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When all else fails, turn to tele-shopping

tv Updated: Dec 04, 2010 01:16 IST
Poonam Saxena
Poonam Saxena
Hindustan Times
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I plead guilty. Most times, when I sit down to watch television, I am at a complete loss as to what I should see. Despite the 50-odd (or is it 60? 80? I have no idea) channels I get on my TV, I appear to have very little real choice.

If I want to see a soap or a serial, I'm stuck with the usual heavy family dramas, where most people seem to be having a pretty rotten time. Their lives are usually in such extreme turmoil, you wonder when they get to do mundane things like file their tax returns or do their weekly vegetable shopping.

Okay, okay, I don't know how keenly I would watch a show where characters were conscientiously filling up complicated forms with their Pan numbers and bank account details. But you know what I mean.

Soap characters are constantly plotting revenge, going to jail, having terrible accidents getting kidnapped or shot at, and all with full makeup on and at decibel levels which are most certainly injurious to your health.

Even when happy things are happening (mostly weddings), there's always some nasty old spoilsport lurking in the wings, waiting to fill the happy couple's lives with unhappiness.

I guess we should be grateful for little scraps and look at the few shows which remain watchable - such as CID (Sony). Switch to reality TV - must you though - and the scenario is so grim, you might be better off watching the serials. (I agree, it's a tough call).

You'll be struck with the likes of Dolly Bindra, who, horror of horrors, is back on our screens, decked up as some sort of queen (I'm not joking) or as a schoolgirl with her hair in pigtails, ribbons and all (I swear I'm not joking).

In fact, all the inmates of the Bigg Boss house (Colors) seem to have gone collectively mad, since they all appeared in one of the recent episodes as schoolchildren, clutching slates, writing the alphabet with white chalk and speaking in little-girl and little-boy voices.

They were probably just following instructions and executing some sort of demented task, but can you imagine Khali as a small schoolboy? Seriously? I thought not. (It's hard enough to make out what he's saying in the normal course, think of him trying to talk like a small, not-very-bright child).

And as for Emotional Atyachar, where hysterical victims foam at the mouth when they come face to face with the 'cheaters'? Or The Big Switch where teenagers behave like juvenile delinquents? How enjoyable and relaxing a viewing experience is that?

You're left with what was the first generation of Indian reality shows - the talent hunt - which is still around and which still retains some of its charm (though the producers have tried their best to dilute that by upping the drama and tears).

So what can you watch? Well, there are the movie channels - if only they had fewer commercials and didn't show the same films again and again.

Then there are the English entertainment channels such as Star World which have a few fun shows like How I Met Your Mother and Koffee With Karan (which, for my money, is one of the most watchable and entertaining shows currently on air. If you watched the episodes with Ranbir Kapoor-Imran Khan or Sonam Kapoor-Deepika Padukone or Rajkumar Hirani-Farah Khan-Imtiaz Ali, you would have got your full dose of laughter and masala.)

Or you could try the ever-dependable Discovery and National Geographic. There's always something worth a watch.

If all else fails, you could even tune into the Teleshopping channels. What could beat watching the most amazing assortment of people exhorting you to buy a Circle Ab Pro or a Nazar Kawach/Shani Kawach. Go figure!