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Thursday, February 25, 2021

True Life

True Life lets you peek into this hidden aspect of society in far more detail and depth.

Written by Priyanko Sarkar | Mumbai |
April 22, 2011 8:20:14 pm

Seen on: Saturday,7.00 pm,MTV

Voyuerism is a certified hit on Indian television. The massive success of Bigg Boss on Colors is ample testimony of this fact. Now,MTV has brought one of its most popular shows to India called True Life.

The show is shot in a docu-reality format and is part of a series of new programmes under MTV’s latest campaign Stay Raw. It tracks the life of the youth in India with special emphasis on the quirky and hidden lives that some of them live and enjoy.

The show recorded ten seasons and has won many awards like the Emmy,Image award and GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary among others on its home network where it has been running since 1998. For Indian audiences,who have occasionally glimpsed into the other-world of sex,drugs,body-building,male strippers,call girls and other such elements of society through newspaper reports,True Life lets you peek into this hidden aspect of society in far more detail and depth.

The first episode of the show,for example,featured a male stripper who calls himself Zak. Hidden in the shadows,he begins by saying that he is one of the many strugglers working his way into the Hindi film industry during the day. At night though,he transforms into a sex-and-dance machine for girls who are throwing bachelor parties with their girlfriends. He does this once a week where every item of clothing has a price before it comes off. It earns him close to a lakh every month.

You learn that girls these days are uninhibited in more ways than one. He says that he tries but eventually “gets close” to a few of them. He had an AIDS scare some time ago and regularly goes for check-ups. The episode gets into mush mode while describing his girlfriend,her attitude to his night profession and their break-up. Sad songs from movies like Zeher play in between dialogues from Zak,interrupting the flow in between. Thankfully,the serial gets into present mode wherein he details a few tricks of the profession and tells the camera how he prepares before his job for the night begins.

At the end of it all,you emerge with a better perspective of the male stripping profession,you know that it’s fun but also potentially dangerous for the man involved,you understand the changing social culture where women are free to book any private place and indulge in carnal sin and most of all,you know it’s all true because it cannot be any other way. MTV does a fantastic job of recreating the moments that Zak describes,keeps him hidden from view long enough for you to recognise if you see him quickly on the street and adds great production value to the entire episode to keep the viewer interested.

Fellow youth,social commentators,advertising blokes and even male strippers,for the opening episode at least,can benefit from this show. The next episode is about a body-builder who injects steroids instead of proteins to look like Hrithik Roshan,with disastrous consequences: A show finally worth waiting for till Saturday.

Verdict: ****

An interesting concept developed nicely with great production values. Watch it now.

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