Love goes 3D
One of the trends that dominated the small-screen was the third angle in a love story. Either two guys were smitten by the same girl or two girls were in love with the same guy. Every other serial from the traditional looking Balika Vadhu, the filmi Madhubala, Punarvivaah — Ek Nayi Ummeed to the Muslim social Qubool Hai depicted a love triangle. One show Anamika even gave a paranormal touch to what could otherwise have been a staid love story. The makers got so caught up with the concept that in some serials a third person was introduced much later to add spice to the shows like Bade Acche Laggte Hai and Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kucch Kaha.
Men in drag
Since female-centric shows rule the roost, the guys this year decided if you can’t beat them, join them and brought out the feminine side in them. Several male actors turned up in drag in different shows. Ali Asgar, Sunil Grover and Kiku Sharada led the pack with their perfect impersonations as Dadi, Gutthi and Palak in Comedy Nights With Kapil. The three got their female avatars bang-on and you would be forgiven if you thought they were women. Then there was an entire show Mrs Pammi Pyarelal revolving around a man dressed as woman — Gaurav Chopra. Though Gaurav turned out to be a pretty woman, the show didn’t click. Now Karan Goddwani is set to turn a woman in Jeannie Aur Juju, while Mohit Sehgal appeared in drag in Qubool Hai. There have been one-off appearances of men in drag in reality shows too like Karanvir Bohra’s female avatar in Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa and Omar Farooque’s in Nach Baliye!
The tried and tested Bollywood formula of double roles was played out prominently in serials this year. Even Mahadev of Devon Ke Dev Mahadev played a baddie in his twin avatar as Jalandhar. The highpoint was a face-off between the two! Others who played double roles included Rati Pandey in Hitler Dadi, as the good Indu and the vampish Zara, Abbas Khan as Eeji and Beeji Pandey a la Chulbul Pandey (Dabangg) in Lapatagunj Ek Baar Phir and Adaa Khan as the sophisticated Amrit and rustic Rajjo in Amrit Manthan. While Aditya Redij played a don Ishwar and the positive Prithvi in Junoon — Aisi Nafrat Toh Kaise Ishq, Avika Gor got her first double role as a subdued Roli and a bindaas banjaaran Jhumki in Sasural Simar Ka. The trend was so popular that Ankita Lokhande who had threatened to quit Pavitra Rishta post the 18-year leap stayed back when she was promised a double role! She currently essays both the aged Archana and her young granddaughter Ankita.
The success of Crime Patrol spawned several me-toos — Shaitan, Delving Into A Criminal Mind, Savdhan India and Police Dial 100. While some started last year, others went on air early this year. Except for Police Dial 100 which followed the cops even as they are solving a case, the others recreate the crime scenes, while the host narrates the story. Everything from the brutal Delhi gang-rape to chilling cases of honour killing, the shows have reconstructed gruesome crimes but have maintained that their aim is to create awareness and make people alert!
Grandeur on the small-screen
A lot of colour and grandeur was added to the small-screen this year with several historicals and mythologicals taking centre stage. Starting with Jodha Akbar, that tells the passionate love story between a Mughal emperor and a Hindu princess, the year ended with the launch of a fantasy drama Hatim. Also, after BR Chopra and Ekta Kapoor’s televised version of Mahabharat, yet another serial based on the epic went on air. Buddha was brought to life with a serial by the same name. Then there’s Bharat Ka Veer Putra — Maharana Pratap on the life of the Rajput warrior, . A short mythological serial Katha Mahadevputra Bal Ganesh Ki was aired close to Ganesh Utsav. And last but not the least, Devon Ke Dev Mahadev that brought back the trend of mythologicals, released DVDs of the serial.
Now showing Season 2
Anil Kapoor is talking about a season two of his desi remake of the thriller 24, but the idea was already set in motion by serials like Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha, which began the year with a sequel. Megha and Mohan’s love story was back after a 16-year leap and was taken over by their offsprings. Lapatagunj came back with a six-year leap and moved from a village to a town though the essence of the satirical show remained intact. Sanskaar Dharohar Apnon Ki that was forced out because of Bigg Boss 7 returned for a second run within a month with a new storyline and additions and exclusion of some characters. Punarvivaah had a unique second season. Within a month of the original going off air, the makers brought a fresh cast and storyline under the same brand! Even the producer of Pratigya had announced another season, but it never took off.
Back after a break
From Sangeeta Ghosh, Gautami Kapoor to Kanchi Kaul, the year saw several TV actors, especially women, who had taken a break after marriage or pregnancy, making a comeback. Sangeeta and Gautami returned with Jee Le Zara and Khelti Hai Zindagi Aankh Micholi, respectively. It’s a different thing that Gautami’s serial is already on its way out. Kanchi came back after two years with Meri Bhabhi while Rajshri Thakur — Saloni of Saat Phere — who was missing in action for over a couple of years returned with Bharat Ka Veer Putra — Maharana Pratap. Jennifer Winget of Dil Mill Gaye fame was back after a two-year hiatus with Saraswatichandra, while Reena Kapoor (Rani of Woh Rehnewali Mehlon Ki) will be seen in Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya after five years. Even, Poonam Dhillon last seen in Bigg Boss 3 is back with a show loosely based on English Vinglish called Ek Nayi Pehchaan. Other prominent personalities who made a comeback include Ashish Chowdhury (Ek Mutthi Aasmaan), Sudesh Berry (Devon Ke Dev Mahadev), Eijaz Khan (Punarvivaah2), Iqbal Khan (Tumhari Paakhi), Ratan Rajput (Mahabharat and Bigg Boss 7). BB 7 saw couple of TV actors like Apurva and Shilpa Agnihotri, who had vanished from the scene also making a comeback.