“2020 ke boredom ka hoga knock out,” read the posters of Bigg Boss 14. The Salman Khan-hosted show promised to break the gloom that has pervaded the year 2020. It promised novelty by introducing BB Mall, Spa and Theatre. We, the ardent fans of the show, tired of our mundane lives, expected to enjoy the shenanigans of Bigg Boss house. Alas! It has all been a disappointment. At least so far.
The tone of the show was set from the premiere episode, which had a tiring run of over 3.5 hours. From Salman Khan’s uninteresting, repeated hosting antics, stretched segments of Toofani seniors (Sidharth Shukla, Hina Khan, Gauahar Khan) testing the newbies, to contestants trying to validate their entry in the most popular reality show, it all felt tiresome. The only reason I thought of giving this season of Bigg Boss a chance was an interesting mix of contestants which included singers, actors and reality show contestants. But a month into it, I’m already fed up with the repetitive nature of the show.
It’s the same old story: contestants trying to pick a beef with each other because it makes for more dramatic television. Nikki Tamboli, an actor by profession, seems to have mugged up the previous 13 seasons, and instead of showing elements of her personality, is mirroring character traits of contestants from the past. She’s a smarter version of a chirpy and bubbly Shehnaaz Gill. Same goes for television’s popular name Eijaz Khan, who is a version of Sidharth Shukla sans fun. Jaan Kumar Sanu has from the beginning realised his best chances of being seen are when he is around Tamboli.
Everyone’s game plans in the Big Boss 14 house seem pretty transparent and overdone, so nothing new is coming out in the daily hour-and-a-half episode. What is shown in one episode can be summed up in five-minute clips without missing much. The show also has those regular tasks (especially the endurance task) and twists, like double-eviction, wild card entries, which have become so commonplace that they could be considered Bigg Boss ‘traditions’.
If on one hand, we have Nikki Tamboli, Jaan Kumar Sanu, Eijaz Khan and Pavitra Punia, who seem to have followed the same guidebook on ‘how to win Bigg Boss,’ there are housemates like Rubina Dilaik, Abhinav Shukla, and Jasmin Bhasin, who have little to no knowledge of the show. Isn’t it unfair to expect fans to invest their time in contestants who don’t seem to have their heart in the game?
However, amid the gloomy first month, what came as a breath of fresh air was a transformed Salman Khan — a calmer, composed and unbiased host. For the first time in many years, Khan scolded and encouraged contestants in equal measure, without being partial towards his ‘favourites’. The best episodes of Bigg Boss 14 have been the Weekend Ka Vaar episodes, where we got to witness a happy-go-lucky Khan.
But the makers can’t expect Khan to shoulder the show. As the season enters its second month, the creators of Bigg Boss need to revisit what made the show popular in the first place: the fact that it is a social experiment where viewers get to witness their favourite celebrities react organically to situations rather than giving those manufactured reactions.
The show premiered with the theme “Ab scene paltega.” I am left wondering, “Scene Kab paltega?”
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