Tuesday, May 13, 2008

tv is stupid, part #3507882347

I was flipping channels the other day, as you tend to do when you're unemployed and have finished making lunch, and arrived at Star World just in time to hear a voiceover describe a programme as, "the hot new show about a group of thirty-somethings whose lives don't go according to plan."

Wagle ki Duniya is a legend in Indian TV programming because a) it was on DD in the days before cable and we were all forced to watch it because there was nothing else, and even if we wanted to boycott the telly and go out and chat with the neighbours instead we couldn't, since they would be watching Wagle ki Duniya, and b) because it struck a chord with common folks. Wagle lived in the comforting, slighty grimy tedium of India's pre-globalised middle class, as did most folks who owned a television back in the late eighties. We could identify.

It's easy to walk into a restaurant in Bandra these days and imagine that the gap between the kids on Star World and the kids at the table next to yours is not that wide. They're even prettier than we used to be when we were their age.

So is it that things haven't changed one whit since those hoary old days of state-channelled entertainment? What are we looking at, essentially, when we look at people whose lives "don't go according to plan"? Wagle in designer threads, right? And as with all comedy, we would only be watching it to laugh at the nimrods who apparently assumed otherwise. Enjoy your stay on the planet.

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3 comments:

  1. "Wagle ki Duniya" ... rem bomkesh bakshi ??? Indian TV channels are unbearable ... Somehow I find diff to relate.

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  2. I remember "Wagle Ki Duniya" but things are still the same in most towns in India, just that mumbai, delhi, bangalore, hyderabad have become cosmos. But still when i go to hometown people can identify with Wagle, I dont remember it much though since it was way way back.

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  3. I used to like "Wagle ki duniya", it was one of the better shows back then. I wonder how I would react to it if I saw it now..

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