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Real reality TV, via Rupert

It was like the mother (perhaps grandfather would be more appropriate in this case) of all courtroom dramas. Except that it wasn't a courtroom drama. Poonam Saxena writes.

tv Updated: Jul 23, 2011 00:10 IST
Poonam Saxena
Poonam Saxena
Hindustan Times

It was like the mother (perhaps grandfather would be more appropriate in this case) of all courtroom dramas. Except that it wasn't a courtroom drama. It was media moghul Rupert Murdoch, son and heir apparent James and courtiers like Rebekah Brooks being grilled in a public hearing in Parliament in the UK. And it made for riveting, can't-take-your-eyes-off-the-screen television. By now, so much has been written about the live drama in every newspaper, magazine, website and blog in the world, that there's nothing much left to say really. From Murdoch's "I didn't know" refrain to wife Wendi's lunging tigress act, it was the stuff TV executives' (ecstatic) dreams are made of. It was also the kind of story the News of the World would have dined out on for weeks. But since there is no News of the World left in this world any longer, that seems a bit, er, tough.

But the entire Murdoch episode (full fledged soap opera actually) proves one thing beyond doubt: on TV, nothing works better than real reality TV. Especially when it's about big celebrities and big stakes.

And we still haven't seen the last of it yet. Keep your eyes peeled for future episodes.

This weekend, we will finally see the IIFA Awards (on Star Plus), but they have been prefaced by the longest ever run-up to the actual awards ceremony that I've ever seen.

Last weekend, we were shown hours and hours of IIFA programming on Star Plus which consisted of (a) the technical awards event (b) several segments on how movie stars were spending their time in Toronto (where the awards were held). At the technical awards, the emphasis was on (no, not the technical awards, they were a bit of a side show) the performances and fashion shows.

We're all quite used to movie star performances at awards functions but at this event, the most dramatic, high energy performance was not by a movie star (though we did have Mallika Sherawat gyrating away on stage to her several gyrating-friendly songs such as 'Jalebi bai').

It was Sonu Nigam whose singing created - literally - a kind of crackling energy in the hall (though his wardrobe is often a source of some bemusement). The fashion shows were sort of a novelty but sort of avoidable.

As to what the stars were doing in Toronto - well, clearly they were having a very very good time at the organisers' expense. Dia Mirza was fearlessly going on fun roller coaster-type rides, Kangana Ranaut was admiring the Niagara Falls and looking nice (but we wouldn't have minded a few sub-titles when she was speaking), Bobby Deol was eating at an Italian restaurant and also making lassi by mixing sugar, water and dahi in a glass with a spoon (eww), Mallika Sherawat was running around shopping for clothes, and so on and so forth.

But since what we really wanted to see all along was the real thing (ie, the actual awards ceremony), this was in the nature of a very long, slightly tiresome prelude.

And finally. I saw one more episode of Superstud - The School of Flirt (don't ask). This Bindass show attempts to find the Indian Casanova who will be the nation's No. 1 expert on 'pataoing' girls. All the boys on the show definitely need help - and not just in how to chat up women.

First Published: Jul 23, 2011 00:06 IST