His character leans towards the darker side, he is edgy, mostly a non-conformist and exudes a raw sex appeal. No, he neither belongs to some Gothic novel nor is he the central character of a romantic best-seller. You will find this tall, ‘dark’, edgy hero playing out currently in a television show. Take RK the arrogant superstar of Madhubala, who hates the heroine but marries her just to take revenge, Indu Singh of Ruk Jaana Nahi who plays the rascal with relish, the edgy Kunal Chopra in Parichay, who is currently drowning his miseries in alcohol, the rowdy and rustic Krishna of Pratigya, the over possessive and abusive husband Viraj of Saubhagyavati Bhava and last, but not the least, Ranveer, the rake of Rab Se Sonah Isshq, who has ditched his lover at the altar to follow his London dreams.
Hemal Thakkar, producer of Ruk Jaana Nahin says, “Heroes with grey shades give a very interesting and mystic feel to the story, women love the brooding man with secrets and a little violent streak. I suppose it started with our Laagi Tujhse Lagan in which Datta Bhau (he was a gangster) was a much-loved character. I had women sending me emails and messages saying how they were in love with him.”
Vivian Dsena justifies his flawed personality as RK in Madhubala saying heroes are human too. "Being grey is human. People relate to my character as they like realistic characters." That in fact, is the crux of the story. With stories becoming real, the line between protagonist and antagonist is blurring.
Says Sukesh Motwani, head —fiction programming, head, Zee, “Television has come of age with realistic portrayals of the protagonists of our shows. Our hero is no longer the quintessential good boy, ideal son or husband nor is the leading lady a self-sacrificing holier-than-thou damsel-in-distress. Ranveer in Rab Se... deserts the love of his life on the wedding day and goes to London. Saahiba, the girl sells all the jewellery set aside by her parents and uses the money to fly to London in search of Ranveer. This is the youth of today and if our protagonists do not reflect contemporary attitudes, they will fail to strike a chord with the audience.”
Lending credence to this statement is Amrit Manthan, which probably is the only serial that has the heroine Amrit (Adaa Khan) in an ambitious avatar with no qualms seducing or killing to achieve her means. Says producer Rajan Shahi, “Not just the goodness, people identify with the dark shades of a character too. Amrit’s greed for money and power is something which the youth relate to.”
Not surprising then, that if good guys are good, bad guys are better!