The newer concepts and shows across GECs are finding it difficult to find a footing with the audience, hence channels are opting to ride on tried & tested properties and making spinoffs to enhance reach and connect.
Post Dil Boley Oberoi (Ishqbaaaz spin off on Star Plus), Zee TV is riding high on its latest launch Kundali Bhagya (Balaji Telefilms), extension of its popular number churner, Kumkum Bhagya.
The best part of a spinoff is that you can play around with themes of the older show which could not be used due to time and track pressures and also weave new stories out of it.
The first two episodes of Kundali Bhagya have quickly established the background of the female lead characters Preet (Shraddha Arya) along with sister Shrishti (Anjum Fakhi).
The same old middle class girl syndrome comes into play. The loser boy who first does not tell his friend that he has an arranged marriage planned with Preet, later wants to sleep with her before marriage and last but not the least wants dowry as well. The moot point of the show as the title suggests seem to be that you can’t fight fate which can take totally brutal turns. Most Indians believe in Karma so should be able to identify with the churning wheel in the show.
However, Shraddha does a good job when she shows the above loser guy his place by asserting her independent thinking. She ideally represent’s today’s Indian woman who while maintaining traditional structures do not compromise on self respect.
The big twist comes in episode two when veteran actor Vijay Kashyap before dying tells his on screen daughters Preet and Shrishti that they have a elder sister Pragya (Sriti Jha), depicting the link to Kumkum Bhagya.
Anjum is a good actor playing the talkative free thinking girl to the hilt. It gets irksome at times but then that is the demand of the character. The creative has set the stage for making her a modern gal who does not mind consuming hard drinks. We need to wait and watch to see if the boldness extends to relationships as well. Will creative risk the lead girl getting in and out of relationships that too in a Zee show? Well, time will tell.
The real story will now open when Preet and Shristhi land in Mumbai and meet Pragya and her family. We would sure like to know what mistakes Kashyap’s character did in the past which separated his family.
While it’s too early to judge from what we can gather from the initial episodes, Kundali Bhagya will be similar watching like any other drama replete with myriad twists and turns. The fact that Kumkum Bhagya is already rating high, will give its spin off a sure starter’s advantage courtesy character connect.
While clamoring for content change, we need to accept that core small town audiences still want to see the tried & tested stuff. Who are we to question their choices? After all, they are investing their time, so need to be given what they want. Lastly, not every saas bahu show is a hit, what is needed is the X factor (emotions and the synergy between characters). We sure hope that Ekta Kapoor again weaves her magic thereby making Kundali Bhagya a success.
We rate the effort 3 out of 5 stars.