Breaking new ground
DC | Lipika varma | May 10, 2015, 00.05 am IST
A still from Reporters
Gone are the days when characters just walked around in business suits but TV audience never knew what work they did. There are a host of shows these days that break away from the comfort of saas-bahu sagas and portray life a bit more realistically. For example, Reporters focuses on the electronic media, Gulmohar Grand takes a look at the lives of those working in the hospitality sector (5-star hotels), Zindagi Wins focuses on hospital staff while another show, Manmarziyan, takes a look at the advertising industry.
Actor Gaurav Chopra from Gulmohar Grand is glad that shows are finally focusing on the professional aspect of characters, which had been ignored for a long time now in daily soaps.
“I think it’s a great trend, to digress from the shows that are currently shown on television. In the family dramas we hardly focus on where men and women work. There is no focus on the work environment. In real life, work is the crux of anybody’s life. It’s a great move to focus on the hotel industry and create a different ambience for our viewers who want to watch differentiated content. The audience gets to see new fresh content and see characters in a new and dynamic role away from the regular soapy drama of other fiction shows. I play the character of Aniruddh Dutt in Gulmohar Grand who is the general manager of the hotel.
“When I was narrated this role, the first person that came to my mind was my father because of his demeanor; as in real life, he is close to my on-screen character. As this show is based on the hotel industry, I frequently visited a 5-star hotel to see how the staff behave to my character more real.”
While the TV industry is enthusiastic about the trend, it also comes with the responsibility of maintaining authenticity, says producer Sudhir Sharma.
“It’s a new trend so you cannot go wrong on authenticity. Our production and creative team stayed in a hotel for a week to understand closely the minute details of the hotel industry. Also we have organised few sessions with top hotel management employees from various departments to educate our team on all minor nuances, so we don’t go wrong on our preparation. Also, Gulmohar Grand is shot at a real location to give that much-required authenticity.”
Zindagi Wins producer Siddharth Malhotra agrees on the reality factor and says the show has a panel of doctors on board to regulate content. “Hailing from a doctor’s family, I always felt that a story on their lives would have universal appeal amongst the audiences. We even have a panel of doctors on the show to guide us.
“I feel the trend has always been in the industry but now it is more about the content and character and the way in which you communicate the story that appeals to the viewers.
“These are new catalysts that aim to create something different, break the monotony on small screen and bring freshness, which I think can be done only through youth-based channels,” says Siddharth.
Actor Shravan Reddy from Manmarziyan says that though saas-bahu shows have their audience, the new concepts, if executed well, would have their own fan following.
“Evolving and changing is the only constant thing in life. Saas-bahu shows will serve their own audience and these new concept shows, if executed well, will bring new audiences to Indian TV. Learning the commonly used jargons in the ad-world is a basic thing but I also watched Mad Men. Even though it’s based in the 1960s, I watched it for a peek into the minds of the ad makers.”An actor known for his off beat choices, Rajeev Khandelwal, who plays an editor on Reporters, also feels that the saas-bahu audience may take some time to accept the new content, but is willing to wait.Rajeev says, “I don’t want to compromise on my work, I want to be part of projects that break new ground. The saas-bahu audience may take some time to accept our show but that is because of lack of new content on small screen.”Link- http://www.deccanchronicle.com/150510/commentary-sunday-chronicle/article/breaking-new-ground