Akki’s tough-guy act is hard to beat
Khatron Ke Khiladi is slowly drawing to a close amidst a sea of rats and snakes (and some water too). As always, I’m gobsmacked by the kind of daring stunts (or should I say fiendish punishments?) that the participants have to undergo.
When I last watched the show, someone was hanging upside down from a helicopter / lying in a coffin-type glass box with 400 rats for company / standing in a tiny chamber with a variety of snakes wrapped around their person etc etc.
Even more astounding, when asked by the anchor, Priyanka Chopra, how the experience was, all the participants grin happily and say, “Great fun! Bahut mazaa aaya.” I guess it takes all sorts and some people may find the idea of snuggling up to snakes and rats vastly entertaining, but…
Priyanka adds plenty of glamour in her short shorts and high heels, but Akshay Kumar’s tough guy number is hard to beat. (I’m looking forward to him hosting Master Chef).
There are plenty of new serials on the entertainment channels. For starters, there’s Kali Ek Agnipariksha (Star Plus), apparently loosely based on the story of Ruchika Girotra, the promising young sportsperson who was molested by the then Haryana DGP SPS Rathore.
As all of us know, Ruchika was driven to suicide and Rathore terrorised her family for years. (The channel of course is not claiming that the serial is based on Ruchika’s story, but the similarities are too many to miss).
Many people — including me — are uncomfortable about the idea of using real-life stories (specially when they are so tragic and traumatic) for fictional shows, and in this case, specially so, given the general level of sensitivities of TV producers. The only way to see such a show is to actually forget about real life, and just watch it as one more television serial.
I saw a couple of episodes of Kali Ek Agnipariksha and so far, it seems all right. Ashutosh Rana plays the part of the villainous Thakral who has lecherous designs on the teenaged badminton player, Rachna. One can only hope that this time round, the serial-makers will not degenerate into the usual screechy-melodrama.
Ever since Mann Ki Awaaz Pratigya became such a hit on Star Plus, the Hindi heartland seems to have become the latest flavour of the season on the small screen (and the big screen too; consider the super success of Dabangg). So no surprises that one of the two new shows on Imagine, called Gunahon Ka Devta, is set in the UP ganglands. (Incidentally, it has nothing to do with Dharamvir Bharati’s famous novel of the same name).
This particular Gunahon Ka Devta is about a gangster called Avdesh Singh Thakur, who’s in the Robin Hood mould (aren’t they all? Men with hearts of gold, who rob the rich, help the poor, fight injustice, protect women etc). The stage looks all set for Bhaiyyaji (the gangster, silly) to fall in love with a young girl who lives with what can only be described as three violent criminals (her father and brothers) and an abused, battered victim (her mother).
A gangster serial set in small-town UP has a lot of potential, but I’m not sure if Gunahon Ka Devta will make the grade. (It also keeps slipping into aforesaid screechy-melodrama mode every few scenes).
But in the other Imagine show, Baba Aiso Varr Dhundo, screechy melodrama reigns unchallenged. (The show is about a very short girl who can’t find a husband and who faces many taunts and abuses because of her height).
And finally. Comedy Ka Daily Soap on Sony might not be the best comedy show on Indian TV, but at least it elicits a few laughs. And host Krushna has his moments.
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