I just had my bath, but that didn’t inspire me in posting this. Its was the TV.
Television has come to this world long back, and its had become somewhat an integral part of our life. I remember those days when we used to keep free time in the evening for the tv shows. In India, doordarshan, our national carrier, beamed vast genre of programs and serials. And one of them was the Soap Opera.
The very first soap opera beamed on national tv in India was “Buniyaad”. Many of you might remember it. Though I didn’t understand what was going on in it, neither was I interested, but I watched it regularly, cause we had just one tv(it’s the same case now, but I wouldn’t care less) and my parents were interested. Or may be because our national tv beamed only two channels, and the other one’s clarity was once in a blue moon affair.But what can I say about it? I just “Grew with it”. So long it was, that I celebrated few of my birthdays seeing it.
Then came cable tv, and later satellite. And along it brought flood of soaps. It was a bit difficult for us to understand the language( or the pace of it rather) of the programs in foreign channels(english), so we stuck to hindi and marathi(I knew these marathi maanoos issue would surface sooner or later, so I had to be thorough). Anyway, me and my brother had some control of the remote now and then, to watch sports, discovery, news etc. Else it had become a sole property of my mother. And for what? These soaps(am still talking about the tv ones, not the bathing ones).
Prime time was like information time for my mother, when she could get enough info to discuss at the office, with her friends, the next day. Lots of serials, with a trade mark double k’s in the title, were aired on prime television, and they were like a religious affair. “I must see these serial today”, was the favourite sentence of my mother. And after few month of viewing, the name of the serial on my mothers lips used to change. I just didn’t understand why my mom would change loyalties so suddenly. And then I investigated, and realised, that some of the serials were off air, as the TRP’s were going down.
I see that this is a very common practice followed nowadays. Soaps are being aired for a long time. Families break up, families makeup(an of course, lots of makeup goes on the ladies). People die. People are reborn, resurrected, reunited. Sane men commit crimes. Murderers have a change of soul. And lots of bullshit. And you know how they end? Poof!! Just go of air. Without any explanation to the viewers.
But the viewers are least bothered. After enduring the drama of few families, interrelated by a spiders web, and affecting each others life in some way or the other, the viewer gets bored and wants a fresh outlook to life. Which the new soap provide. And the producers are happy. Cause the directors, script writers have given up on the story which they have messed up after such a long run.
You know what, soaps, in India at least I would say, are a waste of time for the viewers. You sit an hour in front of the tv, watching an actor trying to get an expression on his face which should be there but of which he is incapable, is a total waste of your time. These programs go on and on as the writer is able to write the script. It can include lots of festivals in it right on time. And these inclusions are the fillers, as the writer has lost it all.
Whenever you watch a film, how would you feel if the film builds up a story, but just midway, the director comes on the screen apologising that this was all he could manage, and that the end of it?
Then why don’t you feel the same about soap?