We have witnessed a few gem of shows on Indian television over the years. Shows that were truly empowering and progressive rather than the latest shows which just pose as one. If you look closer (and with an unbiased lens), you’ll be able to identify the concerning issues with ‘family comedy shows’ on Indian TV.
Here are a bunch of shows which are nothing but problematic yet we tout them as ‘family shows’.
1. Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah
Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, one of the longest running comedy shows on Indian television, could maybe our beloved show but we can’t turn a blind eye to its problematic aspects. Over the years, the show has shown countless problematic instances. However, what has been consistent throughout its run is Jethalal hitting on Babita. And, somehow, we have overlooked this highly concerning factor. How does a married man flirting with his neighbour fall under ‘clean comedy’?
2. The Kapil Sharma Show
Where should we even start with this show? From body-shaming to homophobia, you name an act and the show has it. Along with the show’s host, Kapil Sharma blatantly making sexist remarks to Bollywood celebrities playing along with it is just plain distasteful.
3. Bhabhi ji ghar par hain!
The comedy show revolves around two neighbouring married couples where the husbands constantly flirt with the other’s wife. That’s the plot. When the premise itself is utterly problematic, one can imagine how every episode unfolds. This show, too, is one of the most popular shows among Indian audiences.
4. Shrimaan Shrimati
This 90’s sitcom, too, falls in the same line. It’s IMDb description reads that the show is based on the premise “love thy neighbour’s wife” and has a rating of 8.6. But serving the same storyline after two decades is like remaking Judwaa. No one wants to see such questionable content again and again.
5. Tu Tu Main Main
Even though we did love Reema Lagoo and Supriya Pilgaonkar as mother-in-law and daughter-in-law in the show, the sitcom perpetually showed a clash between them. However, Tu Tu Main Main did have it’s good moments and hilarious acts. Needless to say, the daily soaps of today, depict the same, in a much more toxic form.
This cop-comedy is far away from comedy and is outrightly problematic on many levels. Sexism, racism, body-shaming— the show had it all. Even though it featured a female cop as the protagonist, there was nothing empowering (or even funny) about the show.
7. Yes Boss
Another 90’s show that made comedy out of a blatantly implausible premise was Yes Boss. The central characters Meera and Mohan, who are married, have hidden the details of their relationship at their workplace. Their boss, also married, constantly flirts with Meera but disapproves of Mohan’s friendship with his wife Kavita. I smell patriarchy here.
8. May I come in Madam?
Sajan, who can’t stand his wife, is smitten by his ‘glamorous’ female boss. His continuous efforts to woo her makes up for comedy here. As if one show wasn’t enough, they produced another one with the same plot.
These are just a handful of shows that crossed the line and we let it pass as comedy. In fact, sitcoms have packaged misogynistic and offensive content as harmless comedy are a dime a dozen. But we don’t want to dive into that deep well, as of now.