How does one fill a KBC-size hole? With great difficulty, I guess. It’s a bit like trying to fill the vacuum created in a bottle of vintage champagne after all the bubbly has been drunk and there isn’t any available for replenishment. You have no choice but to make do with a more inferior beverage.
So here it is, the new wine minus the sparkle. Sony has filled the programming hole left by the conclusion of KBC’s season 5 with two fiction shows, Dekha Ek Khwab and Parvarish Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi. The former is about a sweet, simple girl (sigh – aren’t they all?) who is actually a rajkumari, only she doesn’t know it. But soon she will. Then she’ll be reunited with her real (and royal) family and we will have to (well, we won’t have to) see how she adjusts to her new family and home. They’re not an especially charming bunch. There is a maharaja who brings up his royal antecedents, his royal pride, his royal style etc every minute, which is a bit of a royal pain. Then there’s his daughter Jai Nandini (apparently royals have names like that), who plays the proverbial spoilt rich brat in the time honoured way that TV stars have of playing such characters (much tossing of the head, stamping of the foot, pouting of the mouth, screaming of the lungs, all the while accompanied by surgically attached sidekicks).
So our poor simple heroine is all set for a fairly tumultuous time. (Luckily for her, the rajmata seems like a very nice lady).
The second show Parvarish is about two sets of parents – though the focus is on the two mothers who are also sisters, played by Shweta Tiwari and Rupali Ganguly. One is called Sweety and one is called Pinky (I’m not joking), and they have different parenting styles. Shweta Tiwari (now is she Pinky or Sweety?) does a good impersonation of a CBI investigator when it comes to her children, checking their text messages, making them talk on their mobiles only when she is around, ensuring they eat their 3.5 chappatis at every meal and so on. Rupali Ganguly wants to be friends with her kids but turns into a screaming banshee when she discovers that some boy said “I love you” to her daughter.
A serial on contemporary parenting is a great idea, but I’m not sure if Parvarish is that serial.
The other new show is on Star World, and it’s called Love 2 Hate U (can no one spell correctly any longer? Someone please give TV people compulsory membership to the Society for the Restoration of Correct Spellings, if such a society exists; and if it doesn’t can someone please create one quickly).
Love 2 Hate U (wince) is Arjun Rampal’s show and here’s the idea — he gets celebrities to come face to face with their most bitter ‘haters.’ In the PR-obsessed world of showbiz, this is a truly intriguing idea. And I have to say I was impressed to see Arjun Rampal listening to his ‘hater,’ a boy called Farhan, talk about how the actor resembles a piece of furniture, how his award in Rock On!! should have gone to his makeup artist, how he’s surviving in Bollywood only because of his friends like Shah Rukh Khan etc.
Arjun was followed by Madhur Bhandarkar whose ‘hater’ lambasted the director’s filmmaking style.
So the idea is quite novel. But the execution falters. The hater — in this case Farhan — was made to look like a bit of a joker. And after the first few minutes, you feel everyone is at a loss as to how to take the show forward. If they can crack that (don’t suppose they can do anything about the spelling), Love 2 Hate U (double wince) should be interesting.