It’s spring cleaning time for most of the mainstream Hindi channels and Zee is no exception. All set to make an official announcement on August 12, Zee’s new line-up includes shows such as ‘Kareena Kareena’, ‘Main Aur Chi’, ‘Kahiye Toh’, ‘Dil Gum Sum Hain Kyon’, ‘Dil Hi Dil Mein’, ‘Tera Mera Saath Rahe’ and ‘Kabhi Hann Kabhi Naa’.
In typical Bollywood classic ‘Golmaal’ mould, ‘Kareena Kareena’ is the story of a girl who told an inconsequential lie in order to bag a well paying job and then had to take on double roles in order to live up to the lie. With a Bihari tyrant for a boss, a makeshift husband and a dash of romance, ‘Kareena’ is surely a mix-and-match session of the best kind.
Again, ‘Main Aur Chi’ is the story of an 11-year-old boy Sameer who has a close encounter of a different kind. The first bit of the story transverses film Masoom’s angle wherein scientist Rahul discovers that Sameer is actually his son (as a result of a tryst in the past) and then takes him home. The idea doesn’t sit too well with Rahul’s wife who goes through mixed emotions as a result of his actions. Then comes the ‘Koi Mil Gaya’ angle wherein Sameer discovers a new cocoon like ‘toy’ in a lake back home. The cocoon soon transforms into an alien and it leads to a close encounter of a different kind.
What’s interesting is a show like ‘Kahiye Toh’ where two anchors will act as sutradhars and introduce the viewers to the concept of the series, leading to clippings of a pilot and an introduction to the same. The anchors will encourage viewers to send in their votes for the set pilot through SMS. Based on a benchmark number of votes, and a ‘yes:no’ ratio, it will be decided whether the viewers would like the pilot to go on air and become a full- fledged series. The results will be announced in the following week’s episode. If there is a thumbs-up for a pilot, it will go into production, and eventually be on air. A notable feature is that every alternate week, a pilot would be featured. Every episode will feature highlights of some shows of the coming week, followed by a contest question.
As for ‘Dil Gum Sum Kyo Hain’, it’s a story of a seasoned couple, Upen and Ranjana Upadhyay, who bring up their two daughters, Gehna and Rano, as equals but eventually surfaces the fact that Gehna is in fact an adopted child (she was sired by their servant). Gehna feels obliged to make sacrifices along the way, especially in the case of a young man named Inder (who catches Rano’s fancy as well). The story focuses on the sacrifices made by Gehna and the trials and tribulations she faces at every step of the way.
‘Dil Hi Dil Mein’ is the story of a silent admirer who loses the love of his life to his elder brother. Eventually, his brother lands up marrying the girl he desires, while he winds up marrying the girl that was initially being considered for his brother. The agony of winding up with the wrong life partner is aptly displayed in the show, and the entire plot comprises of various interactions between the two couples and the confusion and despair felt in each camp.
‘Tera Mera Saath Rahe’ is a youth love story, set in the turbulent background of Indo-Pak relations. While the girl hails from India, the boy is a Pakistani and they accidentally meet in Kuala Lampur, fall in love and vow to be together for the rest of their lives. But the undercurrent of animosity between the various countries acts as a major hurdle for them.
‘Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa’ is a show that revolves around three guys – Shekhar, Chetan and Deepanker with very different perspectives on life, love and pursuit of women. What occurs next is a capsule of their lives, the women that keep swishing in, and the chaos that persists.
Sony reached out to Indian viewers with six brand new shows at one time, and finally hit the goal as ‘Jassi’ swished past. It is the overwhelming belief within the Zee community that amongst the new cadre of shows, there lies a trump card. A media planner from Initiative comments, “Some amount of rejuvenation was required for Zee’s prime time slot and I am glad that they have begun the groundwork on the same. As fatigue is setting in for many of the Saas Bahu shows, there would definitely be others that stand to gain. One of these shows could well be a Jassi for Zee.”