We people love to feast on emotions. No matter, whether emotions are related to happiness or sadness or dejection or plain derision, all we require is emotion and some rags-to-riches stories to feel better about the things. Ever wondered why these reality programs score so high on popularity charts? In last few years, suddenly a deluge of reality television programs invaded our privacy and we found us glued to the unfolding but scripted drama.
Many experts are of the opinion that reality television gave new identity to rural population of India. It helped in fuelling the aspirations and ambitions of people who had never thought of coming live to idiot box and being watched by millions of people. For example, Ashutosh, the winner of MTV Roadies and Big Boss who found unprecedented success from alley of obscurity. A small time guy from rural area of Haryana, he had never imagined winning huge money or endorsing commercials or having fun in off-shore countries.
It has become fashionable to present his example as epitome of dreams and ambitions but is that really so? I am still grasping to gauge what actually he achieved in those two programs? Performance? Educational excellence? Some hidden treasure of talent? I mean, what was so striking about his winning these poor quality shows? For one, I don’t really think these two shows have anything to do with quality and excellence. One is all about furling obscenities in the name of demonstration of youth power and second, well, it has no other purpose than to satisfy out voyeuristic tendencies.
The worst part is I see good number of educated and intelligent people taking deep interest in programs like ‘Big Boss’. Can someone explain me why should we care about an ensemble of third grade rejected celebrities? What is there for us to discuss or see? Finding conspiracy theories and who-told-what-about-whom sort of things? Meet any friend or colleague and you will find discussing, ‘hey did you see the program today? X just sc****d Y and it was total fun, man!’ Excuse me?!
The truth is we love to take a deep interest in other people’s lives. Their emotional plight tantalizes our taste buds. We all are voyeuristic and find delight at the misery of unknown and non-related individuals. The best example was of live death telecast of our beloved ‘Jade Goody’! Her cancer and subsequent sobs was our favorite drawing room topic. Her claim to fame was hurling some nice expletives at our own beloved Miss Shetty! That’s the irony of whole thing. She died in full glare of media but her abuses gave Miss Shetty a new lease of life! A terrible failure in bollywood but now she is the new face of India and perhaps our most popular export in last two years. She represents tolerance and voice against racism. Welcome aboard, miss victim-turned-underdog-turned-celebrity-turned-new darling of media-turned part owner of an IPL team- turned would be bride of a rich businessman! That’s some turnaround, no? But wait, this is just the beginning of many such examples….