Candid confessions

Candid confessions

The year ends and if you are a couch potato that gets his or her thrills from moving fingers over the television remote while prone in a lying position, odds are you are on the verge of a mental collapse. Television programme producers fed us such utter nonsense in 2011 that our brain cells are dying.

The few of us who still have some last remnants of sensibility left are being gently ushered to comatose state by a simpering, tongue-clicking Simi Garewal. The lady easily walks away with the crown for being the most irritating television host ever. Amongst her various talents lie appearing on camera with zero research, stretching a two minute interview to whatever hours of time is allotted between advertisements, repeatedly bringing on guests who behave like retards and feeding us stuff that we already know from reading intellectually stimulating literature like Filmy Kaliyan and Stardust.
Karan Johar with his “hey, look at me. I’m so pretty and I know the pet names and secret stories of all the Bollywood stars” comes a breathless second.

So here goes, folks. Here is an incomplete (there isn’t space enough to do them all) list of things and people we would like to see less of, or preferably not at all, in the year 2012.
Karan Johar: Spare us your designer dresses, your saccharine smile, your rolling eyes, your Bollywood dosts, your couch and your coffee, Mr Johar. No, we don’t want to know if you or your guests swing one or both ways. We don’t even want to see you in Nescafe advertisements in the commercial break. And if you want to know why, how many times will we hear those same old stories again from the same old people. In fact, we have actually gotten old watching them. And part of our peeve is that they still look the same — surgically perfect — while we are getting buried in crow’s feet and piles of wrinkles. Go away and make some movies and preferably release them in Afghanistan or Kazakhstan or some other geographical location where we don’t have to watch them either. We are sick of having beautifully dressed, pukishly perfect people thrust in our faces.

Simi Garewal: Simi, Simi, SIMI! Even if your hearing is no longer what it used to be 70 or so years back, hope you heard that. It is time to retire. You can’t keep inflicting yourself on us, our grandparents and our grandkids for centuries just because you are blessed with an agelessness that fits better with the vampires of the Twilight series. If we want to watch a sniffling, hand-holding, chat-show host who likes playing psychiatrist to her guests, we’ll watch Oprah. Don’t take that personally because we don’t want to watch her either. If we have to watch an hour-long interview where you are only telling us how wonderful the person sitting next to you is, we’ll come home. So please spare us the white dresses, the polished accent, the emotional atyachaar. And a parting word of advice to you — get real. At least you should know who is inside that one inch makeup and bad hair. We are not interested.

Film promotions: Scary television memories of 2011 include Vidya Balan shaking her bust and more to Oo la la in Bade Acche Lagte Hain, Katrina slapping Imran in the middle of Kaun Banega Crorepati, and John and Akshay showing their muscles and dance moves in the Big Boss house. Film stars belong in cinema halls, not in our bedrooms. TV programme producers as well as their brethren who produce films need to know that when we are watching a television programme, a reality show or a soap (however bad), it is a matter of personal choice. We want to watch that and not some film star doing his or her gig from a soon-to-be-released film. So spare us the new release promotions, spare us the film stars, and spare us the pelvic gyrations. If you want to advertise your film, buy commercial time and let it air during the break between episodes, so that we too can take a break and miss them altogether.

In-your-face newsreaders: Would Barkha Dutt, Arnab, Rajdeep, Sagarika and the rest of their ageing pals on TV please, please unplug their laptops and retire? Or, do some behind-the-screen work and let some fresh faces get in front of the camera instead. We have overdosed on your earnestness, your will to do social good, your analyses, your sneering at politicians, and your carefully dumbed down designer clothes.  Go away, do some research and send us some new talent in your place. We’ve had enough of you.
Reruns of imported shows:  Please spare us late night reruns of rubbish reality shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. We have enough of that being churned out at home. Will the guys who brought us retarded rubbish like Emotional Atyachaar and Dare to Date stand up and show their faces.

Regressive serials: No! Don’t show us any soap that has a title that goes beyond three words – Radha ki betiyan kuch kar dikhayengi, Man ki awaaz Pratigya; Sautan ki Beti, Aankh ka aansu, Ghar aayegi meri Lado ek din and similar nonsense. Also, spare us female characters who dress in red/pink/orange saris and sindoor and male ones who let their stubbles and eyebrows do the acting. All right, this reviewer might have made up some of those names, but even if on an assignment, she absolutely refuses to watch any such mindless shows that are being dished out to television viewers night after night, reducing them to brainless masses of quivering jelly. Stop before average television viewers get so agitated that they start burning down television production houses and stoning people who are being passed off as actors.

And finally, some last words on what we would like to see on Indian television. What we desperately need to see are some good documentaries on travel, people and food, on the lines of Food Safari. India is a documentary maker’s paradise, exploit it. Bring some humour. SAB TV is going in somewhat the right direction. Give us stuff that stimulates the mind and spare us the torture. Hope it’s a happy new year for television audiences.  And now, if you excuse me, I need to get a handkerchief to clean the froth off my mouth and do some deep breathing exercises.

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