Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Check 1 2 3... Is this a reality show?

Off late the electronic media has exaggerated the so called reality shows. Almost every other channel airs a reality show today. It has proved to be sure shot method of manifolding the number of audiences. As I googled the net to get a rough estimate of its figures, I was literally caught off guard. Boy! One can enlist a gazillion such shows, providing scrumptious fodder to nibble to all its athirst viewers. What amazes me even more, is the kind of response it often gets from its targeted audience, who largely decide the TRP ratings of such shows and decide if should be hitting the television charts at the prime time.

At the end of 90s, there was the need for a change in what the tv shows had to offer to its viewers. It was time for a total make over. The same old saas-bahu saga, wasn't gonna be holding back the audiences who were desperate to see something 'REAL' and something 'ORIGINAL', that was never screened before. The indication was clear, they called for the reality shows to hit the drawing rooms.

If one can trace back, to the origin of such shows in India, one discovers that they have morphed themselves from time to time, and have been packaged and re-packaged and sold back to its audiences. It all began with the so called 'Talent Hunt' shows, which included the famous, the then TVS SAREGAMA, aired by ZEE network. With the instant popularity of these kinda shows, the tv channels had found out a new formula for success, they termed them, 'The Reality Show'.

BIG B' Salvager, The KBC.

As time progressed the same 'Talent Hunt' shows acquired broader dimensions and succeeded to attract the masses. The biggest landmark amongst such shows, was the KBC, the Indian avatar of 'Who wants to be a millionaire?'. With Mr. Bacchan's career on a record low, the show proved a real boon, to salvage his otherwise doomed career and also laid down conducive environment to gravitate many more shows of the same genre. Boy! star plus was minting money then! It was a phase when every other private channel tried to catch up with KBC, and how miserable were their attempts? Literally every other channel aired a show similar to KBC, but none came close to its fame, needless to say who made the difference.

Shan, the real shaan of Zee's SAREGAMAPA challenge.

Sony's Talent Hunt show.

Soon Zee hit back with its SAREGAMAPA challenge 200x (that includes both for kids and couple and solo singer's competition). It was aiming to recapture its 'lost' audience, who were now under the clutches of Star plus and Sony entertainment television. The other shows included Fame Gurukul of sony and Indian Idol of the same channel. The shows came out with the concept of voting via sms , e-mails and landlines. These shows registered new landmarks, by having millions of messages via e-mail, sms and phone calls from their audience, who voted their favorites. Dude what a season for Airtel, Hutch and others, unki to chandi nahi heera lag chuki hogi!!!

MTV's Rodies, youth's shortcut to fame!

Arshad warsi, anchor of BIG BOSS

The most striking feature of all these shows, were that they were all 'inspired' by international shows. The off late avatars of Big Boss (Sony entertainment television), MTV Roadies, Fame X etc all the re-incarnations of the international shows like Big brother and so on... I closely follow the above 3 shows, and I am proved beyond any doubt that their sole purpose is to rob the audiences of their money in the name reality shows, while they actually look so very scripted and meticulously edited to feed the audiences with just the flavor they need! I strongly raise objections on the ingenuity of such shows and their purpose, for they seem simply bizzare! The recent racism episode in 'Big Brother' involving the victimized shilpa shetty, simply disgusts me. I mean why the f**K should one be taking such things, staking one's dignity! Shilpa shetty doesn't deserve it. The same is the case here with its sibling, Big Boss, where Rakhi Sawant's vociferation is intolerable. People fight over petty things and it all looks so funny! (Carol's hindi can make anyone puke effortlessly).

Oops forgot this show on Zee, its called The Idea Zee Cine Star Contest, with a slogan, 'Ab Bollywood door nahin'. I must say, u gotta pity those poor souls, who shell out all their energy in front of the so called jury, who can hardly change the course of their life and provide opportunity to these real talents. I am sure none would show the courage to invest on these so called budding talents! Even if they do, I doubt their sustainance levels.

I got a few basic questions to be asked to all these so called reality show owners:

1. Most of the so called talent hunt shows have been, literally of the type, 'Look mommie I made it big kinda ones!'. I wonder what happened to the equally talented Vineets, Amith saanas and many more. What have these shows done to ensure these talents sustained in the industry! How many of them actually endure a successful career in this entertainment industry?

2. Its hard for me comprehend the idea of shows like 'Fear Factor' (although its Indian version is more mild). I don't see any sense in testing the courage of a person by having him gulp a cocktail of lizards, crickets or cockroaches. Yak! C'mon people u can't get so insane. I am okies with other stunts they are asked to do.

3. Its the Big Boss again. It fails to even remotely convince me of its objectivity. I am truly amazed to see the different shades of its participants! They behave so childishly, especially the Raghinis, Ravi, carols and Rakhis really so sucking! Is this some formal training academy for politicians or what?

4. I also question the integrity of shows like Fame X, where Palash is often seen slashing back @ the jury, whenever the jury highlights a shortcoming in the performance of any participant! I mean you gotta make sense somewhere dude! If they aren't given at least that much of an authority, go F**k yourself, why do you need them?

PS: The day I find convincing answers to the above would be surely the Doom's day! I am sure these shows fail to hold the credibility and also lack the basic objectivity to provide justice to talents. Its high time we wake up to reality and really question their credibility. Is someone listening?

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