Why Can't we have a F.R.I.E.N.D.S on India Television?

The other day I was watching an episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S for the umpteenth time, and laughing out loud literally. Watching any random episode of the American TV series is the best time that I spend with myself. I realized that we do not have a single show worth watching on the Indian television for a youngster. It is truly saddening to see the state of Television industry of our country as we hardly have an intellectual, witty and high-end show running at the moment. With Navjot singh Sidhu and Archana Puran Singh laughing their heads off like devils on cheap comedy shows, and saas-bahus fighting over petty familial matters, TV in India definitely brings alive the literal sense of 'idiot box'.

There are a few reasons why we can never have a show as spontaneous and 'alive' as FRIENDS on Indian TV, and here I mean, exactly like FRIENDS, i.e. the same quality of humour, the same level of acting and perfection. One of the prime reason I can deduce is that Indian television viewer is not mature enough to understand that the world has moved into the 21st century and things like live-in relationships are not a big deal any more. Most of the Indian viewers would have opened their jaws as wide as the Indira Gandhi Canal in shock at seeing a baby out of wedlock, probably to the extent that a few 'Sainiks' would have attacked the sets of the show and some people would have filed a suit against the makers for hurting 'Indian sentiments'.

Besides, it is a well stated fact that India is a country sans sense of humour. Not even the people who run our country have a sense of humour (in fact they are the last ones to understand a joke). Our religious sentiments get hurt on little jokes, someone gets offended or someone raises objection. Besides the subtle sarcasms and satires that reappear in FRIENDS every now and then would have gone unnoticed and Chandler would have become a non existing character for Indians.

The largest viewership of Indian TV comes from household 'aunties' who watch the daily soaps all day. They would never have loved to see 'aaj kal ke bachhe' doing all that cheap kissing and stuff. It would have spoiled their Raju, Bittu, Bablu and would have inflicted torture on their young minds (as if Raju, Bittu and Bablu will remain saints for a very long time *evil grin*).

Also the professional and financial independence that is enjoyed by the protagonists (including girls) in the TV series is something beyond the family and cultural system of India. An Indian parental mindset can never imagine their kids as a chef or a masseuse for instance. A large portion of our country (especially TV viewers) is still in Tier-II cities, and the change is a very gradual process here. I do not complain about this part, but the faster we move towards a global society and broader mindsets, the better it will be.

But it is a vicious cycle. Basically television reflects the society and vice versa. Television shows what society sees. As long as the aunties are enjoying the saas plotting against the bahu in monstrous ways, hail the daily soaps! Meanwhile, instead of dreaming of an Indian version of FRIENDS, it would be better to just watch the same epic series again and again on our own PCs and have a good healthy laugh. They have definitely become a part of an Indian youngster's life as well. The success speaks for itself! :)


Jacob said...

Hilarious! and amazingly true...

Ananya N said...

hee hee..nice one !

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