Telescope: A stop-over in Turkey

Moments of respite from Hindi soaps and American shows.

Written by Shailaja Bajpai | Published: May 18, 2017 12:00 am
Hindi soaps, american shows, american series, indian series, Total Dreamer, family drama, american TV, Karan Thapar, Maharaj Ranjit Singh , life OK, sony tv, sony HD 1, Chandra Nandini , indian express opinion, opinion, indian express DD is making a great effort towards affirmative action in so far as women characters are concerned. (Representational image)

Let us go places. In Total Dreamer (Zindagi), we visit South America in a Brazilian show where young Elisa (almost as in Doolittle and Pygmalion) leaves her provincial home to make something of herself — perhaps, more precisely, a model. Elisa leaves behind one unhappy family and a belligerent stepfather as she seeks a new life with a little help from Arthur.

We also visit Ukraine in Snow Drop (Zindagi) for a complex family drama of murder, love and revenge, especially between Nadya and her step-sister Irina and the love of their lives, Igor.

Of course, there is a customary stopover in Turkey with several serials still on air.

A Love Story (Zindagi) is only the latest in line of serials which have had great success with the Indian audience. It’s about a young Turk growing up in Germany and returning to Istanbul to discover his past.

Zindagi has offered viewers a respite from Hindi soaps and a change from American shows. All these shows are more realistic and less melodramatic than the ones in Hindi but essentially concern families and therefore, allow more identification than the American serials.

Speaking of American TV, it is a treat to watch talk shows such as Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (Star World) — and not only because of the fun they’re having with a president called Donald Trump. On Sunday, Colbert’s guests included most of those who have worked on another satirical programme, The Daily Show: Jon Stewart, Colbert, John Oliver, Samantha Bee. Why doesn’t some channel bring us Saturday Night Live and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, two of the most watchable and hilarious shows on American TV?

Back at home, there’s a new film talk show, Famously Filmfare (Colors Infinity) where we met a delightful Kareena Kapoor. She looked famously fabulous, hair nonchalant on one side of her head, a winsome smile and complete comfort before the camera. She spoke on many subjects with host Jitesh Pillai, including husband Saif Ali Khan, son Taimur, being a mother and wife, airport looks and, of course, the Khans.

DD National might be the next port of call on your travels. One reason to visit it would be the reruns of some of its classics: For
instance, Malgudi Days will be back by the end of the month. Currently, it has reached back to Gora by Rabindranath Tagore. There are strong female leads in Sucharita and Lolita to match the men, Gora and Binoy. Obviously, there is much more to the series about the clash of modernity with tradition in Bengal of the 19th century; so, do watch it for thoughtful, if rather laborious, time travel.

Wonder why the channel doesn’t binge-telecast its best archival material for those who are now accustomed to watching an entire series at one stretch?

DD is making a great effort towards affirmative action in so far as women characters are concerned. Each evening, there is a show
featuring strong female protagonists who fight all odds: Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon (about a young female doctor who returns to her home town) had a phenomenal viewership, and currently, shows like Krishnakali and Savitri Ek Kranti (DD Kisan) are celebrating female power.

For those with a taste for the historical, there are several shows on offer — and we are not speaking of the mythologicals. By the way, the next one in the latter segment will be Parmatma Sri Krishna soon on &TV. Shere-E-Punjab Maharaj Ranjit Singh (Life OK), Peshwa Bajirao (Sony HD1) and Chandra Nandini (Star Plus) really take you back in time. The first is resplendent with beautiful men in elegant turbans, beards and costumes and living in palaces straight out of Baahubali (well, almost). Lovely look to it.

Lastly, whatever happened to Karan Thapar on To The Point (India Today)? Why is he missing in action?

shailaja.bajpai@expressindia.com

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