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Serial makers need to look before they ‘leap’

Leap, is a small word, but one that has become the favorite tool for serial makers, writers and producers. In fact in the world of Hindi serials, nothing works like a leap. It is the most followed trend in terms of story-track development that has provided a fresh lease of life for many a serial. As soon as the powers that be in channels and production houses realize that a particular show is falling of the charts of TRPs, they introduce ‘leaps’ to bring in fresh faces and fresh story ideas into the serial.

Of the current serials, shows like Kis Desh Mein Hai Mera Dil and Tujh Sang Preet Lagayi Sajana from Star Plus, Aap Ki Antara and Jhansi ki Rani from Zee Tv, Betyab Dil Ki Tamanna and Jeet Jayenge Hum from Sony, Uttaran and Swarg from Colors and Bandini from NDTV Imagine are some of the leading shows who have already undergone major leaps. For shows like Uttaran and Aap Ki Antara it had the main protagonists growing up age-wise. Take for example Aap Ki Antara, the story of an autistic child. Here the leaps have benefited the show tremendously. With the logical progression of Antara’s chronological age, the serial too has taken leaps into the future. Antara has grown from a four year old to a pre-teen in one such leap. This has helped to not only take the story forward but has also introduced new twists and turns. Now the same serial is poised for another leap as Antara will now become an adult.

However leaps also take place when the makers of a show feel that in its present state the particular serial has exhausted its level of drama and story tracks. It then becomes necessary to take a leap so as to introduce new elements, new characters, new plots and new characters/faces. Take the case of Bandini, NDTV Imagine’s show that has taken a leap. As soon as the makers found out that viewer interest was hitting a plateau and that the present level of dramatics had run its course, they decided to bring in a leap to infuse fresh blood into the show. The Dharamraj-Santu love story had already realized its pinnacle (marriage) and the Hiten-Toral-Khemi-Arjan four sided love story had become too tangled and muddled. So there was a leap and the element of separation was introduced to Dharamraj and Santu’s story; while Arjan was removed from the other one. Post a ten year leap Santu has returned to her home to find new equations and new realities.

How well a leap works depends on the logical justification behind it. However, channels and production houses need to be careful for a popular trend if used often can become repetitive, monotonous and lose its sharp edge. In short serial makers, ‘do look (into the scope of the story) before you leap’.

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