The IPL cricket matches had anyway taken over my life in the evenings. Now the IPL controversy is threatening to take over my entire TV life — morning, afternoon, evening. Revelations are tumbling out at such a hectic pace, it would make Pandora’s box blush. Indeed, it’s becoming difficult to keep track of everything that’s going on, from Income Tax raids to Enforcement Directorate investigations, from shady land deals to shady media deals. When I finally got the equivalent of a migraine trying to figure out who exactly had put in how much money in which team, I decided it was time to take a break from the IPL and switch to the poor neglected entertainment channels.
Most of them have lined up all their new big reality shows post the IPL final. There’s Zara Nachke Dikha on Star Plus, the girls versus boys dance show, where the participants include the redoubtable Rakhi Sawant who now claims that she will not ‘expose’. (What on earth will she do then? Will she now dance in disguise — in a modestly draped sari and long-sleeved blouse? The channel can run a spot-Rakhi-if-you-can contest. But seriously, it seems too good to be true, so I think we can safely expect Rakhi in her usual avatar). The judges panel for Zara Nachke Dikha is quite high powered — choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant, and movie stars Shilpa Shetty and Arshad Warsi (though I don’t know if we should call Shilpa a film actress any longer since the last film she did has receded in the mists of time).
Then there’s Chak Dhoom Dhoom that’s starting on Colors. This is a dance contest for children and the judges include choreographers Saroj Khan and Bosco-Caesar — and inexplicably, Vindoo Dara Singh. Vindoo was last seen on reality show Bigg Boss (which he won) but why he should be judging little kids dancing is perplexing. In fact, why should we see children dancing is equally perplexing. It’s not that kids can’t dance or shouldn’t dance, but why should they dance to songs like Badan pe sitare lapete hue (as I’ve seen in the promos), with adult expressions and equally, er, adult body movements? Frankly, it doesn’t make for very pleasant viewing.
Sony returns with its season five of Indian Idol, a great property which has got a little frayed at the edges in the last couple of years (compare the recent seasons to the glory days of the first Indian Idol which took TV audiences by storm). Here the judges are singer Sunidhi Chauhan and music composers Anu Malek and Salim. Malek has always given the show its share of fireworks, but this time the controversies have begun even before the start of the show (he’s being paid less than Sunidhi, so he may leave the show — or so we hear).
But meanwhile, the usual soaps and serials continue on the entertainment channels. Two of the current serials are set in UP: Lucknow (Yeh Pyaar Na Hoga Kum on Colors) and Allahabad (Man Kee Awaaz Pratigya on Star Plus). This is not surprising considering serial makers have already run through Gujarati, Rajasthani, Bengali, Punjabi and Bihari settings. In Yeh Pyaar Na Hoga Kum, an inter-caste love story is being played out against a backdrop of inter-caste enmity. And in Pratigya, an educated girl marries a boy who’s been harassing her (ostensibly to teach him a lesson) while the girl’s brother marries the boy’s sister (“if he can marry my sister, I can marry his”.). Confusing, isn’t it? Basically there are two marriages of ill-suited people, so expect full-scale family drama and tension in the forthcoming episodes.
Post-IPL it’s going to be business as usual for the entertainment channels. For the news channels, the IPL soap opera will continue. Expect double digit episodes.