Reality TV as it should be

Reality TV has come to represent a part of non-fiction content on television that entertains you by showing you the so-called reality of celebrities, it creates new celebrities and sells dreams to the audience. Like our cinema, reality TV too has come to be a way of escaping the mundane realities of life.
As four-year-olds became singing sensations and the common man answered a few questions to take home a few lakh rupees, Bollywood stars expanded their horizons and stepped into the realm of ‘reality TV’. With Shah Rukh Khan’s KBC and Kya Aap Panchvi Paas and Salman’s Dus Ka Dum, speculations about the Khan triology being complete on television were bound to happen.
Aamir Khan’s announcement of a TV show did make one wonder if he was a tad late for the party. I’ll be honest with you and say that I was skeptical about the show and the advertising for the show seemed rather negative for my liking. I wasn’t quite kicked about watching him on the small-screen on a Sunday morning to see how he whiplashes at my heart. But I did.
From opening with his own foreword to the show, spelling out the mission for Satyameva Jayate, to introducing his topic for the episode and bringing on emotional stories related to the issue at hand — female foeticide and infanticide–  to analysing the problem with professionals and media, to taking a small, yet essential step in writing to the government, to analysing the long-term sociological effects of a skewed male-female ratio, to bringing in an element of humor and entertainment, to bringing the issue to a close on a positive note and calling the audience to action — the first episode flowed beautifully.
At 11am on a Sunday, Aamir was in my living room throwing a real problem that I am aware of in my face.  And I was listening, we all were listening.
Yes, Oprah has done it before, Priya Tendulkar has done it before. But that doesn’t make Satyameva Jayate any less original. The format is old, but it is handled with ease, bringing several dimensions of the issue being discussed, without going overboard.
I don’t watch Indian TV anymore. The American shows that I watch entertain me but they lack cultural, sociological context for me. And I know I am not the only one. It is refreshing to see a show that isn’t basing its soul on capturing the TRPs. Instead of doing some run-of-the-mill stuff that works, it is heartening to see the Star TV and Aamir Khan Productions teams going after what doesn’t work in the society to create a charged up show that will probably redefine reality TV to be what it really should have been. No circus, no drama. Just. Plain. Reality.
We need that change. We need an Aamir Khan to make us choke on our Sunday morning coffee and to make us understand that the country’s reality is our reality and if we ignore it today, some day the domino effect will come and hit us. The show is a lesson in understanding that beyond a point, we need to forget chasing sales-targets, TRPs and KRAs and we need to to something that drives the passion in us. Because when something comes straight from the heart, it touches another heart and people will take the time to sit up and listen to you.
Satyamev Jayate was a hour and a half well-spent. Kudos to the team!
The show airs on all Star channels and on DD National at 11am on Sundays.

5 comments for “Reality TV as it should be

  1. May 6, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    A very well written review! All my feelings and emotions!A very sensible head on your shoulders Shakti!..The Salgaokar gene!after all..Kudos to Amir…
    Mere’ Hazaar Salaam!

    • Shakti
      May 6, 2012 at 11:54 pm

      Thanks 🙂 I try to be my father’s daughter.. Have a long long way to go 😀

      • Vishnu
        May 7, 2012 at 7:59 pm

        Shakti, very welll written… I was up last night trying to write something similar, but couldn’t publish as I lacked flow to connect right dots… You have done that job splendidly. Exactly how I would have liked to write if I were to publish it for others to read… Kudos to you and thanks too.

  2. Devendra
    May 7, 2012 at 1:13 am

    Superbly written! Loved it. Amir khan always comes with something touchy with some teachings.The best!

  3. mrunmayee
    October 29, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Hey Shakti,

    Very well written, since i worked on satyamev jayate i am glad you viewed it in such positive light, something that our whole team was trying to do… it pains we when some people say its rigged/fake etc because we knew that we cannot create a revolution but atleast make a few ripples. so the aim was to be honest and go for it. am really glad you (my generation) saw it this way!

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