T.V. serials were not evolved in India. It was first seen in Western countries and based on it’s impact and success on Western audience, it came over here too. Now, what are the main contents of Indian TV serials? It basically portrays the social problems our Indian society faces. Throw in some masala like young romance, extra-marital relations, pregnancy before marriage and the last bomb –“who is the father of the child in your womb?” This will complete the story of Indian serials which will run successfully for 2 or 3 years.
Another class that runs successfully are religious serials. Manipulating the ‘bhakthi’ of Indian viewers is a management shrewdness seen in the glorious days of Doordarshan which Indian channels still find effective. By adding unheard stories of the protagonists, which you will never even find in sacred texts of Ramayana or Mahabharata, episodes will run successfully for a span of 2 or 3 years.
During my childhood days, I used to wait for Friday nights for watching one horror program on Zee T.V. which was called “Zee Horror Show”. Rather than horrifying, you might find it funny. But believe me, this was one show which used to scare me a lot.
Then you will find horror serials, detective serials and comedy serials. But basically, the underlying content of all these programs subtly portray various social menaces. But they do this only by standing on the fringes and giving it a certain peek as their main attention will be on the juicy masala
But do they suck? If you look at the content of ‘Bold and Beautiful” I’m quite sure there will be many out there who will get a heart attack. The show is nothing, but extra-marital relations, love affairs, strange relations and family problems. Throw some hot and spicy scenes, you will get a picture of one episode. Yet, this was a series which ran successfully for many years. The truth is that this show portrayed the social circumstances of that region. People accepted it without any complaint. Even now, such shows exist in Western countries which dwell on complex human relations running for a span 1 or 2 years.
Same thing applies to Indian serials. The problem of dragging the story might irritate the young folks in India but this was a phenomenon employed by the author way back in the days when such stories were found on paper backs. Indian readers had to wait for a week to know what will happen next to their favorite characters. Now with the arrival of the jukebox, their favourite characters are being given life or similar such stories pictured and success of such shows depends on anticipation of the public.
Indian TV serials do not suck. There were many good ones during the glorious days of Doordarshan which used to sent out strong messages to the public. But nowadays, the trend is changing as more importance is given to make-up, bright colorful dresses, and ornaments. Sometimes, it seems to overshadow the need for a good story. If that problem gets treated well, I’m quite sure, youngsters will start to accept Indian serials rather than staying glued to Western shows.