Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
A “cleaner” Bigg Boss?
If you’ve been a regular watcher of “Bigg Boss”, India’s version of the international reality show “Big Brother”, you will never look at a mop the same way again. Remember model Pooja Mishra breaking a mop and then flinging it across the room in a fit of rage?
Or Sambhavna Seth during one of her screeching sessions? Or the romance between Anupama Varma and Aryan Vaid?
If you are expecting to see a repeat in the new season of the show, you are in for a disappointment. This year, the show will be shorn of all quirks, aired at a prime-time slot and hopes to attract family audiences. In other words, no sex or profanities please, we are Indian.
Read between the lines — this means there’ll be no more flying brooms and slanging matches. Instead, there will be a talking parrot and goldfish, both of whom are being touted as the new attractions on the show.
The new slot means it will compete with daily soaps, the staple of Indian television. How a show like “Bigg Boss” will turn into “family viewing” is beyond me, given that it relied almost entirely on its adult content to draw viewers.
Last year, Amitabh Bachchan’s “Kaun Banega Crorepati” beat “Bigg Boss” in the ratings department, and even the presence of two Bollywood stars — Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan as hosts — as well the bizarre behaviour of Pooja Mishra and Shraddha Sharma couldnt salvage the show.
Does this mean that only “sanitised” content works on Indian TV? Are we not voyeuristic enough? Or does it mean that in what is largely a single-TV country, broadcasters and content providers have to paint almost all content as “family viewing?”
Do you think a “cleaner” Bigg Boss will work?