Agreed, Semi Girebaal (MTV), played by Cyrus Sahukar, is incredibly funny. I am a fan. But when I saw the show last week, I wondered if the scriptwriters and gag writers of Rendezvous With Semi Girebaal were currently on a staple diet of sleeping pills.
The episode had a fake Ram Gopal Varma and a real Raageshwari and it was about as funny as the real Cyrus Sahukar interviewing the real Ram Gopal Varma (on second thoughts, that might have been funnier).
A heartfelt plea to the writers of the show: try some energy pills, guys, or some laughing gas, or at least watch the show with some real viewers and see if they (the viewers, that is) laugh or not. Cyrus as Semi is still a scream, but is that enough?
This Sunday, Semi interviews the real Akshay Kumar and I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Of late, Akshay has shown himself to be quite adept at comedy, and so I hope that he, along with Semi, can actually deliver some moments of madness.
If the Semi show appears to running a little low on juice, MTV’s other show, Roadies, seems to have an excess of it. Let me explain. Currently, Roadies is in its fourth season. And even as the reality show is being telecast, MTV is doing a ‘rear-view’ (no, it’s not what you think). The channel is looking back at the previous seasons of the show.
As part of the recap, MTV is showing us the auditions to Roadies 4, at a late-night slot. I watched for a few nights and thought I had strayed into a how-much-can-you-humiliate-the-applicants game show instead. Judges Nikhil Chinappa, Mika and Raghu should have come dressed like Neena Gupta in Kamzor Kadii Kaun (remember the late unlamented quiz programme in which Neena, doing a pretty good approximation of Lady Dracula in her black sari, snubbed contestants mercilessly?)
The three Roadies judges spent most of their time reducing participants to tears, and telling them things like “You make me sick, you have no confidence, there’s nothing unusual about you, you’re a jerk, you’re a loser” etc etc. In short, and these are their words, not mine, they told a majority of the applicants to “f—k off”. The judges were allegedly testing the participants for attitude; but I can find other words to describe their own attitude and none of them are particularly complimentary either. The mystery is why the participants — mostly college students — saw fit to put up with this kind of humiliation. But being part of Roadies was, for them, a do-or-die effort – or so they said. Many had auditioned before too and been rejected. Ah well, I guess it takes all sorts.
When TV channels are not showing serials/reality shows/promoting new films, they are busy telecasting award shows. If you try and count them, you’ll run out of fingers and toes. There are TV awards, business awards, sports awards, advertising awards and goodness knows what else. And the one thing that unites most of them is that they all look like poor country cousins of the film awards.
I watched the Telly Awards, shown recently on Sony, where the scintillating performances were not nearly as scintillating (Mona Singh may have won the Jhalak Dikhla Ja controversy but she cannot dance), the glittering costumes were not nearly as glittering… and so on. If we have to be subjected to award show after award show, can we at least have full glitz and glamour please?
And finally. If there’s one thing entertainment channels can’t be faulted on, it’s their commitment to national integration. We’ve had serials set in Gujarati (Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi), Bengali (Kasauti Zindagi Kay and Karam Apna Apna), Rajasthani (Saat Phere Saloni Ka Safar) and Punjabi (Shanno Ki Shaadi) households.
But not since Heena (on Sony) have we had a big ticket serial with a Muslim background. Enter Zaara on Sahara One. (No, it has nothing to do with the shop, Zaara is the name of our heroine). But what does a ‘Muslim’ setting (or, for that matter, Punjabi or Bengali setting) mean? As far as I can make out, you just need to throw in a nikaah instead of a shaadi, a few ammis and abbas instead of baas and babujis and you’re home. Alvida, then, till next week.