What is So Real about 'Reality' Shows?
Although many of the reality shows on TV provide comic relief, and does something to relax the tensile mind, there is something tragic there as well, in these shows, which the public laps up, like the hungry cat.
No, this is not the proverbial, grapes being sour. In fact, they are too sweet, too good to be true. So, don't mistake any envy there, that my daughter or son is not there, and I am not the maudlin parent, wiping tears out of sheer, untrammeled, unmitigated joy. Nor, is my story the one of: rags to riches, it is from half pants to jeans and now to well trimmed coats and trousers.
My thesis is simple: these reality shows reek of the impossible, not the possible; a transitory look for those wanting to make the roads of fame and of course money. Parents and relatives accompany the poor 'victim' to applaud, laud and to recount sordid stories of the climb from rag to riches. Some are toddlers, but they speak and behave like raging; mad impresarios. I wonder what, Khushwant Singh has to say on these fatuous shows, which seem to take the public and families like a raging storm, to paths unintellectual and even moral destitution.
Pardon me for being so pious, but for once I want to be the argumentative Indian, and recant modernist traditions. Then again these catchy shows seem to be sinecures for some left over artistes or actors, or those who did not make the cut, and those who have been a cut above the rest, in the hoary past, like for example Asha Bhonsle, while her equally illustrious sister reserves her remarks for the home, to be transmitted by her more celluloid sister.
The song shows are not bad, at least you get to hear some good if not excellent voices, and comments by people whose voices are sometimes not as good as theirs! There is nothing real about their shows. Even the histrionics are premeditated, the dances, the sudden touching of feet, the equally sudden holding of hands. The judges and the guest artists act so coquettish and coy, that one wonders if the director with 'cut, cut, cut' is present there supervising a major directorial venture. But when seven year olds behave like seventy years and vice versa, I switch off my TV with alacrity and retrospect on these comedies of wrenching sadness.
These kids should be attending school or college, to experience love, friendship, the little society, but the world of starry eyed honour is thrust upon them, in thralldom. Of course, this is not my business you might say. But I will riposte, it is, my twelve year daughter has her eyes glued not to her books, but to these fatuous TV shows.
No, you might say, reduce the channels.
Yes, I will say, but I have an equally ardent wife!
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Ananya S Guha
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