Necessity is the mother of invention. It is this desperation that has led to the rise of reality television in our country. In the absence of good fiction shows, one has no other alternative than to switch to reality television, which has seen a tremendous rise in the past decade.
Being a 90s kid, I associate reality TV with pioneer shows like Roadies and Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC). However both of these shows have lost its charm as years have passed by. These shows, like most others, give a common man the chance to make money. However, that’s where their similarities start… and end. There is a drastic difference in the concept as well as the prize money offered in these shows. The former, is necessarily a youth centric, adventure based reality show while the latter is a quiz show. As the name hints Kaun Banega Crorepati, the winner can win up to a whopping Rs. 5 crore in a couple of hours by answering 15 General Knowledge questions. Roadies, on the other hand, subjects its contestants to a wide array of tasks over a period of 40 days just to win a meagre sum of few lakh rupees and a bike.
Both of the above mentioned shows, highlight a very different genre of reality television and these are just the tip of the iceberg. There a number of talent based shows focusing on activities such as singing (Indian Idol, X factor), dancing (Dance India Dance, Boogie Woogie), acting (Zee Cinestars) and even cooking (Masterchef). In addition to these profession based reality shows, there are a number of other shows that are pure “entertainment” based such as The Khan Sisters and UTV’s Live My Life. These shows let us peek into the daily lives of famous celebrities. The Khan Sisters is the Indian adaptation of Keeping Up With The Karashians. This is not the only example of adapting foreign shows for Indian Television. There are a number of shows whose concept has been that of an already successful foreign show running overseas, such as the infamous Bigg Boss. Bigg Boss is the indian version of Bigg Brother, a show where the contestants are confined to a house fitted with cameras. Bigg boss has been the centre of many controversies due to the aggressive and abusive behaviour of each and every contestant being aired on national television. However, what makes this show infamous is that, in its 8th season it has still been one of the most successful shows.
Although a majority of these shows have been successful in india, there are some who could not guarantee the same success as its foreign counterpart. Shows such as Kya Aap Paachvi Pass Se Tezz Hai (Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader) and Zorr ka jhatka (Wipeout) have not been able to create the same impact as its foreign halves. Interestingly both these shows were hosted by the self-proclaimed Badshah of Bollywood Shahrukh Khan.
No matter how much we criticise the authenticity and credibility of these reality shows, we cannot help ourselves from shamelessly enjoying some of these. There is at least one show that can cater to the likes of every individual. This is the very nature that compels producers to keep plaguing the channels with reality shows, each more eccentric than the other.