It's raining awards

Tuned in
Last Updated 23 February 2013, 19:08 IST

Bollywood award nights telecast on television this year is not only seeing a surfeit of star
parade, but also a spate of spicier star parody, writes Chetna Keer

It’s that time of the year when it simply starts raining awards. And that time of the year when the telly viewers’ eyeballs end up soaking tinsel town footage of who’s reigning at the awards. From surprise winners to on-the-rise script spinners, from certain hosts (who’re certain to take digs at Bollywood bigwigs) to uncertain guests (who can never be too certain of when they will be the butt of jokes), the telly viewer can’t ask for greater entertainment quotient than a parody-packed, lachrymose-laden and item dance-punctuated awards show script.

In award shows that see as many gate crashers as gait-crashers (the well-heeled glitterati whose high heels stand in the way of the straight gait), as many spoofs as wardrobe malfunction proofs, as many heroes as multiplying prize budget zeroes, the only villain standing in the way of non-stop small-screen entertainment being dished out for the confirmed couch potatoes is that dreaded devil of a refrain: Break ke Baad. Blame it on sponsor Kamala Pasand. Or Idea, whose time has come.

Awards spell surprises

At an awards nite, just when the cameras are panning the tense faces of the frontrunners — some artificially-augmented nominee lips pursed, some bauble-bedecked nominee hands clutching the clutch in anticipation of a designer trot up the dais — there comes the surprise announcement of the dark horse taking the trophy. This sees the jaws of the defeated nominees dropping. Some star nites saw not the nominee jaws, but the hosting hunks dropping. One such prostration for push-ups came, courtesy hosts Ayushmann Khurrana and Riteish Deshmukh (Celebrity Cricket League 3 Glam Night).

Trophy nites on telly this season have surely moved towards reinvention and repackaging Shock, Mock and Apparel.

Gone are the golden days of a few golden trophies, from the National Awards to the select Filmfare or Stardust Awards, now there are as many prizes as cine glossies, as many trophy nites as television channels. There’s an award for every season, for every reason. For every ravivaar, for every Star parivaar. For every sponsor worth its salt or worth its commercial halt!

In the TRP-driven telly-scape, there’s not only a scramble to entice eyeballs with star-studded award shows, but also with a slew of screen categories with fancy never-heard-before nomenclatures. The telly viewers are so spoilt for choice that by the time they have familiarised themselves with the prize catches on the catalogue, there’s more on the menu — in the shape of ‘Hottest film producer’, ‘Hottest new filmmaker’, ‘Dream director’, ‘Superstar of tomorrow’, ‘Breakthrough supporting performance’, ‘Trendsetter of the year’ and all such reinvented titles. Award categories these days outnumber the award-aspiring stars on the red carpet. Gone is the time when you could count the categories on your fingers, now they far outnumber the rings on Ekta Kapoor’s fingers.

Season of spoofs

If the 2013 award season on the telly has been springing surprises as much as prizes, it’s also been staging a slew of self-spoofs. That TRP-driven trophy nites thrive on star-bashing. That the award functions are the hottest venues for staging the famous Khan wars — King Khan directing digs at an absent Aamir Khan or cameras zeroing in on Salman Khan, when SRK serenades his rival’s ex-flame Katrina on stage — is also passé. The flavour of the season is self-spoofing.
The recent Colors Screen Awards saw the Badshah of Banter Shah Rukh taking potshots at who else but himself. And aiding him in making himself the butt of barbs was none other than his rumoured girlfriend Priyanka Chopra. This season is thus seeing the barbs being directed not at the bête noire, but at the Badshah himself, whether it was Priyanka’s poke about his spat with the security staff at Wankhede Stadium or about his public habit of smoking.

The self-spoofing trend certainly spells a breather from the pet potshots that punctuate the prize giving at every other award function. What better than for B-town biggies to become the butt of their own jokes at a time when regular show hosts seem to be running out of recycled Vicky Donor pokes (aimed at or aimed by Ayushmann), the Son of Sardar spin-offs (‘Pon-Pon’ parody at the Filmfare nite) or the staple Salman spoofs, à la SRK-Saif spouting ‘Jab Tak Hai Salman!”.

The spoofing also showcased another trend of the season: turning the awards stage into a confession box for controversies or a platform for putting the record straight. For, at the Colors Screen Awards, the telly audience was not only treated to SRK and Priyanka’s mutual leg pulling, but also sizzling serenading. The show saw the two not just coming out clean about their alleged link-up, with ‘Jungli Billi’ Priyanka addressing SRK as her ‘guru’, but also cocking a snook at controversy mongers. And what better way for the awards stage to consolidate its position as a platform for airing or acknowledging controversies, than by having these two rumoured love birds peck each other not only in front of the whole world’ but also before the Badshah’s better-half Gauri Khan.

As Season 2013 has sprung surprises in who’s the new butt of jokes, so has it spelt surprises in who’re the new hosting blokes. For, this year’s awards stage has ushered fresh host pairs in Abhishek Bachchan-Reteish Deshmukh (Zee Cine Awards 2013) and new kids on the block Varun Dhawan-Siddharth Malhotra (Max Stardust Awards). It also sees Salman Khan’s debut in awards anchoring making hosting history (Renault Star Guild Awards 2013), even as established anchors like Shah Rukh-Saif Ali (Idea Filmfare Awards) or Ayushmann-Shah Rukh (Colors Screen Awards 2013) carry on with their chemistry.

(Published 23 February 2013, 13:26 IST)

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