Tele-Serial Talk

Few days ago, I was surfing the channels on TV. One after the other, I saw the tele-serials being telecast on various channels. And I got interested. So watched them for 2-3 days again. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t watch a single Indian tele-serial. And I was not interested in their story line or in the actors wearing gaudy, designer party dresses and accessories at home in their kitchen!! I had pure academic interest in these tele-serials. So, some moments of watching them and I got lots of insights.

First, have a look at the serials….

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zeetv_image1titlee-867dd043fcbce7d sasural ganda phool insidepage1
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And you get to know that…

  • All the prime time tele-serials are women centric.
  • The story line revolves around marriage and its various rituals, twisted relationships, ‘out-dated, conservative’ domestic issues… In Sajan Ghar Jana Hai, a man has 2 wives and one is asking the other to give her only one ‘sukh’ and that ‘sukh’ is not to bear any child!! And then the camera shows the reactions of the 2 women for eternity in slow motion!DSC02694
  • You have women slapping each other or getting slapped by husbands, women plotting against each other. Yesterday, in one  serial, the husband throws his wife out of the house and rest of the family is silently observing the whole drama. DSC02717
  • The ‘Goodest good” woman is attacked/harassed/embarrassed, not once, not twice but ALL the time by the “Evilest evil” women who are always wearing big bindis with design patterns covering the entire forehead and ‘showering’ wicked smiles all the time. And none in the family has the brains to understand their evil tactics despite umpteen episodes.DSC02698
  • The dialogues are pathetic and so very clichéd. “Tum kya kar sakti ho. Tum ek aurat ho. Tumhari jagah ab pati keghar hi hai” God!! While, its only the women who are dong everything in these serials. Men are just present to complete the picture (wearing multi-colored designer kurtas and sherwanis) and to assist women in their plotting and conspiracies.
  • Everybody stays in modern designer homes but women will always have ‘Pallu’ on their head ALL the time. In Jamunia, they showed a modular kitchen but the food is cooked on a ‘chulha’ and bags of grains kept in the centre of the kitchen and fruits and vegetables kept in multiple ‘tokris’ on the kitchen slab.

DSC02706 So, the questions which emerge are…

  • Why are there sooo many old fashioned, regressive tele-serials going on for soooo many years now on our television?
  • When we have moved forward in almost all spheres of life, why can’t we look beyond the saas-bahus in tele-serials?
  • What is shown in the tele-serials, does that represent our society and our world?? Or is the real world of the tele-serial makers different from our real world??
  • When they started these sagas on TV, the mass hysteria was understandable. But even now, after so many years, with the same, typical, orthodox stories (and mostly conveying wrong messages), the TRPs and viewership is ever increasing. I know many, who time their dinners and outings as per the timings of these shows, still. For how long can the viewers taste the same dish, rather dishes? But the fact is that they are not only tasting them but relishing them too!! Why, I wonder!!
  • Why can’t we have some intelligent, thoughtful, and interesting tele-serials with the right quotient of entertainment?

Any answers??

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22 thoughts on “Tele-Serial Talk

  1. you know, I do not watch any serials. I hear all of them. only the dialogues. Unfortunately, my room is in between the living room and my grandmother’s both the places, the same shows are going on all the time and I can hear the dialogues loud and clear even if I shut all the doors!

    I have so far not understood whose mother in law troubles whom and how many times..whose husband leaves/throws out/slaps whose wife – I am sure even they don’t know!

    Man, great points and nostalgic post 😛 😛

    intelligent programs you wanna see? well, hopefully in your 5th or 6th birth, you may get lucky!

    loved the post :)))

  2. Last month in TOI i read an article analysing the TV viewership….

    Most of the saas bahu serials have patrons in non cosmopilitan cities and titer-2 cities(and all villages ) whose numbers is many times bigger than the patrons in the 6 metropolitan/cosmopolitan cities…

    So, it all the mass following.

    There are two indias as of now…
    culturally, socially, economically which impact on the entertainment too…

    And we know from which India Mtv and V channel draw their patrons…

  3. I just can’t bear these vamp-style serials and the ones in which they show these real-gud women who r ready to sacrifice all the time 😛
    I dnt understand who sees these serials?

  4. “Why are there sooo many old fashioned, regressive tele-serials going on for soooo many years now on our television?”

    There are vested interests… who gain from perpetuating a certain kind of thinking/mindset. Also, the viewers and patrons of these ‘successful’ soaps… are concentrated in the interiors/towns. Even in the cities too. There is a dearth of people who rationalise things/situations…

    Remember… when in the ’70s a deluge of ‘angry young man’ movies appeared… it was subtly conveyed to the viewers that the anti-hero enjoyed a jet-setting lifestyle: snazzy cars, bunglows, holidays, best dialogues, arm candies, etc. While the honest policeman had a tough time.. making ends meet.

    Lets not forget that the visual medium is very powerful…

    P.S. I miss the serials I watched during my schooldays: Mungerilal ke haseen sapnein, Wagle ki duniya, Dekh bhai dekh, Malgudi days, PC – 1008, Udaan…

    Today we have quantity over quality. Sadly!

  5. if only there were answers to all the above questions there wouldn’t have been any tele serials..

    I for one never watch a single serial..I hate them like anything !

    we better blog or read a book or do some other stuff than this …

    But all the points that you’ve pinned are so true ! Sadly there is a typical ‘janta’ watching all these stupidities and hence these serials are going on and on…living life more than a human being 🙂

  6. Shilpa,i have seen many educated people,working women and to my surprise even men too getting addicted to these serials.There is a very huge viewership to these serials…how and why ?? Only God knows.

  7. yu’ll get answers if yu ask these to the women who watch and the ppl who produce!.. well yu know wat.. ppl who stay abroad especially they dont get any other option other than to watch tele as well..just to kill time!!…i watch shakti man :)!! cyu…

  8. How could you miss ‘Balika Vadhu’!! Right now, the boy is doing 2nd child marriage. One of the questions you’ve asked is what usually goes on in my mind – What is shown in the tele-serials, does that represent our society and our world?? Pure rubbish!

  9. Indian TV serials are repulsive, vulgar, dangerously scheming, insensitive to the core, self-destructive to the maximum and still garners TRPs. Something wrong with our society? People want to kill time and they are killing their senses.

  10. I remember the days of Rajani and Bharat ek khoj…Doordarshan had so much variety in topics..

    I had started watching a couple of them and gawd..the serials are so regressive…instead of enlightening you with something new they still keep showing sati savitri women bearing the brunt of in-laws.

  11. They are my all time “timepass” so watch them only when I am getting bored…but I do put my brain to sleep while watching them…..

  12. I will recommend your name for next Padma Awards.
    It is a criminal waste of time.
    My wife does watch some serials–we sit in separate rooms till she has finished her quota of depressing dialogues.
    We switch on two separate TVs.
    But, let us not forget, all the channels have a new serial so very often and every channels claims to have good TRPs.
    Incidentally, what made you conduct this research on TV serials?

  13. @ mumbai paused : Hi! Welcome on this blog! 🙂
    Well, I just watch English News! 😛

    And in passing (as a passive watcher…is this a term?? just like passive smoker!), all the Cartoon Channels and AXN/Discovery/HBO/Star Movies and its brethren!! 😛

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