Marriage of the News and Daily Soap in India

I bet u are thinking “How’s that possible?”, “When did this happen?” etc. Well, u know, it was a very silent affair;-) and it happened without anybody noticing. Before I explain further, I shall recall the commonest traits of Daily Soaps.

Whenever there is a turning point like any slapping scene or something supposedly shocking dialogue or anything like that, it is invariably repeated 3 times at least! The characters are always in a state of emotional disturbance. None lives or lets anyone else live in peace. The never-happy saas (mother in laws) and bahus (wives) are always trying to stab each other in the back and trying to gain control over the male. Mountains are made of mole hills. When you are sure that the story is about to conclude, invariably a new character springs up and adds up a few more months worth of new episodes etc.  Half nude characters and intimate scenes are slowly invading daily soaps to add more spice and make it more attractive. Last but not the least; the background music is “omnipresent”.

Now that I am gonna talk about the news channels, you shall see some striking resemblances between the two.

“Sahib Biwi aur Tv” screenshot from News24

Turn on any news channel, first thing you notice is the background music. Each news channel has its unique style of background music, which makes you think that the channels are hiring more musicians than reporters 😉 .  Silly news pieces like “RGV’s movie has tumbled” or “Uday chopra has fumbled” make up news reports worth at least half an hour and are advertised for a day before being telecast. There are programmes like “Sahib Biwi aur TV” on news channels which gossip on what is happening in leading daily soaps (as if was any less torture if left alone). Each and every dialogue, even the tiniest twitter status updates are scrutinised minutely to find leaks to turn celebs on each other. News readers are being increasingly replaced by smartly dressed men or attractive women called news anchors. They don’t sit at a place reading the news. Instead they walk about in the news room with hundreds of people working overtime before the thousand screens visible in the background, just like daily soap characters delivering dialogues. It produces the dramatic illusion of the news being served raw 🙂  .Trailers add to the chaos! Earlier there used to be only a single trailer at the bottom of the screen in election times, to give us a continuous update of the results. Now, a minimum of 3-4 trailers run at the bottom and top, even some are placed on the sides. If this trend continues, then news anchors might vanish behind the trailers in the near future. Then the TV screen might seem like a newspaper with moving sentences and the anchors’ voices in the background along with the omnipresent background music and so on..

So, we can safely conclude that News channels have indeed married Daily Soaps. Like an ideal couple they have assimilated and imbibed each others’ traits 🙂 , although they were too shy to report this on TV 😛