Television Serials

Television Serials

This topic is not about evolution of Television in India. Nor it is about the kind of shows that have aired since the onset of Doordarshan. This topic is about how the techniques of catching and holding audiences have evolved and grown such that when I ask my mother to put on news channel at the time of her favorite TV serial, she becomes agitated like a hungry baby. No disrespect, but this is the effect Television has put on at significant part of the population.

Though I like watching movies more than serials, I sometimes get curious about what is in them that makes my mother sleepless if she misses an episode. A particular ‘masala’ television serial consists of the following ingredients :

1. A Huge Joint Family – Each and every character is developed at some point of time, unless every ounce of acting talent is squeezed out of them.

2. Rich Family – They are so wealthy that almost everyone looks every time as if they are going to some kind of a party. I have never worn such suits when at home. They also have a huge bungalow, which must take at least 1-2 hours to search entirely.

3. Antagonist & Protagonist – The protagonist’s role is developed initially, while through a greater stretch of the serial, his/her role fades away. The antagonist’s role becomes the topic of gossip and entertainment almost through the middle greater part, and fades away only in the end, when the protagonist is proven right.

4. Money-saving Strategies – Almost every now and then, a flashback will occur, saving the director some money in new recording.

5. Dramatic Effect – This is helpful if dialogue writers have gone on a holiday and also when directors wants to create an emotional situation. Cameras are strictly ordered to roll 3-5 times on every character, but in an orderly situation.

6. Mega Episode – I don’t know why actors work overtime, but this is to create a longer episode with some dramatic ending.

7. Happy Ending – Everything fits into place at the end. Everyone is happy and serial ends on a happy note.

And here goes another half-an-hour in my mother’s life. And she feels satisfied.

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