Reddy from Chicago
of watching television are undergoing a lot of changes from the time I have had
the pleasure of Indian channels added to the cable listings. While in the USA
or visiting India television has become a part of every room where people sit or
eat or sleep or just chat. No stopping the constant chatter by the stations on
what is wrong with everything in the state and country and sometimes the world.
are modeled like CNN Headline News or CNN World, and the reports have absolutely
no training on when not to show gruesome details of mutilated bodies. For some
reason the guys seem to show just grossest things on TV. One TV channel does a
daily evening news special on some person who is facing the gravest dangers that
have no help from the government. All ills are the responsibility of the
government. From no water available to no electricity to bad roads to all
illness, itís the governments fault. Everyday naxals are killed or someone is
shown brutally killed and the bodies shown without respect to the dead or to the
fears of the people watching. In our homes children are watching these channels
along with the adults who are seemingly indifferent to asking the children to
leave when watching TV that is not meant for children. There is no television
rating system or discipline of censorship.
and mindless comments or editorial is presented on the view of the person
reporting or showing stuff to people on live TV. All most all the times these
so called special segment end with comments ďwondering what the government is
doing?Ē What do they expect a democratically elected government to do about
every ill captured on television?
I am sure
there is no accountability on the information that is being reported by these so
called investigative reports. Here is something I suggest everyday with each
Find a good deed done by one of our citizens and report this
and glorify the doing good aspect and avoid showing us misery. We have plenty
of misery that is obvious to all people in the world, and TV doesnít have to
show how bad things are as special segments. TV can glorify the goodness of
people. I believe that if we glorify thatís doing good is reported, people
might start doing more good. Publicity is good even to do good things.
Donít show dead people on TV without warning of the graphic
content, and inform the adults that the segment is not good for children.
Rate the shows so people can start using the guidelines for
watching television with children.
One of the
most fascinating things in television history is the soap operas that go on for
years together and keep people glued to the television at a specific time during
the day or primetime watching in the evenings. These shows run for many years
and people start associating themselves with the shows, and emotionally getting
involved in the characters being shown day in and day out, and many times
imagining what will happen next. We can praise the makers of such shows, or the
director of such long running shows for their ability to capture a great number
of peopleís imagination. Itís a great marketing platform if same people are
watching the show at the same time everyday. It is an advertiserís dream space,
with captive and attentive audience who are emotionally involved in the
television without fail. There is a great number of day time and night time
soaps in the American Television history such as Dallas and Dynasty. No amount
of praise can be heaped o the makers of these shows (and similar shows) for
creative and prolonged ability to capture the audiences. In recent times Telugu
television also have been making inroads into such melodrama and capturing
audiences. Some shows are fantasy and are shown depicting the supernatural and
bring to life the many books we have in the language that we may have read as
children. Some shows are pure fiction, and depict unusual life styles and
unusual friendships of no real nature into to daily soaps. People seem to be
glued on to the irrespective of the time they come on the air.
invariably are watching these shows with their motherís or babysitters and
probably are exposed to them everyday. As they come during primetime (some
shows are shifted to primetime once they become popular) the children canít
escape the onslaught of melodrama everyday, nor complain to parents (adults)
that they would prefer to watch a cartoon or some other show that is of interest
to them. There is no escape for the children from the unrealistic and emotional
presentations made by these shows. Parents wonít listen to them, not they can
escape the onslaught of these shows. They also canít escape the emotional
turmoil adults invariably go through with each episode of these shows, and
perhaps are the victims of both the mindless shows and also the mindless
emotional trauma that is bestowed on the adults, who in turn reflect it in their
actions at home. The poor young ones suffer either the atrocious depiction of
unnatural life on television or suffer the emotional crap from the adults.
Either way the shows long running influence is the suffering on the young ones
I offer no
editorial except my observations on these mindless melodramas everyday.
Perhaps, adults can do some things such as:
Buy a television that is for kids use so the children can watch
shows that are of interest to them.
Allow children to watch programs when hey get primetime
children shows and let the kids enjoy their television time.
Perhaps a more meaningful solution is simply asking the
children to be away from these shows if the adults canít stop watching them.
I am sure the
television viewers are continuing to grow everyday and the television tubes are
in great demand. In a recent visit to a Sony showroom in Hyderabad I found that
the largest dealer of Sony televisions in the city did not have stock to send
home, and was waiting. I heard that the same model has been sold to seven homes
and they were all waiting for this particular model of television to be
delivered to their homes. There is expanded viewer base everyday and expanded
demand for quality programming. Soap operas are not going to go away, so there
is no point in even asking the audience to not to watch them. Watching
unrealistic stuff is a part of living that is real, and perhaps provides some
relief to the imagination of the viewing population. But there is a way to stop
exposing children to this mindless melodrama.