Actor Karan Wahi’s recent comment on ‘Pehredar Piya Ki’ and TV show makers selling just about anything in the name of content seems to have divided the television fraternity. While some agree that producers need to up their game when it comes to the content of shows shown on television, others feel that it is the audience who encourage regressive content on screen.
What Karan has said is a brave opinion. Of course, the content on television is regressive. I have grown up on ‘Byomkesh Bakshi’, ‘Hum Paanch’, ‘Malgudi Days’. But why blame only the makers, are audiences ready to watch good shows? You guys are the ones that make the most regressive shows a hit and give good shows a miss. The makers and channels will make what audiences want to watch.
What I feel is that it might be a gimmick to create hype for the show. Criticism is the best way to raise TRPs. TV serials and films are just story-telling and what’s wrong in experimental stories. Every individual has a choice to see whatever they want to. It’s easy to criticize a show, it requires work to make one.
According to me, I think we are just showing regressive and done-to-death content. We don’t have good stories. If we see English television shows, they are rich in content and the scripts are 20 years ahead than us. We are letting down our television industry by the content we are selling. I know the TRPs are high for these kinds of shows but I think we need to concentrate on good content. We need to change the view point of people. There is so much of good content in the industry and we are not showing it. If we start making quality shows, the audience will also start to like it and the ratings will go up eventually.
Entertainment, sports and news channels show different content and everything is not a true story. We are showing entertainment and everything is not a replica of reality. Entertainment is not here to preach any morality. Be it TV or films there is always a new concept and content coming in and we can’t be opposing it. Content and stories need to be given time rather than jumping to conclusion instantly. The show has just started and it is a full right of the producer to experiment and make different content. There was a film called ‘Mera Nam Joker’ in which Simi Grewal did a bold scene. Initially, that film was not accepted but later the film is part of cult cinema.
I feel shows are surely regressive but there is certain audience who is watching it. But at the same time lot of audiences have stopped watching TV and have shifted to online and other entertainment options. Content needs to appeal to the sensibility levels of audiences as they are far more intelligent as they are exposed to wide variety of content. Makers should make more progressive shows as audiences do imitate what is shown on TV. TV watching has reduced considerably that’s why overall TRPs are also less.
I completely agree with him. We are just making shows without being concerned about what the content is and what it means. The main target of any show has become TRPs and it seems that we can show just about anything to get a high rating. Most of the shows have no quality content and money seems to be ruling the roost. I agree that money is important, but it can’t be placed above the content of the show. We talk so much about women empowerment, but we can’t even see a glimpse of it in our shows. A show starts off by being a family drama, then it suddenly turns supernatural. Actors, who want to do quality television, have nowhere to go. It’s better to sit at home than to be part of such shows.
I agree that people are making regressive shows and it’s been going on since a very long time. But on the other hand so many times people have tried to experiment but the numbers that come from the so called TRP system are very low for these shows. So people just tend to make regressive shows because that’s what people love watching. I think over the period of time it should change. But if the regressive shows are working, we cannot blame the makers. And there are a lot of producers are trying to make different and intelligent content and shows which are not very regressive. People have a choice; they have a remote control at home and can choose what they want to watch.
Shows have been and are becoming more and more regressive. Just look at the content of this show, is there any message that comes across? Television is meant for entertainment, but we also need to understand that there are a lot of people, who follow what we show on screen. If we continue to make shows on such regressive plots, then this will reflect in society as well. Plus there needs to be some meaning to what we are showing. The state of television has sadly gone from bad to worse. I agree with Karan, when he says that we are selling just about anything in the name of content. As long as it gets us the ratings, we are happy. This needs to change.
When we make a show, we need to see what kind of people are we targeting. Making such regressive content will not serve anyone’s needs. Television is a great tool for motivation as well. Women fighting with other women, children falling in love with adults, these are the kind of themes we have for our shows today. And then, when we look at the west, we have Game of Thrones and Suits, shows which people love to watch and wait eagerly for the next episode. It’s time that we start working on our content. What are we trying to sell to the youth and generation? Content has to make sense. A child falling in love with adult is not acceptable to Indian audience. Certain random shows are bizarre regressive but there is experiment happening too.
Siddharth P Malhotra (Producer)
For me, till date in my career, I am yet to do a regressive show. People only call me for shows that have strong subjects. I guess regressive and progressive is subjective but what’s important is to be honest in your story telling. That is what makes all the difference. Once you believe in your subject, you are bound to make a good show. Then, it’s up to the audience.
Sushant Kumar (Producer)
This show was in the news before it came on air. I haven’t watched the initial episodes and yes, it does sound creepy that a 10-year-old guy is getting married to an 18-year-old girl. But I guess it’s too early to judge the show. We cannot judge a book by its cover. Let’s watch some more episodes and then decide. I am sure Shashi Sumit production house and Sony channel both are sensible enough to approve a concept they won’t hurt public sentiments.