For a show that first aired in 2000 to still be around is a miracle. I am talking about Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC).
The KBC story has passed into TV lore by now – how an initially reluctant Amitabh Bachchan agreed to host the show, how KBC went on to become a monster hit, how Amitabh’s career was resurrected etc. But what is amazing is that the show, now in its seventh season is still going strong.
The new season opened last weekend with quite a few changes: the set has changed, the prize money has gone up to seven crore, there’s an extra lifeline and the fastest finger first round is more complicated. But what remains unchanged – and the main reason why the show still works – is the host.
Over the years, Amitabh Bachchan has burnished his act beautifully: His effortless Hindi, the rapport that he establishes with the contestants, his magnetic yet benign aura.
I think the contestants too add to the show’s charm – like this season’s first contestant, a confident young girl, Priti, from Rohtak in Haryana, who won 25 lakh.
Or Rajani Rajpoot, the Bikaner girl with the sunny smile, who finally reached the hot seat after several rounds of fastest finger first. So the answer to the question ­_ is KBC still worth watching – is a simple ‘Yes.’
Far away from the warm world of KBC is a chilling crime show that began on FX earlier this month – The Killing. It’s not a new show (it was first shown in the USA in 2011), nor is it an original show (it’s based on a Danish show). It’s a little different from most crime shows in that it has a strangely still, haunting quality. I’m hooked.
The show follows a Seattle cop, Sarah Linden, as she investigates the murder of a young girl, Rosie Larsen. The Killing was developed by an Indian-origin TV writer and producer, Veena Sud, who described the show as “slow-burn story-telling” which is as accurate a description as I can think of.
For lovers of fast-paced crime shows, The Killing probably burns too slowly, but I’m finding it refreshing. And finally. Full marks to Doordarshan, for doing a great job of telecasting the Zubin Mehta concert in Srinagar last weekend.
Shots of Shalimar Bagh, washed in golden evening light; close-ups of members of the Bavarian State Orchestra and of the charismatic conductor himself – Doordarshan captured it all and the concert made for sublime viewing.