Saturday, June 13

Off Ease

Recently I happened to stumble upon an excellent television serial (or soap, if you are that guy with faux american sensibility) that has the title synonymous with "workplace" but carries a story that happens everywhere except the "workplace". The seeming popularity of this serial, especially among my colleagues, made me realize that probably we are ushering into a new era of TV altogether.
We all know that a TV series (addressing amerikka maaplais here) is something that is made to be watched in any medium except TV. Let's face it, if America is exposed to torrentz like India, then the cable and DTH companies over there would go bankrupt. But that would also lead to America not being America and there by we will lose our "cool" factor addressing soaps and sitcoms as serials.

Serials here have always been about 2 things -
1) Women
2) Refer previous point

Some lady from a serial called Saravanan Meenatchi. My guess is that she is Meenatchi. She could also be Saravanan in disguise. Worst caption ever.

So it was fairly straightforward that youngsters were never in their target demography. Then came Vijay TV. Yes that channel that is so revolutionary and innovative that it kicked off the trend of awarding cinema people by recognizing the single most important quality that they possess- forgive me for getting a bit technical here- turning up at the ceremony. Needless to say that the assumption that their serial will be pathbreaking is very obvious. But the makers, the environment friendly beings they are, chose to adopt a simple principle that even "singaara chennai" activists are skeptical about i.e. Reduce, Re-use, Recycle. Although this tradition is not that uncommon for a TV serial that is broadcast in the motherland of all serials, Sun TV of course, it is very hard to the see same brand of material airing in a channel that always boasts of zeal and youth represented by fashion trends of Mr. Gobinath.

Vijay TV Gopinath (Neeya Naanaa fame)
For awareness and well being of fellow citizens am posting here a major section of a recent episode from the serial as a fair warning of the redundancy that you'll experience in the coming weeks.



Lady cries in labour pain. Pan camera left to right. Repeat the scene in editing room 5 times. Pan camera right to left. Repeat the scene in editing room 5 times. Baby is born. Cue in a happy tune in violin/veena with baby crying.

(Normal cases you think the scene is complete. But you're in for a shock now. The kind that would blow Agatha Christie's mind)


Doctor walks out. Patient's family sees her.

(Disclaimer: the following dialogues were translated from tamil. Any emotional triggers is purely accidental)

Dad: Doctor ... How's she?

Doctor: Who are you?

Dad: I am the father of <insert character name>

Doctor looks down at ground. Dad starts crying for no reason other than a 2 second delay for the doctor to respond. Doctor is about to open her mouth.

Some guy who might be cousin or uncle, but a prospective groom in case her marriage ends in divorce: Doctor ... Why are you silent? Please tell

(Going forward the above guy will be represented as MM - short for Mora maaman)

Doctor: Who are you?

MM: Am her <insert some weird relationship here, that shows that he is eligible to marry her and also a close relative of sorts... Wait didn't I say Mora Maaman already?>

Doctor looks down at ground. Dad starts crying for no reason other than a 2 second delay for the doctor to respond. Doctor is about to open her mouth.

Mom: Doctor ... Somehow save my daughter ... Please ..

Doctor: Don't worry ma ... nothing will happen to your daughter

(Doctor is able to identify her as the mother, as one woman's heart can only be understood by another woman)

Dad: Then what happened doctor

Doctor: Sir ... your daughter is in an irrecoverable sleep

(In tamil it was way too poetic - Meelamudiyaadha mayakkam)

Dad and Mom starts crying. Camera pans to all faces.

Dad: What does that mean Doctor?

Doctor: Your daughter is in coma

Thunderous music interspersed with aahhs and oohhs.

Mom: Coma? What do you mean Doctor?

Doctor: Yes ma ... She is in coma ... She is in sleep ... but it is irrecoverable ... But she is alive

Dad: What doctor you are telling like this

Doctor: Sir we are trying our best to save your daughter

Mom: Please save my daughter doctor

Doctor: I will do my best ... but it is not just in my hands ... It is also in God's hands

Dad: What doctor you are telling like this

Doctor: Please understand sir ... As I told, your daughter is in coma ... She is still alive but she cannot be woken up like you do in normal sleep ... She is kind of in a sleep where you cannot wake her up just like that ... some would say it as irrecovarable

Dad: Doctor ... Then I won't be able to see my daughter ah? tell doctor tell ... Will she be normal?

Doctor: We will try our best sir ... We also need god's help ...

MM: Doctor ... won't we get coma only when somebody hits in our head?

(MM is basically a youth guy so he is trying to sound cool but you realise that he is less brainier than the garage wall of Kurt Cobain)

Doctor: Not necessarily ... it can even happen when there is high blood pressure or temperature or fever

Dad: What does that mean Doctor?

Doctor: It means your daughter is in coma sir

Mom: Why doctor? Why her? She is not that kind of person ... She never did any harm to anyone … Not even an ant

Doctor: I know ma ... But I will do my best ... I will also share some of the burden with the god ... Please keep praying

Doctor walks away. Mom looks at MM

Mom: What da? What she is telling? Am not able to understand anything ...

To be Continued ...

End Scene

Barring a few exaggerations I've tried my best to replicate the scene here. It is implied that throughout the entire scene the dad and mom were crying. MM was about to cry but puts a brave face as he is a Male Lion (Aambala singam).

I was astonished by this laziest piece of screenplay writing that made Gautam Menon look like Godard to me. To be frank I would rather see thols walking the entire arcot road, from vadapalani to porur, than watch this mindless piece of faeces. In fact that would be the quickest way of reaching porur from vadapalani.


Thols - Short form / Nickname of Tholkappiyan in the now-off-air Sun TV serial Kolangal.