People say that watching television is a bad thing to do. They will put before you a list, listing the bad effects of watching television. I am aware of them. The researchers tell you that it is bad for your health. They might tell you that it makes your functioning slow and that it makes you dumb. But to be honest, I love watching television. It takes me to another world; a world of happiness, of innumerable possibilities. For me, it is a very pleasurable activity. I have recently switched to Indian television. I have been watching snippets of soap operas, mythological drama, even comedy shows. i was left horrified. And I kept asking myself if airing all of this was the right thing to do.
Ever since I have had a sense of understanding of things that go around, I have watched TV. serials with my mother or my cousins. And all I have noticed is that Indian programmes cover one topic, the relationship in joint families. I particularly remember two serials of that time. One was all about a righteous daughter-in-law who is shown overcoming obstacles that stand in the way of her family’s happiness; and the other one was about two lovers who were never together and their love kept changing and they had many children out of marriage. The characteristic thing about them was that there were many plotting women who were devious and wanted the worst for everyone but themselves. Their characters were as hideous as they looked with their make up on. Each episode had lesser dialogues than the dramatic music in between, and the story went at a snail slow speed. If one program was popular, the other channels would follow and give way to a hundred more serials of the same type. The serials which I mentioned above went on for eight or seven years and there was planning and plotting right till the end. It became so ridiculous, watching the number of villainous women increasing one by one. Fourteen years later, I saw some change in Indian television when the SONY channel introduced a series of new ideas, one involving an estranged princess, one with two people who had grown out of the usual age of marriage, and one with a wife handling six childish men of the family. It was like a fresh air wafting through Indian television. But yesterday, I saw that nothing had changed. There lacks creativity. It is the same planning and plotting by devious women, trying to break their own happy family. In 2008, a serial started off involving two children victim of child marriage, and it goes on to show how the child daughter-in-law copes up with everything. The show was set in Rajasthan. The concept of filming each serial in Rajasthan thus emerged. And now, whichever channel one switches to, the same is found. And now, to get even more attention, there are people happy and getting away with rape or having extra marital affairs and people are still stuck on mothers-in-law or sisters-in-law planning to oust their daughters-in-law.
I do not understand why the creative directors would not think of anything new. If nothing, they could at least copy the other shows. The cooking show that was copied was so dramatized, it became unbearable to watch. I think the TV industry must move on and rather than stretching one concept to unbearable levels, for many many years, they could end the idea before it stales. The dramatization must be curbed a nit too. No one needs loud music at every intense moment; a shot of expressive eyes could work as much magic. And the male dominance that is depicted in about every serial these days is gut wrenching. I hate the way a man is allowed to bully his wife into eating or accepting his extra-marital affair or his decisions which are stupid. The objectification and the cheap levels a comedy show went to, just to grasp at more TRPs is even more saddening. Creativity must be revived in the most affecting industry. So many young minds who sit with their mothers to accompany them during television watching are affected. So are these young mothers, or old mothers-in-law who when have nothing to do, are suspicious of motives behind their sisters-in-law or adopted daughters. The stale ideas are just poisoning the minds of roots of the family, because it is these women who keep a family together.