Star World's new show featuring Arjun Rampal pits the egos of Bollywood A-listers against their anonymous and vocal online haters, but the result is far from exciting
When we heard that a new show was to replace the soppy Simi Garewal's India's Most Desirable that featured the country's most out-of-business celebrities (we're talking Neil Nitin Mukesh and Rani Mukherjee here) we were relieved and almost certain that Star World would redeem the grace of it's prime time slot.
Rampal with Farah Khan and her 'hater' Nilesh Sharma, a Mumbai
However, after watching the first episode of what they had to offer as replacement, it was clear that we expected too much. What also became apparent was that Rampal was brought on to the channel for two reasons -- to add a television show to his resume and because the channel had to have someone less torturous and more tolerable than the lady in white to take up the prime slot before Karan Johar returned with Koffee with Karan.
The idea behind Love 2 Hate U is rather simple (whoever said simple was always beautiful) -- celebrities confront people who hate them, talk to them, hear them out (or not) and try to convert the hater to a fan in about 30 minutes. How does that affect or entertain you and us? It doesn't.
Rampal kicked off the first episode himself (as one would expect considering the number of people who can't stand the man) on November 20 by confronting his 'biggest' hater Farhan Syed. About one ad-break into the show we were wondering if Syed, a wannabe writer and one among the hundreds of aspiring stand up comedians, hated Rampal or just wanted to be his pal and be on television.
Twenty minutes and one lady-like pink margherita down, Rampal's 'biggest hater' on the 'hatometer' scale of zero to five (where zero would mean that Syed could marry Rampal and five would mean he could kill him) rated him 0.75, which we are guessing means that he would atleast make love to him, if nothing else. The one thing that the producers did manage to do well was catch hold of Syed, who made Rampal come across as intelligent and witty and ensured that by the end of the first half of the episode you hated lame Syed more than the host.
The second celebrity on the show was Madhur Bhandarkar, who seemed to have no problems with anybody not liking his work and whose explanation to passing off Corporate as a realistic film was that he was a class six drop out. The hater Suchitra, however, was much more convincing and held her ground. So, Bhandarkar said he had no problems with people not liking his work and Suchitra didn't particularly change her opinion. They had a nice debate, it was on national television and we were supposed to sit at home on a Sunday and watch them bicker.
Maybe Rampal and Bhandarkar were not the right, the most interesting and the most hated celebrities to kick off the show. But tonight's episode may just be a winner because the most hated man in the literary world is on the show. No points for guessing that one. Tune in to Star World to watch who hates Chetan Bhagat more than you do.
At: 9 pm, Sunday on Star World