What do Roadies, Bigg Boss, Emotional Atyachaar, Spiltsvilla, Comedy Circus have in common?

Whenever I even think about reality shows in India I can only think about getting embarrassed if I have to watch them with my parents. Yes, that is the bitter reality of reality shows and that’s what I’m going to talk about today [I’ll still end up on a positive note about few “healthy” reality shows which are on-air].

The first show that comes to my mind (and eyes, ear, tongue) is obviously Bigg Boss Season 5 as this is currently the most controversial and over-hyped reality show famous for its not-so-famous celebrities (amazing isn’t). The show has recently received lot of flak from its viewers as the 10 days old season have only one male contestant this time with 13 female contestants. Very interestingly one of the female contestants, Sonika Kaliraman recently made a voluntary exit as she couldn’t take the chaotic atmosphere in the show with all the cat fights among other housemates. iDubba also posted a tweet about the same on 3rd October, just after a day Bigg Boss was launched and proved clearly that these shows are indeed scripted to get attention and apparently gain TRPs. The show has now got another male contestant actor Amar Upadhyay to give company to Shakti Kapoor, the solo male member in the house. Of course we can expect more male contestants coming in with its “wild card” entries. The show has always been in debate as they keep or remove any contestant to manage their TRPs.

Emotional Atyachaar is another show that has raised some eyebrows as they have shown adultery and disloyalty to an extent that I can’t remember even one episode where the so called “Suspect” came out clean. It is funny how my couple friends talk about their relationship and say to each other in a rather light manner-

Don’t you dare go anywhere without informing me otherwise I will have EMOTIONAL ATYACHAAR test conducted on you

Roadies (Roadies season-9 coming soon) and Splitsvillaon MTV were few of my favourites that I followed religiously. However these shows have depicted violence, ensuing abuses, inappropriate sexual content so much in the last few seasons that I can’t remember when I switched to MTV Channel last time to tune in to these shows.

Language is another problem that these reality shows have these days. I remember switching to Comedy Circus ka Naya Daurthat is aired on SONY channel currently when I was having a nice Sunday breakfast with my dad. The obscene language and remarks used by the contestants, which is supposedly aim to make others laugh, made me leave the room with a disgust feeling for the show. I missed the clean and wonderful jokes that the original “Laughter Challenge” had, that gave us some incredible stand up comedians like Sunil Pal, Ahsaan Qureshi, Raju Srivastava and Bhagwant Mann.

There was one positive impact that I could find was that there are few dating shows that have helped LGBT community by featuring gay couples and showcasing to Indian society that we need to come out of our mind shackles soon.

In midst of all these shows I could find one show, Axe ur Ex on Channel V that I can enjoy with a great laugh and without worrying about obscenity. This show has concept of irritating (to hell) the ex boyfriend/girlfriend with some great ideas that are harmless and fun to watch.

There are many popular shows that sell and cash on adultery, violence, sex and fraud. Most of the reality shows in India are poor imitation of their foreign counterparts from where the ideas are adopted and used blindly in India. These fail to gain TRPs normally and thus thrive on controversies and scripted plots. However if we look closer we can definitely have shows with less embarrassment for us to watch along with parents or kids.

Any one who wants to play Devil’s advocate here?

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Who’s getting Emotional(ly) Atyachar(ed)?

I would have never appreciated any reality TV show for its unique idea and brilliant concept, but I changed my mind after watching ‘Emotional Atyachar’ on Bindaas. Here is a show which may not be as popular as ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamwar’ but it’s defnitely more creative and thrilling than any other reality shows around. Yeah, you might have many questions in mind after watching the show, but that’s an integral part of all ‘scripted’ reality shows.

Unlike any other reality shows ‘Emotional Atayachar’ raises not one but many doubts (enough to keep any one glued to TV) but it actually manages all that very well. So here goes the Plot-

Contestants having an affair are asked to do a fidelity test on their partners. There are basically 3 entities in the show- “Contestant”, “Contestant’s boy/girl friend” and “Emotional Atyachar tempters and crew”. The Emotional Atyachar team consists of some experts who try to test the faithfulness of victim. They start with friendship and then start flirting with the victim on seen, while their Camera crew records all the action LIVE. The ‘Emotional’ team also carries a hidden camera and microphone to record the victim’s reactions and replies and feed them LIVE to the studio crew. After the test is conducted the feed is shown to the contestant, and as expected most of the victims fails this test. Which then creates a high tension drama on scene- abuses, slaps, cries, humiliation etc etc.

Sounds interesting, isn’t it? Yes, but there is more to the show- if someone tests negative for infidelity they may also run a cross fidelity test on the contestant itself (amazing huh :))..

Many doubts arise after seeing the show- I’m not going to talk about morality issues as many shows have already crossed that line and there is no point in discussing that again. But yes, the first doubt is- are the victims given any compensation for allowing the team to show footage on TV? If yes, can’t it be another reason to cheat? But as per UTV“people who’ve cheated are made to sign a consent form after being shown the footage. “Our tempters never make the first move, we blur faces of the women who cheat and we get them to sign consent forms.”

Huh.. it can’t be as simple as it sounds, who in his/her right mind would sign a consent form just for the negative publicity? This doubt raises further questions- are the contestants also paid? Can’t it be a combined effort to get some quick money and a brilliant script? Well, who knows what runs behind those ‘bindaas’ cameras’?

May be, we need some news channel reporters to run a sting operation on the creators behind such shows. That would make another interesting ‘reality’ show. Isn’t it? 🙂