You wanna talk about Sagas? Let’s do this.
DISCLAIMER: This article is going to be super long. Just like those Indian TV shows I hate. Sowiee. (That’s my trying-hard-to-be-cutesy way of saying sorry). But we were talking about sagas on today’s word prompt and there’s no better way to make you think of one than giving you one myself.) But it’s not so long it’ll throw you off. Pwomise. (See the pattern here?)
ALSO: All the photos I got are off the internet, off Google images, I don’t own any of these images and they’re JUST FOR REPRESENTATION, no offence intended to anybody.
So, Indian TV show makers have the notorious tendency to come up with a script for a show, with a good (sometimes okay-ish) concept and then turn it in to a completely worthless piece of rubbish in order to squeeze out as much money as they can from their franchise.
It’s so disturbing, that many people have completely lost faith in the Indian silver screen! You see memes and jokes all over the place about these long drawn tales made by people who’re shamelessly obvious about why they’re continuing to agonize their viewers.
Without further ado, let’s look at the five most annoying things about these sagas:
So, everybody in the world has problems. Some people struggle to get educated and find a decent job after migrating from the farm to the cities. Some people face discrimination at work based on their gender. And then there are these pathetic saas-bahu shows where a mother-in-law’s biggest problem is how nice her daughter-in-law is. Most of the shows on Indian television were, for the longest time about pointless family drama.
A lot of them go like this: Girl has life. Boy has life. Girl and boy get in to some sort of trouble together. They fall in love. Girl is now forced to marry boy/his brother/his best friend (or vice versa), keeping them tragically separated. For the rest of their lives, their sole purpose is to get together/keep up with their family drama like they have nothing else to do with their lives.
Some start off really well, with a great topic and a good message, eg: The efforts of children in villages to get educated, the life of a college going girl who has to contend with her parents and lot of mean classmates in order to achieve her dream, and so on. But at some point in the drama, either of the two things happen:
- The main characters completely forget about their purpose and are now engrossed in sorting out some sappy personal drama and have probably fallen in love, made that relationship their whole life and have completely left behind whatever good things they had going for them. Or:
- They almost die, lose their memories, end up somewhere else and get a whole new life while their loved one searches for them.
At least 70% of the shows on Indian television have these cliché plot lines. And the ones that don’t are probably mythological, documentaries, comedy shows or pretty damn good.
2. The crappy background music
Every single time something bad happens on a TV show (let’s go with a shocking revelation), the camera person feels obliged to zoom in and out of the concerned characters’ faces about a million times while they’re making the same, exaggerating expression. And in the background-you’ve guessed it- is the WORST background music ever.
Now, I’m the sort of person who thinks these moments (if they’re worth caring about for the viewer) must be heartbreaking enough and I don’t want you ruining the vibe with your stupid Dhoom-tanananana in the background. Stop making a big deal out of everything! This is also an excellent way to gain air time. Just plug in a 20 minute Dhoom tanananana on a 40-minute episode with still shots of everyone in the show looking horrified and blam-the perfect recipe for riches! Tip to gain air time #1.
And if that’s not the one track your TV show uses, it’s probably a Bollywood song that has either been speeded up, slowed down, remixed, or has been stripped of its lyrics. The worst part is that sometimes these shows use really good songs. In fact, these ‘theme’ songs are played so often that I’ve often come to associate said song with the TV show, not the movie. And that’s a bummer because the show’s usually awful. Don’t ruin my memories!
3. The plastic surgery deaths
Okay, this one is one of the worst things about Indian television soaps. If someone dies in a car accident, let them rest in peace! It happens all the time. Whenever the show needs a replacement actor and wants to get some fillers in before moving on with the story (“story”) , they kill off a main character, get their spouse/lover/parents to go catatonic and initiate a great worldwide search for their beloved.
Now, I get that people have trouble losing their loved ones, but that doesn’t mean you have to bring them back from the dead! I mean, unless this car crash is an integral part of the story, you can skip it and directly have your replacement actor come in. We’re an accepting audience, we don’t care about anything other than your plot! (“plot”).
4. The part where IT DOESN’T END!
So, there’s an okay-ish TV show running, they’ve managed to talk about a problem the main character goes through (and the several ones they encounter while solving this major issue) and then at one point, everything looks good. They’ve achieved their objective, everyone is happy and you think it’s time they wrapped up and then-Bam! The main character gets in to an accident in Mumbai, wakes up in Dubai takes no steps to contact their family and gets a whole new life. Oftentimes they suffer from amnesia.
Or, a character’s totally happy after going through a lot of ordeals, they have kids and raise them nicely when-Boom! The kid goes and falls in love with a child of an “enemy”, who wants to use this romance to take out their twenty-year-old grudge against someone who slapped them once (because the said enemy had done something horrible, I might add!).
Also, at some point, the producers’ instinct to make money overshadows their desire (if any) to produce good content because they throw in dilemma after dilemma and completely derail the main character from their actual purpose, bringing in unnecessary and impossible and overly dramatic plot twists each time. This goes on for so long that you actually wonder what amazing plot they had promised, that had bewitched you in to watching this show in the first place! Tip to gain air time #2.
Sometimes, the users bring in these impossible supernatural beings in to the lives of a perfectly normal (“normal”) household and create these ridiculous plotlines where this regular girl who initially had nothing to do with this mystical creature (Ever. Even in trailers.) is now the only hope for mankind. What? Why? How? She becomes possessed, gets turned in to a fly, gets turned in to a ghost and all that mumbo jumbo. And this show isn’t even about magic! The point has now been lost. These are the lengths, ladies and gentlemen, to which directors in India go to keep their show going.
5. The crossovers and advertisements
I don’t know if this happens in other countries, but characters of a particular TV show endorse another TV show from their own channel while the program is on. By showing us the advert for the new TV show on their TV while we’re watching them on screen. Bù Xíng?
Let me break it down. So we’re watching TV show A and we know that there’s a new TV show on this channel because we’ve seen it’s advert during the intermissions. Now, there’s a scene in TV show A where everyone’s watching TV and while they’re watching some movie, the advert for TV show B comes on and everyone start praising it in obviously fake interest. And it’s part of the show. The next scene comes on like nothing’s happened. Why, huh? Why? I have a TV, I don’t need double the adverts!
And the crossovers! Gosh. So, once in a while, they announce a crossover for about seven TV shows at a time next fortnight. It’s going to be really complicated and they’re hoping you can’t wait to figure out if it’ll solve everything. So, okay, they put out teasers and trailers about this “Mahasangam”. And in order to ensure you watch it, they go absolutely nowhere with the story for two entire weeks!
When these crossovers do happen, they’re really lame, with no one really helping anyone and a lot of long emotional speeches. More bakwas.
So, there you have it. The top 5 annoying things about Indian TV shows. And let me just say this is part one because I’m going to deal with a couple of more serious issues about these TV shows in the next post about them. Once, again, I’m sorry for this super long rant, but you know that anybody could go on about these programmes!