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Friday, January 2, 2009

K soaps are best on TV, comparatively

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I don’t really watch TV. Thing is there is really nothing to watch for me on TV. Proliferation of channels has not resulted in proliferation of quality content. Lets see what’s on TV these days.

There are lots and lots of reality shows. As everyone knows reality is last thing they show. They cater to basic human instinct of humiliation and voyeurism and are vulgar, dramatic and unethical in their presentation. I am against these channels in principle and cannot tolerate artificial drama. The Truman Show (plot), The Condemned (plot) and Death Race (plot) are movies which I think depict very correctly the extent of evil these show perpetuate in society and to where we are heading unless stopped.

There are also many competitions and games which select talents for singing, dancing, humour, bravery, poetry, knowledge, etc. These are cousins of reality shows in the sense that they are overtly dramatical and focus least on talent but most on humiliation, public perception and charisma. Participants crying, fighting, slapping, and fawning are common — and one would suspect planted — occurrence. SMS voting in many of these shows have made them purely divisive and infantile.

There are also many of 24 hours news channels. What constitute news these days is not everyone’s cup of tea, least of all mine. Neither I am interested in celebrity gossip, nor in supernatural phenomenon, nor personal lives of others, nor in meaningless acts of many. Unless really emergency news happens, I get all my news from print or online newspaper. These channels dramatize and sensationalize news and blow issues out of proportion. Good old 30 minutes daily news of Doordarshan is best to know what really matters.

All of the above don’t respect intelligence of their viewers and that bugs me very much. What remains are sports, movies, music, and saas-bahu soap operas.

I am not into any sports except perhaps in cricket once in a blue moon or some really exciting Olympics events.

I do like movies but watching movies on TV is really uncomfortable since when you want to watch TV, movie may have already started. Furthermore, movies on TV have five minute long commercial breaks every fifteen minutes. Why do I tolerate all that when I can easily get/borrow/rent a DVD and watch movie on my computer at my convenience?

I love music videos too but I cannot handle incessant Hinglish immature-ish blabber of Disk Jokey. Compounding the pain is the fact that music videos are rarely shown in full and are shown often in irritating repeat mode. And commercial breaks are icing on the cake.

Saas-Bahu soaps are overtly unreal drama in their own right. For each 30 minute episode, only 20 minutes of content will be shown, rest being commercials. Of those 20 minutes, 2 minutes will show what happened in last episode, 2 minutes will show what to expect in next episode, and 15 minutes will be real story. Of those 15 minutes, flashbacks, frozen scenes, multiple zooms, thrice-repeat actions constitute half of screen time. Of my 30 minutes with TV, I see story worth 10 minutes because it has been overtly dramatized in the first place, and can be told in 5 minutes in tight editing. Even then, and it pains me to say this, these are least evil of all content on TV.

K soaps and perhaps occasional movie and music is what I can tolerate on TV, if I dare to sit and watch. Except of course, National Geographic, Discovery and History Channels which are gems in themselves. But not all stuff there is interesting either. Thus, I don’t really watch TV.
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