It’s awful to see the degradation of Indian Television day by day. It has more become a synonymous for typical saas-bahu planning and plotting and scripted reality shows.
One of the key elements responsible for this shift is-Ekta Kapoor. She started a new era of serials with those women as subjects who have become the victim of their husbands, children, parents, in-laws. She portrays women as regressive idols who sacrifice their lives every comfort for the sake of her family and are sorry for whatever happens in their life.
Indian shows also consist riffs of pointless reality shows, who instead of showing a positive angle of individuals show how good they are in abusing and cursing each other. It just an another version of daily soaps. Even the talent hunt shows include tactics to gain T.R.P.
Strange but back in the 90s, Indian Television was a den of more thoughtful serials. Shows like Shanti, Hasratein portrayed women as progressive figures rather victims.
Who else will ever be thought to compare the female protagonist of Hasratein, a show that was about a woman leaving her husband to marry her already married boss with a regressive daily soap like “ Sasural Simar Ka..” where Simar has transformed into a bee and is taking revenge from the enemies of her family.
Another hilarious yet damn stupid serial on air is Naggin– in which not only the women but also her husband are turning into serpent time to time to kill murders of their parent. Compare this with Mandira Bedi’s Shanti in which she was a journalist who turned her knuckles down to expose secrets of two Bollywood professional or with Astitva, which showed career-oriented women marrying a man 20 years younger to her.
The leading women in Ekta Kapoor’s shows seem to have no life of their own, their life is all about sacrifices in the name of big words like izzat, aabru, suhaag, Sanskar, like the ones in “kyunki Saas bhi Kabhi Bahu thi” or “Kasauti Zindagi Ki”. Goss!get a life, being sad all the time won’t make you the biggest moralist of the decade. Whereas the Tara, a serial on aired 23 years ago had a better touch of reality.
At the same time there was Banegi Apni Baat. It had realistic characters, and beautifully played different relationships like: mother-daughter, friends, lovers. The show had a great cast and some skillful performances. R. Madhavan started his acting career with this show.
Why we had this drastic shift of Transformation in serials?
One of the logical reason behind lowering the numbers of quality serials are that people are more active on social networks than television or they just sit in front of the 4*4 box without paying any head.
Whatever it is, tv shows completely like cerebral content nowadays. However, some serials like ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’, ‘Chidiyaghar’ are still live saver of daily soaps and worth watching.