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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

Old show in new bottle

Kavita Awaasthi, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, March 11, 2013
First Published: 15:29 IST(11/3/2013) | Last Updated: 18:45 IST(11/3/2013)

Gyaan Hi Aapko Aapka Haq Dilata Hai, Alag Che, Kitchen Ke Superstars, Bachchon Ki Acting Ka Natural Andaaz.  These are some of the taglines that the new seasons of popular reality shows are sporting. The channels are clearly working hard to come up with innovative themes every season; the promise being that of new flavour to the favourite shows.

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Themes mainly work as a hook for the audience who waits for their favourite shows. Season after season, a show’s content and presentation remains more or less the same, but themes give them a fresh coat of paint. Channels employ agencies to find the right pitch for their shows, and then, they work hard to show you how different the new season is.

Case in point: the third season of MasterChef is called Kitchen Ke Superstars, wherein the makers are targeting housewives. Naturally, the focus in this season will be on desi dishes, unlike earlier seasons, where exotic dishes proved winners. With this, the show is trying to reach out to the masses in the hinterland; the tagline also seems to say, ‘We understand you.’

Similarly India’s Best Dramebaaz is called ‘Bachchon Ki Acting Ka Natural Andaaz’, with the focus on the kids’acting skills. Dance India Dance was about the ‘Sabse Bada Dancing Star Ki Khoj’, conveying the mood of the show.

Season 6 of Bigg Boss Alag Che was actually ‘alag’ (different), with family-oriented content, no vulgarity; it kept adding surprises week after week, which was never done before. From introducing a panic room to a mud house, to bringing back eliminated contestants — every possible trick was used.

Descriptors for Kaun Banega Crorepati, be it ‘Gyaan hi aapko aapka haq dilata hai’ or ‘Koi sawaal chota nahin hota’ have always clicked with the audience, engaging them as soon as the promos go on air.

Themes of reality shows then are an attempt to repackage shows. In essence, whether or not the wine is new, the bottle always is.

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