Why History TV is my new favorite channel & what shows I like on it?

Well I must say I was compelled to write this post! Yea, this is my job too.. but then who has the time to praise a TV channel and write a whole blog post on it :-)!

But History TV 18 is different and fresh and exciting enough to make me fall in love with it. The day it started, it caught my attention. It had powerful dubbing (I watch it in Hindi) and Salman as a brand ambassador created good hype. Theme music is awesome too!

Here is how I felt in love with this channel-

  • America- The story of the US: When I first saw the trailer of this show, I was surprised that no one has ever told me the history of World’s most popular and powerful country. I was excited to know more about US and the show didn’t disappoint me at all. It was a series of I guess 12-15 episodes (BTW it’s still being aired on TV, you can set reminders on iDubba website) but the story was really engaging. Again dubbing was flawless. Here is more about the show from channel website- AMERICA THE STORY OF THE US tells the extraordinary story of how America was invented, leading from the frontier to 21st Century cities, from the Mississippi to the moon, from colonial Jamestown to 9/11 up to present day. From the rigors of linking the continent by transcontinental roads and railways, to triumphing over vertical space with steel skyscrapers and space travel, the series examines how technology overcame the environment
  • Targeting Bin Laden: A meticulously made documentary which closely depicted killing of Osama Bin Laden by American Navy’s SEAL Team 6. The show was gripping, akin to a blockbuster Hollywood action Movie. It was a 2 hour show but was very informative unlike other attempts to catch the same event by other channels
  • Extreme Trains: I like this show because it makes me curious to know more about how Trains and railway system works. It also gives a feeling of taking the journey of beautiful landscapes alongside best locations of USA. The energy and passion of host Matt Bown is super, and his love for trains is apparent from his presentation
  • Food Tech: Bobby Bognar looks one hell of a Foodie. There are numerous food shows telling us about the preparation and stuff…but nothing like this. This show specifically tells us about the technology which goes behind processing, manufacturing or even packing the food. I personally love the way Bobby puts anything in his mouth and gulps it 😉
  • Pawn Stars: This must be one of the funniest series on TV today. More than their job it’s the clashes among father, son, grandpa which are hilarious. For e.g. one day Grandpa says “Ye tum log kitni gaali dete ho a**h**** (beeped off-course). Aaj se haar gaali pe 1$ fine bharna padega” Interestingly the box for collecting fine gets filled with dollar notes in first half of the day. LOL...This family lives and breathes the pawning business, using their sharp-eyed skills to carefully assess the value of items their colorful customers bring in, objects ranging from the obscure to the truly historic
  • Recently loving Heavy Haulers: Seriously speaking I never knew such a company ever existed or such things were ever POSSIBLE!! Man, shifting house in our country means we shift taking our luggage, but how can this company literally SHIFT A HOUSE? or a CHURCH or any darn BUILDING??? You must see it to believe it! (set reminders on iDubba now)
  • Recently loving Invention Intervention: Americans are MAD! No I mean it!! You can never guess that a person working in his backyard can invent something which can be sold for millions. The hosts are inventors themselves and bet big on backyard inventions and inventors inventing them. They fund from 100,000 to 300,000 dollars to inventions they like. It’s a must watch show for startup lovers and innovators 🙂

So here is the gist- The channel has unique content, it primarily showcases lives of Americans (which in itself is fascinating), it has passionate hosts for every show, shows have humor as well as dramatic quotient, dubbing (in Hindi) is great!!

So try to watch some of these shows and let me know if you liked them too 🙂


How to get through Roadies auditions – Have an emotional story ready!!

Emotion and Drama sells like hot cakes on Television. You might find this strange but that is the fact. There are number of events which have high voltage drama & the people involved don’t leave any space for over emoting. Sometime back, there was a strange incident on MTV Rodies season 8 that had forced us to think “Want to get through Roadies auditions? You just have to get an emotional story ready”. So what was that emotional story all about? And why are we even talking about last season’s episode? Without any Drama, let’s get down to the point.

MTV Roadies is a youth-based popular reality television show on MTV India.  The selected Roadies are provided with Hero Honda Karizma bikes to travel on a pre-decided route. Each episode features a vote-out at the end in which the Roadies eliminate one of their fellow Roadies by an anonymous vote, thereby decreasing the number of Roadies carrying on with the journey. There have been 8 seasons till date and the auditions 9th season are underway. Let me take you through the Audition Form that might give you an idea about the selection process:

 Question 1 – What is your mantra for success – performance or politics?

Question 2 – One thing that you’re the best at.

Question 3 – Have you ever flirted on the internet?

Question 4 – Would you be a part of Slutwalk / Besharmi morcha? Why / What not?

Question 5 – What is the most adventurous thing you have done?

Question 6 – Is the Jan Lokpal bill a boon or a curse.

Question 7 – Do people audition for reality shows only to get famous?

And finally Question 8 – Tell us why you should NOT be selected.

Once you have submitted the form and if you are lucky / unlucky you will be invited to GD – Group Discussions. And then once you get short listed there, they might call you for an Interview (With the craziest panel –  Raghu – Rajiv duo and Ranvijay). And this is where the use of your emotional story might come in handy. As mentioned earlier in Season 8, Suraj aka Nagesh, the “fake” contestant, claimed that he came from a poor family and was working as a dishwasher in Hyderabad. His tale of hardships and struggle won over the judges viz. Raghu, Rajeev and Ranvijay and he ended up being selected as a contestant on the show and also won the viewers’ sympathy, being tagged as the most inspiring Roadie. But the real truth was that he had studied at IIBT (Indian Institute of Bartending) and was apparently quite successful in the domain of bartending as he even took charge at the Bartending Seminar & Workshop. As mentioned in his profile on the institutes’s website, he even worked in a call centre before joining the institute. Towards the end of the show, the Rodies crew managed to find out that his stories were fake and also called him back on the show and humiliated him in front of the whole crew & cast and also the television audience.

The question that arises after all this controversy is whether the contestant cheated the judges and the channel or was the whole incident scripted to gain more TRPs for the show? Also the people who run the show must try to find of the the real truth and be fair to the contestants as well.

So do you think sad stories will really give you an advantage and make the judges fall for it? No doubt the emotional stories have ruled the reality shows and ended up getting a lot of attention and publicity. Most of them today want to be a ‘crorepati’ that is rich and famous soon, and television provides them the medium for the same. A lot of youngsters may think that they are ‘smart’  and that they could get away by lying their way in front of such a smart panel and hence want to try such ways. Somehow people take advantage of this fact that the Indian Television Audience is totally Emotional about these things, and hence end up doing such acts. But does this mean all stories are fake? Well, not really, there are also some genuine emotional stories that have managed to pull in the audience. So would you like to create a story and get your entry pass in Roadies? Well that depends on which story you want to present – FAKE or GENUINE !!

Do let us know your views on this new trend of Emotional Stories to get into Roadies. Looking forward to your views on this controversial topic.

How shows like Bade Ache Lagte Hain and Parichay can revolutionize Indian soap opera?

Since it’s inception TV soaps are known to target only home-makers, but not any more! With soaps like “Bade Acche Laggte Hain” on Sony and “Parichay” on Colors this might change (and it’s already changing) very soon.

Recently these two soaps have grabbed our eyeballs (yes, we do not watch any other soaps on TV :D). This is what we have observed –

These shows have dared and been successful so far in catering the audience of age group 25+ Males in addition to the usual 35+ Females, which is the usual benchmark for any Indian soap opera show.

My only question– Was this intentional? Did Ekta actually gave this a thought (that she can hack the minds of nomads like us)? Or is this because youngsters like us are not getting anything worth to watch?

Well it will take some time to really understand the true reason behind this. So why am I talking about this today?

Well, I might have never touched this genre but was compelled when my 30 year old married brother mentioned it last night that even he watches these 2 shows on TV every night. I was shocked. Why? Coz like us he hates all other soap operas.

Coincidentally both these shows have been produced under Ekta Kapoor’s banner of Balaji Telefilms, who is undoubtedly the queen of Indian soap operas. “Bade Achhe Laggte hain” which was launched a little earlier than “Parichay”, has Saakshi Tanwar and Ram Kapoor in the main lead. The show has been in lime-light because of the extraordinary storyline where Saakshi who is in her early thirties and Ram who is in his early forties get married for the sake of their families and then the show depicts their struggle to adjust with each other. Also how they both start developing affection for each other. The show entails a hilarious bickering between these two which is the most interesting part to watch as many couples in the same situation will be able to co-relate themselves.

Parichay” was launched in August which has Samir Soni playing the male protagonist as Kunal Chopra, who has lost his interest in life due to his failures and continues to lead an indifferent life. Life takes a major u-turn when he loses his brother in a bomb blast on the day of his wedding and he is forced to marry his deceased brother’s fiancé, Siddhi Kunal Chopra (role played by Keerti Nagpure). The story has been given very typical treatment but the role essayed and portrayed by Samir Soni is what keeps the viewers glued to the show. The show is a major hit and has already beaten some of its competitor shows in the same time slot on other channels.

Both the shows have lead couples with awesome chemistry and that is one of the most compelling reasons for millions of viewers across the country to get hooked to these shows. Either they will create a niche for them and will be one of the few shows that cater to a larger audience. However we also feel that if they continue to be in the same league they will survive otherwise if they introduce the regular drama/ or not required turns then they will also fail with the new created audience just like any other soap opera shows in India.

Are we going to see more of such soaps targeting youth?