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Game Over/Game On: Are Sports Drama on Small Screen a Template For Irony?

Are Sports and Indian Television a perfect match?

Sports analytical

The Cricket World Cup 2019 is just around the corner and the whole of nation is awaiting to bleed blue. Cricket is not just a sport but a religion in India and The World Cup is like a war that suddenly awakens patriotism in Indians. While Cricket is worshiped, other sports like Hockey, Football, Badminton, Tennis, Wrestling and Boxing have seen a major improvement in past few years. Earlier, media including films and TV shows majorly highlighted cricket but now they are consciously becoming more inclusive of other sports.The content creators have been actively trying to create sports-based shows and series, yet have they really justified the sports aspect of such shows? While our sports persons are making the country proud at International platforms, TV shows and series’ are yet to give sports based shows their due share of limelight. 

Let’s find out below:


Tamanna:

Tamanna

Star Plus TV show Tamanna featuring Anuja Sathe in lead role revolved around the life of a married woman who wants to become a cricketer and the struggles she faces in order to achieve her dreams. It can be called as one of the best sports based Indian shows made till date. The show merged sports and feminism and did not deflect from it. It broke the mould of  saas-bahu drama and tried to explore a different angle. Unfortunately, it was a dud.

Palampur Express:

Palampur Express

Sony TV show Palampur Express featuring Pooja Kanwal in the lead role revolved around the life of a young woman Paavni who dreams of becoming an Olympic runner. The show tried to capture the essence of the sport and to an extent did manage to do a fair job. Unfortunately, it did not garner good TRPs. Maybe lack of star-power in the show was the missing point.

Humse Hai Life:

Humse Hai Life

Channel V show Humse Hai Life starring Abigail Pande and Himansh Kohli in lead roles revolved around a young girl Sia Dhillon and her ambition to become a boxer. Fighting all the odds, she aims to become a top boxer just like her father. It was basically a high-school drama with boxing as the main focus. The show did try to explore the field of sports but at the end turned out to be another high school drama.

Swim Team:

Swim Team

Channel V’s youth based show Swim Team starring actors like Pooja Banerjee, Samridh Bawa and Priyamvada Kant revolves around a team of swimmers who train hard in order to represent India in Summer Olympics. The show did manage to capture the vibe and was written well. Though relationships were involved in the show to spice up the drama but nevertheless, it was a hit!

Inside Edge:

Inside Edge

Amazon Prime India’s first original series Inside Edge starring actors like Vivek Oberoi, Richa Chadha, Tanuj Virwani and Siddhant Chaturvedi as main characters was based on IPL and betting in sports. The gritty drama was extremely well written and well performed and is the kind of content we need to focus more. 

Kesari Nandan:

Kesari Nandan

Colors’ show Kesari Nandan featuring Manav Gohil and Chahat Tewani revolves around the story of the great Phogat sisters and their journey of becoming great wrestlers despite all the odds. The show takes inspiration from Bollywood movie Dangal. Though it started out well, but it failed to maintain the balance between the drama and sports. The show is failing to score big at TRP charts too. The film, on which it was based, was a hit but the show doesn’t seem to evoke the same feelings.

Selection Day:

Selection Day

Netflix’ original Indian series Selection Day is based on Aravind Adiga’s novel with the same name. The series follows the life of two brothers who are raised by their cricket obsessed father to become the next great pair of batsmen. The story revolves around their selection process in teams and the pressure and competition that comes with it. It can be said that the show was the right step in the direction of sports based content. 


A lot of TV shows in between added the sports element like Udaan, Puncch Beat etc.Treatment of sports based shows have always been incompetent as the content usually deflects from the main purpose and becomes yet another drama. Not just cricket but the creators need to focus on other sports. With  Zee5 coming up with a football based original series Bombers and ALT Balaji's next, it  shows that content creators are willing to take risks and explore this under-represented genre. Do you like sports based TV shows and series? Feel free to suggest any other Indian sports based series that you love in the comment section below. 

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Palampur Express poster

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Humse Hai Life poster

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Tamanna

Kesari Nandan poster

Kesari Nandan

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