Can Deepika Padukone bake cookies? What kind of marriage will Anushka Sharma have: love or arranged? What does John Abraham's bedroom look like?
Are these questions enlightening, inquisitive or plain intrusive? Whatever your answer may be, one thing is clear — they are successful TRP propellers.
Indian television, like most of the country, is unabashedly start-struck. The universally accepted mantra appears to be, “get a star on the show, sell it better”.
So while a very ‘pristine' Simi Garewal extracts useless information about the actors on her show, Karan Johar uses every trick to extract juicy gossip out of his guests. Johar's strategy worked well, as the last season managed to make news despite not having many A-list stars.
Just as Bollywood stars have invaded fashion runways, replacing top models as the show-stoppers, they are increasingly taking the place of seasoned T.V. anchors too. So what if they are not great at it (Remember Abhishek Bachchan and Govinda)?
Makers of the very popular ‘Big Boss' series still depend on a Bollywood actor to host it even though the show's format is enough to grab eyeballs. Kaun Banega Crorepati, though not the roaring success it used to be, still needs an Amitabh Bachchan to sell it. Master Chef's Indian version had Akshay Kumar judge the show!
Lifestyle channels also use Bollywood as their main fodder. Bollyfood (NDTV Good Times) tells its viewers about the diet of one star every week — from what soup they like to how to make their favourite pasta.
Similarly, various shows on Zoom have the smallest details of what these stars have been up to — which part of the planet they were on yesterday, what clothes did they wear (or did not), who did they fight with and who did they go home with!
Ex-files on Zoom digs out the skeletons from Bollwood actors' romantic past, while Channel V's Behind the Sins and Zoom's Follywood ‘inform' the viewers about the mistakes the stars have made in their past.
The list is endless. Are we so star-obsessed that we don't care that we are turning voyeurs?
Do we need to blow out of proportion someone else's faults to make us feel ‘entertained'? Not to mention being fooled by apparent publicity stunts by way of “leaking” private information by the stars themselves.