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Points of View

The Long And Short of Storytelling

Do Indian viewers fall in love with characters rather than the story they belong to? How are Hindi GECs adapting?

From mid-1980 to the early 2000s, Indian television had popular shows like 'Fauji' (DD National), 'Buniyaad' (DD National), 'Chausath Panne' (Zee TV), 'Aandhi' (Zee TV) and 'Shriman Shrimati' (DD National, Star One). The shows won accolades for their narrative and the cast that complemented the story.

All these shows ran for a limited period of time, say for 130-170 episodes, before a wave of long running shows hit Indian television. Ekta Kapoor gave viewers the famous 'K series' that went on for years. Kasautii Zindagi Kay (1,423 episodes), Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki (1,661 episodes), Kyunki Saas bhi Kabhi Bahu thi (1,833 episodes) and even BAG Network's Kumkum, all ran for at least six years.

Even today there are shows that have aired over 1,000 episodes and are still running. Star Plus' 'Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai', Sab TV's 'Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah', Colors' 'Balika Vadhu' and 'Uttaran' and Zee TV's 'Pavitra Rishta' are a few examples. The long life of these shows is evidence of the popularity, or habit of the TV viewer to find out what's going on in Akshara's (YRKKH) or Anandi's (Balika...) or Archana's (Pavitra Rishta) life.

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