Bigg Boss is back on Colors but this time, it's like a Mahila Mandal, because all the housemates are women. There's only one token male, Shakti Kapoor. And what can you say about an actor whose career highlight was his appearance in baggy striped underwear with a trailing 'nada,' uttering the memorable dialogue: "Aaaooou." (Nobody knows what he meant. It's one of the deep cinematic mysteries of our time).
The women in the house are an odd mix. There's TV anchor Mandeep who asked Nihita (the woman who married Charles Sobhraj), "Did you have sex with him?" To say the question was a tad impolite would be an understatement. (If you want to know the answer, it was a horrified "No!!" Huh? They were married, weren't they?) Then there's someone called Shraddha whose claim to fame is that she was the girlfriend of someone called Raja Chowdhary whose claim to fame is that he was married to TV actress Shweta Tiwari (and that he was a housemate in one of Bigg Boss's earlier seasons). There's also someone called Pooja Missra who used to appear on a nocturnal TV show where she took some rather, er, free and frank questions of a personal nature on the phone from mostly male callers. There are some other slightly better known women too, such as Pooja Bedi and Raageshwari, but overall, well, there are just too many women. Shakti Kapoor has already been asked by Mr Heavy Voice (the voice of Bigg Boss, and I do hope there's no one out there who thinks that Bigg Boss is a real person) to get some housemates to behave like cheerleaders and item girls. Next he might be told to divide them into saas-bahu teams. (The kitchen politics has already begun with petty squabbling about whose turn it was to do the dishes).
One nagging question though: what could happen to anyone spending extended periods of time in the luridly coloured and weirdly designed interiors of the house? Frequent migraines? Nervous breakdowns? Seizures? (To give you an idea: the kitchen is a very very bright pink. And there are very few straight lines in the house - everything is squiggly).
Now to the two hosts of the show. Just the idea of having Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt together is a winning idea. And that's mostly what it was, even if they didn't quite bring the house down with their one-liners and jokes.
Three other reality shows wound up last weekend - Just Dance (Star Plus), India's Got Talent (Colors) and Li'l Champs (Zee). And in all three, the star of the show was the celebrity guest, Shah Rukh Khan. I think we've seen more of Shah Rukh promoting Ra.One on TV than we'll see of him in the movie. But there's no doubt about it - he brought his trademark SRK-style levels of exhausting energy and lunatic fun to all the shows.
And finally. Sony has just launched its new soap, Kuch Toh Log Kahenge, a remake of a Pakistani serial of the '80s, Dhoop Kinare. A romantic story set in a hospital, about a stern surgeon who falls in love with a bright and vivacious young intern, it became a huge hit in Pakistan as well as India. Resurrecting it is a good idea - an adaptation of Dhoop Kinare seems like an oasis in the desert that is the world of TV's mostly nasty, unwatchable soaps.
The first couple of episodes of Kuch Toh Log Kahenge were nice - even if the heroine, Dr Nidhi Varma (played by actress Kritika Kamra) was a bit OTT in her portrayal and came across as more brat than bright. Mohnish Bahl as Dr Ashutosh was sober and restrained. But we'll get to know what the Sony adaptation is really like only in the coming weeks.