Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Farah Khan's Tere Mere Beach Mein: Oprah with the Stars

Farah Khan is making a play - via her yaarana status with Bollywood's stars - to build an Oprah style show with Tere Mere Beach Mein (Star Plus, Sat-Sun, 9 pm IST).

But wait, isn't her show just another interview with film hastis? Nope - there is a theme you see. It changes every week. Sure you get the same gup-shup and shtick from every actor. The writers of the show scramble desperately to make the actors do something different and endearing every week.

But all of this is wrapped in some heart tugging theme that is supposed to provide an aakhen num hui type opportunity.

Let's take an example. I watched an episode with Vivek Oberoi and Riteish Deshmukh (the latter who for some reason is endearing himself these days to me in strange sort of ways).

The theme? Hugely regrettable cock ups! Farah started with one of her own - the one where she made fun of Manoj Kumar rather hilariously in her flick Om Shanti Om. Even more hilariously Manoj Kumar took it to heart and sued Farah.

Riteish got grilled on that silly, overly-hyped terror-tourism incident in which he accompanied his father - then Mumbai CM - Vilasrao Deshmukh on a tour of the Taj right after the Mumbai attacks. Riteish put on his best serious face and fenced at the questions with some discomfort but overall managed to escape unscathed.

Vivek Oberoi got roasted on his disastrous press conference where he outed Sallu's proficiency with a mobile phone. Farah called him on the incident, why he did it, what happened thereafter and all the apologizing he had to do. Vivek talked about denial, depression, how real men should settle differences (face to face), getting his career sidelined and how everyone still makes fun of him.

At one point he began to talk about something painful and difficult related to his mother. Farah immediately cut and smiled at the camera and said in a perky voice. "We'll learn more about it right after this Neutrogena Deep Clean break!" Hilarity!

But here is how Farah plays it: she keeps a straight face and in that no-nonsense way of hers just asks the most difficult questions without blinking. No one can seem to sidestep her questions. Yet she does enough to soften her voice that guests feel coddled by her empathy.

As if this isn't Oprah enough for you, Farah also invites an 'ordinary person' who shares in the theme with the stars. (Sreesanth was invited for this episode to discuss SlapGate, but come on now, we don't have the time or space to talk about that). The ordinary person also has a story - and its usually much bigger than the stars' stories. This becomes really interesting because the stars kind of shuffle around a bit - not sure if they should be embarrassed for whining about (relatively) smaller problems.

Then Farah asks the stars to auction off some personal stuff in the name of charity. Vivek brought his cross taveej from Lokhandwala and a huge painting by his sister Meghna. Riteish brought a jacket from his latest film Do Knot Disturb (real smooth plug bro). Sreesanth donated a horribly ugly cap.

While this show bit seems to be genuinely good-hearted, the entertainment potential (by which all things are judged on the Drift) is minuscule. However, I do recognize that entertainment is subjective - all entertainment doesn't have to be like a vodka martini, sometimes its a warm phulka puri. Like this one might be for a lot of people.

The show's official web site
Farah's show-related blog
TMBM on Facebook
Part 1 of the Cock Ups episode (find the rest with some clickety)


Unknown said...

Interesting insight

Banno said...

Vivek Oberoi too finally managed to endear himself to me. So the show did some good, haan?

Specially since he put his foot in his mouth again with the 'industry is full of plastic' comment on Ash. :-)

musical said...

Hafta watch this one when i go home tonight! Is it on YouTube?

I like Riteish too :). He was very good in Bluffmaster!

Any thoughts on the new Leno show?

Unknown said...

Banno, now that I think about it - that comment does make sense :)

Musical, last link in the post will get you to YouTube. There is a post out there to be made about Riteish and how he's bringing nerdy cool back in style.

Tanvi said...

I liked the past episode with Karan and Sonam, only becoz I could relate to them A LOT>! But I really think Farah needs speech therapy. :o)

Unknown said...

I've seen pics of that - but haven't seen it show up on my DVR yet. Maybe the American broadcast is running behind a bit, as usual.

Joules said...

I am amazed how bollywoodians can live, sing or talk about that one episode/movie/song that makes them (in) famous. Tired of hearing Viveik Oberoi speak about the Salman epi four years after it is over. While I am at it, I am tired of hearing Shankar sing the Maa song and Kailash Kher singing 'toota toota' or Aish dancing to Dola re dola on an award show function.

Is this what people expect from them or they are just too lazy to try out anything different?

Joules said...

btw, love your post on the show. This may make me catch an episode or two.

Unknown said...

Joules, I think its what people expect from them and hence so do the people who are going to make money off the show e.g. producers, financiers, etc.

Its a universal thing - but if you have integrity as an artist, you put your foot down and take the chance that the audience will hate you but you'll be able to move your career forward.

Pitu said...

I enjoyed the Sallu and Sallu ki mummy wala episode but the Priyanka-Vijender one was boring. The Shilpa-Bips one was also ok. I haven't seen this one but I agree with Joules. I wish they'd stop ghisapita stuff already!!

I am dying to see the Bebo-Imran Khan one especially since I cannot think of anything all that could be common between them!!

You know what I want to see? A Saifoo-Sanjay Dutt wala episode where both talk of multiple romances :-D

Lin said...

I am back. Love your recaps on TMBM, Aspi.

Man did I feel bad for Vivek Oberoi. Half of what was being said went over my head, but I got the gist of it.

Bebo-imran was listed by Imran as his top heroine a couple of months back.

Ritesh endears to me, too. I don't know why. Maybe it's cause he's such a good dancer, but at the same time sort of below the radar.

Unknown said...

Lin, welcome back.

There is a post I've been thinking about doing on Riteish, can't seem to get the hang of it yet. But there is a comparison you can do of Abhay Deol and Riteish - how they are similar in their appeal but how they play in two different areas of filmdom.