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History better than comedy

Here's all you need to know about latest shows on televisions.

tv Updated: Apr 13, 2011 14:05 IST
Rachana Dubey

Show: Comedy Ka Maha Muqabla
Time: 9.30 pm, Saturday-Sunday
Station: Star Plus
Cast: Raveena Tandon, Arshad Warsi, Shekhar Suman, Shreyas Talpade

You can’t blame yourself for confusing one slapstick comedy show with another, considering that there are at least two on air that have fresh content, and at least two others whose repeat telecasts are on.

Comedy Ka Maha Muqabla seems like a fun idea at first glance, with four teams headed by a comic celebrity each. Acts are presented in teams, mutual admiration expressed and marks distributed accordingly. But look closer and you realise that ha-ha business is not all that easy, and it’s not always funny. The acts presented by the mentors have been funny, with only one or two exceptions so far in the season. Shekhar Suman and Arshad Warsi’s acts in particular, are simply rib tickling.

The seasoned comics in the show like Raju Srivastava pull their acts off rather well too, while others struggle to make you laugh. We’ve all been overburdened with doses of slapstick, double-meaning sentences and pitiful pot shots at celebrities on various comedy shows previously. It’s upsetting and off-putting to find these cliches here as well. After a while, you won’t blame yourself for picking up the remote and switching the channel.

What we like
Shekhar Suman and Arshad Warsi’s acts.
The core concept of the show.

We don’t like
The same double meaning, embarrassing one-liners.

Ratings: **

Show: Chandragupta Maurya
Time: 9 pm, Friday-Saturday
Station: Imagine
Cast: Manish Wadhwa, Rushiraj

This show is not likely to gather mass attention primarily because of the slot it runs in, and also because of its low key promotions. However, once you catch an episode, you are likely to come back for more, since the production quality is high, the special effects executed beautifully, and the narrative style is gripping.

The story moves really fast, which is good because a viewer doesn’t get bored or dragged into unnecessary details. The sets and the costumes have been created with detail, which is very essential for a period drama like this. The actors have been chosen well. Rushiraj is a true discovery and has all the makings of a fine actor. Manish Wadhwa’s efforts to get into the skin of one of the most intelligent men from ancient Indian history are visible and appreciated too.

But it’s not the first time that a production house has attempted to narrate the story of Chandragupta Maurya and his guru Chanakya. The 1991 series on DD still rings a bell as it was the first, and in comparison, it was much better in terms of narration and performances than this.

We don’t like
The narration at times becomes a bit loose, focus shifts to special effects and costumes

What we like
The idea of retelling Chandragupta Maurya and Chanakya’s story