Sarabhai vs Sarabhai to Khujli, web is inviting unique content. Does that mean television is dead?


Instead of soaps, I get recommendations for TED talks and documentaries that I can watch online. It’s ironic that in the old days, when there was only Doordarshan, we had so much to watch, but it’s now just the reverse. As I record episodes of Feud—Bette and Joan (Davis and Crawford) and Kate Winslet-starrer Mildred Pierce to watch at my convenience, it worries me that once the mini-series end, I’ll probably go back to watching re-runs of Friends on TV. For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App now
First Published on: April 24, 2017 9:04 pm© IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd Sarabhai vs Sarabhai will soon be back on a screen near you, but not on your idiot box, unless you happen to possess a smart version. Since there’s always Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Voot and even just YouTube. And if I’ve recently discovered Gossip Girls, Netflix has the entire bank of episodes. But this whine about lack of choices on television is not necessarily a bad thing. Recently, a friend recommended I go online to watch Khujli, a short film starring Jackie Shroff and Neena Gupta as a couple that finds a pair of pink handcuffs in their son’s bedroom and decides to take inspiration from 50 Shades of Grey. But, since former colleagues and friends insist I keep in touch so I can join in for the gossip sessions, I follow it to an extent. Like me, most people I know, are tired of watching television debates or talking heads that specialise in shouting each other down, leading nowhere. There’s the third season of Grace and Frankie, starring Jane Fonda and Martin Sheen, besides the hugely popular Crown. My low standards of television viewing established, I still maintain that there’s really not much to keep me interested anymore. As a diehard couch potato who was even hooked to Hindi soaps for the longest time, it’s for the first time that I’ve considered not renewing my DTH subscription. In fact, there’s so much to watch out there, it makes for a neverending playlist, except very little of it belongs on the idiot box. As the hit show from over a decade ago ventures into a new season on Hotstar, it’s proof of a trend that has been around for a while. Malgudi Days, Tamas, Idhar Udhar are shows we still enjoy going back to, despite the decades that have piled up in between. Also read | How digital media changed the way India watches indie films
Even the news has lost its bite. It’s just enough to get the headlines and move on to other sources for actual analysis. I followed it up with Tisca Chopra-starrer Chutney and a few others, till I couldn’t care less about whether there was anything worth watching on television. The Pakistani serials were interesting for a while, even prompting me to binge-watch them online, till I got tired of the second wife theme in most of them. Who even needs TV? She tweets @anuvee) Views expressed are personal. Koffee with Karan was fun, but you could just catch the episodes on your smartphone. As for talk shows, the promotion-driven element ensures the celebrities rarely have anything new to say as they go studio to studio. A friend says her daughter loves watching anime, besides tuning into the BBC app on their smart TV. As production houses and channels dish out trash as an excuse for what viewers want, a new generation is discovering how liberating it is to finally control their viewing preferences. So, now, I don’t even start watching since I’m sure of being let down. (The writer is an editorial consultant and co-founder of The Goodwill Project. Ánd nobody’s complaining! I get drawn in when Bigg Boss comes around, but this season, even charismatic good-looker Salman Khan couldn’t keep me hooked for long.  
My relationship with Hindi soaps has been going downhill for a several years, since every serial that showed promise gradually turned into a “saas-bahu” tale. 2017-04-25T10:05:50+00:00″>
Updated: April 25, 2017 10:05 am

The content on digital medium is more rich and experimental as compared to television.