One of India’s most popular celebrity hosts, Simi Garewal, is making a comeback. It’s been about a decade and a half since the last season of Rendezvous With Simi Garewal aired on Star World, and the actor/host is reported to make her comeback with a joint interview featuring Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone (their first post marriage). However, there is a more pressing question around these developments – is there a place for a Rendezvous with Simi Garewal in 2019?
The white sets, the opening two-shot of the reflections of Simi Garewal and her guests, the zen surroundings where both the host and the guest are practically mumbling to each other – it was considered ‘intimate’ at one point. But does that aesthetic still work in a world post Koffee With Karan (another show that seems to be dialing it up with a desperation to remain #relatable for the audience).
There’s no doubt that Garewal has been a trailblazer talk-show host for Indian television. But with our over-familiarity with the talk-show routine, having seen umpteen parodies of Garewal’s show, and also having ingested repeat viewings of Garewal’s interviews featuring the who’s who of Indian film industry, cricketers, business magnates and star musicians, is there more? Knowing the staged nature of these ‘personal conversations’, is there anything really to look forward to?
Being invited on Simi Garewal used to be an indicator of having ‘made it’. But are things the same in 2019? We saw Garewal’s last show India’s Most Desirable and the many comical turns it took – including a Tarot reading segment. <insert some mandatory sneering at Bandra>
It will be interesting to see how Ranveer Singh upholds the zen-like calmness of the Simi Garewal set, during that first episode. There’s certainly some intreting television in the offing, and we’ll have to see if Garewal’s comeback survives without unintentionally launching a thousand memes. AND there’s always Kangana Ranaut, if things get too dull.