Saturday, November 07, 2009

TV Soap inferences

Kolangal on SunTV is the only mega serial I see, that too at random and I wonder how Thirumurugan, the director brainstorms (if he ever does it) on progressing the story forward (or backward). My inferences from watching the serial.
  • Handling pregnancy for characters in real life? Hide the pregnancy with loose fit dresses as much as possible till the final week or two. Show only face and up-to-abdomen shots. When time runs out, hide her character from public view until the kid is born and 3 months elapse in real time before the actor resumes. (Devayani has already had 2 kids while on the serial.) Or get the character kidnapped by a sinister character. Or do any of the following steps randomly. 
  • Is the story dragging? Kill a member in the serial regularly at intervals or maim them to boost view ratings/sympathy.
  • Develop an unrelated side story with flimsy links to main line and develop it only to abandon sometime later. Nobody will question anyway.
  • Bring new faces in regularly. Can always prove helpful for side stories and can be left loose and hanging.
  • Go off to some remote place for the side story. After all, you can show a full episode or two about that place and get away from moving the story.
  • Develop selective amnesia for the characters. After all nothing works better to justify a 'logic hole' or a 'no-story'.
  • You can always get away with not showing characters who once were key in the story. :-) After all people's memories are short-lived and distracted. They can always be brought back to life later if you run out of ideas.
  • Use a two wife story in the mainline. There is no other easy way to show sacrifice from one wife over the other, create friction between the two (sub) families and to switch context as you like. Harassed husbands are easy to characterize and more so when both the wives have children. Friction between half-brother/sister shall make for a few episodes.
  • Have a property aspect in the story and "signature on blank stamp paper" episodes.
  • Use a divorce in the story. Can be used to sympathetic or revenge effect.
  • If there is a character worth resurrection from the dead, bring em on. There is nobody to question you.
  • Keep the negative character fuming and shouting always. This will cause BP to raise for the viewers as well as you. (I pity that person in real life. They will have high BP dubbing for the serial itself) Have the main character talk bravado every now and then, to teach a lesson, but act nothing more. 
  • Have a drunkard somewhere in the story line. After all they provide for obnoxiousness and can come in for a tear-jerker later when they realize their folly.
  • Make some movement and hints in the story to give a belief that the serial will end. And not to let viewers down, drag it further again. :-)
  • Always include a 'ayyO paavam' (Poor Soul!) moment in every other episode. Fridays will have definitely one of these.
  • Never show a full episode that does not show grumpiness from some one. Smiling is restricted to only sad smiles.
  • There should be no fun tracks in the serial and happiness should be shown for no more than 5 minutes in a week.
  • The characters should be fed on glycerine in their eyes.
Do you think the mega serial culture is only here? In the US on NBC, there are soaps that have run for 20 years and above and I think there is one that is still running, "Days of our lives" close to 25 years now.

Characters may come and characters may go, but the soap goes on for years. :)


zeno said...

That too at random ke evla periya post a! enna oru analysis. avare kuda self realize panni irukka mattar!

RamMmm said...

Zeno, Welcome.

Randomaa பாத்து பாத்து, இவ்வளவு inferences. Maybe another few more pages if I see it regularly. :-) Let them drag the serial whatever, but why not show someone happy or show positiveness, for God's sake. The amount of negativity is very high.

Uttara said...

Kolangal started when I was in ninth I guess. The story had not progressed the last time I saw it some months before :D

Pregnency in charac :D, lol.. They brought in a character to shift focus called Ganga, if am right.

I think my kid would comment on the same lines someday.

25 years target

RamMmm said...

Yippo Uttara, it was Ganga.

I don't think there is any intention of ending that serial to a logical closure. It will be thrown out one day by the advertisers and end the way the Radhika serial 'Selvi' that used to come after Kolangal ended with all knots left as is with maybe one or two threads closed.

25 years, maybe yes, you never know. See Days of our lives on Wikipedia and you know the mega parent to our mega serials. I used to see bits and pieces of it when I was in the US sometime back. (some Vittalacharya type sub-stories and effects inside that :-))

RamMmm said...

Given the way the serial is moving as of yesterday, it seems to be on its last legs. It has become a bloodbath from last week. Hip Hip Hurray!!! :-)