At last count, there were more than 30 entertainment-infotainment channels on my TV (only the English and Hindi ones, that is; and I'm not even counting the movie channels). Even if someone were to watch these channels 20 out of 24 hours (well, you'd have to sleep sometime), it still wouldn't be possible to see all the shows on all the channels. And anyway, most of us surf idly rather than watch each and every show with deep attention (unless the show grabs us by the collar and doesn’t let go till it’s over — it does happen. Sometimes).
After some days of random viewing: ‘The music launch like no other music launch: Ra.One (Star Plus). It was like watching a glamorous awards function. There were performances by Shah Rukh Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and, er, Shah Rukh Khan. Oh yes, Kareena Kapoor did appear for one song (Chamak Challo), but really, it was King Khan all the way. This was just the music launch, what will happen when the film releases? How much can SRK dance? (And he’s not even getting paid for it!).
The most eye-popping show on TV: My Strange Addiction (Fox Crime). When I saw the episodes about a girl who takes her blow dryer to bed every night and another girl who eats toilet paper, I thought I'd seen it all (I mean, a blow dryer to bed?). But then the next episode was about a man who has been in a committed relationship with a life-size doll for ten years. He talks to her (“Hi honey, I'm home”), shops for her (“I don’t think she’ll like this colour”), eats breakfast with her and generally does all the normal things one would do every day. I'm still searching for my eyes.
The reality show that's about to end: Just Dance (Star Plus). The show is at the semi-final stage and only four dancers (or should I say four men with no discernible bones in their bodies; you've never seen cartwheels or contortions like this) are left. It's a good time to catch the show, not only for the dancing but also because the last few episodes should positively drip with star power — apart from host Hrithik Roshan, there will be appearances by Ranbir Kapoor and Shah Rukh Khan (yes, again!) to promote their films.
The newest wedding on TV: Is happening on a show called Dharampatni (Imagine). The serial has a Gujarati setting in which a London-returned modern young man is getting married to a simple, traditional girl because of financial compulsions. Sounds familiar? It is.
The best black-and-white revival on TV: Alfred Hitchcock Presents (Fox Crime). The television show that premiered in 1955, featured half-hour thrillers and was presented (very wittily) by Hitchcock. Only some of the episodes were directed by him, like the one that I saw (Revenge — a simply told story about a man looking for the man who attacked his wife, with the expected twist in the end). This is a show meant for people who love movies and mysteries, whether they were made 50 years ago or five years ago.
The newest costume drama: Veer Shivaji (Colors). No prizes for guessing who the show is about. The look and feel of the serial, in terms of costumes and colours, is quite rich and ornate. At the moment Shivaji is just a young boy, the real action will start only when he grows up. Which, given past experience (shows like Prithviraj Chauhan), might not be for a long, long time.