I have a confession to make. When Bigg Boss Tamil began in 2017, I was not pleased by its voyeuristic format. However, by the end of season one, I became addicted to the reality TV show.
Tracking how each contestant evolves as a character and judging them every day is a guilty pleasure now. The lack of well-written original shows in the regional television space was a reason why I was drawn to Bigg Boss Tamil. And more importantly, I enjoyed show host Kamal Haasan’s weekend episodes. In the first season, he, sort of, mirrored my emotions and opinions about the contestants.
It seemed Kamal followed the show like millions of other viewers every day. He noted each and every small flaw in the contestants and addressed them at length. He asked pointed questions, often calling out contestants’ bluff and debated with everyone on various issues, which led to satisfying conclusions at the end of each week.
The well-prepared and determined Kamal Haasan is largely missing in the ongoing second season of Bigg Boss Tamil. As an audience, I feel disconnected from him. It feels the only reason he ever comes to the show is to continue his subliminal campaign for the upcoming state elections. He is so focused on seeking votes, that he seems least interested to discuss the major controversies that happen in the house.
His recent weekend episodes were a damp squib. Sunday’s episode was the lowest point of the season so far.
Last week, the dramatic tension on the show reached a crescendo. The anger issues of Mahat Raghavendra and Aishwarya Dutta were on full display in the house as they joined forces to take down Mumtaz. They both accused Mumtaz of exploiting the feelings of other housemates to progress on the show. There was a lot of confusion among the housemates about Mumtaz even as many seem to buy into the theory that was propelled by Mahat and Aishwarya.
In a fit of anger, Mahat disrescpected Mumtaz. It was anticipated that Kamal would address the issue in detail during his episodes. However, on Saturday, he restricted himself to asking a few sarcasm-laden questions to the contestants. And, on Sunday’s episode, he hardly spoke, apart from looking underprepared to tackle the contestants.
Since the second season went on air, he has just one thing to say every week: housemates are not being real enough. All Kamal and the show producers want is to ‘un-fake’ the contestants.
Kamal has an obligation to the audience to give them some resolution about the issues that dominate the viewers’ pop culture discussion the entire week. He cannot undermine his responsibility as the Bigg Boss Tamil host, to serve his political aspirations. It’s unfair to swap entertainment for sending out political messages. As much as we enjoy and welcome his sarcastic remark in reference to the developments in the country’s politics, we also want him to genuinely discuss the show and try to give the audience some closure.
Yes, I get it. Kamal has bigger fishes to fry now and he may feel it is below his pay-grade to sort out ego-clashes of the housemates. But, hey, he has to remember that’s what he signed up for.