I rarely watch TV because I get most of my entertainment from the internet. But sometimes I’m forced into situations where I have to watch whatever my family members are watching. I have never enjoyed any Indian TV serial, at least not what my family watches.
That got me thinking. Why would anyone want to waste their whole evening on these repetitive, boring, uncreative, same old pieces of craps disguised as a TV show? Ask anyone who has seen an American TV show and they will say the same thing.
The first question I asked my mom was “what do you see in these serials?” That got the weirdest of look ever. Her expression was part anger, part confusion and a whole lot of “you can’t ask such type of questions to people!” I understood that this was a dangerous territory and backed off.
Now more confused than curious I started to ask these questions in my friends circle and, not surprisingly, even they don’t understand anything about this. I did a little further digging with my cousins and got something in the lines of “because everybody else watches them.”
This was it! The key to the Indian mentality was in this statement. So after a little thinking and a little more asking, this is what I have discovered.
(Disclaimer: This is in no way an assessment of every single person. This is a wide generalization on the basis of my experience and reasoning.)
Indian viewers do not like New
If you’re an exception in the general society, you know what I’m talking about. The majority of the Indian population does not like to explore. They do not trust anyone that is in any way different than them. If you don’t fit the mold, you are the devil. This is by far the most prominent belief in, at least, the older generations. This has unfortunately been absorbed by the younger generation.
Observe how every new show is just a new twist to the old ones. Radical ideas do not take hold here. I tried to suggest a few shows to a not-so-close friend and he just brushed it off as too “Vulgar” because it had a few scenes with kisses. ‘The plot doesn’t matter, the acting doesn’t matter, the camera work doesn’t matter; It’s got a few kiss scenes so I wouldn’t watch it. That’s something that I have never seen and that is something that I will never ever see’.
This is the primary line of thinking behind the success of these TV serials. People will watch the same old crap and producers are more than happy to supply it. The writers keep recycling old plots and the viewers will keep gobbling it without much thought. Or maybe they don’t like content that provokes thought. Hmm…
It gives them something to talk about
Listen in on the conversations your mom and her friends have. If they are not talking about your relatives and neighbors then they are talking about TV serials. Now imagine if everyone was not watching the same serials of had any idea about what the others are talking about. There wouldn’t be any conversations.
Combine this with their repulsion of the New and you have crickets chirping where there would have been an orchestra of gossip. They have to watch what everybody is watching. How will they socialize if it weren’t for everyone watching everything that everyone watches?
Sounds weird? Of course! Because it is weird. I could never wrap my head around how someone can go for days, even years without experiencing something new. I don’t understand why they would block out everything new. Sure, there is a risk of a show not turning out to be a great experience but that shouldn’t stop you from exploring new shows and themes. How can you give up a chance to experience something awesome just because a few bad experiences?