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View from the couch

Sahara One is attempting to put up a brave fight against the competition. If Zee's Kabhi Han Kabhi Na is about three guys discovering girls, sex, fun, masti and whatever else, then on Sahara's Kuchh Love'there is a set of girls trying to do the same. It's interesting to see how diametrically different Kuchh Love' Kuchh Masti is from the soap that it replaces. Zameen Se Aasman Tak was heavy-handed, melodramatic and surcharged with incidents; its replacement flows with the glow. It's supposed to be symptomatic of the urban inertia where youngsters think each day to be Valentine's Day.

My guess is, we'll see many more such lightweight souffle soaps in the coming weeks. Sahara One has shifted its competitive aspirations away from Star Plus and is aiming at Star One instead. Star One is doing pretty well for itself. Last week, I saw some more of their stuff and was pretty impressed. Siddhant on Tuesday night has a bite. The dialogues about legal ethics are well pitched. But I wish the supposedly suave lawyer wouldn't say 'calculative' instead of 'calculating' in court. The problem is, these urbane soaps require Aamir Khan. They get Aamir Bashir instead. That isn't a bad bargain provided the director is capable can carry the narrative forward without compromises.

All of last week we couldn't hear the end of the films being released for Diwali. Mughal-e-Azam got some great inviting coverage. On Friday night there was a half-hour special on Zee News hosted by character actor Raza Murad, whose father happens to be in the film. Veer-Zaara too got huge coverage all week. But the howler came on India TV's Showtime. Covering the music release, the narrator didn't make any mention of Lata Mangeshkar's contribution while that very song played non-stop in the background!

I quite like The Great Indian Comedy Show, which is wacky and fun. But it also tends to go out of control. Last week, there was an interview being conducted with music directors Vishal-Shekhar when suddenly a comic actor pretending to be cranky intruder barged on the set. Under normal circumstances the little charade that followed would have qualified as amusing. Given the setting it just seemed so inopportune'

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