Television is a Rs 37,000 crore industry (claim trade sources; 2012) with a growth rate of 12.5 per cent, but is it growing in the right direction? We have the staple shows lamenting over kitchen politics, multiple reality shows and a few others in between.
But here’s a wish list of some changes in the TV industry that can enhance the viewers’ experience.
It would be refreshing to see sitcoms on the lines of international shows like How I Met Your Mother, Friends, Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory. The friendship angle with a dose of love and drama would be apt for primetime viewing. Also, it will give us respite from bawling saas-bahu sagas.
Traditions and values are at the core of all hit shows today, and for the ones that flop too. It would be a welcome change to have some realistic acting and premise — like Baa, Bahoo Aur Baby, Saans and Astitva.
Endless episodes running over 1,000-1,200 is no mean feat, but it would make a huge difference to the content if we had a cycle of seasons like the west. And actual seasons — not cheating with the age leaps or a change of cast and characters, but by retaining just the name of the show, as is the current norm.
Reality shows are fun, but film stars showing up on every episode is not. Movie promotions should be limited to just a few or simply banned. TV stars work 14-16 hours a day to give you half an hour of entertainment.
We ask for better working hours for the cast and crew. With sets of TV shows spread across the city, it would be great to have a specific area with all kinds of sets available for a crew to shoot, a la Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad.
Loud drama makes for an engaging serial, but it can be achieved with realistic characters too. We urge makers, and a few of them have taken notes, to use real characters, not caricatures.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That policy works for reality shows. We have seasons of all hit shows, year after year, but they’re losing their sheen. We need some new ones now. The freshness that was magical about TV viewing in India is long gone. It’s time for new blood, fresh concepts and brighter ideas. Is anyone listening?