Sanchari Goswami Majumdar
Entertainment is an essential part of our life. According to Michael Jackson, American singer-songwriter and dancer -“Entertainment is about taking people away from the regular order of things when there is some chaos and pain and stress”. In my previous article, I mentioned that there are two most popular forms of entertainment in India i.e. Television Serials and Web Series. We all know that the conflict of which is better is unresolved and it’s hard to find any winner. Both of them have specific target audiences. We need to consider audiences’ perspectives to understand this battle between them better.
The story of both Television Serials and Web Series are made keeping in mind the interest of the target audience. It is the audience who decides whether the serial will last for a longer period or shorter period (according to the TRP ratings). Same happens in the case of series too. The more people love and watch it, the higher will be the ratings. It becomes more popular and encourages others to wait for the next season. Sometimes, however, both of them can have some negative impacts on the audience. It is not an understatement to say that the audiences’ perspective plays a pivotal role in the betterment of Indian Television Serials and Web Series.
A Short Analysis
The audience wants entertaining programs with a social or political message. They want realistic and relatable characters. Television Serials are mostly liked by the old generation and Web Series are preferred by youth. In both cases, we can see the audience craves for entertainment more than anything else. But, the one thing that disturbs their thoughts always is the negative impact on their mind. From the Indian audiences’ perspective, a program should have a minimal pessimistic effect and more optimistic effect on the mind of the viewers.
However, the “Audiences’ Perspective” have not come forward that much. Here is an analysis of how the audience reacts to this form of entertainment:
TV serials are the most popular and easily available entertainment show in India. Even today also, the popularity of serials is higher than Web Series. Though we know that the stories are lengthy, monotonous, melodramatic and sometimes repetitive yet the shows maintain some decency. The TV serials are now part and parcel of our life. Not only the older generation but some young people also watch it either on TV or on the web channels. Even some people who love watching web series, can watch TV serials for a change.
- TV serials are family-based shows. Here, we can mostly find career goals mixing up with family and social life. We can see misogyny too. But one thing we can definitely notice is “Family”. We can learn that whatever work we do, how famous one becomes, they should not ignore the family members and all the related issues of the family. We should support the family members, protect them from evil, forgive and accept the persons who once made mistakes, respect, tolerate, sacrifice and stand up against the wrong deeds
- Misogyny is another important factor in our society. TV Serials show how a woman fights against all such thoughts. They try to portray the life and struggle of such women in our society so that the audience can easily relate and understand such a person and their situation. This type of facts enlightens the audience also. They also try to promote fashion in a positive way.
- Some TV serial stories are different. We can find mythological serials, thriller episode materials. These types of serials inform and entertain us with true and relatable facts. Some comedy, musical and dance reality shows entertain, uplift new talent, and encourage the audience to do something creative and productive. Such shows are for all the family members as they can all sit together and watch it without any hesitation.
A graph representing the reasons behind watching Indian TV serials is placed hereunder:
- The highly melodramatic TV Serials are having one or two main antagonists who always plot against all other members of the family. The characters are desperate and can harm anybody who comes in their way to achieve their goals. Such negative or dark character leaves an impact on the minds of children and also becomes intolerable for adults gradually.
- Some shows have people crossing certain limits of decency. There are popular reality shows where people humiliate and abuse each other and show anger, hatred, becoming impatient too. They also show intimacy which is not worthy of telecasting on such a public platform like this. Some reality shows are based on performing risky games and tasks which are very dangerous. Such kinds of shows are entertaining but it hampers the mentality of the children. Such shows must be watched alone or with mature people as it is not worthy or liked by all.
- Crime based shows are shown to people for spreading awareness among them. But the problem is that they show how the crime is done and also the criminal’s mentality is illustrated which is having an adverse mental effect on the viewers. This can develop ideas in the minds of the people. Children should not be shown such programs at any cost.
Web Series is the new form of entertainment in the life of youngsters. Digital entertainment is like a boon catering to the diminishing attention span of youngsters. It has a new concept of entertaining the audience. Web series are made with different ideologies and are not like regular daily soaps. I had already mentioned in my previous article, how web series are quite relatable, short and simple stories presenting in an interesting fashion.
Let me discuss some positive and negative effects of Web Series from audiences’ perspective.
- Not only relatable contents but also languages used in it are very appropriate for the current circumstances and realistic also. It is a mixture of mother tongue with English and other languages. It gives a real feeling of conversation as it happens with the real contemporary world.
- In any content web series, we get the touch of originality. This happens because all the cast and crew get the opportunity to tell a story in his/her way. The reason behind this is the less involvement of the Censor Board encourages more innovative creations.
- Web Series doesn’t follow the stereotypes of great actors for great characters. For such stories, they don’t need famous celebrities all the time. We have seen many newcomers along with some popular actors acting in a web series. The audience is not affected by such things. They continue to watch if the story, performance of actors and background setup is justifying the story. However, for a change, some famous mainstream actors, directors and producers are taking an interest and also started to work in this digital platform and getting a great response from the audience.
- Indian web series contents are mainly based on youth and their lifestyle. This is really remarkable. But if we look at it closely, we can see the lavish lifestyle of youngsters shown here, which does not leave a good impact on the youth mentality. Young people are getting influenced easily by such a Not only that, but they are also showing adult scenes, abusive words, violence, different kinds of addictions, rough behaviour with friends and parents and at times, glorify them. These all are having negative effects on their half matured minds. They develop a casual attitude toward these things and take them for granted. Sometimes, they see the web series just for these scenes rather than the plot or characterization.
Distribution of Audiences’ demand from the web series are:
- “Binge and watch” are favorites for all the web series lovers. And with the help of an internet connection, it is not very difficult. But it has a negative effect too. They spend a lot of time watching web series Neither they manage their time properly in any productive work nor they study. This is not only the case with youngsters but also adults too. Due to this, health issues arise. People suffer from eyesight problems, obesity, insomnia and sometimes depression too.
- Certain series show such a dark side of life and characters that there can be psychological repercussions of web series. The audience can go into depression, develop insecurity in real life, become aggressive day by day. Some audiences feel criminal activities are increasing after watching some web series. Moreover, teenagers are spending more time alone watching series rather than spending quality time with their families. So, there is less scope of interaction and sharing their thoughts than easier to be alone and getting immersed in their world of imagination.
Web Series has already claimed a new place in the minds of not only the younger generation but also the audience of different age groups too. It has an exceptional process to narrate a story. But there are some drawbacks too. It is affecting the younger generation a lot as they are not always well informed about all the facts. They are unable to differentiate between real-world and reel-world. The makers should concentrate on the negative effects as it needs a bit of change in its presentation for the betterment. Taking a note on the audiences’ perspective on web series and its positive and negative effects is quite valuable for progress.
Indian TV Serial versus Web Series is a topic where getting a conclusion is tough but Audiences’ Perspective about both TV serials and Web Series is about expressing their love and dislike for both the mediums. They are the best judge and the makers should take such advice and criticism for better results. According to British Advertising Tycoon David Ogilvy – “Don’t just create content to get credit for being clever- create content that will be helpful, insightful, or interesting for your target audience “.