Anil Thakraney: Balika Vadhu on Colors was a game-changer

22 Jul,2013

By Anil Thakraney

 

Hard to believe it’s been only five years, it feels like the channel has been around for a very long time. In a short time, Colors has managed to create a niche for itself in the Hindi GECs segment. This must not have been easy, given that Zee, Star Plus and Sony had already established themselves long before the new player arrived. Since ratings play a cyclic game (one big show can catapult a channel to the top rung), I don’t go by numbers. But it’s clear that Colors has made an impact on the viewer’s psyche, and congrats to the team for that achievement.

 

I must also state for the record that their flagship serial, Balika Vadhu, is the only Hindi soap I currently watch. This is because the serial feels very real, in the lives of the protagonists we see glimpses of our own. Indeed, Balika was a game-changer when it arrived on the scene because it broke the genre of the over-the-top, garish, unbelievable soaps that used to rule till the year 2008.  Since then, Balika has gone on to inspire other soap-makers. Colors needed such a kick start programme to get instantly noticed.

 

However, sadly, the rest of the channel’s programming hasn’t really been different, their serials haven’t shown the same freshness. Bigg Boss, the reality show, may not garner big ratings, but it keeps Colors buzzing on Twitter, which explains its continued run. I have never been a fan of this dimwitted show for just one reason: The channel deliberately invites the demented sort as guests, hoping that their shenanigans will get the viewers hooked. My view is, this can be achieved with witty, interesting, feisty people. We don’t need morons for entertainment. Here’s hoping Colors will keep this in mind for the future.

 

For the next five years, I would advise the channel to return to its roots, and passionately work towards creating game-changing programmes. In a previous post, I mentioned why producing American quality serials is very dicey in Indian conditions, therefore a Homeland or a House of Cards will be very difficult, if not impossible to do. However, that doesn’t mean the channel can’t push the envelope. Now that the best of Bollywood talent is beginning to take television fiction seriously, the smart channel will be the one that exploits this opportunity quickly, teams up with the hottest young writers and directors, and puts out programming that’s offbeat and interesting. Is Colors up for the challenge? That is the question the channel’s leaders need to ask themselves as they blow the five colourful candles.

 

Anil Thakraney is a senior journalist and commentator. He is also Editor-at-Large, MxMIndia. The views expressed here are his own. He can be reached via Twitter at @anilthakraney

 

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One response to “Anil Thakraney: Balika Vadhu on Colors was a game-changer”

  1. Himanshu Agarwal says:

    Hi Mr Thakraney, No doubt Colors broke the pegging order of GEcs and is also the mainstay in our house and sits pretty along with other programming content dished out by other channels. But Balika Vadhu has overstayed its welcome. Time for colors to get another tentpole property.

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