Anandi is adorable but headstrong character in Balika Vadhu; the cute Pihu in Bade Achche Lagte Hain; the brave Maharana Pratap; the sweet Ichcha and Tapu; the young Ganesha; and many more — kids in TV shows are an added attraction on a show. And reality shows too cash in on the popularity of kids with the audience. After watching them compete in singing (Indian Idol Junior), dancing (Dance India Dance Lil’ Masters) and acting shows (India’s Best Dramebaaz), now gear up to watch them fight for the battle of the title of the best chef in a cooking reality show (Junior MasterChef).
The question is, do we need another reality show with kids competing? In an attempt to bring in something new, channels have put kids in the mix. With grown-ups in Indian reality shows, you have emotional sob stories, but with kids, their tears always tug at your heartstrings, keeping you hooked to TV sets. The new show, of course, is based on a popular Australian show, so the Indian producers see it as a hit formula.
It is wonderful and startling at times to see a child show off his/her talent and perhaps even master skills that you only expect from adults. In today’s competitive times, the qualities these kids show is what people want in their children, which they believe will give them an edge over others. Watching grown-ups go through the rigmarole is passé, which is why kids are a refreshing break.
But organising such shows don’t come without their challenges. From on-the-sets rules about how to deal with them, to facilities keeping their comforts in mind to dealing with their mood swings, the makers have to work around obstacles to keep them happy during a shoot. While one might be shocked about the long hours the kids work on these shows, the reality is that these kids are always excited and willing to go the extra mile.
The only concern is if these shows are eating into the time they should be spending in school. Well, neither the kids or their parents seem to mind that bit, so this phenomenon seems here to stay.