New Delhi: I am not going to talk about reality TV. Reality shows have destroyed the TV viewing experience everywhere, not just in India. They are a mindless, easier to produce sure-shot ratings hack and this post will not delve into that. This post is about fiction programming.
There was a time, when Doordarshan was the only TV network (it still is), and programming was great. You had dramas - Hum Log, Buniyad and comedies " Nukkad, Dekh Bhai Dekh. Then there came the cable TV channels " Zee, Star & Sony. All of them brought great content. The coming of age shows - Banegi Apni Baat (Zee), Just Mohabbat (Sony) " to name a couple. Then? Then calamity happened,
You see, at this time, only people in metros and big towns had access to television. These people were intelligent. Well-educated & knowledgeable. Then the big TV boom came. Ekta Kapoor began her barrage of daily soaps and simultaneously, satellite TV began picking up. Villages and small towns had access to TV and they were glued. The infamous K-soaps on Star were a goldmine. Other channels began taking notice. And then they followed suit.
The daily soap would ruin TV for the rest of us, forever. National TV. What is national TV? Why does it exist in India? Haven't people always talked about two Indias? The India of the cities and the India of the villages? We have multiplex movies. Where is the multiplex TV?...