Repetition is the operative word on television these days. Today, each channel is trying to follow the trend started by another one. If one kind of program is hit then the others blindly follow it. It wouldn't be wrong to say that the latest television shows are giving the go by to originality and creativity. This applies for both fiction and non-fiction shows. Latest example is Balika Vadhu on Colors being followed up by Zee in their show Maa. In soaps like Uttaran and Balika Vadhu, there seems to be a lot of similarities. Both the shows have an old orthodox grand-mother who brings in all the problems. Both the shows deal with the emotional flow through which a child goes through in their childhood, when in different situations. Both the shows are based on the social problem of our society, poverty and child marriage respectively.
Ashwini Yardi, Programming Head for Colors, doesn't believe that soaps are getting repetitive but she does agree that the kids are playing a big part in the TRP game. "No, I don't think the serials are repetitive and if you are saying that most of the shows are taking the kids as the lead then for that I would say that they are the flavour of the season," quotes Ashwini Yardi.
Talented story writer of shows like Balika Vadhu and Saat Phere, Purnendu Shekhar modestly admits the loopholes in the working pattern of our television industry. "I totally agree with you. I understand the trend which is going on is wrong but you see nobody can help it. It is like a fashion trend which has been set. Who knows in next few years' dadis' might play the lead," shares Purnendu. He further adds, "the audience of India liked the concept and this trend which is going on, we are just catering to their needs."
If we leave apart the shows having a child as a protagonist, even Ghar Ki Laxmi Betiyan and Radha ki betiyaan kuch kar dikhayengi seems to be the daughters of a single concept.
Producer of Ghar Ki Laxmi Betiyaan, Dheeraj Kumar believes that the repetitiveness theory is indeed working in the television industry. But at the same time doesn't want to comment or compare his show with any other show, "In today's meltdown you cannot be different for just being different. The current scenario is that neither the broadcasters nor the production houses want to take any kind of risk. Everyone wants to play safe and hence everyone is following the same successful mantra rather than experimenting. Like Saat Phere has taken black and white theme and now Bidaai has also taken the same theme, seeing the success of the former. And everyone will definitely follow the trend which has a successful history and which has a market demand," says Dheeraj Kumar.
Well, so according to Dheeraj Kumar, recession is the reason behind the repetitiveness theory, interesting.
Anyways, whether it is a daily soap drama or any reality show, the popularity of this new wave has made it difficult for creative directors to showcase their talent with anything new and innovative. The success of Star One's Laughter Challenge first season not only was being followed by more seasons of the show but the show's format was re-created on different channels. Where Sony still continues with different seasons of Comedy Circus, Colours came up with the stand up comedy Chote Miya; the only difference been that over here the contestants are kids.
Sanjay Upadhyay, Creative Head for Sony Television, believes in extracting the juice till its last drop before going for a new one, "as long as the viewers are enjoying the shows I don't think a need for a change. At one time, these shows will come to a saturating point only then we will come up with something new. Everything has a life time or a validity time, the present time is the life time for these shows. When the expiry time will come for these shows, we will come up with something new."
When it comes to reality shows, you can never fall short of options. There are celebrity shows, talent hunts, adventure games, comedy shows and much, much more. Since every channel has the formula to rake in money via TRP and SMS; churning out one show after another has become big business in the television industry.
But as they say: Too much of a good thing is not all that good. With over a dozen shows being currently aired on TV, reality shows too are becoming repetitive.
Singing reality shows like Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Voice of India and Indian Idol have the same content with the team of jury's dramatic comments and the walking out thing which shows that how fake and scripted these reality shows actually are. All of them have got this voting system to vote out the contestants which in itself is susceptible.
Veteran music composer-singer Bappi Lahiri who has judged these kinds of unrealistic programs believes that the viewers are still enjoying these shows and hence they are being made. "People like these shows so we are making and above all we are getting so very talented people from these reality shows like Abhijeet Sawant, Moli Dave, Debojeet. I personally have enjoyed judging the shows," speaks Bappi Da.
Where Bappi Da is all praise for the reality shows, veteran choreographer and judge on Star Plus's Nach Baliye season 1 and 2, Saroj Khan seems to be very upset with it. "I am really fed up of these reality shows and I am frankly telling you all that I want these reality shows to end and if the producers are listening to me then please change the same old thing. We all want something fresh," screams out Saroj Khan.
Television is one of the best sources of entertainment but the similar kind of unrealistic stories and oppressive views are destroying the psyche of common people. It is sad considering the immense scope there is in creating interesting stories but our producers and channel people are taking an easy way out.