May 31, 2006

Tubular Tragedies

One of the greater disappointments of 2006 has been the rate at which new seasons of my favourite sitcoms have gone down the drain. I do not know what hit Max Mutchnick after season 6 of Will & Grace, but the series has become completely unwatchable. Actually, even season 6 was nothing short of a mini-tragedy. The jokes don't seem that funny anymore, almost everything is predictable and even Karen looks like an also ran. I have been watching season 7 on and off and every time I feel nothing about it.

And you know all hope is lost for television, when even minor indulgences like Amy Peitz, who is delectable as Annie Spadaro in Caroline in the City, turns up with a double chin and longer hair that makes her look like any average brunette in the latest season on air these days. Tragedy truly has no limits. Of course, there are minor consolations like Lost, Desperate Housewives and Coupling, but none of them are good enough to be cult stuff that you'd want to live and breathe with, be it every day or every week.

Truly captivating television is really part black magic -- an art rarely practiced these days. During the early Doordarshan-only days it used to be the mostly tragic Buniyaad and an English dub of a Japanese series called Johnny Soko and His Giant Robot. As kids we would be glued to both and even indulged in the odd mass prayer during one of the all too frequent power cuts. I also remember cheesy, but interesting, ones like Kashish, Fauji (featuring a very raw SRK) and another Japanese dub called Oshin.

The following years saw the launch of Doordashan II on the terrestrial network and endless reruns of Estranged by Guns and Roses in the (two hour?) slot MTV used to have on it, immediately after its departure from the Star TV platform. Axl Rose must by now hold the record, for the most televised jump from a ship, till time and television ends. I guess it all started going haywire somewhere after that, with successive years and seasons of even lower expectations leading to a situation where there is almost nothing truly entertaining on television anymore.

I guess you could point out a couple of the 'K' serials to me, but I can't stand the garish make up, overacting and the endless song and dance sequences. It is all too melodramatic and reeks asphyxiatingly of having been done a million times over again. Discovery Travel & Living, with Anton Bourdain's Cook's Tour and a lot of other programs does provide some relief, but quality Indian stuff on television? Perish the thought.

To end the sad post, I'll point you lads and lasses to the best answer I've come across about why men always entertain thoughts of threesomes in the woman-man-woman combination than the man-woman-man combination, on the internet. And as usual, you can trust to come up with the best explanation. Read and enjoy.

p.s: crossposted at the office blog after the required sensitisation of content.