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Copycat scenes work on TV. Or do they?

dc| natasha coutinho

Published on: January 25, 2015 | Updated on: Invalid date

TV script writers are accused of not coming up with new ideas

A still from the show Yeh Hai Mohabbatein

A still from the show Yeh Hai Mohabbatein

Romantic scenes on daily soaps are looked forward to with enthusiasm. The common factor among these scenes though, is that a lot of them are inspired by cult romantic Bollywood classics like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and so on.

Recently, we had Ronit Roy and Pallavi Kulkarni recreate the iconic rain scene originally performed by Shah Rukh and Kajol in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Another popular couple, Ishita and Raman, played by Divyanka Tripathy and Karan Patel recreated a romantic scene at a temple, from Chennai Express. The palat scene for Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge is one that most shows have copied and so is the Karwa Chauth sequence, complete with similar background music. So what makes TV shows still look at Bollywood films as reference points for romance? Industry insiders tell us.

Director Kushal Zaveri minces no words as he says, "Writers on TV don’t want to use their imagination and prefer getting everything ready on a platter. Rather than experimenting with new ideas, they prefer to play safe and take the easy way out."

Teen heartthrob Shantanu Maheshwari from Dill Dosti Dance admits that he has had to perform not just rip offs from Bollywood scenes but those from Hollywood too. "Somewhere, there is lack of creativity. People want an easy way out as most of these scenes have already been accepted by the audiences. I feel I have been lucky as most of the romantic scenes that I have done are fresh. But yes,  I did perform a few scenes, which I now realise were copies of a Hollywood series. Personally I don’t like this concept of copying scenes at all."

His co-star Kunwar Amar adds that on TV everything depends on TRP and tracks are added accordingly. "In TV you have so many people who want to give their inputs like the channel creative producer etc., unlike in movies where everything is planned and discussed so people know what they are making. In TV everything depends on TRP, so whatever works, they twist the story accordingly," says Amar.

Actor Mohammed Nazim on the other hand admits he doesn’t mind enacting scenes already performed by Bollywood stars. He says, "It’s great fun to shoot on filmi songs and scenes. The audiences recognise the familiar Bollywood set up and if they idolise a particular film star, they connect with these scenes faster."
Divyanka Tripathy too supports his views, "Last time when Deepika Padukone had come on the show I had told her that my character is like hers from Chennai Express. I am glad to do a scene, which was inspired from the same movie. It was a very sweet scene for both characters (Ishita and Raman)."

Popular producer Sudhir Sharma agrees with the duo and says he sees no harm in recreating film scenes on TV. "Films like DDLJ and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai have high recall value and the songs are extremely popular, so when sequences or the same songs are incorporated in the show the connect is better. These films are cult films. There is no harm in using them relevantly to enhance the sequence."

However, there are some directors who feel the audience is tired of the mundane stuff. Director Santram Verma of Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh says, "Some romantic scenes are repeated over and over again in soaps for ages now, like the heroine’s sari getting stuck and the hero helping her, or the hero’s shirt button falling off and the heroine stitching it. These are done to death and I feel even the audience is bored of it. It’s time that our writers come up with new and interesting romantic situations."A writer for daily soaps on condition of anonymity tells us, "There is a lot of pressure to deliver content in serials but very less time. The audience too has high expectations from romantic scenes, so yes we often refer to Bollywood or Hollywood films as some sequences are evergreen and the audience has no complaints, as long as they get their daily dose of romance from their favourite couples."

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