Dear intelligent viewers,
I saw the first episode of Channel V's new show My Big Decision that was aired yesterday with a hope that it would be a little different from the run of the mill, juvenile, embarrassing and mindless teenage dramas like Steal Ur Girlfriend, Dil Dostii Dance, etc. And the hope was based on two things, one that the format was licensed internationally and brought to India by BBC Worldwide (yes, I still have a lot of faith in the British Broadcasting Corporation's programming), and two that instead of just another item girl, the channel managed to get the more respectable, less controversial Sandhya Mridul on board to host the show. I saw the show with a hope that Channel V was finally catering to the other half of the "youth" -- you and me. But, I was wrong, yet again.
The show started, well, with the explaining of the concept -- exploring the pressures on people, being with them and answering all the questions when they are taking a Big Decision. It sounded good, it sounded sensible (despite the 1997 quality studio set up, voice over and script, which I was ready to ignore in exchange for decent content). I expected a discussion on trends that people blindly seem to be following. But it all got wiped out as soon as the participants were introduced, their Big Decision the 'fatafat' weight loss option -- Liposuction.
The first participant (her name is being withheld with the hope that this is just a phase and people shouldn't judge her by this so-called big decision) was a wannabe chikni chameli or jalebi bai with a fake English accent, hoarse voice, crass language and drunk mannerism. I am not judging her, she said it herself -- "Heroine banna hai, item song karna hai, toh expose karna hai. Expose karna hai toh patla hona hai. Munni ko badnaam toh hona hai." And liposuction for her was an easy way out, quoting her again, "If I have money and if I am lazy (which she is, apart from being other things) then liposuction is the best way out. Jo bhagwan nai deta woh doctor deta hai (Rakhi Sawant, here is your biggest fan). Aur akhir doctor bhi toh bhagwan ki den hai." The other participant was more genuine and normal, or at least he came across, in comparison to the girl. A young and slightly overweight Sikh boy, who couldn't look at himself in the mirror and was called a "mota sardar" by a film director with whom he works as an assistant, who couldn't fight his craving for good food (read fatty food) and who enrolled in gyms on several occasions and gave up, just before his "friend" suggested going under the knife.
The show set the contestants out on a journey to "discover themselves" and en route they were exposed to a series of events and encounters (gym trainers, doctors, an opportunity to witness a liposuction surgery, a one on one with a satisfied and happy liposuction patient) that would make them more aware of their choices.
My dissapointment isn't with the format, it's with the implementation and the choice of participants. Channel V (like other "youth" channels) has done it again, it has managed to go a notch lower by getting participants who can just make you cringe everytime they breathe, talk, walk or do anything. They are people I can't identify with and on a serious day they make me write page after page on my concerns of how shallow and inane the world around us has become. On any other given day, however, I would just watch the show to trip on the participants who invariably boost my self esteem and ego, and make me fall in love again, with myself.
May common sense prevail,