When popular singer Rihanna sang the track ‘Please don't stop the music', she was probably appealing to Indian music channels. For, the handful of music channels we have today, barring their logos (for example Music Television-MTV), would not qualify to be categorised as music channels. Day-in and day-out, we have one reality show after the other. Perhaps the only time one catches some music is during the after-hours, when only the owls are awake.
MTV possibly kick-started the trend of becoming more ambitious with its programme list. Tampering with its music-based formats such as ‘Select' and ‘Most Wanted', they moved on to introduce brash, almost devilish concepts like ‘Roadies' and ‘Splitsvilla'. While they make for good, senseless entertainment, it leaves you wondering about ‘music'.
In Roadies, the ‘holy trinity' of twins Raghu and Rajeev, and VJ Ranvijay grill prospective ‘roadies', making them skip, hop, dance, and juggle, sometimes even physically assaulting them. All this being part of the “test” to become a roadie. In the ensuing competitions, the contestants are made to drink a concoction of ostrich egg with other unmentionable ingredients before taking a roller-coaster ride. Detect a song in it anywhere?
On Splitsvilla, the participants, usually girls, have to flaunt their body to impress the boy/s for love. The winning couple gets a cash prize. And they don't even ‘Sing for the moment'.
MTV's competitor Channel V was quick to follow suit. They launched a slew of reality shows like ‘Love Net', ‘Love Kiya Toh Darna Kya' and ‘Dare to Date', all involving individuals taking to national TV only to make complete fools of themselves. Why else would someone want to wear a flimsy chiffon sari and dance in artificial rain to impress a boy claiming to be a deejay? Or a single woman on the wrong side of 30 endure a joker who makes her wear Sridevi's costume and dance to Tofa tofa..laya, laya on the beach? These channels even have soaps, as if the entertainment channels do not offer the same.
MTV makes up for the lack of song and dance with a show called ‘Grind'. Here, some not-so-famous VJs of the channel dance to remixed versions of songs. It is also to be noted that the hours-long videos have one male VJ surrounded by bikini-clad women, including one woman VJ as lead, grooving to club mixes.
It is a real pity that music lovers have to turn to entertainment channels like Zoom or to the Internet to catch full videos of songs, while these channels continue to dish out one sloppy replacement after another.
The only time one catches some music is during the after-hours, when only the owls are awake