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Linking Young Minds Together
    Volume 2 Issue 45| November 28, 2010 |


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The Endearing Appeal of Television Programmes

Sarah Z H

A scene from the telefilm, Pherar Poth Thakey Na Kono Kaal-e, an Eid special aired on RTV, directed by Mesbah Rahman Shumon

EID Holidays for some is the one time when they can surf through the television endlessly. With the emergence of private channels in Bangladesh, people who choose not to go out as often as others, as they always have the option of staying back home, like snuggling in their couches with a platter of munchies and cha, and occasionally the telephone for the multi-taskers. Yes, people do excel in telephone conversations while watching TV! Eid, which is celebrated in three days, can be streched to a maximum of six to seven for these TV channels. The extravaganza of the programmes - dramas, music shows, live music shows, cooking shows, programmes related to fashion, game shows, reaches certain a height in versatility in nature, substance and presentation.

For people like Munira Begum, a housewife of forty-two, availability of choices is a must. She loves Bangla TV fictions, and Eid buys her the time she needs to watch them. Her husband and two sons do not try to hog the TV on such days and she gets to pick from a choice of over a hundred TV programmes. Munira is not the only one who falls hard for these programmes that give her the freedom to suspend reality and live a few moments in the world of glamour and fantasy. It is the case of many, both young and old, to abandon who they are in real lives, and become one with the world that is made available to them through TV.

Samira, an 'O' level student says, "Some time spent with the TV is time well spent." She is not a big fan of TV fictions but she enjoys the music programmes on NTV and Channel-I. She prefers live music shows, which hosts her favourite bands once in a while.

'Call-er Gaan', one of the many special live music shows aired on Desh TV, featuring the sisters Samina Chowdhury and Fahmida Nabi

However Atanu, an 'A' level student, feels Bangladeshi TV programmes are not so entertaining when it comes to young people like him. He prefers international channels like AXN or Online TV for some sensation seeking. He believes, to draw more young audience into watching Bangladeshi television they need to produce more reality shows with candid camera action. For audiences of all age groups, the most popular TV plays that were aired during the Eid holidays were the ones that had morally ambiguous characters. Channels like RTV, Digonto TV, Desh TV, and ETV offered talk shows catering to the creative, the rebel and also the intellectuals. Adnan Hamid, a Masters student in a public university says, "TV programmes can have a bonding effect for family members during holidays. I love watching the music shows." Hamid is a resident student at the university dormitory and when he leaves the city to go back home on Eid, the family watches TV together and there is always something for everyone, even the grandparents.

Recently in Bangladesh, a bunch of young directors and producers are putting extra efforts to make the TV dramas more original and appealing to all age groups. Of course with the ocassional disappointments of weak scripts and poor direction make it hard for them to maintain a certain standard of purely delectable TV programmes. These young directors and producers rely on the knowledge of their surroundings and real life incidents to recreate the experiences that can make unforgettable works of art. However the themes can be very repetitive and the flashy, sensational style can be a bit frustrating at times. These days it feels like TV commercials take up most of the viewing time and sometimes, people are forced to watch them. Still for the eternally bored, TV is the intriguing source of 24-hour drama. All said, it is safe to fall back on TV during holidays when the outdoors is not a part of the plan and the glorious scheme of lazing out at home seems just perfect.

Live music shows are a big hit among the younger crowd. They get to call up their favourite artists and make requests for songs they want to listen to. Channel I telecasted such shows, especially for expatriate Bangladeshis on Eid.Our channels have shows on traditional and contemporary music for the music lovers of the country. When people watch TV, they primarily look for entertainment and it appears that Bangladeshi channels are combatting to reach the same position as those of the countless international channels adored by many. But the popularity of Bangladeshi channels can hardly be ignored during holidays when they truly reign the world of entertainment despite their content.


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