That Sarabhai vs Sarabhai is coming back on our screens is an old news. One of our favourite comedy shows is coming back in a modified version as a web series on Hotstar. Of course, we are excited. Or more-than-excited, actually. Why? Because we love Sarabhai vs Sarabhai. We are a fan of Maaya’s attitude of judging everything on her ‘too middle-class’ level. She even changed Manisha to Monisha, because of course, ‘Manisha’ is too middle-class. And nobody can get over Rosesh’s poetry. Such a talented man he used to be. We hope, his amazing writing skills are still intact in the new version of the show.
But, is it only our love for the characters that is making us anticipate Sarabhai vs Sarabhai this much? I mean, it hasn’t stopped trending on social media and around ever since the news of its revisiting our lives has flashed. No, this Sarabhai fever is not just because of our fascination with this show, but it has also to do with the evident vacant space for good comedy shows in our lives. It is a window of our escape from the kind of comedy shows we have been served on screen these days.
Most Indian TV sitcoms airing these days do not cater to genuine comedy. Yes, they make us laugh, sometimes think and are quite popular as well, but they lack innocence. Here’s the list of the TV shows being aired on Hindi television currently:
Bhabi Ji Ghar Par Hain
May I Come In Madam?
The Kapil Sharma Show
And the shows on Sab TV
Now, two of these shows are adult comedies and the Kapil Sharma Show is a stand-up comedy television series. Some of the TV shows on Sab TV can be put in the boxes of real comedy shows but then these are the shows being aired on one channel. Where is the variety?
What tickles our bones when we watch the &TV show is the kind of language the characters use and also the much not-so-acceptable desires of its male leads—to hook up with their bhabhi ji’s, the wives living in their neighbourhood. Even the concept of May I Come In Madam? constitutes its protagonist, who is a married man having sexual desires for his female boss. Again something which seems more like a desperate attempt to bring the audience of Grand Masti on the small screens. Then we have The Kapil Sharma Show where all the LOL! moments comprise an endless mocking of the women of the show, whether due to their physical appearances or the way they speak; or, pulling the legs of the people sitting in audiences for being overtly under the influence of their favourite stars who arrive on the show to promote their films. And oh, we also have Navjot Singh Sidhu aiming his amazing poetry in between a conversation and laughing on one-liners that even the one speaking didn’t expect it to be funny enough.
And that’s about it. None of the current television Hindi shows give us actual comedy. These shows are either driven by a concept which is too niche in nature or a personality which attracts the major audience. What we miss here is a concoction of good characters, a fun story, relatable drama and humour that doesn’t seem forced. Our liking for the shows like Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Tu Tu Main Main, Family No. 1, Office Office and Hum Paanch among others emerge out of our hunger for intelligent and innocent humour.
A TV show that kind of tried to bring that era of comedy show back on TV was Sumit Sab Sambhal Lega. Though a Hindi adaptation of Warner Bros. Everybody Loves Raymond, the show was a nice attempt to bring viewers something which is not run of the mill. However, we could not warm up to it. There could be many reasons to it, like the time slot the show used to be aired or maybe, it would have grown with time but it was made to shut before.
The arrival of Sarabhai vs Sarabhai is currently the only way out from our comedy hunting on the idiot box. It should not continue for long, though.
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