Will Ekta Kapoor never learn a lesson from past experiences ? Trust her to completely destroy the goodwill generated by a serial by dragging it endlessly till the point of time the TRPs completely fall flat. In all these years, one is amazed at how this producer, daughter of a veteran Bollywood actor, has simply taken the viewers for granted. Her father veteran actor Jeetendra was nick named as “the Jumping Jack” because in his parlance dance was “shaking the butt and swinging the head”. If you look at Jeetendra’s songs from the 70’s , you have to appreciate the audience of the bygone era for their patience.
Just like her father, Ekta also seems to be taking television viewers for granted. She started the trend of naming the serials after movie songs and today almost 50% of the Hindi serials have titles ranging from “Lagi Tujse Lagan”, “Laga Chunri Mein Daag”, “ Piya Bina Jag Suna”, “Do Dil Bandhe Ek Dori Se” etc. Mercifully titles like – “Hum Tum Ek Kamre Mein Bandh Ho”, “ Main Tere Ishq Mein Mar Na Jaoon Kahi”, “Reshmi Ujala Hai Makhmali Andhera” etc have been spared.
I recall that in one of Ekta's serials, the protagonist who is searching for her husband continues to search her even when he is located in the very same city that she lives in. What more - towards the climax, Ekta showed around 24 episodes to reunite the protagonist with her husband. The protagonist would be walking in the market and her husband would be standing somewhere – but conveniently she would miss the husband.
Believe me, this continued for such a long time that viewers thought Ekta could start a new serial titled- “Teri Talash Mein”. Look at how the production house has botched up wonderful serials like “ Kya Hua Tera Vadah”, “ Pavitra Rishta”, “ Bade Ache Lagte Hain”. All these serials were milked dry to such an extent that attempts to revive these serials completely failed. Lead actors changed, storylines were drastically changed, out-of-work actors were introduced in the plot to revive the lost magic, some characters were forced to meet with an accident and lie in a state of comatose and suddenly they were brought back to life by the script writer.
To make matters worse, Ekta Kapoor also started the trend (she is really a trend setter when it comes to Indian television, isn’t it?) of generation leaps where a 27-year old lead player was shown as a 72 year old grandmother without any wrinkles and looking as beautiful as a nubile nymphet. Even mothers and fathers were abruptly changed in the serial. Not just the actors, even their benign character was changed to a vily one just for the sake of TRPs.
In “Pavitra Rishta” one of the actors who played the love interest of Teju (one of the characters in the serial) quit the serial. As no other actor was willing to step into this role, poor Teju had to become a spinster instead. Of course, Ankita Lokhande,the actress who played the lead role of Archana, deserves kudos for shedding tears to such an extent that she could have solved the water crisis of at least 50 villages in India.
I heard that many traders of glycerine have set up shops near Balaji studios in Mumbai as the demand for glycerine is high in the TV serials produced by Ekta Kapoor. Giving Ankita close competition was Asha Negi who played her daughter Purvi in the serial. God alone knows how many times Purvi got married, divorced, remarried and divorced again with (different) husbands.
Ekta Kapoor also deserves full credit for complete exploitation of a hospital set that was constructed in Balaji Studios. To justify the capital expenditure on the hospital set, we understand that once in a month, one of the lead actors had to meet with an accident, so that he could be hospitalized and the hospital set could be utilized.
Poor television viewers ! Do they have any choice but to watch these sordid and meaningless sagas that capitalize solely on sensationalism and cheap tactics ? Ekta Kapoor’s serials go on and on even when the story line has become wafer thin.
“Bade Achey Lagte Hain” started as a wonderful serial with brilliant performances by Sakshi Tanwar and Ram Kapoor. Unfortunately, rather than ending the serial when it was the right time to do so, Ekta was hell bent on prolonging it when viewers had stopped watching it. At one point of time, I was awake at 1030 pm just to watch this serial for its subtle moments but alas the joy was short lived ! Soon Ekta was back with her age old tactics. Priya meets with an accident, shifts to Dubai, her husband Ram marries her sister and so on so forth. Today, this serial has turned out to be a complete disaster and is a pale reflection of what the serial was once upon a time. Sakshi however has benefited a great deal from the initial popularity of this show. She appears in a horde of brand endorsements and apparently has made her millions!
Why can’t serials have a defined time span? The story should define the length of the serial and not vice versa. But this is what is happening in Indian television today. “Saas Bina Sasural” was a serial that was hugely popular but once the TRPs started falling, it was time to say “pack up”. The character of Toasty, her two dear friends and Toasty’s mother still refuse to leave our memory. How can we forget Dadaji who proved to be the conscience keeper in the serial?
Serial makers want to exploit a successful serial to such an extent that they plan to read the atlas wrong. Result ? The serials drag on forever until the viewers lose interest in the serial. It is clear that lack of originality and absolute lack of creativity continue to dog the Indian television world today!
It is even more unfortunate that script writers borrow their ideas from the Bollywood movies of the 70’s. Anju Mahendru’s entry as the vamp in “Do Dil Bande Ek Dori Mein” is a case in point. The serial which was progressing on an even keel is slowly losing its steam as the machinations of Anju and team are jarring and monotonous. However, the good point is that some character actors in the serial have immense potential to become character actors in Hindi movies – notably the actress who plays Raghu’s mother and Raghu’s sister Bela. (Raghu is the main protagonist in this serial). Will the likes of Aditya Chopra, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Farhan Akhtar and Karan Johar make note of the abundant talent that is available in television? I hope they do because criminal waste of talent is so hard to digest and accept.
One hopes better sense prevails on TV serial producers like Ekta Kapoor so that they produce content that is meaningful, thought provoking and progressive. Before I forget, these producers should wind up the serials before they start losing the TRPs.