One of the biggest movie production company in Bollywood, Yash Raj Films (YRF) made a debut in the Indian Television Industry in partnership with Sony TV.
Starting 1st Jan 2010, for three days in a week Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 2 hours 8 pm to 10 pm Sony TV will go red (the brand colour of YRF) and showcase some nice and fresh TV series created by YRF TV a subsidiary of YRF production.
From the look of it YRF TV promises to be fresh, out of the box, progressive and gender balanced. From YRF’s official announcement,
The offering from YRF TV will be “distinct” in their look, feel, colour, sound and language, with fresh, contemporary and engaging storylines – these shows reflect the dreams, aspirations & passion of today’s young India and are attuned to deliver “a unique and novel television viewing experience” which will not only appeal to the existing viewers, but bring new viewers to television. The shows combine the best of modern technology, scale and the exceptional story telling skills of YRF.
At the moment there are 5 shows, 1 non fiction Lift Kara De which is a reality show where a star would hunt for his/her greatest fan and in the process somebody’s life would be lifted. I didn’t quite get the show but Karan Johan is hosting it and the pilot episode had Shah Rukh Khan. Enough said.
Then there are 4 fictions, Mahi Way, Rishta.com, Powder and Seven.
‘Mahi Way‘ is a story about Mahi – a 25 year old single and independent girl who loves to eat, therefore fat and therefore a complete misfit in both her family and her workspace, a fashion magazine house. She never had a boyfriend but writes a relationship column in the magazine for people who are like her, misfits, because she knows what it feels to be one. Her best friend is hot and dumb, her other best friend is a gay. She has a perpetual crush on this hunk who works in the same building but she keeps bumping into this guy who she thinks is clumsy, annoying and brings out the worst in her.
I used to be quite a sucker for such romance un likely impossible love – girl boy meet and then fight at first sight, they fight some more until they fight their way to love. Some romance it used to be for me. But am soon turning 33 and now I know its just that, a Mills and Boons formula. That said, I am gonna watch out for the show, but will soon get bored if they don’t shift the spotlight from Mahi’s romance to other things like career.
Rishta.com seemed to be a more mature take at relationships and the frivolity of it. Rohan and Isha are business partners, their business is to run a customized cutting edge sleek matrimonial service. Rohan is a hunk and a womanizer with commitment issues. He is rude and insensitive so thinks Isha. Isha is beautiful, sweet and caring, Rohan doesn’t think too much about her, but cares enough when she calls him insensitive. And they are just business partners, or so they think.
Yet another winning formula for romance and yes I am a sucker for this kind of romance too. Remember I earlier wrote about how the romance between Lt. Daniel Kaffee and Lt Commander JoAnne Galloway from ‘A Few Good Men‘ or the one between Fox Mulder and Dana Scully from ‘X Files’ are my idea of perfect romance. (Go read that post here if you haven’t already)
But really do this kind of romance work in real life? I wish it did. The romance bit of the series won’t keep me hooked for too long, I think what will be more interesting to look out for in it is the various kind of relationships that Rishta.com will be handling as part of their work. For eg. in today’s episode there was this young guy who came to rishta.com seeking an alliance with a simple homely girl, with just one condition, that the wedding should take place within 3 weeks because its his dying grandfather’s last wish to see him married. He finds the perfect girl, she likes him too but it turns out that there was no dying grandfather, instead a very healthy and rich one who threatened him to disown him from all his properties if he doesn’t get married before his 30th birthday. Thus the 3 weeks condition.
Rohan and Isha find out the truth and feel very upset, they are certain the girl is going to sue Rishta.com for lack of due diligence and background check, but as it turns out the girl, although upset over the matter, was more interested in finding out how much property is that guy going to inherit. They get married.
In the last scene Rohan concludes, there is no such thing as love, people get married for many reasons, to get rich, to make babies, to not sleep alone every night, every kind of reasons are there except ‘Love’. Interesting and honest observation.
In another sub plot, Isha struggles hard to accept the fact that one of her clients, a 65 year old retired widower is in search of a life partner at this age, only to come back home to meet her father’s girlfriend. While at work she judged her client and compared him to her father who never thought of another woman even after 13 years of being widowed, reality hit her at home.
‘Powder’ is a mafia story but with very interesting gender deconstruction material. Aiming at breaking the notion that crime and police are not a field for women. This one I am going to watch closely even though I am bored of mafia stories.
Over all a good start for YRF TV. Moving forward there are plans to make more issue based programs and hopefully move on to a full time channel of their own. YRF have been consistently trying to make different kind of movies, particularly breaking gender stereotypes, from Chak De to Dil Bole Harrippa. Hopefully with YRF’s entry in small screen we will get rid of some of the stupid patriarchal plots that infect the minds of Hindi television audience. This could be a very big turning point for Indian television industry, I have all my best wishes to YRF TV for a change. Just keep it up.