Saturday, May 05, 2007

Massacre of the senses

I am so so fed up of watching celebrities and cricketers in ads. This celebrity exposure overdose has successfully reduced my already pathetic TV viewing time to zero. Maybe there is an audience out there for this celebrity endorsements, but I am totally fed up. You pick up a magazine or a newspaper and even here you have some celebrity grinning or looking gravely at you. Does anybody in the ad agencies and product marketing teams know that most of us are fed up of this celebrity overdose?

I personally find ads with regular models more palatable.

I was recently watching the Malayalam DD channel. The hostess was a regular girl with DD's trademark make up. But it struck me then that she looked startlingly refreshing to my TV weary eyes. The DD people are so real compared to the plastic dolls in the private channels! I get a severe case of gaudy toxic syndrome after watching Channels like Zoom and Zee for more than five minutes. There is more designer clothes, make up, pedicure, manicure, furnishings and light in a single program second than in an hour of a DD program.

I am not suggesting that private TV channels should go the DD way. But I personally am finding it increasingly difficult to watch the over made up sets and backdrops and stars of these channels day in and day out. It is like an assault on your senses.

Compared to these channels, Star World is refreshing to the eye. Its pastel shades and non intrusive backdrops a treat to behold. On the other hand the sets of a private Indian channel looks like a furniture, furnishing, electronics cum designer wear showroom!!!

The news channels are comparatively okay except for CNN IBN and Times.

Sometimes I watch a bit of Malayalam serials when a visiting relation from Kerala puts it on. The overkill here is in terms of negative emotions. Revenge, anger, hate and lots and lots of tears. Everyone is planning revenge on the other. Everyone seem to hate everyone and plotting against other! The strident background music is a strain on your nerves and soon you feel a little jumpy and irritable after watching these serials for some time. But I also realise why all this is so addictive. It would be very difficult not to watch the next serial when a possible outcome of a plot is left hanging in the air. Luckily Malayalam serials are not big budget, saving us the clothes and make up overkill.

A hilarious scene from a Hindi serial I saw long time back. A heavily over made up and over clothed actress telling another heavily over made up and over clothed actress that she will "change into better clothes" to go out with her. My jaws dropped as I wondered what she would do to make her appearance better. There was nothing more that a makeup man or clothier could do to enhance her appearance!

Perhaps this is the infancy of Indian TV channels and in the long run, tasteful sets and soberly dressed anchors will give our eyes a break. Till then I stick to Star World and DD.


Alexis said...

That is why I don't watch TV. The only exception is when there is Startrek (on Star World):-)

Pradeep said...

I like ads that are subtle and appeal to the senses. Somehow putting celebrities on them doesn't look okay to me... Find difficulty in relating... And, now as you say it is getting overdone

silverine said...

Alexis: I find the English channels good though I switch channels when the ads come on.

pradeep: Exactly! I find it difficult relating to ads with celebrities. They are definitely not people the aam junta identify with!!

alex said...

TV does not appeal to me much of late. Thanks to the internet, where we have the freedom to choose what we want.

But, like you mentioned, though some of us might not like such ads, i think there a lot of people who like them.

mathew said...

well time for Kingfisher to start a television channel too..with some of their "ordinary" looking girls as anchors!!!!!! ;-P

btw yeah..'Just for laughs' in Pogo was it still there..

very much agree with your opinion on malayalam serials..and the kind of names they give for the serials..Sthreejanmam.Sthreeshakthi..Ammamanassu..all built on a aura of tragedy and revenge..why cant they have somethin funny and feel good..well the offer for "philipsons" still stands.. ;-P

Neihal said...

I agree. Even I was amused when I realised DD seemed so much better than all those private channels. :)

Sandeep Sadanandan said...

I go with you 200% percentage on the DD-girls Vs Private-Dolls.

And the surprising thing is most of the people I know would also agree with it (Even Neihal here). Still private channels are popular, and they wont change to the DD-culture.

Why is it so? Or is it that I don't know enough people? Or private channels dont give a damn?

Jeseem said...

unfortunately Indians are a star stuck race. well i guess almost all races are.

and i will stick with discovery and cartoon networks.
and for more entertainment, your blogs :)

in a way , boring tv channels are good. will make people spend less time before idiot box and more time with humans

Ajith said...

Malayalam serials is perhaps the only thing that I dont like , but have to face when I go home.. FYI, couple of years back, some students at a college in TVM staged a mock protest march to secretariat demanding the ban of serials directed by MadhuMohan :)

silverine said...

Alex: Guess there is an audience which is why we have to suffer these ads.

mathew: I think malayalam chanels are capitulating on the plight of the malayalee women. Perhaps that is why it is so popular. Everyone wants to see the bad 'guy' getting beaten up :)

neihal: True, thats because you and me can identify with the people at DD.

sandeep: The veiwers are getting tired, so we will get to see some improvment I guess.

jeseem: That was a sweet thing to say :) People have so mnay chanels to choose from, so TV watching may not go out of fashion so soon.

ajith: lol first time I am hearing of a protest against a serial!! :))
btw congrats on clearing CAT :)

Nmouse said...

I like to think that as India is making its demographic transition, lagging behind by about 40-50 years, so too is the culture lagging by that much, behind where the English-speaking developed nations are now.

Expect to see more things like assembly-line-manufactured pop-groups, 'dumbing down' of education standards (grades instead of marks and ranks), universal healthcare/welfare access free at the point of delivery (like NHS, social securtiy), regional languages dying out (like Welsh) in favour of Hindi or English, and so on..

So this is just another aspect of the cultural shift accompanying the transition towards the English-speaking world.

Sughosh Varadarajan said...

So true! I never thought I would yearn for the Low Budget 80s DD look! :D

It's no small wonder that after a regular twenty minutes of furious channel-surfing at prime-time in an effort to find something suitably engaging to watch while I dig into dinner, I inevitably switch back to Tom and Jerry! :D