Before I proceed on to writing about the Doordarshan series as I had told, I would like to clarify that despite what I said in the last post, there are one or two shows which do have a story line that is a different than the usual shows like Balika Vadhu( a major hit, I am told), which is about the problems faced by a bride in a child marriage or Utaran, a story told from the perspective of daughter of a maid, but I am sure all such shows will go into a different direction in a few weeks time. They just can not resist incorporating scheming vamps into the shows no matter how hard they try. This post shows, how I 'have' to watch serials that I didn't think I would during the holidays and I had to mention the couple of serials that keep me entertained. So here is the list:
Now the post is titled new shows but I find that I have more fun watching the shows that I have already watched twice or thrice, like Friends, 30 Rock, Scrubs and Seinfeld(also I don't have much else to do) so this had to be included.
Man vs. Wild - Discovery Channel
Whenever there is nothing worth watching on TV, I switch to Discovery and it is amazing how it has not backfired even a single time(except may be in the afternoon, when its 'woman hour') . While I was doing this, I saw a show which has given me at least something to cheer for. It is a show hosted by a man named Bear Grylls, an ex-military officer from UK, who airdrops himself in a remote location (where the chances of survival are very less ), and shows methods to survive it and reach the nearest settlements of humans. As much as the premise of the show is interesting, it is also quite educational. Though after seeing what happened to Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch's character in Into The Wild), I am not going to let anything in my mouth from an unknown object unless I have a guinea pig with me on whom I can test it. Along with the knowledge about various survival skills and what should be the best decision in a given condition, the presentation of the show is also interesting. This part comes from the search of food and water that he takes on.
Being isolated in a place like deserts of Sahara or glaciers of Iceland it is always fascinating where he would look for food and water. In the little I have seen(4 episodes), Grylls has eaten a monitor lizard(about 4 feet long, killing it by banging it against a tree and then eating it raw), a snake(just beheaded the rattle snake and ate the rest instantly), termites(loves those for their proteins !!),sheep's fat and eyeballs, crabs, sting ray and birds(only a fire needed for them)..and when I checked on wiki I found out that he has also:
"squeezed both elephant dung and partially digested food from the stomach of a dead camel into his mouth for water, ripped raw chunks of meat off a dead zebra with his teeth, eaten maggots off a dead deer, and drank his own urine which had been stored in the skin of a dead snake."
I know this is not the usual form of entertainment for many people out there but for me it just goes to show what humans are capable of when faced with death or losing out on something that is very special for them. All the ethics and all the principles go for a spin.
I know that some of the events are staged and not real, but I'd still recommend it. Who would have thought, a time would come when an Englishman has to go about eating insects and snakes for our entertainment..!
P.S.: I also saw a show about a man's spiritual journey in India, and to my utter disbelief, that man was Jeremy Piven..!!! Never did I imagine that the Ari Gold from Entourage would present a show titled 'Jeremy Piven's Journey of a lifetime' and all this with a straight face.
Jimmy Kimmel Live - Star World
I do not know how the ABCs and the NBCs decide that a person X is going to host the talk show that is going to air on their channel for years. It must be a grueling process, and I think it must involve a sample audience tolerating X's show for a long duration as the larger audience has to after it is given a green signal. But on the other hand, they just require a chubby, not very handsome looking guy that the people can relate to, as I don't think any comedic or acting skills are required in it. The jokes (which are written by a huge team) are not that funny (mostly involves fiddling with video of celebs) and the presentation is not that unique. Same is the case with Jay Leno's, David Letterman's and now Jimmel Kimmel's show. But as Kimmel's is the least experienced I find his show the weakest. But with no good talk shows available I can just get through that one hour as the chats with the guests are interesting. Molly Shannon herself bragging about the massage she recently got from a woman, which was exploitative in nature, or Courteney Cox explaining how while typing a letter in a hurry to the future principal of her daughter's school she typed 'cock' instead of 'coco' which is her daughter's name.
Punk'd - VH1
I have never liked Ashton Kutcher, but even then I find that the pranks are cool and make up a good half an hour. When the same pranksters are used in every prank, I think someone must be intelligent enough to recognize their faces, but I am wrong, most celebs are that stupid.
Yo Momma- VH1
I am including this here just for the originality of the idea. This is a show hosted and produced by Wilmer Valderrama which includes a trash talking competition between regular people to decide who is best trash-talker in the 'hood' and 2 people represent their hoods in one final round. Though, the show could have been interesting but the low quality of trash talking(!!) and the screwed up format makes it something that you can easily give a miss.