I don’t know about you, but I’ve already got my reverse countdown clock bookmarked on my browser. Depending on the time you’re reading this, there will be 37 days and a few hours until Friday, May 16. I enjoy the nightlies, but I can't take the various party spokespersons any longer. Viewers deserve a break from them post May 12, the last day of voting.
Last night, I figured I had had enough on the BJP manifesto... the BJP defending it and the Congress saying it was copycat document. Derek O’brien of TMC was on his own trip and more than concentrate on the content, I was distracted by the way Karan Thapar hops from one question to the other on Headlines Today. There was this lady on ABP News in Ajmer who was near-scolding Congress MP Sachin Pilot’s rep. Poor chap, he didn’t know how to react to all the volleys, though he wasn’t too bad.
In between flipping across the various news bulletins, I stopped at Aaj Tak at around 9.30 and was happy to see Shekhar Suman on air. The show was ‘Election Ooh La La’ and a bit of Googling enlightened me that it’s a 30-episode series which started on April 1.
Now, I am no one to question the decision to carry a humorous take on the elections at 9.30pm Monday through Saturday, that’s taken by the leadership at the TV Today Network and the India Today group. I am sure there’s an audience out there for the soft stuff, for there’s surely a fair amount of content that Aaj Tak news producers could’ve dished out for that slot.
Back to Suman, who is an old hand at the poll-khol stuff around the last few general elections: the format has got dated and his popular take-off on Laloo Prasad Yadav and Rabri Dev isn’t of much consequence this time, but it was fun watching nevertheless.
Should Aaj Tak have stuck to in-studio discussions and debates or campaign trails and vox pops at primetime? 10pm would’ve been more appropriate for Suman, but like the race towards 272 seats, there’s also a desire to maximise ratings and revenues.