Almost every six months, we are having a new supernatural show being launched with great fanfare on Indian TV. Well, the fact is, they are the biggest money-spinners for some channels. With their twists and turns and diverse plots, they provide jobs to many actors and technicians. However, the excess of such dark content on Indian TV is kind of worrisome. Keeping aside the bad quality of some of the productions, it reflects a complete lack of originality. Dark content have signaled the dark age of Indian TV at a time when TV stars are making waves globally and on social media. We are in no way looking down on Indian supernatural serials as many consume the genre. But it is getting excessive and that is kind of boring. Here are three issues that have come to our minds seeing the overdose of Naagins and chudails…
The spate of supernatural shows on Indian TV reflects the how people are unwilling to take newer risks for more innovative content. Once Ekta Kapoor made a success out of Naagin, we had Nagarjuna, Adhuri Kahani Hamari and even a comic show on Naagins. Gul Khan delivered another success with Nazar and daayans became hot property. Shows like Manmohini and Daayan followed in quick succession. It should be noted that out of all these the ones that are actually successful are Naagin, Naagin 3, Nazar, Qayamat Ki Raat, Divya Drishti and Kawach. The rest have not been great shakes.
No brand value
In recent times, the shows that have been a hit with Indian audiences abroad and foreign audiences are Ishqbaaaz, Yeh Hai Mohabbatein and Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai. None of the supernatural shows have made any impact. The reason is simple. Foreign audience is used to such shows with greater technical finesse and many do not find resonance with stories that are rooted in folklore like daayan and chudail. The urban audience is moving away from Indian TV and poorly made supernatural shows that further accelerated this migration.
Kind of problematic
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The consumption of Indian supernatural shows is maximum in the semi-rural and rural belt. However, we as a society do grapple with problems that come out of following superstitious belief and practices. Some of the issues are downright criminal. And it is a sad fact that our audience is not that literate. So, the overdose of such shows is kind of debatable. Does anyone factor in the psychological impact of such programming?