By Saumya Tiwari
You turn on the television and you see naagin mutants or crazy machchhar reincarnations on shows supposed to showcase some version of real life. I know we all die chuckling when exposed to a seriously real (seriously?) Sasural Simar Ka.
And then, one is forced to either find solace in western television series or to curse the Indian masses for their bad taste.
Luckily, God gave us the internet to expel us from this suffering and the internet gave us webseries. Indian webseries. Praise the Lord!
Why webseries matter
Because they revolutionized the entire small screen industry! So much so that the internet domain has become an industry of its own.
They have been able to accomplish this because they are realistic. And trust me, after coming to terms with Baa’s immortality in Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, we did get disillusioned with the reality that TV serials serve us.
We NEED webseries as TV shows, but we can’t
Now with the perks of web-series being discussed, what one must be thinking is what can’t we swap the currently telecast shows with these ones? Simple question, simple desire but there’s a very complicated story behind this. Or simple, if we understand how the silver screen actually operates.
1. The content of web-series is sometimes too bold to be approved by the Broadcasting Content Complaint Council(BCCC). BCCC’s strict guidelines would make it very difficult for web-series to slide away. And hey when even cinemas are not free from censorship, it is far easy to filter the small screen.
2. Web shows have limited episodes, and the Indian audience has unlimited desires. Added to that, the thirst of production houses is never-ending. Limited episodes means that the current business of studios might be affected because they earn a lot from daily TRPs.
3. Indian youth, or youth for that matter is more acclimatized to the internet. Eat. Sleep. Browse. Repeat. This is what we do. So even if someone tries hard and gets web-series on the internet, guess what? We’ll not be there to view it.
The consumers of televised serials are still people who have not adapted to the age of internet. Hence, broadcasting will make no sense.
4. We still live in a deeply conservative society. Web-series at least earn some appreciation from the internet, and acquire business because of the rapport they build with their audience. On TV, the audience appreciating will be few and hostile criticisms will be a bushel of it. So, won’t make sense. The good would be lost in the noise of the “bad”.
So, it’s not as easy as you might have thought to broadcast web-series on our televisions. Though these are the next big thing, but sadly we still have a long way to go. And even though a change in attitude of BCCC could help, but looking at the bigger picture, the complete Indian mentality, the process would be very gradual and most probably impossible. So yes, though we would love to see our favorite web-series as a part of small-screen, we totally don’t expect the media houses to telecast them and lose out on their money.
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