Sanjeev Kotnala: Not the Bigg Boss I know or like

26 Feb,2021

By Sanjeev Kotnala


Bigg Boss is one of my favourite reality shows. The Season 14 got over last Sunday. The channel claims Bigg Boss 14 was the best season with more eyeballs than ever before. It seems the magic continues. May be the magician has found a new audience to play with. However, loyalists like me are upset with the experience. It failed to meet our expectations. It is not the same show that we liked and grew with.

On the other side, the channel and team must be complimented in producing and running the show without major issues. May be it is the best the channel could serve in the Covid-led pandemic.

That I was able to predict the Top 5 finalists and the winner in advance is not a comment on the show content. To predict Bigg Boss 14 winner was so very simple.


Is There A Problem?

No, apparently there is no problem. The show did perform very well.  Even though I don’t have access to the viewership data, I do believe the channel claim. Anyway, nowadays, one is not sure, which data should be trusted?

The show with its legacy, voyeuristic content and a large following is nowhere threatened.

May be it’s that the show that has moved on. Maybe, the initial set of viewers no longer matter.  The show has attracted a new set of audience. Everything is okay. The show is performing. The host is superb. The channel is happy. The brands have no issue. Who am I to crib?


The Difference

Nothing. And that is the problem. Nothing has changed with the show. Yet, Bigg Boss is no longer the same show.

Creativity is dead. The tasks are repetitive. The majority of the participants seem coached on how to ace the show. Some have not even bothered to see the last season or so they claimed.

The captain of the house is no longer in command. Participants have a simple strategy of non-cooperation. Dissent is the default option. Rebellion is seen as content and entertainment. Participants start groups as a result of a desire to control and survive. They cannot be faulted for it. However, these groups are merely opportunistic. Participants drift in and out of groups without any agenda.

There is class inequality. It is demonstrated across actions and judgment. There is no control of the language. Aukat, Ghatiya, Neech are some of the terms used to broadly paint someone. The language has so bad that it needs viewer discretion or some other warning.

There is absolute anarchy. There is No Control. Wild cards and other members bring outside information and discuss them. The inside information is used as a leverage. The Bigg Boss remains inert to any such advances.

The candidates in the show know who the other contestants are. No more are the names a surprise to them.


Biggboss – Mandir Ka Ghanta

This is what is really upsetting. The show has lost the plot. Candidates walk in and out of the show. They exit for silly reasons and re-enter with sillier explanations.

There is no sanctity of being a contestant, ex-contestant- wild card or pure Bigg Boss inter-season traveller. There are ex-winners who are the regular faces on the show trying to act their part. The charm is lost.

The wild card can enter anytime- fine but how many wild cards! A candidate who steps out to act and was given a proxy in the house! Bigg Boss – Mandir ka Ghantakoi bhi aaye aur bajayeh.


The Winner Is No Longer A Mystery.

Of the five finalists, Rubina was the deserving winner.  Every attempt was being made to ensure her win. Or that’s what social media chatter said.


Salman Khan, The Saviour

Whatever Salman Khan maybe charging the channel, I think it is perfectly justified. Fortunately, the ageing Khan still commands respect or fear. He is like a GodFather. And, it is he, who makes the weekend worth watching.  Unfortunately there is no alternative for Salman Khan. But, even Khan’s delivery and control is showing signs of tear. Is there an alternative? The question remains unanswered.



Bigg Boss14 was a drag. May be it was the lengthiest season of all. The viewership numbers may give the channel and the production house a feeling of complacency. But, it is time someone seriously takes a re-look on how the show is shaping up.


What is so big about it and who is the Boss there?

Bigg Boss14 was like some C-grade movie. It seems the script was written on the sets. The producers taking the viewers for granted. The creativity, the gamesmanship, the rewards all mixed up. The participants were controlling and dictating the terms.

Bigg Boss decided to remain a mute spectator till pushed to act. Many times denying justice to the participants and trying to explain the situation.

Frankly, the show lost ground and many loyal viewers. It became a drag at later stage.

I sincerely believe in the show and the format. I believe it requires the infusion of fresh thoughts. And, I would hate the show to lose out. But if it decides to be the Mandir Ka Ghanta –  then joh chahe jab chahe, use bajayega.


 Sanjeev Kotnala is a senior marketing and strategy consultant. He writes on Wednesdays, and sometimes on other days as well. His views here are personal.

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