MTV: Music or Masala Television

You might scratch your head and start thinking why am I referring MTV as Masala Television. Well the following post is about finding out the real truth. After reading this you may also come to a conclusion whether MTV is a Music Channel or it has turned out to be Masala Television over years.

It was not long ago say some 9-10 yrs back when viewers used to wait to see what’s new in the list..New Album, hot album, Best songs… in a way they wanted to see the latest Music Labels, their reviews and responses. Top most Singers had their music launch aired in MTV, there were shows explicitly telecasting interviews with the Singers and rappers. TV was geared more towards music and music appreciation, The concept of VJ’s was made popular by MTV as this channel was about MUSIC 24/7!!  The VJ’s of early 90’s had good knowledge of music, a unique style of their own and undoubtedly a great  sense of humor too.I am sure that none of you must have forgotten VJ’s like Malaika Arora, Maria Goretti , Shenaz Treasurywala, Mini Mathur and a few others. No doubt that Cyrus Broacha and Nikhil Chinnappa are still holding the fort but the charm that the previous VJ’s had, is not present there anymore. . MTV is now being hosted as a television show with VJs who have very little to do with knowledge in music and music videos.

You might have this question..Does MTV has series of reality shows!!! You might be surprised, but the answer is YES. The biggest ammunition that MTV has is “Roadies”. It was started way back in 2003, and currently 8 seasons are over. No doubt that Roadies is very popular and has many ardent followers, but the channel is trying to replicate this success in every other show. Every second show is now a Reality show. They are trying to get the youth hooked on to its channel by shows like MTV Stuntmania a biking stunt show hosted by famous stunts director Allan Amin and MTV Splitsvilla A dating reality show.

This channel which once used to be solely a music channel has turned in endless race of reality shows, In 1998, we had about 19 hours of music programming. 2008 saw an average of just three hours of music videos per day on MTV, with the rest of the day devoted to reality shows. . Is this a conscious effort made by MTV or has it lost its audience??? Is this the reason for MTV to drop “Music Television” from its corporate logo too in 2010?

If i ask you, which is the channel you prefer for watching Songs,  MTV will certainly not be your 1st choice. Some might say, 9XM , B4U Music, and the latest one Sony PIX. You might say that I have missed on one more important Music Channel, ie Channel V. Well, they too are slowly but steadily moving on the path of MTV. Only time will say if MTV was right moving its focus on Reality Shows and slowly taking Music off their menu. What are you views on this topic?

Discuss this over Twitter – @idubba

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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?