The Time-Suckers of Our World

And so it’s back. Racier and snappier but with a map and music that are copied from Game of Thrones (GOT), without of course GOT’s decapitations and nudity.

Mahabharata (MahaB) is still so fascinating. Forty years after I first read the Amar Chitra Kathas and then the books and subsequently went through the great Indian Sunday morning telecast in the late 80s that often had the whole country come to a standstill, we again have a daily MahaB show. And we are back to figuring out who fathered whom and who is not eventually descended from Parasher or Ved Vyas, and who actually stayed faithful to his/her spouse…MahaB is one crazy entertainer.

Despite the world of illegitimate children, it’s nice to watch MahaB with family. My 13-year olds have not yet had much exposure to the MahaB universe and it’s interesting to see the narrative from their perspective. And with the flexibility that our digital boxes allow, we keep stopping and explaining and adding to the back-stories that are not always shown in detail in the episodes.

GOT will start its Season 4 in April next year, and has an equally vast, complicated canvas, with its share of illegitimate kids and dwarves and blackguards…and like in the Mahabharata, the good people often die and the bad ones seem to keep living on and doing well.

I just wish MahaB 2013 had better special effects. MahaB 1988’s effects were laughable…those episodes where arrows fly at each other forever and ever and then collide only after half the episode is over…now actually seem retro-chic. The arrows in MahaB 2013 are bigger, and more elaborately designed, but in the end, they still take ages to traverse the air. And there are scenes where the CGI just doesn’t work well and you can make out the fake backdrop. What I am not sure of is whether the cute rabbits that keep nibbling away at the leaves near Krishna’s feet are real or CGI generated…they are pretty much the best part of MahaB so far.

Season 3 of Homeland was supposed to start last night, but has been rescheduled to Tuesday. A woman on edge, an American prisoner of war for 8 years in Afghanistan who seems to have wiped out half of the top officials in Washington and a hard-headed, complicated chief…Homeland has been a tight, compelling, edge-of-the-seat show over the last two seasons. And, thanks to channels like StarWorld Premiere HD, now that we are able to see new shows within a day or two of their being aired in the US, it saves us the trouble of Torrent downloads…though I wonder why none of the channels is carrying Season 7 of The Big Bang Theory that had its season premiere on Thursday night, given the show’s popularity.

Last Tuesday, among other shows, debuted The Blacklist with James Spader (The Practice Season 8 and Boston Legal, in both of which he played the lawyer, Alan Shore) as a soft-spoken villain. And now he brings his shades of grey and coolness to a new FBI-based, good cop, bad guy show that promises to be equally interesting…hopefully.

But nothing beats Sleeping Hollow among the new shows. Partly on the lines of Buffy and Angel, it is about a headless horseman, the impending Apocalypse, a man who wakes up after 250 years and priests and witches who seem to live forever and ever. It seems completely whacked out and therefore promises to be a lot more fun.

I hate all these channels…they are nothing but major time-suckers. But so much fun!


  • As you have rightly stated the serials/episodes are time suckers and somewhat cheap entertainment for the Indian masses.Added to this the producer makes big money and TV channels too with commercials.But originals epics/mythology are twisted/with versions comfortable to the viewers.

  • Amit Choudhury wrote:

    Its Sleepy(not Sleeping) Hollow Bhavinbhai.

  • Bhavin Jankharia wrote:

    Oops. Thanks Amit

  • Sundaram M R wrote:

    I am grateful to my channel service provider who takes the money and blocks the channels! His only excellent service is sending representatives to collect money at the doorsteps!

  • Dt Balchandra Shetty wrote:

    I agree…..but then remember, not for nothing its called IDIOT box……arrey baba it has to keep up it’s reputation na….he he…!!

  • H.l. Chulani wrote:

    Sorry Bhavin, you truly are a sucker!

  • Ajay Bhonsle wrote:

    I was pleasantly surprised when my grown up daughter brought up on Sas Bahus,One Tree Hill & Dexter, didn’t want to miss an episode of MB!When I told her to read the real thing instead of the melodrama being dished out as MB she retorted- but this is so much more fun!People seem to enjoy the shoddy special effects too! But my hats off to you Bhavin- you seem to keep abreast of all these time suckers too!!

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