Sunday, September 16, 2007

Emotions or hysteria?

The Indian Idol mania seems to have gripped most regional TV channels. I saw another version of the same with Shaan as anchor. This time the participants were kids. Towards the end of the program a kid was eliminated. The kid took the elimination quite gamely. Then to my horror, one of the judges, a female playback singer volunteered to sing a farewell song for the kid who was eliminated. I couldn’t believe that someone would something so foolish!! But it was real and happening! She stared singing a mournful farewell song and the kids face crumpled and she started sobbing.

Shaan looked like he wanted to slap the lady himself, but being the gracious anchor he is consoled the child. Soon other participants were also crying and so were the kids parents. It was mayhem and left me boiling. The playback singer kept singing totally in love with her voice and the show deteriorated to mass hysteria.

If I was the kid’s parent or guardian I would have stepped in and stopped the lady from abusing the kid. Yes, this was abuse…this was emotional abuse of a kid!!! And the lady should be arrested for the same!!! And what was pathetic was that not a mention of this was made in any papers or news channel!

I saw a similar episode on a Malayalam channel with Usha Uthup as one of the judges. Even this lady couldn’t control her emotions when a contestant was eliminated. What are you trying to say? That "I am helpless because the cruel SMS’ing public is so clueless"??? What message does this give out? That life sucks?

It is high time someone puts in checks and balances to reality shows. Emotions are natural but if whipped up can have disastrous consequences. Will it take the suicide of a contestant for people to wake up? And wake up they will and ask for a ban on reality shows!!! After all we cannot expect a public that watches these shows to make rational decisions!

Winning and losing is not the only element of the game. There is something else called “taking defeat gamely” too! And it is this vital element that is missing from most of these shows.

p.s Do check out this post on reality shows in the Philippines.


J said...

I fail to wonder why people line up to participate in such stupid shows in the first place.

I think the blame squarely lies on the participants as well.

Neihal said...

oh I am so with you on this. Somebody please stop this crap....

~==[[[ Abhi ]]]==~ said...

Its always the same bullcrap dished out in the same way in every channel! It started with Indian Idol and back then it had some sense in it. Aft it was a success all the channels want to have a share of the pie and now its ruined beyond repair. In malyalam too ths is the case, we see judges crying over contestants gettin out and at times prejudiced judges knocking out gud ppl!

I just wish to go to the days when only 2 shows exist as REALITY shows in tv:
1-Amazing Race(js coz we get to see a lotta nice places, and the chicks aren't that bad)
2-Gr8 Indian Laughter challenge(nt for the contestants, bt for siddhu's pranks)

Abhay said...

saw one of these shows today, some guy dint get votes coz apparently, the net was down in many places for one day. so the public started to protest, shout slogans when this guy got eliminated and all this was telecasted ! where and when will this end? they're sensationalizing a simple singing competition...wat happened to the good old 'sa re ga ma' days(it was called 'sargam' back then) :(

Pradeep said...

I have caught glimpses of these channels on TV, but never really followed them. Whatever be it, I just know there is a huge following for them!

Rockus said...

Spot on!
A cousin of mine works in the production of one the malayalam reality shows. He told about a girl who spent nearly 80k for sms ing vote for herself! From her point of the gamble is well worth it, when the prize money is extremely high. For the record, she lost in the finals and the winner was not the best of the lot to be frank. May be he spent more on the sms!
These shows does showcase the talent, but most of the times the histrionics are a little too much to bear!

Alexis said...

What you said is very true. The idea of having the contest for college kids is fine. But for kids it is more that they can handle. Why people can let the kids be kids and let them enjoy their childhood without any pressure to compete and win. Check out this post about Junior Star Singer at Jo's site:

ap said...

Its just as pathetic as those tear jerker serials!!!

But one thing needs to be said these participants (well most of em) are talented :)

silverine said...

J: I think it is the lure of lucre!

neihal: Somebody has to stop it before something really bad happens.

Abhi:I think the judges are influenced by the American Idol judges. They dont realize that it is not in our culture to behave thus. And Amazing Race is one of my favs too :)

abhay: What is really disquieting is the camera capturing these scenes of violent protests. In their quest to show the popularity of their program, they are giving anti social elements visibility.

Pradeep: There is a lot at stake. Money, fame, name. No wonder they draw large crowds.

rockus: That is unbelievable!!!

Alex: Thanks for the link. What an awesome post!!

AP: Even I am amazed at the talents these shows unearth :)

mathew said...

so relevant a post..
unfortunately most television viewers dont think beyond the instant hysteria it generates..most people love it sadly..

Btw reality shows in MTV abroad makes our MTV looks like plain bhajan channels... ;-P

Fleiger said...

Oh well, what will attract more viewers? A sporting loser or a person who thinks he has lost everything and then some when he is eliminated?

If families are involved, more the better...

Somya said...

Well you haven't seen the worst of all.."Sa re ga ma pa" where Himesh Reshammiya behaves in such a disgusting manner that u really feel like sending him howlers...he doesn't stop yakking abt the personal lives of the contestants...who asked him to play the matchmaker and to add to that he talks so much that you feel like giving him nice punch..last time when one of the guy's from his team was ousted, he made all the efforts to make the other guy who survived, feel guilty about that despite the fact he was a better singer.

TheDawg said...

AAAUGH ! What happened to the quiz times and the interviews and the debates and stuff ? And why are kids being subjected to this ? why aren't they allowed to be normal and just go out , play football and make belief things ? As an aside , when i go to a book shop these days i don't find many Malayalam writers ( i am talking about the book shop which sells only Malayalam books ), apart from the departed giants of the past and people who started writing about 20 years ago. I don't watch anything on tv except commercials and cinemas nowadays. May be i am the one on the wrong side ?

silverine said...

mathew: Would like to see those MTV shows ;) And the way these shows are being replaced looks like they are loosing their sheen :)

fleiger: Spot on!

somya: Disgusting!!

thedawg: That is really sad!! Malayalam literature doesnt have any writers now? :(

Do check out the link Alexis has left. Eye opener!

TheDawg said...

no not like that . there are , but not as many and not as prolific as there were.

Anonymous said...

Singer Chinmayi had wrote her own anecdotes about one of these shows she compered. According to her, the parents were the biggest problem. No one knew what they were going to do or say on camera, and the crew could only watch them go on with their antics.

Coming to this whole reality show issue, it really isn't a good idea to have a show such as this for kids. We all know that the parents of these children are giving them more pressure to win because of the money. Frankly, I think kids had better talent and worship for music in the earlier days when the prize money wasn't the goal.


pophabhi said...

Pathetic, Silver. Its so pathetic. Come 7 pm, instead of serials its now more realistic melodrama in the name of reality shows thats hovering over the TV sets. Pathetic emotional blackmailing to the participants. Cheap sentiments all over. Drama....its cheap drama.

Saw a bit of standard in the 'Best Actor' Program tho, which was surprisingly good :)