Move over, TV vamps. Put away those blouses made from tiny net handkerchiefs. Throw away the truckloads of lipstick and eyeshadow. Take a sabbatical. Don’t come back. Because the bad boys are taking over. Whether it is Aman Varma in Viraasat and Iqbal Khan in Karam Apna Apna (both on Star Plus) or Apurva Agnihotri in Kaajjal (Sony), the men are trading their halos for horns.
Aman Varma wants the downfall of the happily married Rohit Roy and Sangeeta Ghosh; Iqbal Khan swears to fill his bride’s life with sorrow; Apurva Agnihotri wants to crush the spirit of the heroine of Kaajjal, played by Surveen Chawla.
But vamps or villains, some things remain the same. Everyone smiles evilly, everyone pulls horrible faces, and everyone plots and plans ceaselessly (when do they have the time to do the normal stuff that you and I do, like pay taxes or toil in the office?).
And everyone is shot in exactly the same way — the camera focuses on their face, then zooms in and out dementedly, while you feel increasingly seasick.
There’s an equally demented background score — like an orchestra permanently on drugs. Perhaps the entertainment channels should distribute free anti-nausea pills to all viewers.
Everytime a new film is about to release/has just been released, television channels (particularly the media partners of the film in question) give us wall-to-wall coverage of the movie. I switched on MTV and found the Jaan-e-Mann stars all over the place. Cyrus Broacha was interviewing Preity Zinta and Salman Khan; some bimbette (sorry, can’t remember her name) was interviewing Akshay Kumar.
At least Cyrus brought his own madcap humour to the interviews, the bimbette giggled and asked questions like, “Anupam Kher is playing a dwarf in the film. Must have been really tough. Did you feel like doing that as well?” Akshay Kumar looked at her as if she had just descended from Pluto and replied: “Why should I?”
Then I tuned into Channel V and found Don all over the channel.
Then I tuned into Aaj Tak and found a special report called Umrao Ka Aangan.
Then I tuned into Star News and found a special report on Umrao, sorry, Aishwarya’s wedding plans.
I’m just about to tune into Animal Planet. Who knows what I will find there? Maybe a special report on Salman Khan and black bucks.
Away from family melodramas and movies, Star Plus has recently started a science fiction serial called Antariksh, apparently aimed at children.
Which is a good thing because I can’t imagine any adults desperately keen to watch people in funny clothes moving around against lurid computer-animated backdrops. But at least it’s not a family melodrama.
Sony’s Jhalak Dikhla Ja has finally ended. Mona Singh was already a star thanks to her role as Jassi. But the show has also succeeded in turning Shweta Salve, just another TV actress till yesterday, into something of a star.
For Sony the show has worked, because it has got into the Top 100 (the only other show from the Sony stable to make it to this list is the long-running, rock steady CID). And despite the inevitable comparisons with Nach Baliye II (not all of them favourable), Jhalak Dikhla Ja has been the one of the most watchable things on Sony recently.
For me, the dance episodes were always much more fun than the result episodes which — as Cecil B DeMille famously said about Mehboob Khan’s Aan — simply went “aan and aan”.
And finally. Despite comedy being currently in vogue, one still has to hunt quite hard for programmes, shows, anything that can actually make one smile.
My vote this week for Most Enjoyable Viewing goes to the Lola Kutty Ma Baker and Daddy Cool music videos on Channel V. I have no idea when they might be shown next and you certainly can’t spend all day watching Channel V to get a dekho (what a punishment), but if by chance you happen to catch them while surfing, don’t go away. Watch. And laugh. Lola Kutty, you are too ‘hote’.