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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Kim Kardashian style: it’s time to get real

Kavitha Awaasthi, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 14, 2013
First Published: 15:19 IST(14/1/2013) | Last Updated: 15:22 IST(14/1/2013)

As reality TV star Kim Kardashian plans to show off her pregnancy in her show,  Keeping Up With The Kardashians, I wonder if in India, we could ever have a show about a star’s pregnancy a la Kim.

We saw Juhi Parmar win Bigg Boss last season, but would we have watched her pregnancy this year with the same enthusiasm? No, not really. Of course, a show about Aishwarya Rai Bachchan or Lara Dutta’s pregnancies would be eagerly watched.

On Indian TV, reality shows are scripted to some extent. They might be inspired or adapted from international formats, but our versions are always milder than the originals. They might deliver, but aren’t ‘reality’ in the true sense. Perhaps we are so tuned to watching soaps and fictional entertainment, that too much reality hurts. Packaged shows with the right amount of masala always work. But every new wave of reality shows brings more ‘reality’ to our TV screens, the way Bigg Boss did this season. It was interesting for the most part because of Rajev Paul and Delnaz Irani’s much-talked about divorce. If there was anyone on this planet who didn’t know about it, well that person knows now.

Earlier, Swayamvar, similar to The Bachelor, was maneuvered for TRPs. Also, most of the guests on the show were TV celebs, not relatives, hence giving it an unauthentic feel. With only Rahul Mahajan heading for marriage, it proved it was more about making money than finding Mr Right.

Gauahar and Nigaar Khan too tried hard to make their show The Khan Sisters work, but it lacked the spice of the Kardashians. Had it been Shilpa Shetty and her sister Shamita or even Farah Khan and Sajid Khan, maybe things would have been different. Mom Exchange, inspired by Wife Swap, featured non-celebs but it wasn’t anywhere as real as The Real Housewives Of New Jersey. Pati Patni Aur Woh had real couples, but the kids weren’t theirs and the shoot was on a set, not in real homes.

I wonder how real the new reality show, Welcome, will be. Based on the international format Come Dine With Me, the Indian version will have TV celebs dining in each other’s homes and rating the experience. The novelty for audiences is that it will be shot in the actual homes of  celebs. If that’s for real, it would be something to watch out for.

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