Most serials aired on prime time television claim to be family soaps, catering to the mother, father, daughter, son, wife or husband in you. Every possible permutation and combination of relationships between myriad characters is then put under the microscopic gaze of devout viewers to develop, break, fester or burn out.
These combos of crazy relationships are explored for around ten minutes, interspersed with ads galore and incessant long shots or close-ups.
At the centre of this over-the-top drama are outrageous and over-dressed characters, especially the atrocious female leads. How much ever you rack your brain, you simply cannot come up with any real life counterpart for even a single character on board.
Letâ€™s consider a few of the gems on display currently:
Karuthamuthuâ€™s Karthika who gets enacted by an otherwise fair actor with her face all greased up is on top of our 'atrocious' list. Why could the makers not opt for a dark female lead is another one of the universeâ€™s mysteries gone unexplained. Sheâ€™s married to a nice doctor-chap, but thatâ€™s it. All the rest are villains.
This is actor Rincy who currently plays Karthika:
She replaced Premi Viswanath who had been portraying the role since 2014 and in these two years, the director could not find a dusky beauty to play the lead role...Genius, ain't he!
Beginning with her step-dad who hates her, we also have a step sister who tries every trick under the sun to discredit herâ€¦maybe even kill her.
The top villain of the show without doubt is Dr. Mareena who is obsessed with Karthikaâ€™s husband to such an extent that she will stop at nothing to get him.
This serial is a masterpiece because it gifts us not one but two outlandish characters in Karthika and Mareena.
Karthika seems always under siege, continuously attacked, beaten up, thrown off a cliff, pushed into a pondâ€¦whatever happens, she remains the epitome of all goodness.
Why the hell can she not turn around and slap her antagonists for a change is better left unsaid. She could actually start slapping the director firstâ€¦maybe after taking the ridiculous grease off her face.
Mareena is a deadly combo of Voldemort and Hannibal Lecter and has already killed one, thinks she has killed another, and is now in the midst of her attempt to kill a thirdâ€¦no prizes for guessing whom â€“ Karthika , it isâ€¦hahâ€¦you now automatically win a â€˜black pearlâ€™ (karutha muthu) for your serial intuition.
â€˜Chandanamazhaâ€™- A spin-off of the long-running Hindi serial â€˜Saath Nibhaana Saathiyaâ€™, in which the lead character Amrutha exists just for sobbing her heart out, day in and day out.
We can list many things offensive about this soap, but the worst is perhaps how every visitor who comes to the house assumes Amrutha is a house-help and then treats her shabbily (as if speaking rudely to a house help is perfectly fine).
After months of neglect by her husband, her wifely patience egged on by her ma-in-law is rewarded, when he decides to reciprocate. Any self-respecting woman would have simply walked out of the relationship much earlier, but here we have Amrutha sobbing in such gratitude that she loves and worships the jerk even more.
A quarter of the other characters keep scheming her downfall, but she continues to be the â€˜life-giving dewâ€™ in the family. From where do you think she got her name?
Also, why on earth would someone want to wear make-up, jewellery and saris to bed like Urmila, the mother-in-law does!
Letâ€™s move on to Manjurukum Kaalam's Jani kutty. This one is based on an eponymous novel by Joycy â€“who we are informed is a repeat offender and regularly churns out such ghastly stuff for Malayalam weeklies and television.
From the looks of it, Jaanikutty must be the most hated kid-now-turned-woman on the planet. Her biological father dumps her, her adoptive mother hates her. She being the next saint-in-line continues to dispense loveâ€¦someone forgot to add other emotions to her script.
Men love her, women donâ€™tâ€¦there - you have just been given the entire storyline on a platter, yet the producers refuse to wind up their idiocy.
After all, itâ€™s prime time television and the show must go on till such time all snow melts from the face of the earth....ahem - thatâ€™s what the title says!
Then we have Parasparam's Deepthi. Another spin-off from 'Diya or Baati Hum', this oneâ€™s a double whammy of cultural regression and â€˜Malayaliâ€™ emotional overload.
An IPS to boot, Deepthi coolly tackles terrorists, beats child traffickers into pulp and even prevents a plane-hijack. Somewhere in between, she also manages to get demoted to a traffic cop.
How on earth that happens is something the producers know they will never have to explain to the faithful, if not imbecile viewers of the show. After all, she does get reinstated after a gap of heart-breaking episodes!
But when it comes to the homestead, not even Ramayanaâ€™s Sita can beat her on the sacrificial front. What better testimony than one of her own kidneys for her mom-in-law without telling anyone- no kidding!
And despite our rants, these serials will continue to top the charts every week. We rest our case here.