What is right entertainment? This debate has really heated up in recent times, with web entertainment experimenting with bold themes like BDSM and alternative sexuality. Yet, there is a huge Indian market which still wants to watch good old subjects featuring a rich, spoilt brat, her loving father and a street smart dude who tames […]

What is right entertainment? This debate has really heated up in recent times, with web entertainment experimenting with bold themes like BDSM and alternative sexuality. Yet, there is a huge Indian market which still wants to watch good old subjects featuring a rich, spoilt brat, her loving father and a street smart dude who tames her. Well folks, this, in a nutshell, is the concept of the new Star Bharat show, Jai Kanhaiya Lal Ki.

Being the remake of the popular Bengali show Bhojo Gobindo that aired on Star Jalsha, the show comes with a lot of expectations.

Newbie, Shweta Bhattacharya, is doing a good job as Daali, who does as she pleases. Daali has been given full freedom by her rich granddad. The scene where she plays loud music to drown out the bhajans depicts a very common generational conflict. In keeping with the good girl image, Daali is shown to be fully covered–no miniskirts or cleavage showing tops for her.

The grandfather part is well essayed by Deepankar De. He is a nice man, hence, can’t crack the whip on Daali. Keeping the comic genre in mind, his anger and constant whining are always in a lighter vein, which is humorous. Many fathers and mothers will identify with his perpetual conflict. The poor man fibs through his teeth about his beloved granddaughter’s sanskari ways, but falls flat on his face over and over again. 99 guys have rejected Daali so far, but she is blasé and pines for her knight in shining armour.

The story takes a clear dig at the Indian mentality of craving for an NRI husband for the daughter. Here, the family turns out to be from Bangladesh, as opposed to from the US, UK or Australia. The groom is always shown to be a patcy who wants the girl, but the parents put their foot down. There are also a lot of references to God– an intrinsic part of desi life.

The song and dance entry of male lead, Vishal Vashishtha, was fun. The use of Bollywood numbers on TVhas become very common- even here, Daali is shown grooving to Nashe Si Chadh Gai. It would be interesting to see how Govindo enters the house as a house help and deals with Daali, who has made all the previous servants run away. The job of the writers musn’t have been too challenging, as there are several films and TV shows based on the same subject for reference. The dialogues, screenplay and subplots will be the crucial differentiator in this case. It is still too early to comment on the same.

As is the case with all family dramas, here too, the canvas is filled with relatives- the good, the bad and the not so important.

Here, to be fair, we have to acknowledge that Star Bharat knows its audience well, as most of its shows are doing well. The channel doles out simple stories, well told and classily executed. TV is a reflection of social mindsets, and we have to accept that small towns, the main consumers of TV shows, are still not ready to accept women outside the family, forget embracing sexual openness. No wonder then, that most small-screen offerings, which tried to cross this so-called Laxman Rekha, have perished in the ratings war.

And last but not the least, the urban crowd that cribs about desi TV being regressive doesn’t follow tube fiction anyways. So why will anybody bother about their likes and dislikes? They also enjoy the luxury of other entertainment avenues– internet, opera, stage, etc. – which general TV audiences don’t have. It is for this reason that shows such as Jai Kanhaiya Lal Ki are a win-win proposition for both- the channel and the mainstream TV audiences.

Having said this, Producer Snehasish Chakraborty’s Blues Productions has been successful when it comes to the original Bengali version of the show. One reality though about the look and feel of the show is that the Hindi version too seems to have a regional look, especially because of the regional cast that has been used in the show. We only hope this simplicity in thoughts to keep the product as close as possible to its roots (here: read as Bengali version) does not create problems for its growth and popularity in the Hindi sector.

Overall, IndianWikiMedia.com gives the effort 3 out of 5 stars.

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