Sunday, 29 November, 2020

Craze for Television serials on the wane


By Renuka Dhakal
Kathmandu, Nov.11: Nepali television viewers have become accustomed to watching foreign television programmes, serials and reality shows of late.
When it comes to our own Nepali television serials, the viewers’ raise their eyebrows and say sarcastically that they still watch Nepali serials.
When asked, viewers proudly speak of the foreign serials.
Young generation viewers find English, Korean, Turkish serials alluring while house-wives and mothers are engrossed in the Hindi serials.
Rajni Pun, 30, from Bhaktapur, was surprised on knowing that there are still Nepali serials. “Does anyone watch Nepali serials?” she asked.
She added that she used to watch Tito Satya, a comedy serial, and that she had heard about Jire Khursani, also a comedy serial, but had never watched either of them.
However, other than the two, she doesn’t know any name of Nepali tele- serials. She said, “I should say sorry that I couldn’t name any Nepali tele-serials.”
She further said that she is an ardent fan of Korean and Turkish serials, and that her mother regularly watches Hindi television dramas while her father watches Nepali news channels and folk-duet Nepali songs. Nepali TV serials used to be watched by a big mass until a few years ago, but now majority of the viewers have now switched to Hindi and other foreign serials. In the present situation, when cable network has reached all the villages across the country, majority of the viewers still watch Hindi serials.
Jamuna Parajuli, 45, from Mulpani, said that she used to be glued to many Nepali serials like, Tito Satya, Jire Khursani, Parichaya, Ghahana but no longer.
She is increasingly inclined towards watching Hindi serials, which she finds alluring. “I don't pay much attention to Nepali serials, even when I do, I find them boring,” she added.
Former president of Television Artist Association Nepal Krishna Dhungana, who is also a director, script writer and an actor, also acknowledges that the attraction of Nepal tele-serials has declined sharply. In the past, serials were made on social issues, and the viewers liked that because they were focused on raising the awareness of the people, said Dhungana.
Despite the demand for Nepali tele-serials, things have worsened for them, due to the lack of interests and supports from TV channels, dominance of media agents and the compulsion for artistes to find alternative jobs in order to sustain themselves, he added.
He is of the opinion that television channels are not paying attention to serials related to social issues and that viewers are not watching such serials.
Admitting that the serials these days are made for YouTube, he said that barring some comedy serials, there is a dearth of serials focused on social issues.
He believes that if the television channels support Nepali tele-serial’s producer, they will be revived and the viewers will start loving them as well.
Earlier, the importance of serials was huge. Many successful big screen actors like Saroj Khanal, Regina Upreti, Santosh Pant started from small-screen (tele-serials), along with Deepak Raj Giri, Deepa Shree Niraula, among other famous and successful actors.
But it is an irony that artists working in tele-serials these days are rarely noticed, if at all, by the viewers. Currently, popular serials like Meri Bassai, Bhadragol, Harke Haldar, among others, are popular among the Nepali viewers. This is so because of the YouTube. However, all told, the number of viewers watching Nepali serials in on decline. 

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