Bigg Boss Marathi 2 is classier and naughtier
Why everyone's talking about Marathi Bigg Boss, and what sets it apart from the Hindi version.
I had seen Bigg Boss Hindi, and was waiting for the Marathi version for so long," says Firdos E Arjani, who watches Season 2 of the show every evening diligently on Colors Marathi. "As a half-Parsi-half-Maharashtrian, I can connect with the show, because it's easier to understand their innuendos and references, related to Marathi culture. In the Hindi one, most of the innuendos get lost in translation. People like me were aimless when Bigg Boss wasn't on TV, and now that Season 2 is on, we can entertain ourselves." Arjani is echoing the sentiments of many Mumbaikars, who are discussing the show's fights, gossip, evictions, love affairs et al, in trains and offices daily. Much like the Hindi edition, the Marathi avatar has steadily become a much-awaited event, even though it's just one season old.
'It's less wannabe'
The first season, aired from April 15 to July 22, 2018, and the second season has been on since May 26 this year. The prize money is Rs 50 lakh, and it's hosted by actor-director Mahesh Manjrekar, who is known to be strict, but has his favourites. Season 1 starred TV stars such as Usha Nadkarni (she played Savita Deshmukh in the Hindi TV show, Pavitra Rishta), Jui Gadkari and Megha Dhade (she won the show and came on Hindi Bigg Boss 12 last year), film actors Pushakar Jog and Sai Lokur, and even singer Tyagraj Khadilkar. Season 2 has contestants such as TV stars Kishori Shahane and Veena Jagtap, film actors Abhijeet Kelkar and Neha Shitole, chef Parag Kanhere, and politician Abhijeet Bichukale, who got evicted recently, when the police barged in and arrested him in a cheque-bouncing case. "The Marathi guys have hopped on to the bandwagon at the right time. I think what's interesting is that they have got people from different sections of Maharashtra. Last year, was very mainstream. This year, there are people from places such as Satara. So, we are getting to know different people from the Marathi industry too," says Arjani, a 41-year-old freelancer, who works in the communication industry.
Rupali Bhosale, Kishori Shahane, Madhav Deochake and Heena Panchal in a still from the show
Marketing manager and viewer Poonam Rane says that many non-Maharashtrians are watching the show, as well. "They understand Marathi and hence, enjoy it," says the Dahisar resident. Unlike the Hindi Bigg Boss, which is seen as an option for erstwhile stars, who don't have work right now, she feels that the Marathi version is hosting established, seasoned celebrities. "It's less wannabe. The last season of Bigg Boss Hindi actually felt like we were watching Roadies. The people here are not looking for overnight fame," says the 37-year-old.
Thirty-year-old Divya Vanekar, who is Konkani, but was born and brought up in Mumbai, watches the show to see a different side of her favourite Marathi stars. "I have always followed theatre, so Usha Nadkarni was a favourite of mine in Season 1. I vividly remember her journey and it was nice to see her in a different avatar," says the content writer, who also feels that what works for the show, is that it is rooted in Marathi culture. "In Season 1, they had a smoking zone, where even the women of the house would go and smoke. In Season 2, they got rid of that. It didn't quite fit, considering the family audience they have. They are also showcasing a lot of new faces, who I didn't even know existed. So, it was fun to watch."
What's common between the Hindi and Marathi versions, along with the format, is that it does—like Vanekar says—give a chance to lesser-known personalities.
Launch pad for participants
Actor Pushkar Jog, who was runner-up in the first season, says he had been struggling in Mumbai for 10 years to make a mark. "In this city, you have to give a receipt of your success, or people don't buy it. I have had many ups and downs, but Bigg Boss did wonders for me. I never thought I would be mobbed on Worli sea face, or an 80-year-old woman would come up to me and say that she would wanted a son like me," says the 34-year-old, who was lovingly referred to as Pushki on the show, and whose recent movie Ti and Ti did decently at the box office.
His co-contestant and best friend on the show, actor Sai Lokur, who starred in Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon with comedian Kapil Sharma, also says that it was Bigg Boss that made her popular. "Those 100 days spent there were the best days of my life. The Marathi audience is more connected, as they take it all much more personally. People now know me as Sai, not as a character," says the actor, who hosts a show on YouTube, to give an analysis on Season 2.
The experience has been a personal one for most Marathi viewers. Vijaya Shirodkar, 67, who has been getting upset these days, every time her Tata Sky connection goes off during the rain, says that she watches it on her mobile, as her husband "would rather not watch it". Even though this year's newer stars haven't found much favour with the Borivli resident, she still likes the Marathi version of the show. As she sums it up, "Acha aur sober hai. These people have more class, and there is less b***hing and back-biting."
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