Kaun Banega Crorepati 8
Monday-Thursday, 8.30 pm
Rating: 3 star
What works: The eighth season of KBC began with a bang. For the first time, the show was taken out of the studio and organised amidst a huge live audience in Surat. The atmosphere was infectious and pulsating with excitement. You could feel it sitting in your living room! Amitabh Bachchan made a dashing entry to a medley of his songs which was greeted enthusiastically by the crowd. His lively banter and interaction with the audience, his command over Hindi and English – truly he was the Shahenshah of the show. Kapil Sharma who was a special host got the audience roaring with his inimitable sense of humour. The two of them together were a riot!
When the game began, Bachchan became the consummate host greeting the contestant with warmth and respect. Each of them was made to feel special and he deftly handled their awe and graciously accepted their adulation.
What did not work: Despite Kapil and Big B, the episode was long-winded. Stretching for over two hours it had performances by Sony serial stars and Shillong Chamber Choir. While the channel was clearly attempting to plug its shows and artistes, it looked forced and completely out of place. On the other hand, the Shillong Chamber Choir performed beautifully, but it could have been kept shorter.
Changes in the format: This time the makers have introduced a few changes in the quiz-based game-show. Instead of 15 questions there will be 14 and the double dip lifeline has been brought back in addition to one called Triguni that has past winners of KBC and other quiz shows in the panel to help the contestant. They have also introduced a buzzer called 'code red' that allows the contestant's companion to indicate to the contestant that he/she should quit the show. The prize money is Rs 7 crores and so called Maha Crorepati. This time with the focus on social message of women empowerment, there will be a lot of real heroic women appearing on the show along side celebrities like Rani Mukerji and Priyanka Chopra who will be promoting their films.
The second episode opened with a lot of emotional drama where past contestants and winners talked about how the show had helped them enrich their personal lives. Then there was this woman Khushboo who after winning the fastest finger round said that she had been called the audition in 2012 but couldn't make it as she had delivered her daughter. When neighbours and relatives taunted her about losing an opportunity of being on the hotseat of KBC because she got a daughter, she vowed that she will not have any more children and that she will not name her daughter till she makes it to the game show. This year, when she did, she requested Bachchan to do the honour and he solicitously named her Naveli after his granddaughter Navya Naveli. Clearly, the prize of seeing and meeting the Big B was bigger than winning the money for this grateful woman. In fact, this is the story with several contestants on the show.
Verdict: If you want to test your knowledge, follow the emotional highs and lows of the contestants or simply watch Bachchan who keeps you riveted with his baritone, humour and personal notes, go ahead.