The leap-o-logy syndrome on Indian Television

The leap-o-logy syndrome on TV
Through his poem Seven Ages of Man, Shakespeare very efficiently dissected the human life into seven stages where childhood, youth and old age have been deftly described. But if the Bard had lived long to see this day when the Indian daily shows on TV are seen taking leaps, he might had just burnt the pages on which jotted those thoughts. Not kidding!!! TV shows, today, have surpassed all logic and have once again started treading on the ‘leap’ line. But is it right to leap so high? Well, we got talking to the experts in business to get into the nitty gritty of this funda of sequential jumps. As Saba Mumtaz, who has been a part of prominent shows like Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai (YRKKH) and Uttaran that have taken leaps, puts it, “Leaps gives a show a completely fresh look; it takes the story forward. As a writer, we cannot just give turns and turns on a specific subject, it obviously tends to get monotonous for us, the actors and importantly for the viewers.” The trend of leaps was started by czarina of TV, Ekta Kapoor way back in the early 2000s. We saw a series of leaps on shows like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi (KSBKBT), Kasauti Zindagi Ki (KZK), Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, Kasamh Se and then now in Kyaa Hua Tera Vaada, Parichay, Pavitra Rishta (PR) and Bade Acche Lagte Hain (BALH). Other shows which took the leap of faith in recent times are Phulwa, Rab Se Sona Ishq and Hitler Didi (HD). As producer Ila Bedi of Trilogy Krikos (HD) informs us, “Leaps definitely infuse more life to any show. And with leaps, we can actually experiment with so many things,-whether it’s the storyline or characters. It definitely brings more variety to the show.” Talking about new characters, actor Hiten Tejwani who has been a part of numerous leaps (KSBKBT, KZK and PR) says, “A leap gives a show a chance to bring in more characters and spice up their story line in the follow through. Of course, a story has to move on and it just cannot revolve around one character.” Observes actor Kapil Nirmal, “There’s nothing wrong in leaps. In fact, some shows are bound to take leaps, like Veera for instance (which is about to take a leap soon). It does bring more TRPs and excitement and as an actor I do not find anything wrong in it, but most definitely I would not like to stand as a pillar after a leap. Most of our shows are character-driven and if you are still a central part of the show post a leap, there is nothing to worry.” Kapil’s word definitely hints at Ram Kapoor who is still enjoying his stint playing the lead in BALH. The story, that depicted the romance of a couple in their 30s, has seen quick leaps in a short span. And yes, Ram still plays the lead. We wonder the reaction of the fans who get so attached to see their favourite actors as the young leads, to see them with grey hair all of a sudden. And with the viewers believing the characters to be real, there is always a fear of being typecast. As Ather Habib, who recently quit his popular show YRKKH avers, “It was really getting difficult for me to carry on playing a father on screen. I am young and I was slowly behaving like my character. So I can imagine what impact it must have had on my fans.” “Since in a movie, the characters are there in the mind for a couple of hours or even a day or week, but with shows, the same character hits on the viewers daily. I have done plays in which I had to essay the role of an aged man, but unlike serials, there is no worry of being tagged with an image there,” he maintains. Here Hiten interrupts, “I have been part of leaps and played father when I was new in the industry, but thankfully people know me as Hiten and not by any character name. I think newcomers do fear of being typecast, but as an actor I am secure and absolutely fine with playing any kind of roles that are offered to me.” To this Saba adds, “See, if a show is going great guns and the character is commendable, I do not think any actor will have a problem.” Internationally the trend of leaps are replaced by the much more logical seasons following the same talented producer Sudhir Sharma brought the style of seasons with his two very popular shows like Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha and The Buddy Project. As he tells us, “Since seasons give you a break to work on your storyline, it is better than leaps. And even though it is a new phenomenon, I am sure that it is going to take the shows by storm. It has been very successful with non-fiction shows like KBC or Bigg Boss and with 24 ready to roar, it will be a very positive change in our industry. They create a very positive hype and this works in favour of the shows.” “With our production, we have a pre-decided plan to go for seasons and thus it helps us give the best to the audience. The only challenge while making seasons is to not let the audience get confused with the new cast and I think we have been successful in doing that with our show,” he adds. Laughingly Ila adds, “I am really greedy and would want both seasons and leaps on my shows. And since any step is a collaborative decision of channels and production houses, I think it will totally depend on the circumstances.” There are also some who simply do not believe in leaps, and one such man is the brain behind the iconic Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chasmah (SAB TV), Asit Kumar Modi. In the fifth year of successfully making people laugh, the show is yet to take any leap. Asit says he doesn’t even have any such plans. “I am not insecure and have enough content to run my show for years without a leap. Shows fall for leaps when they have nothing to give, but with a genre like us, we can experiment with so many subjects. Comedy is difficult but we are working harder to entertain our audiences,” he explains. Also some actors choose not to age making the makers to either opt for a closure (Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Hai) or just drag on and play around with the story (PR). Well, we are here not to judge for we are certain that the makers and the actors very well know what works for them and what not. Well, leaps or not, just keep the entertainment flowing!!!!!!
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Submitted by SanaFarzeen on Sat, 09/28/2013 - 15:10

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