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Are the so-called reality shows on Malayalam television channels crossing the limits? Or do they represent nothing more than an outlet for entertainment-driven escapism, considering their seemingly growing level of mass popularity? Our readers respond:
Lure of money
Most of the reality shows now on TV channels seem to have just one aim, that is, making money. The judges in the shows, some of whom have acting experience in a few insipid serials, vie with one another in harassing the innocent contestants who are lured by fantastic prizes, by using high sounding technical words. They grow loquacious in boosting their ego and the poor thing on the stage is asked to repeat random lines. The anchor persons are more often than not, dressed atrociously and speak with an affected accent. A celebrity judge acts as the court jester. The channel bosses should do an introspection and take measures to lift such shows to a higher level for the viewers to enjoy them.
ThripunithuraDisplay of talent
An industrial group promises Rs 2 crore as prize money but one should analyse this: generally, there are three shows per week, each show taking up an hour or so. The majority of the time is used for displaying advertisements which fetch enormous revenue to the channel. Hence, this is a money-making affair for all concerned. At the same time, the contest does provide a venue for bringing out the dormant talents in youngsters. The winners are also noticed nationally and even internationally. The benefits of reality shows are many. The organisers make good money, the contestants win attractive prizes and the viewers too enjoy the shows.
MannarWind them up
These so-called reality shows have become redundant and counter-productive. These are simply gimmicks to mint money by the channels and mobile phone companies. They have found that this is the best way to hoodwink the gullible public. They are cashing in on the tears of the participants who lose in the elimination rounds. The most condemnable aspect of the shows is that certain anchors are vulgarly dressed and the beautiful Malayalam language is mutilated by them. It is astonishing the judges and anchors switch over to English even though the shows are in Malayalam. They think that this is the opportunity to express their proficiency in English, which is nauseating. No useful purpose is served by these reality shows except help the channels and mobile phone companies to extract money from the gullible. Therefore, it is high time these shows are wound up. However, the viewers are at liberty to switch off the television or skip to some other channel for entertainment.
PunnapraStick to norms
If a film becomes successful at the box office, many such films will follow, fully or partially copying its story line or its technique, thus making the medium monotonous. Similarly, Malayalam T.V. shows have been looking similar for far too long. In this context, a change was essential and programmes like ‘reality shows’ were welcome. However, here also, all the T.V. channels are adopting similar techniques or practices. Whatever be the case, reality shows, while bringing in a change in style and content, are benefiting a lot of deserving people. For instance, in the past if anybody wanted to make an entry into filmdom as an artist, he or she should have had a godfather in the industry.
The introduction of reality shows, whether in singing, dancing or acting, has thrown open chances to many, giving all sections of people an open forum to participate and exhibit their skills and talents.
There may be an instance wherein a contestant may have felt humiliated because of the insulting remarks of a judge or judges. One should bear in mind that for a gain, there has to be a loss. However, in general, the shows are entertaining. If the judges are short and precise in their analysis, and if they stick to their agenda, avoiding supposedly humorous comments, the programme will become more worthy and enjoyable. The only unhealthy practice is inviting SMS messages from viewers and giving them undue weightage and consideration in deciding the winners. The verdict of the judges should be final and binding on all.
PavarattyChoose good judges
In the olden days, the only way to present one’s talents were cultural programmes at the school Yuvajanotsavam. But when TV serials came to the limelight, the chances for youngster to showcase their talents brightened. We should appreciate the organisers of the reality shows for bringing hundreds of youngsters into the limelight through these marvellous programmes. At the same time, in rare cases, some judges victimise participants. Some cinema actors, who have no knowledge of the subject, are brought in as judges of the events. Their words may affect the judgment of other judges and may diminish the participants’ chance for the next contest. The organisers should choose the best judges for these events. Anyway, reality shows are to be commended for giving many children exposure. This will help them in overcoming stage-fright.
PoonithuraThe right spirit
Reality shows often turn out to be items of commercialisation. Commercials find them a great means to sail through, as the shows themselves command a huge following. If reality shows do aspire to find the “best of the best”, they shouldn’t make the losers feel rejected. Nurturing of talent should be a parallel side to education. The spirit of participation should be the highlight. A stage where one can showcase his/her talent and make it a memorable chapter in the journey of their lives should be the motive behind the participation of the contestants. Let not anyone play up on people’s sentiments to promote the programmes. Talents are the glow that an individual inherits. Reality shows, when they cross the limits, might adversely affect this divine gift of God. My suggestion is: “Be confident of the talent in you, groom it, let reality shows be a part of life rather than you becoming an indispensable part of reality shows”
. Aiswarya Chandran
Shinjini Sengupta from West Bengal is admitted to a hospital in Bangalore after suffering shock from the crude words of a judge at a reality show. Reality shows are attracting the public as cinema did in the past. Television channels are telecasting reality shows for commercial considerations and not for presenting the best dancers and singers before the public.
In that sense, restrictions should be put in place on such shows.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has begun efforts to rein in such shows.
It is reported that the six-member commission has started to draft a code of conduct for this purpose.
A code of conduct should be handed down for the judges and organisers of these shows. Problems start even at the time of signing the agreement for the shows, in the green rooms, rehearsal rooms and on the stage. Most of the judges are from the cinema field and the common man is afraid to question them. At the same time, the ball is in the court of the participants and their parents and they are free to choose whether to attend or not to.
However, the prize offer of Rs. 50 lakh or flats, or a car costing the same amount acts as a lure. Why not the participants treat it only as a game? Why not they treat success and failure in this game as a simple affair? Their performance is important and not the comments of the judges or the first prize in the contest. In most of the reality shows, the result is based on SMS voting.
Gandhi SquareTalent on sale
Everything seems to be on sale now-a-days. Talent, students and the audience too. Undue stress and competition not only create tension for the competitors, but become stressful for the viewers. This unhealthy trend of training and recognising talent need not always be done on-screen as these programmes make us believe.
Moreover, the popularity of these programmes mainly depends on the TRP ratings. Programmes with high TRP ratings get more advertisements. Priority is thus given to the programme’s presentation and too much of money involvement makes the programmes melodramatic. The shows sometimes cross the boundaries of fun and entertainment and reach the level of mass hysteria.
Reality shows are here to say. Yes, they ride high in the channels as long as their ratings are high. Who is responsible for their high ratings? The viewers, you and I, aren’t we? My son, who has had lessons in Carnatic music for about four years, got impressed by a reality show to the extent of expressing his regret at having discontinued the lessons.
Whom can you blame if one comes under its spell, longs to be a part of it, manages to participate in it, gets bullied in the process and the same is also telecast? Once the ratings go down, these shows will be out.
The reality behind the reality shows is that there is no reality in it. The are unscripted shows and feature ordinary people instead of professional actors. The first reality show of Indian television, Meri Awaz Suno, was a standard programme and everybody loved it. Reality shows on Malayalam television channels, however, are crossing all limits. While those with real talents are ousted, SMS messages boost the rating of the worst among them. This type of reality shows only destroy the talents of our younger generations. They become a revenue-generating business for the channels. In some reality shows, the judges and participants look as if they had come for some fashion show. Many anchors speak in the worst form of Malayalam ever heard. As for the contestants, some are very good and talented youngsters who can give the current playback singers a run for their money. But they lose out mid-way through the shows. And sometimes they decide it is the end of the road for them. It is better to stop such artificial programmes which kill talents.
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