From the epic family sagas without a beginning or a seeming end, and melancholy tales of joint families held together by that binding force of one heroic member's will, Tamil television soaps seem to be trying hard to evolve.
Vijay TV, a Tamil entertainment channel from STAR, is to start airing a 'love story' from March 28, on its prime time slot at 08:30 pm. The serial 'Idhu Oru Kadhal Kathai' (This is a love story), produced by Minbimbangal, a Chennai-based production house, walks into a time slot occupied by the channel's reality show 'Azhagi'. The producers claim that this will be different from other soap offerings.
Speaking to exchange4media, Harsh Rohatgi, Deputy General Manager, Vijay TV, said, "On the back of the whopping success of Azhagi, the first reality show on Tamil television which garnered high TVRs of 4 to 5 among female audiences, comes 'Idhu Oru Kadhal Kathai'. The soap is a first attempt to bring a full-fledged love story to the Tamil audience. The approach and content makes it refreshing and it would woo the women viewers."
While retaining the formula in terms of families (including a joint family), the serial will seek to differentiate itself by its USP of being a love story, according to Kailasam, Managing Director, Minbimbangal. He said, "It requires courage for a channel to try something like this, while the trend is to ape successful soaps. It is a love story from the point of view of not just the youth involved, but from the point of view of the entire family."
He said that the serial will be different in terms of content and treatment, and that much of the work would be outdoors rather than in-studio especially for the first 15-20 episodes. Sun Music's VJ, Prajjan, a debutante to serials, is to star in the soap opposite Shruti, a veteran of two soaps. But aren't soaps supposed to be family affairs? Kailasam cleared the air saying, "The story in its essence will seek to explore an ideal joint family that doesn't exist today, a dysfunctional urban family, and a real family struggling with the ideals of both. The three principal characters hail from each of the families, in this love story."
While Minbimbangal has produced content for Vijay TV in the past, this is the first daily serial for the channel that it has been involved with. It produces other daily serials, which are currently being aired on Jaya TV and Raj TV. K Balachander, a Director with over 100 films across languages including 'Ek Duuje Ke Liye', runs the production house.