So Sach Ka Saamna
has finally gone on air on Star Plus. I’ve seen the first two episodes till now — featuring Mumbaikar Smita Mathai who runs a dabbawala business and actor Yusuf Husain. Two perfectly ordinary people who you imagine would have perfectly ordinary lives. But what deep, dark secrets tumbled out as they answered host Rajeev Khandelwal’s searching questions. The questions began fairly innocuously, but got more and more intense and personal as the show progressed. Towards the last part, it was full tension.
Watching people confess to the kind of things most of us wouldn’t even want to think about is — to put it mildly — rather disturbing. Seeing the participants hurt and wound the people closest to them in full public view is very disquieting. But it’s difficult to tear yourself away — because I think many viewers will actually end up (whether they want to or not) reflexively answering many of those questions in their own heads. There’s a strange sense of guilty identification. It’s compulsive viewing — whether you like the show or not.
Also, Rajeev Khandelwal is an excellent host (and it doesn’t hurt that he’s seriously dishy).
Sony’s Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao also finally went on air — it’s a sort of three-for-the-price-of-one reality show.
If Survivor, Bigg Boss and Khatron Ke Khiladi were all mixed up and served on the same dish? Well, that should give you a good idea of what Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao is like. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the show features ten reality show-type celebrities — TV actors and actresses (Shweta Tiwari, Chetan Hansraj, Akashdeep Saigal, Aman Varma and Mona Vasu); other reality show participants (someone called Palak who was apparently on Roadies, a show I so heartily detest that I avoid watching it as much as I can and consequently have no idea about her), a former model and singer (Marc Robinson, Anaida), and two others who I can’t put in any slot except the “What? Who? Huh?” category -- someone called Ishq Bector who nobody I know has ever heard of (I did a straw poll), and Fiza, who many people had heard of courtesy her tacky marriage-separation saga with the sad-faced Chand (the drama was played out in full media glare).
Anyway, these ten sort-of-celebrities have to rough it out in a Malaysian jungle and survive on meagre rations — unless they perform various difficult ‘tasks’ successfully and win food points. The Bigg Boss angle to the show is that you have acres of airtime devoted to watching these ten people sitting around and chatting, gossiping, bickering, fighting etc. The Khatron Ke Khiladi angle is that the tasks they have to perform involve icky fauna — Chetan Hansraj had to rummage around in tubs teeming with eels, snakes, maggots and other unmentionables.
The Survivor angle is a bit off. I mean, the celebs are supposed to be roughing it out in this dense jungle which should be rightfully crawling with, er, creepy crawlies. Instead, the participants hang about in designer safari clothes in a camp set in a nice neat clearing. They hardly step out of this camp and even when they do, they wander around in some brown, scrubby kind of outdoor area. There is no sense of a forest at all, forget an abundant green rainforest. Maybe they’re actually hanging around in some nice rustic resort in Malaysia?
And finally. I also saw the new Shekhar Suman comedy show (Tedhi Baat) on Sab TV, where Shekhar wears many different disguises and is interviewed by Gurpal. Shekhar is a great mimic and Gurpal is terrific at comedy (remember him in Chhupa Rustom?) But this show is sadly low on its ability to raise a few good laughs. Come on guys, you can do better.