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Gender Benders

The battle lines were drawn soon after the first season of Zara Nachke Dikha started airing on Star One.

Written by Jaskiran Kapoor |
July 12, 2010 4:10:00 am

Battle of the sexes is television’s new reality

The battle lines were drawn soon after the first season of Zara Nachke Dikha started airing on Star One. As the pack led by Bakhtiyaar Irani battled the dancing queens sashaying under Delnaaz Paul,viewers started betting on teams,with gender becoming the prime determinant of who would take which side. A year on,ZND is back,this time the teams led by Abhishek Awasthi and Rakhi Sawant respectively. With Colors,too,ready with Kitchen Champion — Munde Kudiyon Ki Jung starting July 12,the battle of the sexes seems to be the new trend in television programming.

“In Kitchen Champion,six male TV actors will take on six females,also TV actors. The women are all set to give the boys a run for their money,er curry,” says programming head,Color,Ashvini Yardi. It is a fun-filled concept,she says. “There are going to be twists and turns and of course,brilliant recipes,” adds Yardi. After romancing on screen,the men and women will wield rolling pins and saucepans to claim the crown of Kitchen Champion2. Hosted by Ronit Roy,the show will be judged by celebrity chef Gautam Maharishi. “The battle of the sexes has been talked about time immemorial,and we’re just using that concept on the small screen,” says Roy.

So why does this concept never end up being dated? “There is never going to be any real winner,despite all the fireworks,arguments and challenges. Men try to suppress women with the latter always putting up a fight,” says VJ,television host and actor Yudi as he recalls his days hosting Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao. “Towards the end,Iss Jungle too had turned into a man versus women thing. It was a woman,Mona Vasu who won for being able to keep her cool. Women will always win as men lose focus once the ego war starts,” he says. “The confrontation is irresistible,” he says,grinning.

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Nandish Sandhu,a contestant who plays Veer on Colors’ Uttaran,says,“We are partners and competitors and with women stepping out into the outside world,it’s time men get an equal opportunity to step into there’s,” he says. “I am ready for anything,whether it is cooking,cleaning,singing,dancing,baby-sitting or gardening,” he adds.

Alice Gurm,a public relations professional working in the television industry,feels that the concept is too restricted. “We are towing a middle class line. What are we trying to say through these shows? Singing,dancing,cooking— are these the only areas where men and women compete,” she asks. Office Office director Ashwini Dheer,too,feels capitalising on the gender divide is not a very good idea. “Replicating that concept on other channels is a disaster,a creative kill,” he adds.

Writer-director Vinta Nanda disagrees. “If you look at the idea from a social angle,it brings to the fore an equality factor. These are creative talent-based shows and talent has no gender. We claim to be at par with each other,so why not dive into this creative competition. Things are changing,television is a fair playground and instead of moaning about the differences,it’s time to appreciate them,” she signs off.

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