Friday and Saturday chronicles!

Politeness and courteousness reaches Everest-ian heights every Friday night in Zee's SaregamaPA and Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai. As the host of the trendsetter talent-searcher, singer-n-host Shaan's sainted, almost beatific body language (does this man ever stand without his hands obligingly closed in greeting??!!??) is almost sincere; its the unneeded overkill by the makers that sets in some hilarity, maybe even pretention. Atleast that's how I felt when Shaan kept bowing before his judges (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy) for even cracking simple jokes. So much so for respect.

It feels even more awkward to sit through an hour of eulogies, congratulations, compliments, and kudos in Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai. Even more so when someone like Farooque Sheikh has to keep praising the likes of Amrita Arora to the seventh heaven (you haven't forgotten Kitne Door Kitne Paas, Ek Aur Ek Gyarah, Dilli ki Sardi, and Girlfriend, have you?). That one particular episode still sends me chortling as I remember the choreographer busy hallelujah-ing Amrita as the most dedicated actress today etc etc while the camera zoomed to show Amrita in her underclothes, enjoying getting drenched in the shower, and giving those come-hither-me expressions. No awkwardness here on my side, but the expressions of Farooque and Amrita after the clipping took the cake.

The next Friday had Sunidhi Chauhan with the whole bandwagon of music directors sugar-coating her (quite rightly so.. she indeed is amazing), but an absolute finger-on-your-lips attitude adopted by the makers to shield her disastrous personal life (okay okay for the uninitiated, she ran away to get married and wasn't accepted by her family) made the whole 1 hr seem such a farce. Why adopt such diabetic attitude, I wonder. JIKNH has sadly joined the august company of all the socialite evenings and award functions run for the TRPs and give some ego-boosts to the insecure stars and starlets.

Of course there are some flashes of earnestness, which mostly rest on the celebrity guest's shoulders, like yesterday's guest Arshad Warsi who looked so genuinely excited about having a whole episode dedicated to him, that couldn't stop baring his teeth for the 40 minutes I survived of the episode. 40 minutes, did you ask? Oh.. too much sugar consumption on television means I am on insulin now. All it takes to get normal is an insulin injection.

Seeing the television industry suddenly rivalling its bigger sibling, the film-world in pretention is another reason to switch on the idiot box now and then. It only takes a mere glimpse of Star Parivaar Awards (in which every actor having even a 5 minute screen time on Star Plus gets a trophy, for if he's not nominated in Best Beta, he'll be in Best Yogya Damad, or maybe in Best Damad, or better still, Best Devar, or lastly, Best Pati.... duh!), to puke out every morsel that you had the misfortune of gulping down at the dinner table. Forget logic, forget novelty, okay okay forget the done-to-death tear-wiping, sorry-this-award-doesn't-belong-to-me speeches... these awards easily make probably the most disappointing benchmark of how dumb Indian TV and its audiences are. Very sad indeed, for Star Plus is what gave India probably its most entertaining moments ever in Kaun Banega Crorepati. C-grade films are a better bet anyday than these woefully pathetic soaps on this channel. Proof enough that in today's world "crap sells".

Of course whatever little time I caught at breakfast, lunch and dinner, must say its quite a delight to see a refreshed B4U and the wonderrful list of movies being shown (Khakee, Pinjar, LOC, Tehzeeb) after more than 2 years of slumber, catching up with the eye-candy of Asoka after 3 years was quite refreshing. Leave aside the Shahrukh's designer attires, and Kareena's ghost-pale complexion and the film still stacks up as one of the few watchable films that weren't made simply to send cash registers ringing. Okay, its probably the loudest slap India's history has ever got from Indian cinema, but the sewn fiction and haunting music is surprisingly very classy.

And what the f is the host of Masand Ki Pasand upto. I've liked this guy for his no-words-minced attitude, but his interviews have lately spiralled into something shamelessly cheesy. As if him commenting on Akshay Kumar's or Salman Khan's body-shape in the previous episodes wasn't enough, today was an ultimate moment, when the guy interrogated an ever-breathless Mahima-pardes-Chaudhary "Aap pehle se kaafi sexy lag rahi hain". Looks like someone here is a Shekhar Suman fan. Glad, in such a scenario of Masand, Suman, Ruby Bhatia, sanity on celeb-shows is maintained by the likes of Vir Sanghvi. Maybe all it takes for the nitwitted is to open their dictionaries and look up words like candid (and crude), blunt (and bum).

Of course I am done for today.

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