Reality Shows

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Reality TV is the new mantra of television producers and channel executives. It is the means to increase TRP ratings and the end is always to outdo the other channels and the ‘similar-but-tweaked-here-and-there’ shows churned out by the competition. So fierce is the competition in this segment that every channel boasts of at least two to three reality shows. Some of them are inherited legally from abroad, (mostly and always from the USA – the Godmother of reality television) or some are cheap copies of the shows abroad. If one channel boasts of “Jhalak Diklaja”, a take on the American dance reality show “Dancing with the Stars”, then another one has “Nach Baliye” to offset its audience value. Both the shows boast of television heavyweights, but at times, the soup served by these shows becomes a concoction of soap operas, bad production values and precarious mud slinging. Unlike its foreign contemporary where contestants’ master classic dance styles like the jive, rumba-samba, ballroom etc, these shows make the contestants dance on ordinary Hindi songs which makes the show quite mundane. Then there are the glitzy talent shows, mostly singing or dancing, which make us all feel that any other talent is worthless unless it can be taken to the stage. The worst seems to be the addition of children to these shows. Apart from the very obvious labour of shooting these shows, the most disturbing issue is the unearthiness of dance, crude choices of songs and impolite costumes for children aged between 5 and 10. These shows (apart from becoming platforms for movies to be publicized) also produce talent which very soon goes into anonymity. There are other brands of reality shows – quizzes. “The Bournvita Quiz Contest” remained and will always remain, for me without doubt, the epitome of dignified, knowledgeable and a polished format of fun and delight for children and adults alike. Derek O’ Brien will forever remain the consummate host who set trends for future knowledge...
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