“It is not he who gains the exact point in dispute who scores most in controversy — but he who has shown the better temper.” Samuel Butler (1835 0 1902).
Someone recently asked me about what I think of the show Bigg Boss and it made me wonder… what do I think about this show? Because in order to inspire the audience to think, a show has to offer substance and Bigg Boss offers none.The only reason I even watch it most of the time is to catch a glimpse of Salman Khan and the spattering of TV stars locked in the house.
Crux of the matter is, it’s a show based on controversy and unadulterated drama. People would not be interested to watch one hour a day of other people just going about doing their work, minding their own business and maintaining a semblance of sanity because who needs TV shows for that? You get that in your own houses. So to create more interest and offer the audience something worth watching, the producers come up with tasks with no clear rules or restrictions but enough incentives to bring out the worst in the house mates. And it work every time!
Ratan sits in a tub of cow dung for 45 minutes. Apurva and Sangram get mohawks. Shilpa gets into a tiff with Arman for pushing Apurva. Kushal throws trash and ash on Tanisha and Andy crosses accepted limits of civilised conversation topics. Kushal is evicted for pushing/ trying to hit Andy although Armaan is still safe and sound inside the house after making inappropriate and sexually harassing comments to Elli. The same lady who said Elli was putting on an act with her crying when Armaan taunted her is offended that Kushal threw some stuff on her in a task and pointed at her failing career.
Armaan keeps crossing the limits of acceptable behaviour towards women… no no…towards all housemates and verbally abuses everyone in that house at some point or another but he is forgiven because he says sorry. Should he not learn from his mistakes if he is sorry and try not to do that mistake again? But he keeps repeating the same misdoings again and again which clearly shows he is the least bit sorry.
All these ‘issues’ would have been avoided if clear rules were given in the tasks. If clear and fair control measures were in place for broken rules the audience would not get all worked up trying to prove #UnfairSalman or #Salmanisfair. Which is exactly why there is a clear absence of any rules, clear instructions for tasks or consistent handling of ‘punishment’ when housemates push limits.
The producers want to stir up the proverbial hornets nest because that’s when they score on the viewership. To err is human and being human Salman has also made mistakes. Armaan should have been pulled up when he made unnecessary comments at Elli. Tanisha should have been corrected for pushing Kushal just as Kushal was evicted for getting physical with Andy. Since she was a woman and not really a toned and fit one at that her push may not have amounted to much but she did push him. So why were the rules not consistent for everyone? Because that’s not what we want to see. We want to see controversy. We want to see drama and that’s what the production team is doing: giving us exactly what we want to see.
It might be fair to say that Salman is getting the brunt of all the frustration that the audience is feeling because he is the face of Bigg Boss. Being the host of the show does not mean he produces the show or writes what goes into it. He may have some control over the show but it’s the production team that runs the show and all the silly drama that happens is their doing not Salman’s. Funny thing is, that the ‘stars’ in the show mind all the attention they get. Any publicity is good publicity and irrespective of how they are portrayed in the show, whether it is in a negative light or positive light, the housemates are all in the limelight and are the topic of the town.
With Kushal’s eviction he probably got more fans who supported his move that got him kicked out. With Andy begging the girls’ in the house for their forgiveness, he probably won back a few hearts. Miley Cyrus made a ‘memorable performance’ at the MTV video music awards this year and everyone was talking about it. Not all of them had good things to say but they were all talking about her. How did that story end? Her album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and sold 270,000 copies in the first week itself. All the housemates are paid handsomly for their roles in the show so why not make the best of it?
Some say the whole show is scripted. Some say it’s not. Who is to know but the production team, the house mates and Salman Khan? All we can do is watch what we are shown, get angry when we do not like something we see and congest the web domain with our opinions of the show or be entertained in a calmer manner. So, coming back to the original question of what I think of Bigg Bos… it is my useless and humble opinion that a show must be worth watching with a definite purpose or objective.
News gives us current updates about what is happening in the world. Discovery channel educates us. Hindi TV dramas have the power to incite strong and positive emotions in us, particularly in the women although some men are also known to be motivated by certain shows currently aired in many TV channels.
A show must at least be able to make the viewers feel good about themselves and to a large extent perhaps Bigg Boss does that. We all enjoy watching Salman Khan and we… well I feel good about my normal, mundane life when I look at the so called stars behaving like out of control prisoners in a high security detention centre.
We all love to watch Armaan get into a fight with yet another housemate and think ‘If I were there I’d give him tight.. I would NOT tolerate that!’ I know I do… but if I were in there with him and he gets into an argument with me in his usual style… bring his face close in a menacing manner, get loud and deliver his baseless argument as if it were the most honest truth ever spoken, even I’d back off just because I’d want him to stop talking.
Clearly the team at Colours have spent a lot of resources to produce this show. So what exactly is the purpose or the objective of this show? To tell us how not to behave? To tell us that stars are human too and they also commit mistakes? Because if it is, then the production team is doing a great job with the show! If a show has a significant fan following, then isn’t it the responsibility of the production team to show something of value to the viewers and to use that air time to give a message? Because you can only use Salman Khan’s star power and fan following so far… What exactly is the purpose of Bigg Boss to the audience? What exactly do I think about this show? I’m still thinking…