When you get hooked to a new TV series, just how many hours do you spend watching it? Yes, television has the power to capture imaginations for a far longer duration than a film, or an advertisement ever can.
Now imagine great, socially relevant prime-time TV shows that rake up real scenarios and keep you interested. Wouldn't we all like that?
While the saas-bahu formula doesn't seem to be going away any time soon, Satyamev Jayate's popularity sets a great example. If us Indians are willing to spend more than an hour watching a socially relevant show on a precious Sunday morning, we can definitely enjoy nuanced serials that tell new stories. Can't we?
Dear producers, please hear us out.
1. A f amily drama about a progressive Muslim family
We shouldn't have to flock to Zindagi channel every time we turn on the TV. Let's remember that Islam is the second most followed religion in India. Not every family is about baa s, bahu s and babies.
2. Living a normal life with disabilities
Disabilities don't make one any less human. We feel the same, think the same, act the same, but aren't treated the same.
3. A gay couple fighting all odds
Yes. The makers might get a legal notice for 'offending' certain sensibilities ( re: Satyamev Jayate fiasco ) , but how long can you go on ignoring the LGBTQ community? Also, it is time Indians knew how difficult it gets for gay couples in the country.
4. A young journalist's life as s/he challenges norms
A great platform to fearlessly discuss issues, a story based on a journalist's life can tap multiple taboo topics with complete freedom. Also, the protagonist's life would be interesting to watch. Death threats included.
5. A story of crime and imprisonment with a protagonist
This could be a story that traces the downfall of a star after a murder/accident/money laundering case and eventual imprisonment. Imagine a series loosely based on Sanjay Dutt's life behind bars? Yeah.
6. A dysfunctional romantic relationship in urban India
The only problem in our love-life isn't our parents anymore. It's us. It is time we had a realistic romance/anti-romance series on confused relationships and 'It's Complicated' Facebook statuses.
7. A working woman's struggles
Sure there have been serials about working women, but they have always dealt with the struggle of balancing work and home. Isn't it time we had a TV series on a successful woman who just can't break through the glass ceiling, or doesn't get paid enough for the same work as her male counterpart?
8. An honest intellectual caught in the web of politics
Yes, that's the corruption narrative. But put a man against all odds, challenging the norms, asking unheard questions, and you have a winner.
9. A duo that gets caught in a scam and can't get out
India is the land of 'connections' that sometimes turn out to be nasty cross connections. Imagine a thriller that follows the journey of two friends who innocently invest money in a big scam, and then they must run. Mumbai underworld, we're looking at you.
10. A series on matrimonial ads
India can seem very progressive, that is until you open the matrimonial page of your morning paper. This could be a serial following the short story pattern. Every episode can follow the story behind one matrimonial ad. It has the potential to find a Two States, and also the potential to run into a story on 'honour' killing.
We would love to see some great shows on TV soon. In the meantime, thankfully, there's a quirky new web-series to watch out for.
Baked is India's most ambitious original fiction web-series which chronicles the misadventures of three Delhi University flatmates who decide to start their entrepreneurial journey - a midnight food delivery service.
The trailer looks awesome. Check it out!