New Delhi: Typical saas-bahu sagas and run-of-the-mill concepts outlived their popularity on the small screen. This was evident from the success of finite series like ‘Zindagi Gulzar Hai’ and ‘Humsafar’ from Pakistan, which not only captivated audiences but also topped the charts.
The year saw megastar Amitabh Bachchan making his debut in fiction space on TV with ‘Yudh’. Co-produced by Amitabh's production company Saraswati Creations and Endemol India, the show was appreciated for its concept but failed to make it big. Many new shows were launched, but hardly any one of them found viewership. It's time for the TV to reinvent and bring new concepts.
Here’s a list of shows that clicked with the audience this year. Out of them some may have gone off air but have definitely left audiences wanting for more.
‘Zindagi Gulzar Hai’: Coming from across the border, the Pakistani show struck a chord with its zeal and youthful romance between the lead characters - Zaroon Junaid and Kashaf Murtaza - who hate each other but eventually fall in love. A heart-warming story, it highlighted the intricacies of life. The show was instantly appreciated for its realistic approach and finite number of episodes. Aired on Zindagi channel, the show was launched in June and summed up on a happy note in July. Fawad Khan, who played the male lead, was also seen making his Bollywood debut with ‘Khoobsurat’.
‘Humsafar’: Another Pakistani marvel brought to India by Zindagi channel. ‘Humsafar’, which again starred Fawad Khan along with Mahira Khan in the lead roles, was about a couple who were forced into marriage. It's not a love story where the eyes meet and the wind blows, but a gradual and slow building-up of emotions. The show was started Oct 14 and concluded Nov 7. Now, Mahira is all set to enter Hindi filmdom with ‘Raees’, a film that stars Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan.
‘Yeh Hai Mohabbatein’: The show is a perfect embodiment of Ekta Kapoor's success formula with the right amount of love, drama and comedy. The story of a couple who come together for the sake of a child has been appreciated. With the main plot, the show also highlights intermingling of two cultures - South Indian and Punjabi in a humorous way.
‘Crime Patrol’: The crime show has managed to retain its popularity after being launched in 2008. Based on true crime stories, it sees actor Anup Soni, who hosts the show, taking audiences to various parts of the country where the incidents take place. The show is credited with spreading awareness about evil incidents happening in the world and makes people more cautious.
‘Devon ke Dev Mahadev’: The mythological serial managed to give a taste of Lord Shiva's life. The show captured the notion of good wins over evil. The male lead Mohit Raina has also amassed a massive fan following courtesy the show, which was launched in 2008 and went off the air in December this year. Be it his marriage or the 'tandav' dance, the show kept audiences on the edge of the seat with mesmerising performances.
‘Maat’: The Zindagi channel's show focussed on sibling rivalry, where a girl is competing with her own sister. The title is also apt as it means checkmate. The makers portrayed things like materialism and ambitions without overdoing it. The show was launched in July and was wrapped up in August.
‘Tumhari Paakhi’: Based on a novel ‘Naba Bidhan’ by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, the show about child marriage depicts how a girl waits for her prince charming, who moves on in life and settles down with a different woman in a hill station. The sizzling chemistry between the lead pair - Iqbal Khan and Shraddha Arya - was also applauded. The show was started with a great story but lost the plot mid-way and met an abrupt end in November.
‘Doli Armaanon Ki ‘: Another show that caught the Indian audiences' attention was ‘Doli Armaanon Ki’, a show that talked about a small town girl and how her dreams about marriage get shattered thanks to her chauvinistic husband. While Neha Marda plays the lead, Mohit Malik is seen as her abusive, short-tempered and unfaithful husband. The show, which went on the air in 2013 December on Zee TV, has managed to remain interesting so far.
‘Ajeeb Daastaan Hain Ye’: The triangular love story launched actress Sonali Bendre in the fiction genre on television. She has hosted shows, but this was her first stint with the soap and the story has so far managed to entertain the audience. With Apoorva Agnihotri and Harsh Chhaya in the male leads, it was touted to be a finite series. This is a different show from Ekta Kapoor who is known for focussing on kitchen politics in her TV shows.
‘Aunn Zara’: Another show from the neighbouring country, which was comical in nature, appealed to the masses. What happens when a guy spoiled by his mother, grandmother and aunts gets married to a tomboy.