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Television: Shows Take Over Serials

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By: Arya Aiyappan
Friday, December 29, 2006

Television is a multi-faceted medium, rapidly evolving and changing hues in tune with the times. Exploring the diverse possibilities, television as a communication platform offers a wide range of programmes ranging from the daily soaps, serials, game shows, reality shows, and cultural shows to proffer quality entertainment to the modern day audience for whom variety is virtually the spice of life.

In this modern age 'choice' is the watchword. While in the past serials reigned unrivalled, today there are a medley of programmes to choose from. Every channel be it Star Plus, Sony Tv, Zee Tv, Star One, etc has come up with a host of shows - game shows like Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC), Deal Ya No Deal, Fear Factor, Bluff Master; reality shows like Big Boss, Shabaash India, cultural shows like Fame Gurukul, Indian Idol, Nach Baliye, Jodi Kamaal Ki, Boogie Woogie, The Great Indian Laughter Champions, India Zee Cinestars, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Business Baazigar, chat shows like Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai, Rendezvous with Simi Garewal, Kiddy serials, Stage shows and Awards, etc.

While serials do thrive doing brisk business, a sense of monotony and satiation has crept in with the endless repetition of the same stories being packaged and re-presented again and again. The umpteen family stories revolving around age-old saas-bahu politics, revenge stories have left the audience urging for a change from the mundane stories lacking any sense. It is the dearth of novel ideas and style of presentation that has led to this crisis. Though serials also strive to sustain the suspense element, it is quite often an acknowledged fact that truth and goodness will prevail come what may, whereby the events are slowly manipulated along those lines. Whereas in game shows and reality shows the suspense builds up every moment, tension rises, and success and failure remains unpredictable, even though there are controversies regarding manipulation.


Television shows also bear an inkling of reality from which the daily soaps are far removed, added to which the style of presentation enhances its value. Mostly producers rope in the leading stars of bollywood Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, R. Madhavan, Mandira Bedi, Malaika Arora Khan, etc to capture the audience' attention.

The cultural programmes showcase a hodge-podge of music, dance and other art forms, which stimulate the sense perceptions of the audience along with the results, which declare the winners of the shows. To arouse the interest celebrities participate in these contests and even notch up small skits leaving the audience laughing away to glory. Laughter competitions and kiddy shows also have a loyal audience devoid of any age barriers. Chat shows are the real intellectual and emotional stimulants.

Complacent times have changed, and no longer do the spectators mutely accept anything or everything offered to them when choice is immense. Competition demands originality and freshness with every programme vying for maximum viewership and popularity.

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