Saturday, May 21, 2005

TV Thrills

The sitcom The Batliwala's at No. 43 is so stupid it's laughable! Which ironically turns out to be a good thing, since it is after all supposed to a comedy show. But there is a stark difference between the original British version The Kumar's at No. 42 and this cheap imitation. And when the laughter elicited by the show is more due its idiocy than its humor, you know something's wrong!

Mr Jamshed Batliwala doesn't even come close to managing to pull off Mr Ashwin Kumar. The rest of the cast (the mother, grandmother and host son) are even farther away from matching their respective original characters. And the humor is practically non-existent! I know my Hindi is real bad but I can still state confidently that the jokes weren't funny at all. It was worth watching the one episode though, because as I said it's so silly that that makes up for the absence of any humor. And besides, the episode featured Maal-lika Sherawat who is again so stupid, she's inadvertently funny! (By the way, the 'Maal' thing is probably my first ever Hindi joke! What do you know - there's hope still!)

Another effort to reproduce foreign television with a desi flavor, Indian Idol was no better in my opinion (although the general public seemed to love it). Why can't Indian producers come up with something original for once? I probably won't end up watching it eventually since it will be in Hindi, but it would be nice for a change. The only things that seem to be of true Indian origin are the limitless line of soaps and thrillers! The biggest problem is that the soaps turn out to be scary and the thrillers turn out to be umm... soapy!

Doesn't Alicia Silverstone look mind blowing in Miss Match? (Actually she looks mind blowing everywhere!) I haven't actually caught an episode of the show yet, but the ads were enough to stimulate the drool-dispensers!

Even with the basketball play-offs on, the sports channels hardly show more than a game or two a week. And yet somehow they manage to get enough airtime to show replays of cricket matches from 4-5 years back. That too with the saddest of teams playing! Bangladesh versus Zimbabwe? And with Arun Lal's droning voice for commentary? I'd rather be pecked at by a bevy of woodpeckers!

You can count yourself extremely fortunate if you chance upon a decent song on any of the music channels during the day. By decent I mean not from a Bollywood movie, not Hindi, not hip-hop and not Jay Sean! The nights are a slightly different matter for they do indeed show some pretty decent English rock song videos after 11 pm or so. But once again they are interspersed with a heavy dose of hip-hop crap, thereby spoiling all the fun!

The show Celebrities Uncensored on AXN is thoroughly disgusting. I can't understand why anyone would want to watch some famous bloke being hounded in such a manner by the paparazzi. In the only clip I saw, these paparazzi went up to a particular celebrity and tried to snap a few photos. The star in question then told them politely to leave him alone. This only caused the paparazzi to purposely try and provoke the guy in the hope snaring an even more interesting video. It's disgraceful that we cannot respect someone's right to privacy!

Speaking of the right to privacy, a few years ago the government in Chile had performed an experiment. They had hired a young model/actress and paid her to live for about a month in a glass cabin. This cabin was located in the center of the city in the middle of a fenced plot. Thus anyone was free to come and view her at any time of the day or night. The entire cabin including the bedroom and the shower/bathroom was transparent. Within hours a massive crowd including several camera-people had gathered around the plot jostling each other for the best view.

This continued for a few days with the crowd especially peaking around the times she took a shower or visited the bathroom. But it soon got to the actress and she could take it no more. So amidst great fanfare and general uproar she was escorted out of her transparent abode by policemen. I guess it just goes to show how much we really respect another human being's privacy. On the other hand though, one could argue that she, by choosing to go through with it, had invited this upon herself and the crowd could hardly be blamed for stopping by to watch what certainly is an extremely rare event!

The sequel to this episode is just as interesting. To complete the remaining days that had initially been planned, a middle-aged, balding man was brought in. However, now instead of hordes of onlookers there was just a sparse handful that dropped by every day. So was it just the fact that there was a beautiful lady performing her daily activities in full public view that brought the crowds?


chetan said...

Agree with you abt degrading quality of TV shows and serials and music(shitty pop and dhadam dhudum hip hop).But I would suggest to you that you should watch DD1 programs they might cheer you up.(chetan winks!)

Incidently I dont have cable at my home and thus never watch TV myself.And also somebody plz kill the Indian idol people I hate the show(w/o even watching it!)and also the music channel vjs .

arnold said...

until recently i would hardly ever watch the television, inspite of hving cable... and now tht i hv gotten a taste of wht's on offer, i'm glad i didnt!!

Varun said...

Arnold u r absolutely right abt da television maddness tats gng on! Well all shows .. right from "Friends" to "Who wants to be a Millionare?" hve been
"Indianised". There was a show on Zee TV dunno da name, which was a rip off of friends.. also on da same channel there was an indian version of the "Amazing Race".

I think Indian Idol became famous cos people hadnt seen "American Idol". I think v shdnt expect ne thin original frm Indian producers.. b it films or tv! all are "adapted" from some American flick/tv serial.

About Alicia Silverstone.. WOW :D :D Even ive seen da ads nd she is simply awesome. I m plannin 2 catch up on sme of da episodes but sadly am not gettin Star World for 2 weeks now :( (Some cable wallah wars!)

I dont watch ESPN / Star Sports much .. even while "surfin" i jst skip those channels!!:P I ve seen tat Celebrities Uncensored show on AXN..You are right , the actors do deserve some privacy. I wouldnt want ne body wid a cam comin 2 shoot me wen am gng 2 da gym or mebbe 2 da shop 2 get a few things .. >-(

arnold said...

AMEN to tht!!! ;)

chetan said...

Dont listen to varun he's lyin .he watches tv all day long all the crap serials and stupid game shows.

arnold said...


austin said...

does any one in pune get VH1. cause in bombay it's on 24/7 and the music sure is good (equal doses of pop rock jazz and classic rock) not to forget the ocassional concerts ....and the irony of it all is that it's a part of MTV!!!

arnold said...

i dunno dude... but i know i'm gonna surf the channels tonight to see if i can find it.. !!!

Varun said...

VH1 well MTV gets sort of converted to VH1 at nite.. atleast da logo.. but no sign of a 24hr VH1 .. hey nd abt chetans comment.. ya i do watch a lot of tv :P but no crappy serials.. its pure AXN.. HBO .. Zee English.. Star World .. Star Movies.. MTV.. etc

arnold said...

does MTV really?? cuz the channels sure are starved of good english music... wud luv to find some!