An hour of mainstream Indian television is enough to give anyone a headache. Everything is laced with problematic themes, if not blatant offensive jokes, and this is especially true for ‘comedy’ shows. Here we look at some examples.
1. Glorification of a married man creepily flirting with his neighbour who is clueless to the whole thing is common on Indian television. This trope in Tarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chasma is sickening, to be honest, and Jethalal often crosses the line with his supposed ‘jokes’.
2. The same show routinely features jokes on people’s bodies, and gets away with it because apparently, this is all ‘funny’. For example, here is a line from a scene on the sitcom.
3. Body shaming has been Indian comedy writers’ go-to trick for years, in fact, and people like Kapil Sharma only add to that culture.
4. Moving on, stalking is an activity that has found a place not only in romantic narratives but also in comedy. As we see here in the show Bhabi Ji Ghar Par Hai!.
5. Bhabi Ji Ghar Par Hai! also operates on the ‘flirt with your neighbour’ theme, and it’s so disgusting, so often.
6. All of this started long ago, though. Remember Raju Kumar, the biggest comedian on Indian TV? This is what some of his jokes used to be like.
7. His success made these jokes a template to follow, and no wonder Kapil Sharma followed it.
8. For instance, he once ‘joked’:
This is what constitutes the ‘best of Indian TV’, which is unfortunate because we have created decent comedy shows in the past.