I love watching TV. Who doesn’t? But the plight of Indian television today is beyond wretched. All, and I’m not exaggerating, all we see everywhere, is the saas-bahu shows. And these disgraceful shows with their deplorable story lines, below average actors, poor, no wait, utter absence of direction and really tacky background music (which occupies the largest share in an episode by the way), and a generous splattering of repulsively inaccurate regional languages and costumes, are a shame to the creative conscience of India.
That’s not what I wanted to write in this article. Damn! I always get carried away with my hatred for these saas-bahu shows.
Anyway, what I wanted to write about today are the five things I’d rather be watching on television, as opposed to what’s being dished out to us and shoved down our esophagus. Now it’s not just five shows I’d like to watch, but rather, five categories or kinds of shows. Here it goes in no particular order. I would just love any of these really.
- Our favorite cartoon shows of yore
Remember Mogli? And Uncle Scrooge, Huey, Dewey, Louie? Mickey, Donald, oh, oh, and Chip and Dale? And Aladin? And genie? I’m having a hysteria nostalgia attack here! Wait, is that even a thing?
I would just love, love love to watch these lovely animated shows that were a staple evening snack and a delectable Sunday morning feast all through our childhood.
And then there was Winnie the Pooh with Piglet, Aladin with Genie, Apu and Yago, Bugs Bunny with the other looney toons, and a whole lot of other shows that are all taking you, nah, fiercely pulling u back in time right now.
I gotta say here, the new series of Tom and Jerry they created, do away with it already! We have watched all original episodes at least a 100 times each, and we can keep on watching the same, another 100 times. The new ones just don’t cut it.
- Any of the fantastic sitcoms of the 90’s
Dekh Bhai Dekh, Office Office, Tu Tu Main Main, Hum Paanch, Shriman Shrimati, Ye Jo Hai Zindagi, Malgudi Days, Zabaan Sambhalke and a few others that could have been your favorites. Forgive me for probably missing out a few, I’m really overwhelmed right now.
These shows were creativity, humor and life, at their very best. Just how surreal was Malgudi Days. Office Office always hit a nerve. Dekh Bhai Dekh tickled you in so many ways and Khichdi… Wow. Just wow.
The only, yes, One And Only good sitcom made in the new millennium has been Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai. I needn’t remind you of this show. It was iconic, and you know it. Apart from that, the channel SAB TV has made a few sincere attempts with Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta Chashma, Laapataganj and the likes. But these efforts often get clouded with overplaying the absurd hand and stretching a scene beyond its girth.
- Classic Hindi Movies
And no, don’t tell me we get Zee Classic. Every movie channel we have today doles out 90 percent crap and about 10% good cinema. All you see are trashy movies with cheap or no royalties. When was the last time you saw a good movie on a weekday. You may vaguely expect one good movie a week on every channel.
Okay, they do a borderline decent job of bringing new movies to your idiot box. But classics, like Masoom, Pyaasa, Guide, Abhimaan, Mili or Anand; or rib tickling gems like Padosan, Bawarchi, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, Chupke Chupke, Chashme baddoor and the phenomenal, Golmaal, when was the last time you saw these on TV? Seriously?
Give me any Hrishikesh Mukherjee film, anything by Gulzar, anything that had Farookh Sheikh and Deepti Naval, or absoluyely any comedy of gone years, anytime, any day. Packed with entertainment and brimming with innocence, these films are way better than watching Shastri Sisters and Sasural Simar Ka.
- Good debates and discussions on news channels
Do they even exist? Maybe.
I do derive some kind of vindictive pleasure watching Arnab Goswami slamming, shaming and totally shutting up some of those nauseating spokespersons of the ministry of bullshit. But slightly more than 99% of what we get on news channels is downright disgraceful journalism. Now, what’s left after that is the slightly less than 1% part. And that is, sometimes, a good discussion.
Yes, in an occurrence rarer than the Haley’s Comet, sometimes, some panelists on a talkshow or debate make perfect sense. So much so that it’s a sight to sore eyes. You are mesmerized with the unrehearsed, unadulterated, perfectly logical and totally relatable words coming out of some truly credible person’s larynx, and suddenly, the brazen show-host screeches the symphony to a halt saying, we’re running out of time, lets take a quick break or we just have to wrap up for now, see you next time. I mean, seriously, you are running out of time? Really? Then why do you run the same report two times an hour. Why does every report sound like an Anu Malik poem with one or two catchphrases repeating every five sentences? Why don’t you roll with the endangered species of good opinion every once in a while. Running out of time for what…”Chain se sona hai to jag jaaiye” kinda crap?? I’m appalled! Really.
I watch the India Today ad that asks, ‘Has your news channel turned into a circus?’
Well, the ad nailed it? Yes it has.
But just the same dear India Today, I don’t expect you to do any better really. We are a cursed nation.
- All shows American
Now that’s the motherload baby! Big Bang Theory, Two And A Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family and who the hell can forget FRIENDS. I can watch ‘em over and over and over again. And it’s not just the firangi funnymen, the real fun is in the drama section with legends like Lost, Hannibal, House of Cards, ofcourse ofcourse Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Castle, White Collar, Dexter and a whole lot more, rocking our world.
Yes, the previous categories were just fragments of fragrant nostalgia. Thankfully, these latter ones are very much on air and very much at work in keeping TV alive. What would we do without the likes of Sheldon Cooper and Charlie Harper. Oh wait, Charlie is nostalgia too now. And yet, the show is still on and still every bit hilarious. Who thought that was possible, but it is.
About this particular category, I heartily thank America. You are giving more to India, than just Fords, F-16s and Call Centers. You are helping our households run smoothly by helping us cut back on the Saas-Bahu sagas. Take a bow.