Satire: Indian serials rapidly lose viewers as public flock to relationship drama

This mysterious phenomenon has actually become prevalent due to the rising cases of relationship drama unfolding on the internet, the author states.

Zabin Tazrin Nashita

Zabin Tazrin Nashita

The Daily Star


December 19, 2022

DHAKA – After years of enjoying immense popularity in Bangladesh, a recent statistic shows a rapidly declining viewership of Indian soap operas from the Bangladeshi demographic. This shocking revelation has proved to be a crushing blow to both the producers of the shows and the local satellite channel providers, as many consumers have stopped using their services.

This mysterious phenomenon has actually become prevalent due to the rising cases of relationship drama unfolding on the Internet. The relationship dramas frequently posted on social media platforms starring regular people have been steadily gaining popularity, causing these Indian serials to take a backseat.

“The storylines of these serials are a little unrealistic these days. You mean to tell me that extended families actually live together instead of constantly fighting over one acre of land back in some village in the middle of nowhere?” states Fatema, 45, in response to why she has turned away from Indian soap operas.

Experts, on the other hand, blame people’s short attention spans. One day in earth time equals to 50 episodes in Indian serials, and maintaining focus throughout the entire runtime proves to be a cumbersome task. Not to mention the trade-off between catching up on the lore of the latest internet scandal and the villain glaring at the protagonist through fifteen different transitions in simply not worth it.

Sadman Sakib, 18, however, thinks differently. “These serials are flopping because they are not good. I was kind of forced to watch nearly 100 episodes of Bade Khushi Lagte Hain with my mother, and I found it ridiculous and was obviously not secretly invested. I prefer my second-hand embarrassment to come from watching dudes talking to themselves in girls’ DMs despite being in committed relationships. That’s quality content.”

The fact that broadcasting doesn’t allow room for audience feedback is also an important factor behind Indian serial’s declining audience interest. With these social media relationship dramas, you can easily reshare the post with your own thoughts that the world is eagerly waiting for. You can provide some much-needed moral policing in the comment sections too.

“Here’s the thing, you spend nearly 500 episodes getting to know these characters. At that point, these fictional characters are real people with hopes and dreams and emotions so you can’t really judge them too harshly, which takes the fun out of it. But what about the people involved in these train wrecks, that they refer to as relationships? I don’t even know them, so I can judge them all I want,” says Sumaiya, 20.

Thanks to all this rage about online relationship dramas, producers are planning to incorporate some of these elements into their storylines, which may prove to be an exciting revolution in the industry.

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