19 August, 2005

These are the Days of Our Lives..

After spending a lot of time watching Zee TV ( a Hindi channel on cable) serials (What? It was was for research), I have come up with a rough guide on what to expect when one sits down to watch ones serial.

1)Affairs, affairs and MORE affairs - Almost every single character has to have an affair with another. And I mean EVERY character. Right from the car driver to the grandma. It's all one big happy sexed up family. The men are the worst. They ALWAYS have one woman on the side. She's usually from his college days. That or, a one- night stand. Oh and she ALWAYS ends up getting pregnant OR lies about being preggers (and then carries on to blackmail the poor sap.). After the serial has gone on to run for about 15 years, and when the producers sense that the audience just might be getting a tad bored..Knock Knock! *gasp* THE BASTARD CHILD HAS ARRIVED TO TAKE REVENGE ON HIS COLD-HEARTED S.O.B DAD!

2) Uh-oh! Caught! - And while we're at affairs, I might as well tell you now that they always get caught. Usually by a private eye producing photos or by someone overhearing the lovebirds whispering sweet nothings to each other. Pfft. Apparently NO ONE can have an extramarital affair in peace these days.

3) Evesdropping - A lot of that goes on in these large extended families. To be fair to the evesdropper, its not his fault, coz freakily enough, all the characters talk to themselves. It makes one wonder if India is filled by weird, lonely people who voice out their diabolical plans/ love stories/ illegitimate child revelations to themselves, at every free moment they have. After the soliloquy is over, the camera will always shift to the door and there will always be someone (usually the mortal enemy of the soliloquy-er) who proceeds to grins eviiiil-y. Eeeeexcellent.

4) Like Two Peas in a Pod - In every single goddamn serial, there has to be the occurence of twins. It's always a case of 1) Good twin- Bad Twin - Where one dies, and the survivor pretends to be the other (this is usually done in order to sleep with his departed twin's wife/girlfriend). Case number 2) involves a character pretending to be 2 people. This plan usually backfires. As do all diabolical plans in the Serial world.

5) Good turns bad - Speaks for itself innit? A character who once pure of heart will slowly start to turn evil as the injustices of the world start to fill his/her heart with blackness. She vows to bring down her oppressor or just about anyone who's been a real MEANIE to her. That'll teach them! When the serial the about to end it's run, he/she has a quick change of heart and suddenly goes back to being good once again. Evil purged aaaand everyone lives happily ever after.

6) Conversations with God - This is much like the aforementioned soliloquy. These divine conversations are usually between the oppressed lady of the house and a God of her choice. Sweetly enough, there are no evesdroppers in such cases, which is a pity for the character, coz all her problems would be solved if someone just happened to overhear how 1) innocent she really was 2) how she was really wronged by so-and-so and 3) how much she really does love him. Sounds kinda whiny if you think about it. Maybe that's why no one bothers to evesdrop.

7) Reoccurence - Just when things seems to be going fine and dandy, along comes a character whom you thought was dead and gone. No, no he didn't die in that car accident! No, no that wasn't his charred body! No siree, he just spent the last 10 years wandering in the jungle, with amnesia (which was miraculously cured by a magic-man who took pity on him and gave him shelter in the woods.) He usually comes back to 1) take revenge on the plotter of his accident or 2) find that his wife/girlfriend has married his evil nemesis/evil twin. All hell breaks loose. I'm addicted baby!

Don'tcha just LOVE it?
Of course, soon enough, these crazy plots start to unravel faster than Courtney Love's mind and start to look as thin as Lindsay Lohan.
But who cares?

As long as I have something to do on a weeknight.


Anonymous roohi did the happy dance and finally said..

hahahahaahahahahaha..I SO AGREE WITH U!...but like u..im addicted baby!

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Rajesh did the happy dance and finally said..

We should arrange a "ZEE Serial Party"...I knw my mum n sis will attend...they are loyal supporters, they hav been watchin since ep 1...its now ep 19874...

Having said all tat, I was addicted to disha and sindoor for a grand 3mths... :)

1:15 AM  
Anonymous Rajesh did the happy dance and finally said..

PS: Roohi, u just ruined my hat-trick of 1st post!...damn u! ;)

1:17 AM  
Blogger Jay did the happy dance and finally said..

I don't watch Hindi serials (obviously) but I think most of these themes occur in dramas everywhere.

If a secondary character in an American movie produces a picture of his family/kids/girl back home, he's fucked. Definitely going to get killed off.

3:10 AM  
Blogger Ankz did the happy dance and finally said..

cant read byond the stupid serials

4:41 AM  
Blogger iyer education did the happy dance and finally said..

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr8 observations... you have failed to mention the never ending (coffee-toffee type) fights between the mother in law and the daughter in law... these days these types of serials are rooling the roost in india... and married women out there try to identify themselves with either the mom in law or the daughter in law...

how could you not include mythological serials... the right platform for a lot of wannabe fashion designers, who use all their wits (actually dimwits) to dress up a character royally and instead end up screwing him/her royally... so if you have spare time, please look into mythological serials and then have a post on that too :)

12:17 PM  
Blogger FRZ did the happy dance and finally said..

get a hobby

12:25 PM  
Blogger Madame Mahima did the happy dance and finally said..

roohi - yea..i used to think u were crazy for watching this nonsense haha

rajesh - tell me about it...my mom used to go on and on about how she'd never watch all this..and now..*shakes head*

jay - u just KNOW that he's not gonna make it till the end of the movie :P..this me when he DOESNT seem to die "arrgh. end my misery now. kill him off!!"

ankz - eh?

rumpy -thanks! :D you know there's just SO much to talk about..and i didn't wanna bore anyone . these mythological serials..i've never actually sat down to watch one coz the hindi spoken is so bloody pure..i dont understand half of it!

faz - waddaya think this was? chopped liver? don't make me start on your work, coz then you'll just get depressed. so dont be rude

1:11 PM  
Blogger Grafxgurl did the happy dance and finally said..

oh and CRYING!! and the whole chest heaving sobs.. high pitched...and with clear eyed tears... *chuckle*...lol

3:12 PM  
Blogger SoNyA did the happy dance and finally said..

you forgot the quintessential mama's boys... with oedipus complexes a mile long!

6:59 PM  
Anonymous tragicomix did the happy dance and finally said..

evil women in hindi tv serials always have coloured hair..if her hair is coloured she is a wicked witch..

7:30 PM  
Blogger StagedSeven did the happy dance and finally said..

in every sun tv serial there's a woman called ABHIRAMY. and one whole episode is just of her praying and cleaning the house. and how abt the villain whose eyes cant stop twitching.this is all across india man.

10:44 PM  
Blogger Mint Chutney did the happy dance and finally said..

All the women talk with their eyes. There's always dramatic music and a close-up of the character's eyes darting from side to side.

10:52 PM  
Blogger couchpotato did the happy dance and finally said..

Think you've summed it up nicely! Hindi serials are just terrible! ;)

The most annoying character is this perfect, all-enduring bahu, of course!

10:54 PM  
Blogger The Box did the happy dance and finally said..

My brother and I once watched a Hindi movie that had the following scene:

Mother: SHUT UP!
Daughter: Love can't be shut up!

For more than a month after, my bro and I drove my dad up the wall. We'd egg him on until he inevitably screamed: SHUT UP!

And we would reply, lip trembling, screechy Indian theme music cycling through our heads: LOVE CAN'T BE SHUT UP!

12:03 PM  
Blogger Madame Mahima did the happy dance and finally said..

grafxgurl - oh yesss how could i forget the CRYING! the god awful crying...with NO TEARS mind you! =D

sonya - ah yes, the poor little rich kid who's mom still hasnt cut the apron strings yet...haha!

tragicomix - damn right! the villainess will ALWAYS have RED hair or a streak or two of pink, blue,purple (and other such evil-ish colours)

stagedseven - man that just takes the cake!:S praying and cleaning the house?! wow..what an adrenaline rush eh?

mint - oh my goddd tell me about the 'darting eyes syndrome'!!!! its SO bloody ANNOYING.

couchie - ah the goddess-like daughter in law..always enduring hardships..never complaining...so sweet. MY ASS! :P

12:13 PM  
Blogger Madame Mahima did the happy dance and finally said..

box - HAHA! =D yea you wont belieeeeve some of the lousy dialogues in these serials/movies...i don't know about any of u guys, but i can't sit thru an entire hindi movie/serial with a straight face :D

1:39 PM  
Blogger braindead did the happy dance and finally said..

great observations... i've never really watched an entire indian serial but we have this zee channel u talk about too.. n i've heard some dramatic indian music n seen people with more makeup than a normal person wud wear in her entire life! so unrealistic...!

3:46 AM  
Anonymous ds did the happy dance and finally said..

tv serials are dangerous to the mind.
i once watched 2 weeks of Kusum in India. I fought with my Cousin, and when she left the room and slammed the door - i began hearing hindi background music in my head.

..now THATS troubling.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Madame Mahima did the happy dance and finally said..

braindead - welcome! *serves braindead some hot chocolate* i forgot to mention the make up! its literally about an INCH thick..definitely unrealistic mate..and yea..every character has their own 'theme' song haha

dev - HAHAHA! oh dev...u shouldnt be watching tv..u should be seeing a doctor *whispers* for them noises in yer head :P

10:49 AM  
Blogger couchpotato did the happy dance and finally said..

And the kind of costumes and ornaments they wear at home! Not just unrealistic... simply ridiculous!

8:18 PM  
Blogger Madame Mahima did the happy dance and finally said..

couchie - i guess thats why i..err i mean alot of people are addicted to these serials..its just downright ridiculous...cheap thrills and flights of fancy

10:09 PM  
Blogger Webmiztris did the happy dance and finally said..

so those are your country's version of soap operas, I presume??

I just can't bring myself to watch the soaps. They're the one thing on TV that I find as mind-numbing as so-called reality TV. They're just SOOOO predictable!!

7:49 AM  
Blogger Mandar did the happy dance and finally said..

Zee TV is nothing. u must watch Star Plus between 10 and 11 every night. there are these two BRILLIANT serials (errr... sorry, the names of which are too long for me to remember...) that my mom tries to drive me crazy with.

coming soon - a post on my blog about these serials. muhuhuhahahaha

12:50 PM  
Blogger Sudipta Chatterjee did the happy dance and finally said..

Thank god I don't watch these things. They kind-o get on my nerves... never have actually watched one after I was in class 7 or 8, I guess. Nice post.

1:45 PM  
Blogger IdeaSmith did the happy dance and finally said..

A few points you missed out:

- The entire storyline shifting forward by 20 years which is shown by a slew of new faces and some crow-droppings-like-stuff on the old characters' heads.

- Rise of a new art form that goes under the heading of 'Vamp bindis'

- New business and economic policies which ensure that companies can be taken over by just about anyone by stealing one document (which is V.V.IMP but is left lying around on coffee tables)

7:21 PM  
Blogger crossblade did the happy dance and finally said..

days of our lives...I guess thats the soap opera joey was invovled with in Friends..lol
yea I´m crazy too lol

12:51 AM  
Blogger infinity did the happy dance and finally said..

hi...came upon ur blog in a very roundabout way...seeing tht u r frm singapore i'm willing to 4giv u 4 this post...the fact tht every intelligent person in india has already said or written something to this effect without having any effect on the majority which still watches and enjoys these shows makes it sort of infradig to even mention it nemore...

7:26 AM  
Blogger Madame Mahima did the happy dance and finally said..

dawn - i know! predictable as hell..as yet against our will....we are drawn to them...aaaack!

mandar - haha looking forward to it mate! i swear..it's like a world wide phenomena..why are our moms so addicted??its a little scary..i know mine turns into a snarling monster if i even ATTEMPT to change the channel

sudipta - welcome! and thanks =)

ideasmith - haha those too!

crossblade - yup that's the one...they discontinued days of our lives in singapore coz apparently NO ONE was tuning in..gee, wonder why.

infinity - no,no no forgiveness necessary, especially since i'm not asking you for any =). my blog, i'll write what i want. u can stay and read and have a good laugh, or u can be anal and piss off in a huff. Nice meeting u!

7:33 AM  

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