Mumbai : November 21 is World Television Day and, at a time Indian television is at a crossroad facing the threat of being overtaken by OTT, many actors who shot to fame thanks to the small screen, feel the medium needs a reality check. Hindi TV shows have often been slammed for being regressive and unintelligent, and actors such as Vivian Dsena, Ssara Khan and Smita Bansal opened up on the changes they wish to see in Hindi TV shows.
Vivian feels television producers should only go for finite shows now. "In terms of TV soaps, stories should be shown faster. As for the TV industry, eight to 10 hours of working culture should be there especially for the technicians who lift heavy equipment the whole day. TV soaps should not be dragged. There should be more finite series," he told IANS.
Smita, who is currently playing Ammi in "Aladdin: Naam Toh Suna Hoga", feels that TV shows are currently very repetitive. "I feel television should now go through experimentation. The shows need to be stronger content-wise. I feel TV was more evolved earlier in terms of content, as there was better writing and better stories. There were also weekly dramas -- and that, I feel, is a trend that should come back. Weeklies allow time to the makers to create good content, and the actors get time to do more in terms of their performances because you would be delivering only one episode in a week.
"Around 10 years back, there used to be Thursday fillers or Saturday suspense, and these used to give everyone a chance to keep experimenting continuously. Currently, it's like a mill where you are churning out one episode every day," she told IANS.
"Jijaji Chhat Per Hain" actor Nikhil Khurana strongly feels that Hindi TV shows need to change. "There needs to be more of original content. As an audience, I would be bored of the same drama as it is going on in every show and on every channel. There are very few shows, and Sony SAB's 'Jijaji Chhat per Hain' is one of those, that has a different and light-hearted content. I think content needs to become progressive and real stories based on today's time need to be shown instead of the usual sob stories," he said.
"People want to see good things after all the stress which is already present in their lives and we should spread that positivity through TV shows."
"Bhakharwadi" actor Paresh Ganatra also feels that television shows in India should be more progressive. "What is of utmost importance is that the continuous regression in our shows needs to stop. Let us take risks as a medium. We are currently too happy in just producing what the people are used to watching on television for years and this way, we are not being a part of the transition that is taking place in the industry."
"With the emergence of digital platforms as a medium of entertainment, we are constantly worried about people watching less of television. But what we don't understand is that this is bound to happen if we keep doing the same things over and over and don't give the audience newer content. Let's just come out of our comfort zones and focus on content-driven shows on television," he added.
Actor Ssharad Malhotra has been mostly associated with "realistic shows" like "Banoo Main Teri Dulhann" and "Musakaan". "I feel the audience is still keen on watching good fictional shows, so channels and producers should invest in good writers who can come up with original stories. There should be more real content," he said.
Actress Jasmin Bhasin, the latest one to join the "Naagin" franchise, agrees that TV soaps should be more realistic. "The drama should be relatable in regular soaps. The story should connect with the audience. The twists and turns should be realistic in terms of emotions and histrionics should not been over-the-top," she said.
Actress Shruti Sharma also shares a similar opinion. "Our TV shows need to have more realistic concepts with a logical approach," she said.
Ssara Khan of "Sapna Babul Ka...Bidaai" fame always looks for challenging roles. "TV these days has changed a lot. I feel that TV shows need a bit of change as a show starts with a very good concept but after a point of time, it ends up being the same family drama," she said.
But then they also have an audience. "Our Indian viewers enjoy such family 'saans bahu sagas', so TRP is always high of such shows and a new story with different storylines don't work," she said.
Actor Arjun Bijlani feels lucky to have got reality and fictional shows. "Changes as such... I don't feel are needed but maybe if we can adapt more international reality shows then as an artiste, we will get various options," he said.