I’ve been doing my best to avoid watching something called Bindass. It’s allegedly India’s No. 1 youth channel. (Seriously? Wouldn’t India’s No. 1 revolting channel be a better description?) If you’ve ever had the misfortune to watch it, you’ll know what I mean. If you haven’t, let me fill you in.
This is a channel with shows such as Date Trap, Meri Toh Lag Gayi Naukri and Dadagiri. I mention only these three because these are the only ones I watched (I too have an endurance threshold; beyond a point, I can’t watch something that seems worse than even the worst shows ever made in the history of world television).
So, first Date Trap. Two youths (a boy and a girl) set up blind dates for their friends. Then they choose a few actors (selected after an “all-India audition,” the hostess informs us. When did Andheri become all of India?) to play the two dates and sundry supporting roles. They tell the actors to behave in ways guaranteed to rile their friends (and the audience too, by the way). Then they, along with the hostess, watch what happens, all the while laughing hysterically as if they were watching back-to-back episodes of Comedy ka Maha Muqabla.
So what does happen at these disaster dates? Frankly, words fail me, it’s that lunatic. (I’m all for lunacy. But even lunacy has to have some quality control).
Then there’s Meri Toh Lag Gayi Naukri, a fiction show about a TV channel called Jhakaas, a bald boss and his weird employees, which is supposed to be wildly funny. Sorry guys, it’s about as funny as Shakti Kapoor (on second thoughts, he’s funnier).
Then comes the rotten cherry on the equally rotten cake: Dadagiri Revenge of the Sexes. This is a boys versus girls reality show. The two teams have to perform a series of repulsive tasks, even as a dada (Vishal the ‘beast’) and an, er, dadi, or female dada (Shaurya the ‘goddess’) abuse them without pause. The contestants aren’t much better. They constantly bitch each other out and mouth corny lines like “Competition or no competition, I have to win by hook or by crook”/“Mere mein itna dum hai ki main yeh task poora karoonga.” As to the tasks (the completion of which is apparently a sign of super guts), they include things like hanging upside down and picking up pieces of raw meat with the mouth, then coating the said pieces with egg yolk and flour. Huh? Sounds like Khatron Ke Khiladi? You couldn’t be more wrong. The whole point about Dadagiri is the all-pervading atmosphere of bullying and bitching. Instant nausea/incipient brain tumour guaranteed.
But according to the channel, this is what young people love watching. Just like they apparently love watching that other show on MTV called Roadies, which is supposed to be about young people on a bike journey but is actually about two psychopaths torturing a bunch of other psychopaths. (Someone please send them to a prison somewhere, they can hold classes and take tutorials. Best of all, they won't be on our TV screens any longer).
So this is what it comes to: Take every negative emotion you can think of, put it all together in a bowl full of raw meat, egg yolk and flour, churn well and voila! You’ve got the magic potion of youth programming on Indian television.
Is there anybody out there between the ages of 15 and 24 who would rather do anything, anything else than watch these bleep bleep bleep bleep shows?