It’s a known fact that Indian television loves joint families. But what do makers do when there’s a saturation of saas-bahu sagas, a trend that was heralded by Kyunki…Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi?
Or when they realise that the audience might be tiring of watching mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law fight in a constant tug of war. They bring in the daughter-themed stories. So we saw a string of shows like Kanyadaan, Kahin Toh Hoga, Beityaaan, Behenien, Kasamh Se and Maayka, among others.
Not surprisingly, it was again Ekta Kapoor leading the pack (she had the most hit shows featuring multiple daughters in one family). Of course, that theme, too, faded away for a bit, replaced by rural themes.
A still from Gracy Singh starrer Amaanat.
But now, the daughters seem to be on a comeback path. It’s sisters boom again with shows such as Shastri Sisters and Nisha Aur Uske Cousins, which are ready to start airing. Along the same lines, of course, back in 1997, we all fell in love with a show called Amanat, which starred Gracy Singh. It told the story of seven sisters, each with her peculiarities and problems.
The one thing common, however, to all such soaps is that they look to cater to women, and feature large families. It’s a fail-safe product, since in smaller towns, the concept of joint families is still relatable. Such shows make for dramatic tear-jerkers. Then, you just need to keep throwing in the obvious ingredients — weddings, a few different families and their problems, different backgrounds — so there’s enough scope for some kind of conflict.
Of course, having a lot of characters also gives the director a lot of options. Increase someone’s role to get 10 episodes out of it, or cut someone’s role down when needed. Basically, anything that will help increase the ratings. And right now, it’s the daughters who are promising to drive them up.