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It's reality TV redux with KBC (Season Six)

tv Updated: Sep 15, 2012 01:15 IST
Poonam Saxena
Poonam Saxena
Hindustan Times
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Is there anything left to say about KBC (if you still don't know what the acronym stands for, well then, tough luck – and by the way, your GK levels will not get you even a few thousands on the show)? Or about Amitabh Bachchan on KBC? Is anyone surprised that the latest season (Season Six) opened to record ratings on Sony?

The desi remake of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? which launched in 2000 has become something of a cult show by now. Nothing has slowed down this ratings juggernaut. Yes, it's a great show with a great format. But over the years, the Indian KBC has forged its own unique identity and become a fully desi show. I haven't watched the dozens of international versions all over the world but I don't think any other country has a legendary superstar as the host. And as has been said many times before - and ad nauseum by me - Amitabh Bachchan on KBC is a class act. It is impossible to imagine the programme without him. And though I'm one of those people who thought Shah Rukh Khan also did a decent job when he hosted the show for a season, it's true that today KBC is the Big B and only the Big B's show.

Also, the makers have managed to successfully reinvent the programme. Last season it was all about 'Koi bhi insaan chhota nahin hota,' how even the most ordinary person could change his/her life for the better with their prize money. This year's tagline 'Sirf gyan hi aapko aapka haq dilate hai' reinforces the fact that, in India, education and knowledge are powerful keys to economic upliftment.

It's not a coincidence that for a majority of KBC contestants, education has always been a priority. Also, the fact that the channel has done the sensible thing and gone in for finite seasons has prevented viewer fatigue; indeed it's created keen anticipation for new installments. (And having a crorepati so early in Season Six helps too).

The other reality show that's started on Colors (it's also being shown on Sahara One) is Sur Kshetra, an India-Pakistan musical contest, or rather, an India-Pakistan musical war.

Sohere's what it's about: the Indian team is captained by Himesh Reshammiya and the Pakistani team by Atif Aslam, and there are six singers in each team. The show is made by reality show veteran Gajendra Singh, the man who began Antakshari on Zee TV all those years ago. Gajendra is known for his mass-appeal shows, so don't expect anything sophisticated or classy. Sur Kshetra is all about playing on the edge that any kind of India-Pakistan face-off seems to have.

During the auditions held in the two countries, there was a lot of frenzied "Pakistan zindabad! We're going to win!" / "India is great! We are going to win!" / "Pakistan has the best singers!"/ "India is the best!" etc.

Though Atif Aslam keeps repeating - every five minutes - that "we" (as in Pakistan) are big on "pyaar" and will participate in this contest with "pyaar," I'm a bit, er, skeptical?

Incidentally the show is hosted by actress Ayesha Takia and if someone can please sack her wardrobe designer, they'd do all of TV-viewing humanity a big favour. If you like your reality shows to be high on confrontations and tension, watch Sur Kshetra. Expect the melodrama meter to hit the red soon - very soon.