Move over mothers-in-law! Youth-centric stories are finding favour with TV audiences over saas-bahu sagas
* Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon: a soppy romance
* Rab Se Sonha Ishqq: young love triangle
* Love Vs Arranged Marriage: the pros and cons of such matches
* Ek Hazaroon Mein Meri Behna Hai: the relationship between two young sisters
* Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha: the travails of a young widow
* Sapne Suhane Ladkpan Ke: teenage issues
* Parvarrish: raising teenagers
As TV shows get more diverse and up-to-date, shows catering to younger viewers' sensibilities are taking centre-stage. Saas-bahu sagas still work but it looks like young ideas are finding many takers on the small screen. We have a Mills & Boon-like love story in the show Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon, while on Rab Se Sohna Ishqq, the story is focused on a love triangle. Other shows look at such varied themes as the life of a young widow, love versus arranged marriages, the relationship between two sisters still in their twenties and even the challenges involved in raising teenagers.
Producer of Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha, Sudhir Sharma says, "We were looking for fresh subjects. Even our movies today are youth centric and people love the themes they see in a Yashraj, Imtiaz Ali or a Karan Johar film." He feels that the audience is mature, yet young at heart. "The girl who was a fan of Miley Jab Hum Tum might be married now and yet she's a modern girl, unlike women from her mother's generation. The mindset of the audiences is changing, which is why such concepts are finding takers."
Kinaari Mehta, who is the producer of Rab Se Sona…, says that the milieu has changed. "After a mature romance in Bade Acche Lagte Hain, we needed a change. Even a 40-year-old person relives their younger days through youth-oriented shows. Stories about living in and having a baby out of wedlock don't work on TV, so the relatability factor is essential. Along with family issues, topical subjects work," she says.
Barun Sobti, who tasted success with his portrayal of an angry young man in Iss Pyar Ko…, says, "Different kinds of stories and well-written scripts work. The script is the hero. People love the chemistry and romance portions in our show as well as the silly fights that the characters on the show have."