One Sunday morning in May, millions tuned in to watch Aamir Khan make his small-screen debut. And Indian television was never the same again. With Satyamev Jayate, the Bolly game-changer ripped the veil off various societal prejudices and injustices as people bravely came forward to discuss, debate and dissect female foeticide and child sexual abuse, honour killing and child marriage, domestic violence and casteism.... Picking a socially relevant topic each week, Aamir backed up extensive research with statistics displayed through graphs, case studies and interviews of victims, all the while looking out for a solution.
Twitter to dining table, Facebook to college canteen, Satyamev Jayate became a talking point even as Aamir pushed for reform and sought to change rules. Some accused it of being emotionally manipulative, but there was no denying that SMJ had its heart in the right place — and its finger on the pulse.
two and a half men: charlie vs ashton
He may have stepped into the show last year, but India got to see Ashton Kutcher take Charlie Sheen’s place in Two and a Half Men only in September 2012. And like the rest of the world, our opinion on Kutcher’s Walden Schmidt (despite the towel-clad introduction scene) vis-a-vis Sheen’s Charlie Harper was unanimous — Walden bored while Charlie, er, scored.
Masterchef Australia continued to dominate primetime viewing, with those who love to cook — and those who love to eat! — tuning in to watch sinful delights being whipped up every weeknight. Judges George, Gary and Matt hopped from the senior to the junior editions — with the All Stars version thrown in — to give us 60 minutes of riveting reality television. Even as Coulis to Croquembouche, Quail to Ravioli crept into our vocabulary, we picked our favourites and rooted for them every night. t2 pick? The junior version in which pint-sized talents left us gaping — and salivating — as they cooked up a storm.
kaun banega crorepatI
The Kaun Banega Crorepati bandwagon powered into its sixth season, with host Amitabh Bachchan ensuring that the viewership count remained high. KBC 6 opened with a TVR (Television Viewer Rating) of 6.1, the highest for a non-fiction show this year. The Bachchan baritone, the contestants’ stories of hope and aspiration, and the occasional celebrity round continued to keep us hooked. Acid-attack victim Sonali Mukherjee winning Rs 25 lakh made us cry and Shah Rukh Khan doing Gangnam Style made us laugh out loud.
Alag Chhe, it said and different it definitely has turned out to be. The Colors reality show in which some famous and most not-so-famous faces are made to co-exist for three months kicked off its sixth season with Salman Khan as host. Numerous twists and turns, tougher tasks, lie-detector tests and even a second Bigg Boss abode modelled along the lines of a village were the highlights of the season. Imam Siddiqui (in picture) turned out to be the Dolly Bindra of this season. Different it sure is, but good, bad or ugly — you decide.
Bade achhe lagte hai
Even as Ram and Priya’s love story was discussed and debated in living rooms, Indian television grew up in a hurry one March evening when Bade Achhe Lagte Hai beamed a steamy lovemaking scene leading to a liplock and a lot of action between the sheets. The episode helped the Sony show to soar to the top of the TRP and Twitter trend charts, even as Ram Kapoor made 40 — age and waist-size — sexy!
CID powered into its 15th year — although it lost Shivaji Satam as ACP Pradyuman this month — and crime shows became the flavour of 2012. While Crime Patrol on Sony raked in the TRPs, me-toos like Shaitan on Colors and Savdhan India on Life Ok also had takers.
diya aur baati hum
Tearjerkers continued to rule the TRP charts, but some shows managed to break through the clutter and make an impact. The most notable was Diya Aur Baati Hum. The STAR Plus show of an educated girl married to a man lesser than her in social and economic status and the unique relationship that they share struck a chord, taking Diya to the top of the TRP table and keeping it there till the end of the year.
Women — some pretty, some broke and most with a secret — ruled the telly. While New Girl on STAR World took us on a fun ride with Zooey Deschanel as the new girl in the neighbourhood, Pretty Little Liars (in picture) on Zee Cafe kept us glued to the mysterious lives of the girls from Rosewood. Max and Caroline made 2 Broke Girls (STAR World) an entertaining watch. The Secret Circle on Zee Cafe — now on air — is turning out to be edge-of-the-seat with five college friends joining a secret coven of witches.