Mumbai

Kapil vs Krushna... whose Comedy Nights was better?

Krushna Abhishek is not in the same league as Kapil. But the next few weeks will decide whether he is a worthy successor.  

Are television ratings truly a good indicator of content quality? Logically they ought to be. After all, ratings talk of how many people are viewing television software. So they are a good barometer of popularity which in turn can be interpreted as a proof of a show’s quality. Right?

Wrong? Because just because a certain programme is most watched doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best produced. Naagin on Colors is the #1 show across Hindi general entertainment channels. Now can we say it’s the best? And you may want kids to watch the nightly fare on Epic, but are there enough numbers tuning into the Stories By Rabindranath Tagore at 10pm?

This column has discussed the rise and rise and eventually exit of Comedy Nights with Kapil . As I wrote on him a few columns back, Kapil is one of the best television comedians in the business. He was clean, endearing and genuinely funny. But over the years, the format got jaded. It relied too much on film promotions and crassness sneaked in to force the laughter.

The last year or so has been particularly bad for the show. From someone who watched almost every episode, including re-runs, I ended up tracking CNWK just once a month. Possibly a quarter. It wasn’t fun any longer. Or at least I didn’t enjoy watching it the last thing on a Sunday evening.

So when Kapil went off air, I didn’t shed a tear. Kapil’s successor arrived with a high blitz promo, and I know of many who kept themselves free on opening night to see how Krushna Abhishek compared with the old resident of the house. And what’s my verdict? Well, clearly, Krushna is not in the same league as Kapil. It’s over-the-top like the way Kapil’s show got in recent times. I have seen two episodes of Comedy Nights Live and four of Khatron Ke Khiladi (by now you have an idea of what my social life is like on weekends) and must say I haven’t come out very disappointed.

Super Shetty

The last season of KKK was super with Rohit Shetty. The director of some thoroughly missable films (see, popularity has nothing to do with quality) was excellent emceeing the show. No Gayatri Mantra etc for him like it was for Akshay Kumar, but he didn’t need to really do that to become a hit with audiences.

Arjun Kapoor was a soft choice. He may have acted in some wild films but isn’t a natural toughie like Shetty, and he looked out of place bossing around with glam oldies like Tanishaa. But over the four episodes, he has grown on me. While the host is important in the Fear Factor format, it’s the creepy things and dare devilry that they are subject that makes it fun for some.

And for Comedy Nights Live which saw a super opening on the ratings roster: 8.8 million TVTs versus 4.1 million of the last Kapil episode. But of course the peak for Kapil was 11.8 million. The first episode of course is not the best indicator for passing judgement on the show, and the next few weeks will decide whether Krushna is a worthy successor to Kapil.

***

The real hat ke content these days is not on television. I have seen some great stuff on YouTube in the last year-odd, and found this trailer from the Ronnie Screwvala-B Saikumar venture Arre. The trailer of its first sitcom, I Don’t Watch TV ( IDWT ) is just out, and I think it will be the most watchable thing on YouTube soon.

What IDWT has done is, and I can see Screwvala’s touch here, gather some of the big names in television to present a wild take on their lives and the world of daily soaps at the risk of, well, upsetting the world they belong to. It’s clear that the monies invested in this are far larger than what we’ve seen thus far. But this is the kind of stuff on-demand video and OTT platforms like Netflix are looking at acquiring.

Am sure the likes of a Drashti Dhami, Karan Patel, Rithvik Dhanjani, Kritika Kamra, Karan Wahi and even Rajeev Masand aren’t charging a bomb, but it’s still not small monies. IDWT will be a weekly series of five episodes and is scheduled for release early next month.

Wait for it.

The writer is a commentator and editor working across media. He is founder-editor at MxMIndia and Happ Post, an alternative news offering. Tweets @pmahesh


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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 12:49:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/kapil-vs-krushna-whose-comedy-nights-was-better/article8231344.ece

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