Indian TV becomes ‘regressive’, but there’s a reason for that, and its this

There are many who’re disappointed to see regressive saas-bahu sagas on Indian television, and wonder how Indian TV shows were so progressive even 20 years back, and why it is so difficult to produce quality content nowadays. Here are some answers to that question.

This article on scoopwhoop talks about how ‘dumb’ television has become in recent times. But a closer look will reveal, that its not just limited to television.

  • India produces close to thousand movies per year. How many are worth remembering? Perhaps 10!!!
  • If you talk to the top filmmakers in the world, what do you think will be their reaction towards Bollywood films? (they’re likely to have a different opinion of Indian cinema though)
  • What about Music? What is their shelf life? Its expected to create a buzz before the film, and once the movie is released, the music just fades away.

So I guess mediocrity is widespread (currently) in the entertainment industry?

Here are some more reasons why you see, what you see on TV.

More Viewing Options

Back in the 90s how many TV channels we had? Today there are so many TV channels, each competing for eye balls, which means more budget has to be allocated for marketing, and the entire thing becomes a risky proposition.

And that is where most channels play it safe by focusing on ‘Saas-Bahu’ and other family based dramas.

There are some good ones out there too…for instance Beyhadh where the woman is a CEO of a fashion company. That is progressive, but why not more of such programs? Again, its about business (what will make money) at the end of the day.

The audience also seem to be tolerating lot more crap – quantity over quality because it’s mindless entertainment

Milk Your Cash Cow

Production houses like Balaji (the pioneer of Saas-Bahu serials) see such content as cash-cows. These are likely to do well, come with minimum risks, and its easier to produce such content.

So they churn out more such serials.

And what do they do with the money generated?

Put it in other businesses such as making movies, which are risky but raises the profile/image of the production house.

Its Easier to Make Movies Nowadays

Not the big banner ones, but definitely the small budget types. While Television does attract good talent, many of them (especially the brighter minds) are busy trying to figure out how to get their ideas on the big screen.

And its easier nowadays to get your ideas in front of people who’re in a position to make movies (be it financiers or production heads).

Basically, creative people are getting impatient. Even if they go on to make one movie, for their next movie they want to work with a big ‘Khan’.

Daily Soaps Hinder Creativity, Impacts Quality of TV Content

Even though there’s a good demand for quality TV content, its not easy to produce great content on a regular basis. In fact, the need for daily content (for daily soaps) is driving the quality of content downwards.

Here are a couple of television actors who feel that TV shows has not developed and only regressed further in recent years.

Television actor Reena Kapoor, best known for her role of Rani Mittal in the show Wo Rehne Waali Mehlon Ki, feels the need to deliver content daily reduces creativity.

“Earlier, there were no daily shows and the scripts had depth. People used to focus on creativity instead of writing just about anything for the television show. I think the pressure of daily soaps has taken away the creativity, ” says Reena.

Ronit Roy, who is a big actor on Indian television (also does Bollywood films) says he is saddened by the current state of Indian television. Even Ronit feels Indian television has regressed in terms of content.

“Instead of progressiveness, we are going the opposite way. We are regressing. It’s a vicious cycle, but there is no one to blame. But we have to break the cycle sometime. We are at the lowest point of TV content right now. I think in the next year or so, we should be breaking out of the cycle, and we’ll see a lot of good work, quality and money like never before. I see a bigger, brighter and better future for TV,” says Ronit.

Well, it seems lot of television actors are not happy with the work offered to them. So ‘job satisfaction’ is relevant not just in the corporate life; even our TV actors long for the same.