Anil Thakraney: Oprah Khan

06 May,2012

By Anil Thakraney

 

Some observations on Aamir’s much publicized chat show.

 

Satyamev Jayate (SJ) reminds me of Oprah’s talk show. Ordinary people’s tear jerker stories, and all the emotions involved. It’s a good idea. Have always wondered why Ms Winfrey hasn’t inspired India so far.

 

While Aamir pocketed a few crore rupees as the nation wept on Sunday morning over the female foeticide issue, must say it’s a commendable social effort. If SJ inspires even a few people to stop killing the girl child, all the big moolah spent on its production becomes worth it.

 

I am not sure if the malls and the streets in the urban areas were deserted, like it used to happen on the Ramayana/Mahabharata Sundays. I did tweet to ask for clues, but didn’t get enough responses to form an accurate opinion. Even if the young gen continued with their routine stuff, who knows, as more episodes roll by, they might want to watch the show. Though I have my doubts. Sadly, I don’t think the ‘Har Ek Friend’ virtual India desires to connect with the real India. Even if Aamir is in the house.

 

In an earlier post I have already mentioned that the simultaneous broadcast on DD is an excellent idea. So even if the metros ditch SJ, the producers are assured of reasonable TRPs.

 

On the show itself: I like Aamir’s sincerity. He exhibits all the right expressions and makes all the right noises. Tears, concern, disappointment, shock, anger, hope… that he is a talented actor, must help. Also, happy that Aamir chose to launch his TV career with a show that matters. Very different from all the other big stars who indulge in mindless game shows. This is what makes Aamir special. Good luck to him.

 

Most importantly, the show isn’t boring. This was the concern many had expressed once it was announced that SJ will deal with serious social issues. Aamir manages to pack in a little entertainment. A few laughs and some gana bajana too. This also helps break the tension. Having said that, one hour would have been just the right duration. 90 minutes is pushing things a bit.

 

Also, there is an attempt to provide solutions. The show doesn’t stay at the level of discussing morbid details. That’s good. But it’s important that Aamir doesn’t forget to do the follow-ups he’s promising on air. And disappears as soon as his pay check arrives. The star is notorious for his fly-by-night activism.

 

Lastly, Aamir kept repeating he’s not a judge, and that he would leave that activity to the courtrooms. A good lesson for all the news channel anchors who love dishing out justice to the aam junta every single evening.

 

Net net: A promising show that can lead to some social change. Maybe only a little change, but it’s a good start all the same.

 

 

PS: An interesting presentation on how advertising objectifies women. Should serve as an eye opener for all of us in the ad industry. Have we, in the search for higher sales, been corrupting our culture and values? Something to chew on, lots to introspect on.

 

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3 responses to “Anil Thakraney: Oprah Khan”

  1. Dkbn says:

    an expensive launch commercial for Nita Ambani who is reportedly undergoing an image makeover. CSR program sponsored by Reliance : who u kiddin Amir ?

  2. pm says:

    Aamir is an actor, first and foremost. He’s also the anchor of the show. Of course he has to be brilliant at it. Why would he not be? His excellence is a given.
    The social awareness of the subject is also high. I can’t believe there are any viewers in India that are not aware of girl child killings but – sadly it still happens in cities, towns and villages.
    The platform i.e. – DD + Star (Network) could not have been a bigger launch pad for a new show, plus the hype around it.
    All the critical ingredients therefore ,were in place and time will tell whether it will deliver the expected ratings. Personally, i doubt it.
    The ratios to consider will be cost per rating point for the broadcaster AND the advertiser.
    Media planners will then kick in and demand better value which the channel will be loathed to give.
    In the end, i fear it will be a case of good effort ( about bloody time broadcasters did stuff like this ) but little or no result. As they say ‘ efforts don’t count, results do ‘. I hope i’m wrong.

  3. Norman says:

    Anil, the show is repeated in the evening if some missed out the 11 am stint.