What’s my TRP?

I’m a complete TV buff. I know loads of people who consider watching TV as a complete waste of time. They raise their eyebrows when I tell them that I can spend an entire day in front of the idiot box , surfing channels and not doing anything else!

I don’t mind a day like that once in a while. To me it is not a waste of my time. Why am I always expected to be reading intellectual stuff, discussing the burning issues, going to art workshops, honing my creative skills (if I have any that is), catching up on the world news, getting the house in order or just winding up chores on a weekend so that the week stays in order! After the grueling work and home schedules, I’m allowed a little bit of nonsense, brainless, mindless viewing once in a while and I enjoy that!

Hence, of all the crap that the idiot box offers us mortals, the reality shows are the last on my viewing list. There are enough interesting serials ( mind you only English), movies and documentaries (Animal Planet and Discovery – once in a while, honestly speaking, but it makes for excellent viewing)to keep me glued in and not opt for reality show viewing be it the American/UK versions or our copied national versions.

However, sometimes the curiosity does get the better of me and I had to see what the big (-ve) hype was all about around the 3 Indianised versions of the western reality shows. The blog post is where I can vent my frustration, so apologies in advance if you are at the receiving end when you are reading this piece!

1) Rakhi Ka Swayamwar adopted from the The Bachelorette – Currently on NDTV Imagine

2) Sach Ka Saamna adopted from the Moment of Truth – Currenty on Star Plus
3) Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachaao adopted from I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here – Currently on Sony TV

Rakhi ka Swayamwar a.k.a RKS
This is a first of its kind on Indian television. Although The Bachelor and the Bachelorette have been running in America for long; India picked up this idea pretty late and only Rakhi Sawant could have made this show a success. The Drama Queen of India ensured that this drama fell in place. I’ve watched episodes of this show and I was in fits of laughter. Seriously, if you missed it, you must watch a few episodes for pure comic relief.

MDH has thrown enough fits at home and on FB (His status messages on RKS have been out of this world. Even more interesting are the comments that followed up) He, despite his frustration, helped the show gain popularity as most hooked on to see what his frustration was all about! I think he was more frustrated with me for watching this mindless crap of a TV show.

Either ways, the show ended as expected, Rakhi selecting the best bet of all – the Canada based businessman but not marrying on prime time national television citing that this was only an engagement and they needed time before they settled down into the holy matrimony. I have not seen a bigger mockery of the institution of marriage and the events preceding in it as portrayed on NDTV Imagine. It’s quite a shame that NDTV of all channels had to resort to such a show to boost its TRPs.

Sach Ka Saamna

I chanced on it a week back & spent the next half hour chewing MDH’s brains as to how can people be so money-thirsty to put their private life on public display!
But then I thought, if the people on the show think it is completely worth it to put their private life on display in full public view, why are we fretting about it ? Here’s what a blogger friend of mine had put up and my answers to her questions below. My thoughts in the same order as the questions she has raised
1) NO but the partcipants on the show think otherwise
2) NO – the show says its courageous to do it – I think its pretty stupid almost hitting the axe on your own feet
3) I think they are, but as with all things this could have flaws.
4) That’s what I meant that the tests can be flawed
5) NOT AT ALL but apparently those who are on the show think it is worth it!
6) BIG YES! See the last episodes and see what made people lose their money!

In India this show will work, it tickles the curiosity bone of the public, it speaks opendly of ‘taboo’ topics like sex, extra-marital affairs, and most of all it provides good fodder for gossip; as people love to know what is happening in others’ lives and not mind their own business.

Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachaoo

Finally, the crappiest of them all. Some little known celebrities trapped in a jungle struggling for basic necessities. I’ve no interest in seeing people eat cockroaches or take on spiders/crocodiles to earn a basket of food, to drown themselves among reptiles and do the creepiest of things! Sorry save me this nonsense, and since this might not work; the producers of the show got the Indian Bahu Sweta Tiwari and the item girl Nigar khan show off their bathing bodies! Is this what national television has come to? And these small –time starlets will do absolutely anything just for publicity.

The 3 shows prove that Indian telly channels will stoop to any levels to gain TRPs, and so will all the so-called celebrities. Earlier it was the crappy Saas-Bahu saga started by Ekta Kapoor now it is the mindless reality show boom.

But why am I surprised? It is after all a sickening rat race and money game ; for the money & TRPs, the channels and the people will do just about anything! It’s not about good clean entertainment anymore. It’s all about the moolah!

If I need some mindless entertainment, I’ll stick to the old formula of a Govinda movie, reality shows are no where close!

Wish the TRP rat race will end someday! Think about the good old DD days when the TRP concept did not exist! Don’t you miss the Fauji, Circus, Yeh Jo Hain Zindagi, Humlog, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Meri Aawaz Suno, Ramayana, Mahabhartha, Chitrahaar days?
I do and the song ‘Koi Lauta De Mere Bite Hue Din’ is playing in my mind!


Q & A


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  1. Minal

    @paurnima: which channel is it on? if its colors i do not get to see it here!
    my only complain abt all these good serials is tht the story does not move ahead fast!

    @ashish: pitching in shows for TRPs is fine but to wht extent does one compromise on quality and sanity? i did try viewing these shows but as i said the story does not seem to move fast unlike the pacy english serials! If they pick up speed i would not mind watching them at all:-)

    @sands: I miss those old serials. I'm off to india in couple of weeks and plan to hunt cd shops to get some of these on Cd/dvd

  2. Sands

    Each serial you mentioned from the good old DD days brought back fond memories. Totally agree with you that they kicked some serious a$$ compared to the painful ones that are on in the name of TRPs today!!

  3. Ashish

    You can watch some of the other shows on NDTV Imagine. Like Jyoti, Meera,Bandini. They are refreshing and different. Some of the old shows on Imagine like Radha ki betiyan kuch kar dikhayengi, Jasuben ki joint family were also progressive and very unlike other shows. But they did not deliver on the TRP front and were taken off air.
    So when Imagine had to survive or get noticed they had to something like Rakhi ka Swayamvar. Frankly speaking I didn't like it but for a channel which showed all these good shows one show to make up the money is justifiable.

  4. Freud Reborn

    Watch Aapki Antara – its a nice serial sans heavy sari, makeup, saas-bahu drama, vamps. And it also touches the sensitive subject of bringing up an Autistic child.

    Or else Govinda movie is anytime better than these crap reality shows which include publicity hungry unsuccessful artists.

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