
A case of content dilution and intense competition has taken over channels: Which channel telecasts worse serials! TRP is a fanciful technical name given to bizzare observations plonked down by zombied TV addicts employed by God-knows-what organizations!

And don't even get me started on entertainment for kids! Aarrghh...absolutely horrendous! Every time I watch that little notification from Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) running on these channels, I have this mad urge to pour out my woes in lengthy posts with choice words regarding the quality of almost everything that is broadcast!

Whatever happened to good ol' Tom and Jerry, Bugs and Daffy, Barney and Friends, The Sesame Street, Bob The Builder, Adorable Noddy and Friends and several other harmless, entertaining and child-friendly programs...tell me, tell me, tell me...I am sure a whole brood of parents of this Nation want to know: Where have these wonderful programs disappeared and why?

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Why are Children's channels so keen on telecasting serials intending to dumb down our kids? Is this some kind of international (Chinese/Japanese) conspiracy to sabotage young Indian minds prohibiting exposure to anything good and worthwhile? 

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The said good old cartoons and kids' shows have been replaced with absolutely abominable stuff, that is neither entertaining, nor visually or mentally stimulating! Add to this fact, that these horrors are repeatedly telecast, so that you are forced to watch them! 
There is nothing good on any of the channels congruently, all are riddled with equally redundant and mind-numbing programs! 
It has to be a planned mutiny, to downgrade Indian intellect!

Of late, I have rather taken to the theater, after finding little or nothing interesting to hold my attention on the large screen. Even here, there is such a disparity in the quality and content of productions between Indian and Western productions! 
Agreed the Western productions charge a bomb for the tickets, but the slick quality, the incredible performances, the creativity, the experience all make it worth your while. 
On the other hand, Indian theater boasts of plays starring big stars who deign to 'come-down' to theater to...err...fulfill their creative urges (read: quick pocket-money, to keep up social visibility in between scant Bollywood offers) are actually so full of themselves, riding on past laurels to carry them through poorly prepared performances! 
The standard of the set props, the research gone into the developing the whole script, the overall hard work and finesse put in to have perfect synchronization comes through very significantly on a live stage performance. 
All of which is sadly and terribly lacking in Indian productions. I am trying not to be biased or trivializing here, but it does test one's patience and endurance when you have to watch bizarre bloopers with slapstick vulgar comedy in the name of entertainment. Even seemingly interesting plots fall flat, when the director takes pains to explain every nuance of the plot to the deemed intellectually-challenged audiences!

Well, these are but rants off my hat, that are provoked especially when I anguish seeing the youth or Gen Y ohhing-ahhing at what fun the latest show of V!r D@$, The XXX Laugh Factory, the @!B was! 
Limited imagination, lowered expectations and no exposure to good content is what our next gen is destined for! 
Yes, one does get into that sentimental, senile, generation gap, but honestly I still believe in entertainment that has subtle humor rather than one that thrives on mockery, that still believes in challenging and stimulating the intrigue and intelligence of the viewers!
Any takers for this kind of stuff?

Do share your views/rants on the current entertainment scene...

The views expressed here are wholly and solely my own! 
They do not mean to intentionally discredit or credit any of the specific serials or channels mentioned here!

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