Sherlocked or throned?

Small screen The lack of good regional television shows has contributed to the popularity of the English ones  

As far as TV entertainment is concerned, winter’s not coming. The culmination of high production values, great plots and a plethora of genres has ensured that urban audiences of English TV series are spoilt for choice reflecting in their growing popularity. Game of Thrones, whose next season is the talk of the town, Sherlock, Breaking Bad, Westworld, Peaky Blinders, The Walking Dead, Californication, Dexter, Narcos, Mr. Robot, Daredevil, House of Cards and Jessica Jones have a huge fan following, especially in cosmopolitan cities like Hyderabad.

The spurt in their popularity is well explained by Abhinav Sharma, a Systems Engineer at Infosys. “Indian serials are high on emotional quotient and melodrama whereas TV series like Game of Thrones are plot-oriented with plenty of important characters and roles which evolve over a period of time.” Abhinav likes The Wire and Friends apart from GoT, pointing out that the native offerings of the quality of Sarabhai vs Sarabhai and Malgudi Days are hard to come by.

Chakravarthy, a Post-doctoral researcher in Material Science, Sherlocked by the ‘high-functioning sociopath’, loves Breaking Bad for the ‘know-it-all teacher and insouciant-student combination’. He likes Newsroom, created by Aaron Sorkin, an Oscar winner, for the dialogue and puns. GoT ‘is an obvious choice for the edge of the seat screenplay and the soundtrack’. When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die, but ultimately, to mimic Ravi Shastri, Indian audiences are the real winners. The thrill is what attracts viewers like Deepak to Game of Thrones. Co-founder and COO at Learnpedia, Deepak watches GoT along with his wife Deeksha. “We are glued to the screen for the whole length of the episode,” Deepak says, musing that “GoT is the hero TV audiences deserve.” Deepak also loves Suits which “despite its weaker storyline in recent seasons gives us some enticing characters like a hotshot attorney with some grey, a terrific boss, an omniscient secretary and an adorable conman-turned-legal associate.” The couple also enjoys the DC trio of Arrow, Flash and Legends of Tomorrow for the non-stop action.

Sriram Madhav, a law student and another avid TV-series enthusiast from Hyderabad loves Seinfeld for “its wit and humour” and House MD for “the sarcasm and Hugh Laurie’s characterization”. He loves Designated Survivor, given he finds political dramas and thrillers engrossing, a trait he shares with several other twenty-something viewers like Sai Kumar. A BTech graduate from Vasavi Engineering College, Sai believes the English TV series “do not beat around the bush and stick to a precise storyline.” He doesn’t want to watch GoT until he reads the books first, but loves other series like Suits, House of Cards and Designated Survivor for the “intensity of the stories”. “It helps that the budgets are massive,” he says, alluding to the richness of most of these shows. Aishwarya, an NIT Calicut graduate, is a huge fan of Big Bang Theory because it offers “smartness with a pinch of humour and a whole lot of people to entertain you”.

While Indian TV serials continue to have their own viewership, urban audiences have shown an affinity towards legen-wait-for-it-dary English TV series and it is ‘no moo point’. HBO, Netflix, DC Entertainment, Universal, and their ilk – let them live long and prosper.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 8:13:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/sherlocked-or-throned/article17776661.ece

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