Face the Dread

The reality show is based on one of the basic human emotions — fear.

Written by Dipti Nagpaul D'souza | Published: July 27, 2012 1:50:13 am

Fear Less




What’s it about?

The reality show is based on one of the basic human emotions — fear,and the commonly-held theory that one can overcome fear only by confronting it. It invites people to face their biggest fear,such as fear of fire,water,heights and so on. The challenge comes in four levels or tasks that will gradually help the participant overcome it. However,the participant does not face these challenges alone — a group of friends help him or her through each task.

Who’s in it?

Regular youngsters from across the country,keen to battle their fear,registered for the show and were chosen based on their back stories. The first episode saw 20-year-old Jay Bhanushali brought onto the show by four friends. Bhanushali’s father died in a freak fire accident while trying to save him. Since then,he suffers from extreme pyrophobia. He is informed of his participation only during the first level. Designed to gauge his level of fear,Bhanushali is taken to a bar where the bartender prepares a flambé unannounced. Bhanushali recoils immediately,stepping back. At this stage,the show’s host,newbie Vinay Mitra,steps in and asks Bhanushali’s friends to help him face the flambé. Mitra seems effortless as he comforts,encourages and,more importantly,empathises with the participant. Film actors,such as Arjun Kapoor and Arunoday Singh,have been invited as special guests in the episodes so far.

What’s hot?

The adrenaline rush is assured as the participant progresses to higher levels. For example,the second level saw Bhanushali fight his instincts as he spent a minute sitting while fire raged around him. In the fourth level,he extinguished fire using a blanket and then rescued a friend from a house set on fire.

The show offers more than thrills to the people watching. It instantly connects with the viewers who suffer from these phobias. The participants are given constant encouragement as they graduate to higher levels and conquer their fear. Also,the show does not push the phobic to complete a task in order to graduate to the next level — the participant’s emotions are respected.

This is supplemented with humour that comes in form of the banter that the participant shares with his friends and this forms a chunk of the show. For instance,while talking about their concern for Bhanushali,his friend Pankaj Ajawani says that another common friend,Adrian Lobo,has been trying hard to help the former overcome his fear and so he smokes a whole packet of cigarettes in front of him.

What’s not?

The scenes when Bhanushali recounts the incident,which is the root of his fear or other such emotional scenes,are followed by melodramatic music and slow-motion visuals. This is done in order to tug at the viewers’ heartstrings,but it is quite unnecessary. The celebrity line-up is not needed either — the star of the episode was Bhanushali and Kapoor’s presence only diluted it.

Should you be watching it?

A quality production,Fear Less offers a mix of thrill and an insight into why friends play a large role in an individual’s life. The youth,the channel’s target audience,will find it engaging.

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