Reality shows are the USPs of today’s television in India. Old shows like Bigg Boss, Kaun Banega Crorepati, Roadies and Emotional Atyaachar have run successfully for years. Bigg Boss ended its sixth season on January 12. Master Chef will begin its third season soon.
Roadies has already begun its tenth season, KBC is running its sixth season while Emotional Atyachaar is set to air its fourth season from January 26. Big Switch entered season 4 last week. There are also new reality shows like Welcome: Baazi Mehmaan Nawaazi Ki set to enter the field in 2013.
From getting a sneak-peak into a celebrity’s daily life (Bigg Boss) to watching common man earn huge amounts of money with his knowledge in a few moments (Kaun Banega Crorepati) to watching personal problems like issues in relationship and cheating on partners on the small screen (Emotional Atyaachar), each experience is devoured by the Indian audience.
Bigg Boss is a show where 15-20 contestants are locked inside a house with limited supply of daily necessities. The contestants are also made to work in order to earn ‘luxury’ items. The past two or three seasons of the show were violent but the producers ensured this year that the show remains strictly family-oriented. Last year, viewing the violence and objectionable content being shown on the show, the government had issued a directive to air the show after 11:00pm.
As the show is stretched over three months, there are times when it becomes monotonous and predictable. The makers, nonetheless, bring in fresh air to the show often by introducing wild card entries. Each season, there is one or two contestant hated by fellow- housemates but adding to the entertainment value of the show.
Emotional Atyaachar is a show based on cheating in relationships. The crew helps spy a suspecting spouse and catch the guilty. The complete emotional drama that follows the revelation of cheating proved on the TV is worth a watch. Launched in 2003, MTV Roadies is the only Indian reality show to run into its tenth season – with huge popularity.
MTV Roadies returns to India after four seasons with MTV Roadies X today. MTV Roadies X –Battle for glory, will be shot in North East India this year. As the show returns to engage and enrage the youth, we take a look at the reasons behind its popularity. MTV Roadies is the Indian version of Road Rules – a reality show that ran successfully for 14 years in the US on MTV.
MTV Roadies takes the contestants on a road tour during which several tough tasks are assigned. MTV Roadies has gained popularity, especially among the youth in past five to six years. The show is known particularly for its provocative volatility. So what is it that makes the show so popular?
The show is mostly famous for use of slang and abuses both by the contestants and the hosts – Raghu, Rajiv and Ranvijay. As the show gains momentum every season, the contestants also get involved in violent fights and duels. The show has former as well as fresh contestants this season. Show hosts Ranvijay and Raghu will compete with each other with a team of 10 people each, Raghu leading the team of former contestants and Ranvijay leading the team of fresh contestants.
Talking about the new season, Raghu, anchor and executive producer of the aggressive reality show MTV Roadies, said, "There will be some ideological conflicts, which is why we are going old school and new - in terms of the people, tasks and journey." (As told to Serena Menon, HT in a previous interview)
Show host Raghu believes Roadies helps the youngsters deal with their anger in a positive manner. In a report by Livemint.com, host of MTV Roadies, Raghu says over the last decade he has watched young people deal with the increasing frustration towards a system they feel they need to fix. "Young people 10 years ago were not grappling with so much pressure. The feeling of being stifled is increasing, and there are few outlets for it. There is a show like ours, where the freedom of expression is unrestricted, and there is the digital domain—social media. Where else can young people go today to be heard? They have a lot to say," Raghu was quoted in the report.
The Livemint report further quotes MTV India channel head and executive vice-president Aditya Swamy saying: "When you put 15 hot-blooded strangers in a room, the conflict that results is inevitable." The show consciously uses anger as a tool to channel the aggression of teenagers, more so in the audition phase. Swami says: "It is a stripping down of a person until you take them beyond the comfort zone. It is not mindless anger. It’s an ‘I’ll-show-them’ focused aggression. The anger of the young is transformative." Raghu feels his show is a platform where the youth can vent out their anger in a positive manner. For me, however, the man seems to be provoking most of the contestants. Watching the auditions, you can very clearly see how both Raghu and Ranvijay provoke contestants to go violent. Here’s a look.
How real is Raghu’s statement in the face of such auditions? There is far more aggression in today’s youth compared to yesteryears, true. But isn’t that aggression brought forth mostly by Raghu, Ranvijay on MTV Roadies? One can clearly see even the meekest of contestants are provoked by the show hosts to go violent in order to prove their ‘worth’.
For all the TRP-driven provocations, they, nonetheless, manage to bring out some very interesting acts in the auditions. The auditions are a must watch for the show.
May be, aggression and abuse aren’t the only factors making MTV Roadies popular, but these certainly are the major factors. What do you think about the show? Does it still hold the fire? If it does, what makes you love MTV Roadies or not care for it? VOTE HERE
Growing up from the age of mythological sagas being aired on television, India has come a long way. After Colors introduced a new turn to Indian television with its social-issue based soaps, reality shows with high quotient drama and emotion seems to be the latest trend.