Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Music Ka Maha Muqqabla: First Look

Right off the bat you know that Music Ka Maha Muqqabla is special. Why?

For one, the last word has 'Q' in it twice - which is a deft indicator by the show's creator (Gajendra Singh) that this is entertainment by excess. True to his word Gajju delivers way too much singing (and not enough jhagdas if you ask me) and the same ghisa pita format over and over again.

Second, its got my gujju brother Himesh Reshammiya in it. But more on that later.

MKMM features six teams led by known music industry maharathis - Himesh, Shankar Mahadevan, Shreya Ghoshal, Shaan, Mika and Mohit Chauhan (and this is totally in order of popularity lest someone think I'm trying to be diplomatic and all). These teams are pitted against each other two at a time. The remaining four team captains act as judges and give points for each 'round'. The audience also weighs in: you get to see the Aunty Brigade pounce on their voting meters after every performance.

The show is replete with some really good singers: Raja Hasan, Vineet, Aabhaas, Rahul Vaidya, Himani Kapoor, Aneek Dhar. Some have gone on to build miniscule playback careers, others have hosted TV shows. One even has his own composing gig. All of them do shows like mad. Raja Hasan still does his 'achhaa insaan' bit but has it under control. Aneek still improvises (his re imagining of Love Aaj Kal's 'Twist' as 'Tweest' was revelatory). Himani retains her terrific voice.

Let's indulge ourselves in one of the Drift's favorite activities: smugly judging the judges. Instead of scores I'll give out grades.

Himesh Reshammiya

Grade: Himesh is beyond grades. In fact grades give chandaa to Himesh.

Usually our man is hyper-competitive and a magnet for fights. Sadly for us, Himesh has leashed his motor mouth - thus leaving only the hyper-competitive part behind. Fortunately, this is still enough to keep us entertained.

Once Shankar and Himesh had a 'match'. Shankar pulled strategy after strategy (this basically means he chose singers to perform for his team that surprised many). Himesh's smile disappeared from his face and he started looking worried. In the match finale, he pulled out all stops and did a desh bhakti medley. Hoping to impress the audience with nationalist fervor, he plastered an expression of radiant love (think Arun Govil in Ramayana) and sang loudly. He ended with tears in his eyes and blurted out "JAI MATADI JAI HINDUSTAN!!!". Wah Himesh - if you acted this well in your last two movies, your career wouldn't be in the can.

Himesh lost that match.

Shankar Mahadevan

Grade: B

Shankar is full of smiles and 'positive energy' in this show. He is the good Samaritan of the show - the voice of reason. This could become gagworthy but Shankar somehow pulls it off. He eschews jhagdas and entertains himself by saying all kinds of good things about Himesh.

Unfortunately on the show he once sang that clunker Maa - possibly the most annoying song of the decade if A. R. Rahman hadn't come up with Balooo. This unforgivable mistake affects Shankar's grade.

Shreya Ghoshal

Grade: A

I dig Shreya's presence on the show. She always sounds great and is a pretty good team captain as well. Its also much fun to watch her struggle not to roll her eyes whenever Himesh or Mika is up to no good. However, she takes this show entirely too seriously.


Grade: B

A regular customer at singing competitions on TV, Shaan once got into a jhagda with Mika. Against all odds, he escaped unscathed from this attempted suicide and later managed to even patch up with Mika and establish decorum on the judges panel.

Often Shaan will enjoy a performance enthusiastically with his trademark smile - the one in which his eyes disappear. At other times he'll communicate his displeasure at a singer's performance by staring straight ahead but with his mouth hanging open like a goldfish. Either way, he's entirely too safe for a show like this.

Mika Singh

Grade: A+

Mika is a bit like Jack Black's character in Year One: he thinks he's totally jhakaas and no one else's opinion matters. Periodically Mika will interrupt proceedings and tell a chick how beautiful she is. He once gave way too many points to Neekita Nigam after a disastrous performance just because she looked cute. Another time he resolved an ill-concieved dispute between Sharib Sabri and Mohit Chauhan by jumping on stage and delivering a kick-ass performance while humping the audience.

Mohit Chauhan

Grade: C

Mohit appears on stage usually wearing a stubble and a fuddy duddy cap. He looks more like a golf caddy than the rock star he is. He is terribly quiet - most of his attempts at jokes fell flat both times. His steering of his team is like his judging - staid and his team suffers for it. Also, he's entirely too serious. Someone tune this man into the camp of this show, stat!

Star Plus

Grade: F

Once upon a time long ago, a show would be taped and the tapes would be aired. Then if the show needed to be telecast in another country, the tapes would have to be sent to the other TV station - by boat and later by plane. This would cause delays of up to a month before the show would be telecast in another country.

But Star Plus has incorporated cutting edge Internet technology into its process. Using the best the world has to offer, they've cut this delay down to only ONE WEEK! US viewers get to watch stale week old episodes. Thanks, Star Plus!


Mind Rush said...

Drift saab, Looks like the 3 Idiots mania has affected you too since you issued grades here!
Great write up. Love your grade for Gujju bhai. And what did you think of the Rahul-Shreya proposal? And finally, why-o-why is Sonu Nigam missing? Ditto, Vishal D?

Unknown said...

Vishal D isn't on Gajju's rolodex :)

Rahul-Shreya proposal naatak - there is something larger to be said about Rahul but I'll hold thought that for another day.

Random Guy said...

Mindblowing analysis Aspi. This show is starting to get better - the Shaan Shreya episode featured lot better singing. Along with Shaan channeling his inner clown and Himes coming back to form.

But can't get over how the pt system seems to be fixed. Seems like lot of betting going on.

Anyways, thanks for the entertainment...

Anonymous said...

the reason they delay it a week is due to sponsorship reasons. notice how all the sponsors' names are blurred when aired in the US.

Unknown said...

Good observation - I noticed that too. But why the delay? It takes a week to blur out AMUL everywhere?

dc said...

funny stuff. as for the contestants, i think sharib and toshi are the most successful as music composers and playback singers - they've already given several hit songs.

dil said...

hiiii h r u???
long tyme haan.............
kher yr rahul ne to wohi performance di jaise k us ne JJWS main di thi right??
m talking abt JHOOM BARABAR JHOOM......same 2 same waise hi....

Unknown said...

dc yes, I think Toshi and Sharib are a great success story in the making.

dil, you are correct - that same thought crossed my mind.

dil said...

aspi do u know....k MUSIC KA MAHA MUQABLA main /.....SRK N KARAN JOHAR ANEY WALE HAIN....??? bht maza aney wala hai ab to.........

Unknown said...

Yes heard about it - also heard SRK takes his shirt off. CAN'T WAIT!! (Eye Roll).

Anonymous said...

Aspi, we need another post on this - PLEASE!!

Unknown said...

Coming up tomorrow - I promise.