Thursday, June 12, 2008

Paanchvi Pass, Smartness Fail

Give a TV game show a good time slot (read: help it bypass the competition) and make sure it has decent quality (read: better than usual budget) and there are only two more ingredients needed to rocket it up the ratings. First, the host has to be very engaging. And second, find some contestants who are really good because everyone loves a winner. bidaai sadhna raginiI subscribe to only half of this theory. On Shahrukh Khan's "Lets pay those bills" venture Paanchvi Paas - based on Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader - the host plays a big part in the show. SRK is very engaging and it comes from the fact that he is lucid and seems to have a genuine funny bone. He handles high brow and low brow comedy with equal fluidity.

But what's this about having smart contestants? I like un-smart contestants because they can entertain like no other. And after watching a few episodes and feeling a little jaded seeing SRK cavort around, my wish was granted a week or so back. Two sisters from a TV soap called Bidaai showed up. Their names were Sadhna and Ragini. Are these their TV names or real names? In fact, I'm not even sure who was who. But all of this is besides the point.

After some The Hills-style giggling, the sisters introduced their family.

"What a cute family they have" the Drift Memsaab remarked.

"Um, that's their TV family, I think" I said


First question comes in. The sisters give the wrong answer. SRK does his best to steer them to the right answer. It works!

In the second question the girls have to identify a green flag with a huge red circle in the middle. "Pakistan" one tries. "Nope" says the other waving her finger in an arc, "Pakistan's flag has a moon in it" Finally with some help from a kid, the sisters get Bangladesh right.

Third question is "How many common nouns begin with B in the sentence: 'In Bombay I saw Billoo with a red balloon in a blue bus'".

The sisters get to work. "Bombay is a common place" says one "so..." Again SRK comes to the rescue by castigating them so they know they're screwing up. By this time, he's already suppressing smiles.

"Which nouns are common" muses one sister. "Thats the complicated part"

Fourth question is "To which country did Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, belong?"

"Amarika" says one.

"Thats a continent" says SRK "name the country"

"New York?" offers one of the sisters.

SRK now suppresses a huge gaggle seamlessly. "No, that's a city"

Later, the sisters sing a song. Its god awful. SRK pretends to be moved and cries but are those tears of laughter? Suspense ensues.

Finally the sisters get to this question: "Which is the only mammal that can fly like a bird?"

Within a split second the answer comes: "Kungaaru!"

At this point SRK takes a walk to shake off the chuckles. He reaches the edge of the set and does a Kangaroo dance so that he has an excuse to jettison the laughter from his belly. He walks behind the girls and imitates a bat flying with sound effects.

Finally one of the sisters gets it. "Bat!" she exclaims!

Sadly this show ended shortly thereafter. Life is just not fair.



Anonymous said...

LOL i am so sad i missed it

but you never know this could be staged, no one can be that stupid.

i think these girls are in some show on star plus i see the ad every now and again, one's a fair one and the other's a dark one.. the dark one's supposed to be very ugly and the "fair" one's supposed to be sooooooooo good looking that her beauty is a currrrrseeee...

their mom hates the dark daughter or something because no one wants to marry her!!!!!! LOL

and i saw bits of one episode where the mom was crying her ass off!!!!!!!!!!cuz she blamed herself for her daughter's skin color

then the grandmom would lock the fair daughter in a room whenever guys came to look at the other daughter or something..

and one time she happened to come out of the room and the groom's family saw her


now they wanted some of that Vanilla not Cocoa!! sooooo funny!

Unknown said...

m, thanks for the low down on Bidaai. That show sounds funny enough that I might have to rethink Indian soaps. What a great premise! I wonder how they squeeze it for story lines each week.

Anonymous said...

Man, I saw snippets of Bidaai in India. Tres awful. Have u seen the on abt the Siamese twins (or conjoined twins whatever the term is)? LOL that was so awesome hehehe

Bee's said...

hehehehe..this why i love this blog..had a crappy morning at work..came this post and m's comment..can't stop laughing now..:-d

Anonymous said...

only seen ads for the siamese twins one

they were joined on the biceps LOL..

Anonymous said...

Hey Aspi

been reading your blog regularly, and as always, chuckled while reading.

My mom's addicted to one of the soaps and my dad (yeah, I know, don't ask) to another. They both argue about whose soap is stupider, and I can never tell the difference, because both involve huge joint families, evil sisters-in-law, weepy bahus and people just slapping one another now and then to maintain their self-righteousness.

I also happened to watch a few minutes of the "joined at the biceps" twins, and let me tell you, it's doubly annoying to watch those two twits lurch from one idiotic misfortune to another. It seemed like every five minutes, someone was accusing them of a heinous crime (Yes, YOU are the ones that sold my grandmother into prostitution!) or some such charge, while the two twits stare in shock with their mouths hanging open.

Anyway, love your writing, and look forward to reading more.

Anonymous said...

Driftji, you sir, will definitely Pass on entertainment!

Those answers are embarrassing. The twins should get their money back from their elementary school.

Unknown said...

Anon, Welcome. Give yourself a name so we know when you stop by again. My Dad is addicted to soaps as well. In fact he watches a bunch of them with a rather fierce expression on his face.

Anonymous said...

well i tried watching one because the guy was HOTT

but i couldn't even last one full episode. Good ones have no brain cells and spout out cliches about sacrifice, tradition, family values and all the boring stuff..the good girls are behenji types just cry bucket load of tears and the bad ones look like trannies

Anonymous said...

Not only are they behenji types, they are not that good looking either. And the ones that are pretty like Karishma Tanaa barely get roles because they are taller than everyone.

The main character cries so much and is so nosy that I would slap her if she was a part of my family.

Friendly Stranger said...

LOL.... I'm missing some fun in my life...I guess I should start watching such funny programs casting stupid people to get the fun back...

The best answer was New York.....hahaha

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember the bit in Andaz Apna Apna where

Salman - "Ye jacket kidhar se khareeda?"
Aamir - "New York se".
Salman - "Oh... maine socha shayad Amrika se hai" :-D

Bee's said...

Anyone watching this?

another reality show from zee..good singers, weird choice of judges and host..weirder theme :-(

Unknown said...

Bee, my in-laws are in town and I once saw them watching a show which caught my attention because it had Aneek on it. And some really good looking Bengali girl. But that host - Ravi Kishen I think - looked like he had had too much to drink, of the bad kind.

Anonymous said...

the only show worth watching on desi TV is Junoon kush ka dikhlane

the singers are the best, host is so wacky and cool and the judges are awesome!

i am soo over Jo jeetega woh superstar, the song selection is so bland and generic and deja vu. i only watch it when i'm bored

Anonymous said...

M for Megan
Agree except the fake Ila :
On another note Must Read
" Bachchan Unplugged " in current issue of India Today - You may get a chukle.
Jo Jeeta is stale and have run out of song selection .

Anonymous said...


thanks for the welcome. I guess for lack of a better name I will give myself the handle "Teddy" That's what my cat answers to, when he deigns to react at all when called.

I checked with my TV soap authority, mom, and she likes a terrible soap called Sujata (about a doormat type naari who exists only to be insulted and slapped by husband and in-laws and even her kids), while my dad is partial to Teen Bahuraniyan, and both watch one which has Mukesh Khanna (Bheeshma from Mahabharat of the old days) playing a Bengali patriarch.

I'll have to check out the shows that people have mentioned in the comments.


Bee's said...

i am yet to watch any ek se badh kar episode..but planning to watch one soon..
lots of srgmp 07 singers seems to be in it..
but don’t know why they have abhijeet as judge after he made such a fool of himself in VOI..
and the host guy wears way too much make up..

Unknown said...

Teddy, good enough.

In fact, when commenting, you can choose "Name/URL" in the comments form and type in your name there itself.

Anonymous said...

for anyone that wants to watch it! This post and m's comment were so funny that I just had to find it on youtube!

I've actually seen this soap a few times, m described it to a T. It's ridiculous that there's a soap made on a such a horrific topic, "light skin = beauty"

ppl said...

That 'hill style giggling' analogy was awesome Aspi.

I love watching this TV recap show called 'saas bahu aur saazish' and if u get past the ass-kissing, funnies can be gleaned from it. You get to see the corny bits of the daily soaps without having to suffer through hours of balaji style camera work.

Being that this show comes on Star News and Bidaai is a star plus show, the Coco-Kaju bidaai sisters make several appearances.

Currently this 'novel' show has the Kaju sister married to a mentally unstable guy (diagnosis-haadso se paagal) and his 'illness' makes him act like a child and often choke the shit out of his wife (??).

Of course she is slowly falling for him (kinky girl!)

Anonymous said...

i hate these soaps soo much.they are soo irritating.funny, actually.
my friends used to have a tough time trying to keep me quiet while they watched all this nonsense.i have a great time laughing off at all these soaps.
trust me there were some ppl in my hostel who used to look at me like i'm some weird creature bcos i don't enjoy these shows.
i always thought only aunties and uncles watch these soaps.the very fact that even people of my age watch it so religiously astonishes's utter nonsense!every person has minimum 3 wives and has murdered atleast once!then dies once and is finally 'inevitably' re-incarnated!
what crap!

Anonymous said...

cooc-kaju and haadso se pagal! rofl!

Over Rated said...

It's not the fault of Ms. Pre-fair & lovely and Ms. Post-fair and lovely. They probably went to a government school where the teacher was either siphoning of money to send his own children to a real school or busy resting after coming back from his private tuitions. And the producers of the show should have made the questions simpler.

For eg:

- How many bottles of glycerin are used in a single episode?
- Do the eight year olds who write the script of your show use HB pencils?
- Does getting your hair streaked grey age you by 20 years?
- How many bottles of beer on the wall?

Unknown said...

leera and Over Rated, hilarious. You really should be writing this blog.

Anonymous said...

LOL! that is hilarious overrated

I was watching this soap with the HOT guy.. and the dude was at some big party and then the dad says "WOH TUMHARI KAUN LAKTI HAI?" then the camera points to every guest in the house with the sound affects.. Tada Tada Tada Tada

then hottie boy says with tears flowing down his eyes "woh mera koi bhi rishta nahin lagda!!! "

then the camera points to the rest of the guests and they all had a sigh of relief.. PHEW then the boy says

i was on the floor cracking up..

then he gets like 10 slaps.. from his dad.. and the girl he's in love with gets dragged out of the party by her step mom and starts beating her up quite ruthlessly pulling the most evil faces lol, pulling her hair etc.. and the girl just sits there and takes the abuse.. WTF

aspi, you should watch the soaps and then do a review/blog on it with screencaps and captions.. they will be comedy gold

ppl said...

I second M, but fear the psychological havoc that would wreak on Aspi's head.

Over Rated said...

thanks aspi .. but i don't think i can match ur wit and analytical skills ....


the scene you describe is hilarious ... and the .. PYAR KE SIVA .. line just cracks me up ..... it's so stereotypically 1968 hindi movie ...

Anonymous said...

SRK did something similar in Pardes, no? Where he tells Amrish Puri ki uska 'Ganga ke saath kya rishta hai' which is vishwas ka, something ka, something else ka and (most importantly) PYAAAAAAAAAR ka!!!!!!

Unknown said...

I confess that in my India trips past I would sit in on the soaps with my parents and pass all kinds of comments. Mum would laugh but I annoyed the heck out of Dad so had to stop.

But this sounds like a good Winter exercise!

Anonymous said...

Aspi, I can see you now, sitting with mom and dad, watching a balaji soap.
Aspi makes a funny comment, or laughs at a tense scene between Bahu and Saas. At the blatant disrespect shown to Pitaji's TV show, Aspi's mom maaraos a tremendous chaata to Aspi, and then bursts into tears. "Mujhe tumse yeh ummeed nahi thi, beta. Humaare ghar ke adarshon ko tum aise bhul jaaoge."
invisible chorus starts chanting the gayatri mantra in the background.
Aspi's Dad looks nobly wounded, "Jo beta mere saath Saas bhi kabhi bahu thi nahin dekh sakta, woh mera beta kahlane ke laayak nahi!"
Drift Memsaab drops a silver tray bearing cups of Pudina chai, shrieking, while Aspi declares passionately,"Jis ghar me mere jokes pe haste nahin, wahaan rehna nahi. Chalo drift memsaab, Chalo motordsandal"
invisible chanters' mantras reach a crescendo.

Anonymous said...

don't forget the 90 year old distant relative of the family who's sitting in the corner called "bebe"

she's going "hai rabba.. oh wahe guru ji" over and over again and cracking some pop culture referenced jokes

Unknown said...

Teddy kya scene likha hai! And you even got the pudina chai right which I'm addicted to.

At one point I remember seeing someone who kept saying "sirjee". Can't remember the show but was some young actor. I got so fed up that I said "if he says sirjee one more time I'm going to kick his ass". This was the last straw for Dad.

Anonymous said...

ROFL, Hilarious post!Hey, I must watch this show regularly.This episode sounds much more fun than the Saifeena one!