Along with Dal, Roti, Sabzi, TV serials are an Indian staple. We have all willingly or unwillingly sat with our mothers and grandmothers and endured (and maybe even enjoyed) the amazing absurdity of these shows. They’ve made us smile, cry, laugh, gasp and even cringe, but yet, we love them.
Here are 7 elements that make up every Indian TV Serial-
1. The Doe-Eyed Female Lead
Usually a ‘bahu’ or a ‘beti’, the doting female lead is the epicenter of the serial. She’s uber virtuous, always does the right thing, honest to the core and pure in every way. She’s also really stupid. The villains always pull a fast one on her and she never sees it coming. She’s also a bad role model because her world revolves around her husband, without whom she’s shown to be weak. Thank god she’s fictitious because she’d never survive in the real world.
2. The Vamp with way to much eye makeup
She’s mean, she’s rude, she’s scheming and sometimes she’s also murderous. The TV Serial vamp is genuinely the worst character in the show. She’s always out to get the goody-two shoes lead. And weirdly she’s never employed anywhere because being evil is a full time job. She always has dramatic and bold makeup on, because according to TV serial logic: More Makeup = More Evilness. The vamp is the backbone of the serial and the reason for 99% of the plots.
3. Mansions ft. Tulsi Plant
Every TV serial family (which itself is half a town) stays in a giant mansion. It has giant courtyards, halls, curtains and bedrooms. How the family doesn’t get lost is a plot line for another episode. And each home has a Tulsi plant, which is a symbol of being ‘sanskari’.
Many TV characters undergo emotional and mental transformations during the show, but many also undergo physical transformations. Either they die and come back to life as a new person, or they get into an accident and come back with plastic surgery. Reincarnations were made famous by Indian TV serials. (remember when Mihir came back looking completely different in Kyun Ki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi? Epic.) This happens when an actor leaves the show to enter Bollywood. He is never written out, he’s replaced. These are great for cliffhangers and shock value, and honestly they add a lot to the plot.
5. A grandparent who is immortal
Every TV serial has one senior citizen, usually a Baa or Dadi Maa, who is immortal. Come what may, they will be alive and kicking. Which is actually a great thing because usually they’re really cute and fun to watch. They’re always loving and give the best advice. Some are terrible (remember Dadisa from Balika Vadhu), but nevertheless are very entertaining to watch.
6. Replays and Reaction Shots
Did someone get slapped if it wasn’t replayed thrice and then zoomed into everyone’s reaction… also thrice? When it comes to dramatic impact, TV serials know how to deliver. Every truth bomb dropped, every slap thrown , every accusation hurled is always accompanied by multiple repetitions and some very impactful zoom shots. Essentially, if someone gets slapped, it is shown on loop for 5 minutes. Maybe the creators thought the audiences will have network issues or assumed they’re mentally slow, either way, these dramatic elements are iconic and we love them.
Check out this one-
Indian TV Serials are the epitome of Sanskar (aka Alok Nath). Half the story runs on sanskari elements and even preaches it.. The sanskar is too good to be true, and exists only in these Tv serials. In the real world, sanskar will get you punched in the gut. This sankar evokes tears, joy, humility and endless eye rolls, but yet no TV serial would be complete without it.
Indian TV Serials are epic in every way. They may be ridiculous, but they are entertaining. They run for decades and it’s impressive how the writers manage to keep them interesting and up to date! Infact, recent times have added some brand new elements to them, the most popular one being Naagins! Morphing into a snake is trending, and soon it’ll become an established norm for all TV serials.
PS- All Indian TV serial episodes are essentially that one long phone call that could have been an email.
While you’re stuck at home, take a trip down memory lane and catch some of the classics like Kasauti Zindagi Ki, Balika Vadhu, Kasamh Se, Pavitra Rishta, and of course, the iconic Kyuni Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi!
Did we miss out on something? Let us know!
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