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Posted on Dec 22, 07:25PM | IANS
It's a known fact that viewers crave for a daily dose of high voltage "saas-bahu" sagas, but this year they seem to have acquired a taste for mythological shows like "Devon Ka Dev Mahadev". And what makes such shows more delectable is the use of computer-generated visual effects, their makers say.
Other than Life OK's "Mahadev", parallel running shows include a new "Ramayan" on Zee TV and "Jai Jai Jai Bajrangbali" on Sahara One.
Ajit Thakur, head of the Life Ok channel, told IANS that "Mahadev" is the outcome of their endeavour to avoid the trap of typical dramas and do something different.
"When we started with Life Ok, we wanted to do something different from the regular saas-bahu sagas. Plus, we wanted to do something topical, which is relevant to society. The story of 'Mahadev' is relevant today. It talks about today's topics and everyone can connect with it," he said.
This is not the first time that mythological shows have become a hit on tube. Who can forget the days of Ramanand Sagar's "Ramayan" and B.R. Chopra's "Mahabharat" when streets used to empty out when they were aired?
But after that, viewers shifted their focus to saas-bahu sagas, fiction, reality and crime shows. This year, however, mythological shows have come full circle.
Many think such shows are a sure shot success recipe. But digging out new and engrossing stories from the manuscripts is a Herculean task for the makers.
Ramanand Sagar's son Moti Sagar, the producer of the new version of "Ramayan", reasoned if audiences don't find anything fresh in the story, they wouldn't watch the show.
"The show must be accepted by the audience. It should not be like a re-run. It is very important to maintain the freshness in the shows," he said.
Nikhil Sinha, the producer of "Mahadev", agreed. He felt the show became popular because it has been presented with a different perspective.
"The show has to be unique... the novelty factor is important. The way we have told Lord Shiva's life story hasn't been told before. 'Mahadev' has audiences of all age groups. Young audiences also love it. People don't want to miss a single episode. The feedback has really been encouraging," he said.
And what's more, the use of advanced technologies enhances the backdrop, making a show interesting and engrossing.
"Advancement in technology has helped in making things look more authentic. It surely helps. VFX are very good these days. We are using the latest technology and techniques," Sagar told IANS, stressing that "editing is very important".
Thakur agreed that computer graphics have added zing to "Mahadev".
"To make it different, we have used a lot of computer graphics. It has worked for us, but I must say even we were surprised with the success," he said.
So far so good.
But with television audiences changing preferences, uncertainty looms over the popularity of the genre.
"The genre has become successful after 'Mahadev' got accepted and people want to see such shows. Channels want to take such shows on, but for how long this genre will stay is not known," Sagar said.
Ambiguity notwithstanding, the current popularity of these shows helped open the floodgates, eventually prompting other channels to also air new mythological shows. One of the recent ones is "Jai Jag Janani Maa Durga" that went on air Dec 17 on Colors.
There are said to be more such shows in the pipeline.
(Anjuri Nayar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)