“Today’s Popular TV Serials Depict A Life Different From Normal Life. Why Do You Think Realism Is Absent From Them?” – WAT Wednesdays

Welcome to yet another week of WAT Wednesdays!

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This week’s topic is an actual WAT topic of IIM Indore 2013 – “Today’s Popular TV Serials Depict A Life Different From Normal Life. Why Do You Think Realism Is Absent From Them?”

Please bear in mind that there is no right or wrong answer for it. That’s an opinion. However, the reasons for that opinion may be right or wrong.  And that’s what is important – the process of reaching the conclusion rather than the conclusion itself.

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Sharada Kapilavai

Along with the title provided, I see the picture of an Indian TV serial here, therefore, I pick that context to elaborate on. It is typical of Indian TV serials (or it can be said for most of them), that they need a theme to start from, and enough plot twists to continue from there. The monotonous, unrealistic and many a time even hypocritical display of scenarios in such serials goes on to depict how the channel and/or the producer is not interested in serving creativity, but is here to make money. The major concern for people making money out of such ventures is probably only TRP ratings, a story that evolves very slowly and has just enough spice to keep the drama going. Although the kind of twists and turns to come next in such serials is not such a tough guess for the audience, majority of them entertaining such serials tend to watch these, “just to pass time”, or to cite an example, is something a homemaker would do to relax during a break like in his/her hectic schedule. Unlike movies, which become popular either because of the story or because of a particular actor/actress, these serials find neither a speculative eye for detail nor a curiosity for the plot among the audience. Hence, they are neither creative, nor realistic as they only want to give the audience what they are there for- a break.

Shefali Jain

The content shown on television has never been close to reality. Every daily soap starts with a good note, diffrent characters, diffrent stories but after a month or two , every story follows the same path.

Mother-in-laws tormenting their daughter-in-laws, actresses wearing makeup to bed, some third person always planning conspiracies against the serial’s protagonist ( who is always the well sorted, relegious and cultured women) . It’s the same in every Indian daily soap.
These serials last for 5-6 years and then loose quality content.
Today, a new trend of making biographies has started. Ramayana ,mahabharata, shivaji, ashoka and what not. It’s better than a regular serial anyday but the problem arises when even these biographies, which are actually the real stories are altered. The writers are always trying to put the love and conspiracy angle into everything.
We need to have better and real content and even shorter duration might help.

Rituparna Panda

Television is one amongst the most popular means of mass media. And the main source of entertainment of TV comes through daily tv soaps.
These TV soaps, when first started from the single channel Doordarshan, with serials like “Hum Log”, they aimed to reflect the actual lifestyles and stories of the real people. However, they have grown to become more and more separated from reality and moving more towards fantasy.
Today, TV soaps are taking the aid of fiction to play through the dreams and fantasies of the people. In order to woo different segments of the audience, they play different strategies. For e.g, all the youth-appealing shows today, have to have a colonial style building as a college, where everything from romance, to proms, to dance and plays, and of course, the Romeo-Juliet play goes on, except studies. Similarly, for housewives, they aim for large mansions with rich families, with traditions as the supreme rule, females laden with heavy saris and jewelry, and the mandatory vamp-usually the mother-in-law or some other bahu of the home.
Even mythological shows have not been spared, by distorting stories and adding redundant fillers.The soaps like Jodha-Akbar, Mahadev, Shanidev and even the pristine Ramayana, have been played with to gain higher TRPs.
All this eyewash is not only increasing superstitions and belief in the occult but also growing disparate religious myths. In the race to cash TRPs, the soap-opera makers forget that they are actually misguiding people, by showing them an altogether different life.
Today’s youth is not only about fun and romance, but more about career, ambitions, goals and dreams. The housewives are no longer only housewives. They are becoming entrepreneurs, moving out of the house to fulfill their families’ needs.
The growing distance of TV soaps from reality has to be reduced, in order to check the adverse effects on the uneducated and rural class, as well as to stop the constant comparison and copying the tv lives to our lives. It is important to use the TV as a medium to show art through serials. In this process, they should try to use the reality, not distort the reality to an unrecognizable face.

B.Ravikiran Sarma

Television, since it’s advent, has brought in so many changes to the programs it displays to the public. The medium now portrays programs ranging from live telecasts to edited serials for a viewing population which is also distributed as per the program.

When TV serials are particularly talked about, the making and purpose behind has to be given a thought. They can be divided into categories like: a) Children’s shows, b) Melodramatic Serials, c) Documentaries driven shows, etc. and each one of them has their own audience.

When we talk about TV serials depicting the life different from normal life, we are mostly dealing with melodramatic serials. These serials are mostly aired for non working professionals and at a time when they have completed their work and are ready to relax.

In general, people have expectations and when they are met, there is a sense of peace which satisfies people. Similarly, most of the times, TV serials became popular by capturing the expectations and portraying them on the big screen. Sometimes, when there are twists, the music and other elements playing into the minds of the audience are such that they convince them into the happenings. The popularity of the shows is thus maintained by entangling the audience with the plot and the characters.

When life is talked about, it is filled with uncertainties. Many a times, people feel bad about how life has treated them. But, popular TV shows cannot be that real. The music attached to mostly all of the melodramatic scenes and a slow action sequence throw in a detailed exposure which is unrealistic and binding. For the program to be watched, director thinks that this experience is required.

There are serials (documentaries) which are factual but less popular. Hence, the public appeal towards them is not catchy enough for mainstream directors to throw a realistic image in the serials they make.


Okay! Let me start with Socrates words as he said there is nothing in the world which does not serve purpose.

There will be always supply demand equation.
In the today’s fast paced world everyone want break from normal life and enjoy some things which they cant do otherwise.
Whenever we watch any serial or movie we think ourself as a protagonist and enjoy the things.( thats what made superhero movies popular)

In the way in indian serial domain they try to give things which you otherwise cant thus resulting in enjoyment.

Now days lot of people opting out of tv serials as they dont make sense.