Sunday, June 13, 2010

Certainly certified

Have you ever cringed while watching TV when a particular scene just pops up out of nowhere? Yeah. I am talking about those scenes, which if shown in a movie hall would be censored. Even normal slang is beeped in movies, right?. Or the movie is given a "to be watched under adult supervision" or "adults only" certificate. And we wouldn't go watch certain movies with the whole family. How many of us can see "Love Sex Aur Dhokha" with our parents, or for that matter with our younger siblings? I certainly cannot.

How many parents would allow their children to watch inappropriate movies? Very few, if any. If  movies are so blatantly certified, why not television content? Recently, I was watching a Hindi soap on a popular channel and was appalled to hear the kind of language they were using. Incidentally, my sister was watching too. I wouldn't want any kid to pick up such language.

Some jokes cracked on laughter reality shows get too embarrassing to laugh at. What is sauce for the gander is not tasty for the goose.

Some scenes, specially in saas bahu sagas or American soaps are to explicit to be watched with family. Yet, while watching TV together we invariably come across such scenes. 

I am not implying that such shows or soaps be banned or anything on those lines. Neither am I criticising the content or disapproving. To portray the story properly  or to add spice some scenes are required. And  everyone has the right to see what they want to.  Soap creators too have the right to bank upon popular themes. I simply want to suggest one change. Certification. A summary of the show's content. Warning about certain language or gestures used.

Certain DTH providers do give information about the content of a show, buy they do not rate any show. Every show before being aired should be rated accordingly. There should be a different censor board for television. This small change will make TV viewing a better experience.

 Indian Television has gone through several changes in the past ten years. We can now personalise our TV experience by recording rewinding or pausing live television. So why not this? Urban viewers have graduated from cable TV to DTH, they would be able to digest this small change. Wouldn't they?

Update: I did a project in my 2nd year of college(2010-11) Children and Adult content on TV where I raised the same questions. I included a survey where I asked children   ( 8-16) to tick off the shows they watch and found that most children do watch Adult Content on TV as it is easily available. I still want the same changes in TV viewership trends. 

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