Indian Television Entertainment is at its lowest and Netflix India, Amazon Prime & Indian YouTube Shows are raising in popularity and viewership, day by day. Is it the end of typical Indian television shows or would Ekta Kapoor be giving a hand in degrading Indian Television Entertainment even more?
Gone are the days when we had good shows on our television sets. Shows to which we could give our time and have a fun time watching. Sadly, we all have to come to the realisation that the era of 90s has long been gone and lost into the shelves of the massive bank of Indian Television Entertainment. Gone are the days when a barely famous actor by the name of Shah Rukh Khan acted in a show called Wagle Ki Duniya and portrayed the everyday mishaps of a middle class family. Truly, the days of tickling humour and wit has gone when shows like Hum Paanch, and, Khichdi used to be on our television and would actually make sense in their humour and give us a good laugh whenever we needed.
Nowadays the Indian Television Entertainment, excuse my language, is a massive bank of bullshit. All it has are shows where the new bride is trying to kill their mother-in-law or vice versa. Or shows where a woman turns herself into a serpent or, is shown washing a laptop in order to clean it. This new wave of stupidity in Indian Television Entertainment is brought by one and only Ekta Kapoor. Ekta is hailed as the Queen of Indian Television and has also received several awards for Excellency, Entertainment, and, Most Powerful Business Woman. Her WikiPedia page states that she has received around 25 major awards from 2010 to 2019 and, perhaps, she did deserve some of these rewards but not all of them. The cancer we have in our television shows are nothing but works of Ekta Kapoor. She has singlehandedly made Indian Television look the stupidest around the world and a laughing stock for others. Laughing stock not because of how humorous her shows are, but because they are just that stupid.
Ekta Kapoor started her career by airing her first show Padosan in 1995 and has produced around 130 shows till date with 10 of her shows still airing on the Indian Television. The mindset of her shows had changed from quality over quantity, a long time ago. The woman in her shows do nothing but fight and crib and have hatred for other women or are ragdolls of their husbands or their mothers-in-law. Women in her serials aren’t strong enough to ever become a doctor or a lawyer. They aren’t strong enough to divorce their abusive husbands or raise their child on their own. Her works preached women to screw education and be pretty because ultimately, they’d be whisked away by a Prince to his castle and would live “happily-ever-after.” And, she received the Social Empowerment Award in 2012; talk of anything more ironical than this.
How can we bring back shows like Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, 24, Satyamev Jayate, Byomkesh Bakshi, Dekh Bhai Dekh, and the likes of Office Office? What can we do to improve the content of these current shows that air on our “idiot box”? Can the condition of Indian television shows be improved at all or is it too far in the sand to dig it out? Perhaps we can give up on the typical Indian television shows for once and all. The new wave of Indian shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime will be our knight in shining armours. With shows like Breathe, Mirzapur, Laakhon Mein Ek, The Family Man, Four More Shots Please!, Made In Heaven, etc. on Amazon Prime, and shows like, Sacred Games, Selection Day, Little Things, GHOUL, etc. on Netflix the state of Indian Television Entertainment is slowly and gradually changing and improving.
Lastly, YouTube is also helping improve Indian television shows by allowing content creators to create shows that are worthy of our time and have a sense in their story and plot and are not non-sensical in any sense unlike Sasural Simar Ka where Simar, the lead character, turns into a freaking fly after being cursed! YouTubers like TVF, The Screen Patti, Girliyapa, The Timeliners, etc. are producing shows that are thousand times better than any show Ekta Kapoor has ever produced. These online shows like, TVF’s Kota Factory, TVF Tripling, TVF Pitchers, Yeh Meri Family, Barely Speaking with Arnub, Permanent Roommates, etc. are shows that can grip your attention and provide you with a fulfilling storyline and an ending that will make you crave for more.
In this age where technology is spreading haphazardly, Indian Television Entertainment needs to learn from Netflix, Amazon Prime and these small creators on YouTube before they continue to make more of these non-sensical shows and end up getting boycotted by the whole of Indian population. For now, we shall make the most of what we have and perhaps hope Ekta Kapoor learns something from these shows and uses her brain a little, if she has one, that is.
Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia
The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.