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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Those were the couch days

Janaki Viswanathan, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, September 03, 2007
First Published: 12:20 IST(3/9/2007) | Last Updated: 16:08 IST(4/9/2007)

Janaki Viswanathan rewinds to four shows that should have still been..

Hubahu
Yes, this did come to a natural end.. story and all, but it would be great to have a re-run or similar shows.

The story was rather simple (seemed, rather).. about two twin sisters (played by Sandhya Mridul Rao) who exchange places for a week. One is stuck in a stagnating marriage and dreams of independence while the other is a successful businesswoman who longs for family.

Each one fits in perfectly into the other's life until predictably, complications arise.

The end was pretty good. They let the viewers decide for themselves whether or not the sisters got back to their respective lives or just stayed on with their assumed identities.

What worked for Hubahu was its refreshing boldness and an element of mystery as well.

Star Bestsellers
Okay, so this wasn't really a soap but a series with a different story every episode. Some of them were unusual and bizarre.

The most interesting ones were Dead End, Last Train to Mahakali and Prayaas. Dead End was a dark thriller about a group of youngsters (Mona Ambegaonkar, Raj Zutshi and others) on a road trip, who discover an accident with one survivor and a huge bag of money.<b1>

Prayaas (Rajit Kapur, Rajeshwari Sachdev, and others) was the story of a failed theatre actor who makes a comeback.

Last Train to Mahakali (Kay Kay Menon and Nivedita Bhattacharya) is about a scientist who claims to have found a vaccination for AIDS. The twist in the end is eerie, to say the very least.

Wish they'd come back with a whole new series..

Dhadkan
What could have been a Lifeline in the making (remember the medical drama that used to air years ago on DD?), faltered after a few episodes.

It started off with a bang - a tough businesswoman given the reins to a hospital, dedicated doctors, and the in-house psychiatrist.

But while the cast was excellent (Suresh Oberoi, Achint Kaur, Reema Lagoo, Sushant Singh, Ram Kapoor), the credibility was diluted thanks to the unrealistic make-up and costumes. <b2>

Also, the minute it started to concentrate on the love angle (Kabir Sadanand and Kishwar Merchant.. completely chemistry-less), the show lost its spark. An attempt at a better made sequel would be really cool.

Banegi Apni Baat
Oh, how we watched with bated breath as Ria (Firdaus Dadi) lied to her mum so she could go on a trip with her boyfriend. How our eyebrows shot up when Ritu married Vicky (Rituraj) in secret in Goa.

And how about Nikki (Divya Shah) who had an illegitimate baby and brought her up all by herself ! Banegi Apni Baat was truly the coming of age soap of Indian television. It had a brilliant cast, the plot never faltered.

Its characters had that rare quality that we hardly see in today's soaps: they were grey .

They were selfish and stubborn - except maybe for Ashley Alexander (a younger, skinnier and lovable R Madhavan) - and yet, we loved them.

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