What it’s about: It is the desi version of the hugely popular American television series 24, which revolves around terrorism. The original show had Kiefer Sutherland as Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) agent Jack Bauer. Anil Kapoor (Jai Singh Rathod) essays that role in the Indian version. The show ran for 8 seasons and there were 24 episodes in each season, using the real-time method of narration. Jai Singh Rathod races against the clock to thwart multiple terrorist plots, including a presidential assassination attempt.
What’s good: It is the kind of show never seen before on Indian television. No one dared to attempt it. There are few shows that cater to the Indian male. Our idiot box has been taken over by saas-bahus and kitchen and drawing room politics. This is a welcome change. The show gets it right. From the sets to the dialogues, the costumes to the high-octane drama. The show has high production values, you can see that no skimping was done here. It has the same flavour as the original. Only the dialogues are different (Milap Zaveri does a good job). It is fast-paced, has a great cast and an impressive star cast. All in all enough to keep you glued.
What’s not: Perhaps the channel should have considered if there was actually an audience for such a show. Also, there are die-hard fans of the show who have been with Jack Bauer through all the eight seasons and for them he is irreplaceable. Ditto for Chole O’brian, Nina Mysers, and Tony Almeida. Trouble is, sometimes a show that is hugely popular in the west, doesn’t work here simply (remember Shah Rukh Khan’s Total Wipeout — Zor Ka Jhatka?) because the audience taste is different. Thrillers as a genre don’t find a huge audience even on the big screen. Look what happened to Aamir Khan’s Talaash. It should perhaps have been a daily show. The show keeps you on the edge-of-your seat and to wait for a whole weekend to find out what happens next is nothing short of torture.
What to do: If you haven’t watched the original series, then this is highly recommended.