Friday, September 19, 2014

The Anupam Kher Show - some thoughts

The new kid on the block!

In times of revival of comedy, Anupam Kher has come up with a talk show. Beating Koffee with Karan and Satyamev Jayate isn’t easy. But, somehow, i like the concept of the show. Even though Mr. Kher has a lot of catching up to do to develop the natural flair that Karan and Aamir have as hosts.

The Good

The first thing i love about the show is its positive packaging. While Karan cashes in on the controversies and Aamir thrives on his pseudo-altruism, this show genuinely brings out the motivating stories of life. The inspiring undertone with the tagline - Life mein kuch bhi ho sakta hai - brings before us the lesser known facts about celebrities who have achieved success through their grit and determination. It seeks to debunk the popular myth that stars are just plain lucky.

Photo credit: The episode with Kapil Sharma
Every episode unravels facts about stars we didn't know. Vidya Balan was thrown out of 12 films before she finally got Parineeta. Kapil Sharma’s story is the common man’s victory through sheer hard work. David and Varun Dhawan's life seemed to be a story straight out of a middle class family. Kangana Ranaut ran away from home to make it big. And Parineeti and Varun wanted to actually become banking professionals! All these people come alive just like you and me who have had failed plans and not so rosy lives!

Photo credit - The set of the show
The not so good

i’ll begin my list with the garish set. It seems very artificial rather than a real place where people have just come together to talk. The false ceiling is the limit of the artifice! Added to that, the host’s 3-piece suit in every episode is a bit jarring on the eye! I can understand that people of a certain generation would consider nothing less for formal wear. But i think the show would get a lot more chatty feel if the host is more casual, albeit still crisp looking.

While all aspects of the show are well researched, the segment where a member from the audience is chosen to speak to the stars needs work. No one has thought of tweaking the concept and prepping the person before they shoot the segment. Most of them are either star struck or really have nothing to ask. And then Mr. Kher has to come with ideas to cover the goof up! It’s things like this on the show that make it lack finesse that the other talk shows have.

The tagline is a tad bit overdone. The repetition of it through the show is unnecessary and redundant.

Finally come to the show host himself. With all due respect to Anupam Kher for the incredibly amazing actor that he is, he needs to brush up his hosting skills. His diction is great and so is his narration. But he doesn’t look very comfortable doing that. Also, one thing that even others on social media have noticed is Anupam cuts the guests across/interrupts their stories with his questions. Sometimes even unrelated. It’s like someone’s talking about an incident and we don’t get to hear the end of it because the host has moved on to the next thing. The whole idea of a chat show is to chat leisurely. But wonder why it looks like the host is in a hurry to finish the questions in his list irrespective of whether the answers do justice to them. Even more strange is that no one seems to have noticed this and sought to correct it in the subsequent episodes. i would give Mr. Kher the benefit of the doubt and blame my critical eye to just a hangover of KJo!

But all bad things apart, the show is still a winner. The artificial sets or a lame segment with the audience will not deter me from watching a show that stays true to bringing out the inspirational from people's lives.

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