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Two serials, a stunt show

Akshay Kumar's Khatron Ke Khiladi (Colors) may have opened to good ratings but he seems to be in a permanent bad mood on the show.

tv Updated: Jun 11, 2011 00:12 IST
Poonam Saxena

Akshay Kumar's Khatron Ke Khiladi (Colors) may have opened to good ratings but he seems to be in a permanent bad mood on the show. Wait, that's not a bad mood, that's a carefully cultivated persona of a tough (unpleasant?) and unforgiving (there's a good Hindi substitute: khadoos) commander of a punishing bootcamp. The bootcamp might be in pretty South Africa but there's nothing pretty about the show. Even the various 'haseenayen' on the show don't look particularly pretty; covered as they are most of the time with dust or mud or water.

The problem with the desi version of Fear Factor this season is that it's minus any kind of fun. It takes itself too seriously. As does the host. In the first two seasons, Akshay (though matter-of-fact and stern), brought a nice deadpan sense of humour to the show. Now he's just deadpan. His sole role seems to be to rudely tick off all the participants (who, it has to be said, don't appear to mind being ticked off). "So you couldn't strike down more than five targets while you were being dragged on the ground by a moving horse cart and your partner was holding on to a piece of rope for dear life?" he snaps. "Shame on you! Disgraceful! Go back to your places!"

Hey, this is an entertainment show, not some deadly serious contest for recruitment to the Navy Seals. We want to watch daring stunts, but we're not dying to listen to long lectures on cowardice and shame if you can't complete said stunts.

Two new serials have also started on Star Plus (Is Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon?) and Sony (Bade Achche Lagte Hain). The Star Plus show has a UP setting — Lucknow to be precise — and opens with a (sigh) wedding. Instead of the usual Punjabi balle balle wedding songs, the women in Is Pyaar… sing UP-style banna-banni wedding songs. Colloquialisms abound.

As to the serial itself, it is apparently about a nice middle class girl who gets entangled in a love-hate relationship with a not-so-nice rich guy. As Hindi serials go, this is highly nuanced. (Think about it, the serial is not — so far — about a girl's life in her sasural, the no. 1 theme on our TV screens). I saw the first couple of episodes and the serial seemed nice enough, but my main grouse was that the pace was excruciatingly slow. If two people were looking at each other, they looked at each other till you went cross-eyed looking at them. If someone fell, it seemed as if they were falling forever, like poor Alice. If someone else was finding it hard to say something, she opened and closed her mouth for so long, she'd have given a goldfish a complex.

I was in danger of falling asleep at several points because the story was unfurling at a rate that would make a snail seem like Speedy Gonzales.

The second show, Bade Achche Lagte Hain, brings Sakshi Tanwar (of Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki fame) and Ram Kapoor (of Kasam Se fame) back in leading roles after a long break. Sakshi's character — a sensible, cheerful, unmarried woman in her early thirties — is honestly refreshing. What a change from the usual giddy/goody-goody TV heroines. Ram Kapoor plays a rich unmarried 40-plus workaholic industrialist. So the stage seems set for an unusual love story. But I wouldn't count on it. There's a nasty mother-sister duo waiting in the wings. So what's the bet that this unusual love story will deteriorate into a usual girl-in-new-sasural saga?