Anil Thakraney: Complete Bollywoodization of TV

07 Nov,2012

By Anil Thakraney


The other evening I was wildly switching channels to find something interesting to watch (a usual pastime, haha!). And on every single channel I was attacked by the Bollywood frat. At one place, Bachchan was having a good time with SRK and Katrina Kaif. Elsewhere Salman Khan was busy with his famed pelvic thrusts. On another channel Ajay Devgn (his spelling, not mine) was seen promoting his new flick. Then there was some hot gossip about Deepika Padukone on a Hindi news channel. Not to speak of the ‘ThinkFest’ which had a whole lot of ‘intellectual’ filmi types walk into our living rooms. And I am not even going to discuss all those hundreds of ads that feature our movie stars.


Yup, it’s been happening for a while but now it looks like a complete take-over has happened. Bollywood rules on the idiot box, no matter if it’s an entertainment or a news channel. These guys either use to it make a lot of easy money, or to ‘grace’ the studios to plug their upcoming films. Quite frankly, I am quite fed up of the same faces. Let me also add here that this is a peculiarly Indian phenomenon, nowhere else does it happen in the world.


So then what the hell happened? Where are the television stars? Don’t we have enough homegrown TV talent to keep the audiences enthralled? I think there is. But the poor folks are not being given opportunities to shine, so they have stayed under the shadow of the movie stars. Television chiefs will tell you it’s because the audiences are in awe of the big screen actors. I totally disagree with that. I think the culprits are the TV honchos themselves, they lack the guts to experiment, and they run to cinema biggies to cover their backsides.


Who’s to say Ram Kapoor won’t be fabulous on KBC? How do we know Sakshi Tanwar won’t glam up a reality show? Or maybe even Barkha Dutt as the Bigg Boss host? Don’t laugh, it is quite possible! Thing is, no one even imagines these possibilities. And to think these TV stars will come at a fraction of the cost of movie stars.


I am really hoping to see this change. Don’t want to see the same faces on TV every single night. Don’t.




PS: This is bad news for Obama. Clint Eastwood has dissed him in a political ad. Eastwood is a hugely respected star in the US (there isn’t one single Bollywood hero who equates that power in India) and his views may hurt Obama. Also, bear in mind that Romney didn’t, at least directly, hire Eastwood’s services, this is what the man seems to really believe. And that’s more bad news for the incumbent Prez.






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