After the first season and after he has tried and tested it to his heart’s content, producer Satheesh Kumar usually likes to hand over a show, because once a show is up and running, he likes to move on to the next idea. Over the years, his Midas touch quickly won loyal viewers for ‘Tharikida’ on Surya TV, ‘Superstar’ on Amrita TV and ‘Veruthae Alla Bharya’ on Mazhavil Manorama, making it a dream run on television for Satheesh.
He’s keeping his fingers crossed as applications pour in for ‘Midukki’, a reality show on the hunt for ‘Kerala’s smartest woman’, soon to be aired on Mazhavil Manorama.
While actor Shwetha Menon stole viewers’ hearts with her empathy and hugs on ‘Veruthae Alla Bharya’, actor Rima Kallingal, known for her smart choices, is slated to host ‘Midukki’. Excerpts from an interview…
A show with no references as guidance, ‘Midduki’ has been designed in an entirely new format. It will be a test of the participant’s personality with a blend of fashion as well.
Not a beauty pageant
Fashion is just one of the many rounds in ‘Midukki’. The challenge was incorporating Kerala’s culture in such a way that it did not offend anyone’s sensibilities. We did not want parents of the participants to think that it is all about skin show. So we’ve been careful.
The show is called ‘Midduki’ because that is how people describe women who are smart. The number of applications has already crossed 1,000. The bio-data will serve as the first step to selecting the right contestants. This will be followed by an interaction with our judges. Stage presence and communication skills are what matter.
We are charting out the rounds in consultation with a panel that also includes psychologists. The tasks will test the character of the competitors, ability to perform within a team and the like. Those that show promise will be entrusted with the best grooming experts in India.
On Rima as the anchor
Rima has a strong individuality. It shows when you meet her in person and in the films she has chosen so far. People have taken a shine to her and she fit the bill when we thought of an anchor for the show. Initially, she was reluctant. But after a presentation we gave to her about the show she was convinced about the concept and agreed whole-heartedly.
Reality shows as his forte
I like challenges. It begins with a spark of an idea. Setting it into motion is the tough part. It completely holds my interest. After it takes off I am ready for something new. The responses for reality shows can be amazing. ‘Veruthe Alla Bharya’ was an eye-opener. The role housewives play is often downplayed. For many of them, it is about getting their husbands to empathise with them. All the feedback I’ve received is along the lines of “I’ve always wondered how to make him understand. The show really changed him!”
On the popularity of reality shows
Reality shows have immense potential. We’ve just started. There is a lot waiting to be explored. We don’t even need to follow the exact format of the shows in the West. With a little brainstorming, reality shows can be made to cater to the Indian audience. It takes months of research and homework but it is possible. Many reality shows show the dark aspects of the competitors. I’ve always been clear about keeping my shows as positive as possible. Negativity is easy, all it takes is provocation. But my path’s all about healthy competition.