Thursday, July 21, 2005

Comedy Renaissance

Its raining comedy on Indian TV screens as broadcasters want to reach an untapped audience that is "switched off from TV" or associates popular entertainment with saas bahu tear jerkers. This is a refreshing trend and Star One leads the pack. The best of them is " Sarabhai vs Sarabhai", which provides arguably the classsiest humour on TV today. Brilliantly directed by Deven Bhojani ( A popular comedy artiste himself) , S vs S boasts of a great star cast lead by veterans Satish Shah (Indravadhan) with his 30 yrs of experience and Ratna Pathak Shah(Maya) who oozes class. Its plot about a South Mumbaite marrying a middle class gal provides a wide range of comic possibilities and the writers are spot on. The next is Instant Khichdi with its slapstick humour about a family that is rich but very dumb. And surprise surprise the Great Indian Laughter Challenge hosted by Sidhu and Shekhar Suman has emerged the top rated show on Star One.
Zee is pursuing this genre through Zee Smile through a mix of movies, reruns and new shows. Last week I managed to catch Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, Chaalbaaz plus one of their shows 'Bechara Big B' seemed quite funny about a bhulakkad Rakesh Bedi. SAB TV which was the only channel totally focused on comedy now has serious competition.
I think comedy as a genre really provides an anchor for flirtatious viewing. And in todays stressful lives, a hearty laugh can be the best exercise. But the real problem seems to be lack of comic talent. I mean Shekhar Suman, Satish Shah and Rakesh Bedi are really old wine. Jatin Kanakia of Shrimaan Shrimati fame at one point of time was the face of comedy on TV screens. And also some of the participants on the Laughter Challenge were too pedestrian. I hope this renaissance does not run out of steam soon. For sheer inspiration, the writers can learn from how Friends sustained viewership for so long.


At 10:55 AM, Blogger Parth said...

Hmm, not that I get to see these because I get only ZeeTV and Sony here. My mom though was raving about the serials you mentioned here. Ah, well.


Post a Comment

<< Home