Monday, October 25, 2010

The death of romance on Indian television



The other day I was aimlessly teevee surfing, trying to watch something watchable on Indian teevee (yeah. my bad!), which I tend to do from time to time, being the eternal optimist I am. I didn't succeed in that, as usual, but I did realize something which gave me the sads.

A sort of epiphany, if I may say so.

They finally killed romance at it's last remaining place of residence.


During the early 90's, when everyone was still innocent (because the internet was not that widespread and the only way to learn about sex was to read one of the 200 printed copies of  a Shobha De book) and the only supercouple on teevee was Ram & Sita (they were like Bella & Edward from Twilight, except with less brooding and no sex), the leading protagonist from the epic Ramayana (it was just like Avatar, except instead of an American company, the good guys were fighting a really smart evil king. And the leader of the good guys was an actual real life AVATAR! In fact, he was probably the first Avatar ever!!).

So this ancient supercouple were the ideal representation of love on the small screen.  However, their love took an ugly turn (which was very Alec Baldwin/Kim Bassinger-esque) and Sita ended up visiting her aunt in the earth's core, forever. (That's how the used to break up in ancient times. None of the modern 'I hope we can be friends' crap. Once you were done, boy, were you fucking done!).

Apparently, melodrama was all the rage back then!

The next supercouple which caught the nation's eye was from a cartoon show. Even though the show was for little children, it caught the adults fancy. That was because it contained the cutest couple on Indian television ever, Bagheera & Baloo.

Yes, that's right.

Though they weren't a conventional couple, and their love was the love that dare not speak it's name, (homophobia was all the rage back then) those of us in the know nodded our head and played along.

On Sunday morning, whenever that really irritating song came on, the whole family sat together and saw Bagheera and Baloo bring up their adopted retarded human child, whose name was Mowgli. In fact, if it wasn’t for them, Mowgli would have grown up to be an animal!

They bickered, fought over all the little things like household expenditures and in-laws, however, just like every other teevee couple, they made up.

Awww, love, thy name is Bagheera & Baloo!

Then, in the aughts, came the supercouple to beat all the other supercouples.

The greatest one of them all.

Mihir and Tulsi.

Indian teevee’s Bragelina!

They had 1,000,0000,00000,0000000,0000000,000000 kids, of both the legitimate and the illegitimate variety, magically born without them ever “bumping uglies”. They stayed together through so many ups and downs, aided in their adventures by one lonely woman who was probably as old as the earth itself.

Both Mihir & Tulsi loved each other so much that they came back from the dead, a couple of times, just to be with each other again. In fact, both of them voluntarily kept changing their appearance so as to keep the romance alive!. Say what you will about them but, boy, that's called commitment.

Now, even thought those two are not on teevee anymore, sometimes, when the night sky is clear, one can see them floating in space, along with their favourite old woman, because their saga is endless, just like a Manmohan Singh speech .

That was the past.

And this is the present.

'I just want to grab once' is the new 'Honey, your eyes are so beautiful'

Just like everything else, the most unreal thing on the teevee, "Reality Television", has ruined romance!

All everyone wants to do in these shows is fuck each other & get famous! Nobody wants to do the hard work of developing an actual talent. Even if they want to sleep their way to the top, they should do it discreetly, like in they used to do in olden times!

I don't know about you, but I'd rather believe that some woman lived for a thousand years rather than some misogynist who looks like Himesh Reyshamia and Shakti Kapoor had a love-child will get two, intelligent woman to get "intimate" with him. Although, girlfriend, if you end up with that guy, you’re really not that intelligent!

There was a time when people actually cared for the pretention of romance. In fact, some families were so modern that they let both their children speak to each other before they arranged their marriage!

And from that we went to this?

ea split1

What has the world come to? A person can't even cheat on his significant other. Isn't that what they are there for? Why can't they find out about each other’s ventures outside their relationship in twenty years, when the illegitimate child comes to take his share of the money, like other normal people?

This began when all of us started watching Ally McBeal and took relationship advise from the cast of F.R.I.E.N.D.S.! 

We took something so beautiful like forcibly living together with each other even though the love died long ago and all you’re doing now is keeping up appearances and we turned it into something so ugly! 

This is going to be our generation’s teevee legacy. A bunch of illiterate people shouting the f-word at each other, completely out of context.

We helped kill something which gave hope to millions of suppressed kids that maybe one day they might actually have a chance to be happy before they grew up and their cynicism took over.

For that, we need to hang our heads in shame.

Just like the old guy wearing a wig young woman in the scene below.



Mudra said...

Yus. Yus. And yus. Right on all counts.

Bloody tiring, confusing, WTF shows. (Though a large number of people tell me that it's all scripted. This makes it less confusing but more WTF, I think.)

Oh and I love that image at the beginning. :D

Anonymous said...

Reality TV today is like my worst nightmare: That the WWE would one day take over the world and force us to accept staged, mediocre rubbish as the Word.

The US scene isn't any better. Paris Hilton's BFF? Paris Hilton's NEW BFF? What the fuck happened to making relationships work?

A superb satire by Family Guy sums it up where Brian the Dog participates for a lark on the Bachelorette, actually falls in love with the girl and then finds out the girl was acting all the time.


Over Rated said...

@Mudra: Thanks for noticing! I made that image myself! It shows, right? I am really bad at photo-shop! And everything else!

Oh, yeah. Just imagine if these shows were not scripted, how WTF would they be? I shudder at the very thought.

@Daddy San: At least the WWE doesn't pretend to be real. Everything seems scripted now. From the reality shows to the news channels and their political dogfights! Every reality show can basically be summed up as follows: Human beings are assholes!

Having said that, if it wasn't for bit torrent/streaming video, I'd have nothing to watch!

Varsha said...

Oh you are so right! years ago we had two channels and good stuff to watch. Now we have close to two hundred but nothing worth watching.

tch tch

Reality TV gives me the creeps. Seeing it is one thing, then thinking about how girls can pull out each others hair to be married to a good for nothing druggie who probably also beat his wife. Scary

The Survivor said...

Its just not the romance part but the content too. Instead of television moving in a forward/present mode, it has gone into a backward era that we have overcome.

The Indian reality tv really sucks. Sometimes I wonder if originality has become passe or what

Over Rated said...

@Varsha: The "good stuff" shown on those channels is quite debatable. It was really boring in some cases. That time was spent watching video tapes of foreign shows! Now, it's watching torrents of foreign shows!

I guess some things never change!

@The Survivor: Reality teevee is the suckiest thing on television. Besides the news shows, of course.

I think originality on Indian teevee died a long time ago!

Saro said...

my thought on this is... why should we rely on the television for some romance?

An Iengar Chick .... said...

Guilty as charged ~ haven't watched Indian telly since forever so although I cannot relate to the Mihirs or Tulsi's of the world, But can relate to its western counterpart GH, OLTL, B&B, Y&R tts all too familiar a story.

V said...

i love this post!