11 years. Certainly not a small amount of time span in any aspect. And it especially is not when it comes to running on a daily primetime slot for a continual period. That is a feat that Sab TV's flagship show, Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah has managed to achieve as it has not only completed all these years but in fact, continues to run stronger than ever.
As you would have assumed, there is a 'but' coming. But there have been several burning questions lately with the manner in which the show is running especially surrounding as to whether Disha Vakani aka Daya will return to the show or not.
I will address that but there a couple more concerns to talk about which includes how the show's overall quality has deteriorated more than ever and how it seems the makers are taking their viewers for granted. So, here we go-
A Trailblazer. A Game-Changer
Say what you may about the show right now but one cannot deny in any manner that the sitcom has revolutionized television viewing experience in India. Just like the west, India also faced the syndrome of preferring and appreciating drama shows over comedies but Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah decimated that belief on its arrival. It was no longer about watching high-voltage drama but about having a hearty laugh or at the very least a constant smile on the face with your family during dinner time. It is astonishingly fascinating to imagine that the show has managed to sustain that viewership for all these years.
Now a Habit
And as we talk about the viewership and how it has managed to sustain the same, the seemingly inevitable truth is how the show has now become a habit rather than a joyous viewing experience. It isn't surprising that the show has deteriorated with its quality over the years as it is understandable and even the biggest shows face that. But what makes a viewer still watch it nevertheless? A sheer habit. In several homes, 8:30 pm is usually dinner time and the fact that a decent show that occasionally makes one smile is running is a good habit to have for someone who has had a long day at work or otherwise. There's certainly nothing wrong with that and in fact, makes perfect sense.
Stretching Till It Waits To Be Torn
However, what do makers of a show that is running constantly and will do so ahead do to keep things interesting? Innovate. Apart from keeping your basics pretty much standard, the makers need to innovate now more than ever. Just because they haven't lost considerable viewership, the writers seem to have lost the will to bring in any novelty.
The Recent Tracks Are an Example
Some of the recent tracks in the show are hardcore examples of there is literally not an even attempt to keep things interesting. Be it the character of Inspector Chalu Pandey (Daya Shankar Pandey) being involved in nonsensical cases only to have a preposterous climax of the case later or how the tussle between Bhide (Mandar Chandwadkar) and Tapu Sena related to the latter playing in the compound continued to be used as a track over and over again. For the past couple of months or so, the makers have continued to resort to old topics and not bring any laughs either.
The Hullabaloo Over Disha Vakani's Return To The Show
Trying to be as reasonable as I can, it's understandable from the maker's point of view on why is there a delay on Disha Vakani returning. I don't mean I know the reason because none of us do. For whatever may be the reason, it must be important enough for them to now bring Vakani back as Daya in the show. But what is frustrating is that they are not even bringing anyone else. The saga about Vakani's return has been going on for over a year now and it has been almost two years since she left the show. In spite of there being several rumors about auditions going on for a new Daya to be cast, that also hasn't happened. By now, this has turn out to be a factor that is merely testing the patience of the ardent viewers. The worst part? In between the episodes for the last several months, the characters highlight the fact that Daya isn't there and how she is still roaming around going on different pilgrimages. Even though the audience buys into many of the wondrous things the makers show, they actually believe that the viewers will buy into this foolish reasoning. About time they get done with this saga at least.
Taking The Viewers For Granted
Ultimately, it seems that the makers of the show are taking their unfazed viewership and minimal feedback for granted. If that is the case, it is an unforgivable sin in the entertainment industry. The moment a showrunner begins to take its viewers for granted and not work on maintaining the quality, things go downhill. Maybe not immediately but gradually. Of course, even though the quality has been bad for so long now and still hasn't resulted in falling numbers; but that certainly doesn't mean it won't soon. What the makers need to do pronto is get done with the saga surrounding the return of the character of Daya - Vakani or anyone else. Just have it back in the mix. And while that happens, start focusing on the basics and work on nostalgia and old school humor.
What do you think about the same? Leave in your comments below.