Foreign imported reality shows!

By Esther Cabral

The Television Industry in India is still evolving. At this stage, experimentation is the key to make the industry a huge success. The last decade has seen a sudden rise of interest in the audience for reality shows as opposed to the daily saas-bahu soap saga. This criterion puts a lot of pressure on producers to introduce new and innovative shows. To fulfill this, they succumb to following the formats of popular and successful foreign reality shows. In fact most of the reality shows aired these days have a foreign counter part.
Seriously does India really lack intellect or then are we so enamored by the West…cinema already has its share of being adapted or then plagiarizing scripts of foreign movies but now even television is following the suit, at least the former if not the latter. There are many reality shows in India like Kaun Banega Crorepati-Who wants to be a millionaire, Bigg Boss-Big Brother, Zor ka Jhatka-Wipeout, Kamzor Kadi Kaun-The Weakest link, Sach ka Saamna-The Moment of Truth etc just to name a few shows that have their Indian versions.
These shows have been adapted with similar rules; the only difference being apart from the obvious of the language is that the shows have a desi-effect in it. Inclusion of Hindi words and the desi tadka, for example, in one episode of MasterChef India the task was to prepare food in a local Dhabba which is unlike the all so sophisticated MasterChef Australia. So if a Bigg Boss is the copy of Big Brother where the latter telecasts bathroom scenes the former doesn’t, keeping the Indian audience in mind. Though shows like Kaun Banega Crorepati which is the same as Who Wants To Be a Millionaire or then Kya aap panchvi pass se tez hai i.e. Are you smarter than a fifth grader? follow the exact same format. Many shows are adapted with minor changes. Like the Swayamwar series on NDTV Imagine are on lines with The Bachelor and The Bachelorette telecasted on Star World.
Though there is an exception to this rule, few shows do introduce original scripts like the MTV Show Roadies and The Great Indian Laughter Challenge on Star One. These shows have had many successful seasons which makes it evident that originality prevails and can still make a mark. These are more original scripts and thus commendable for its success. Boogie Woogie on Sony an original idea still has its share of loyal fans.
There is no lack of idea but the sheer disinterest to come out with something different. This disinterested attitude to provide original formats in shows will make the audience highly critical and may they not be receptive to this at a point sooner or later. Let’s face it, in comparison the foreign version is still more fun and engaging.

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