Remakes and reboots have held their charm on Hindi General Entertainment Channels (GEC). However, this year with over nine shows rebooted and revived, the trend witnessed a surge. While a few grabbed the audiences’ attention, others had to be taken off air due to poor ratings. Actor Jayati Bhatia, who plays Geetanjali Devi in Sasural Simar Ka 2 feels 2021 has been an eventful year and adds, “One of the main reasons has been remakes that have flooded the TV industry.”
Veteran actor Supriya Pilgaonkar believes that this trend is a result of herd mentality. She says, “If a reboot or a sequel works for one show, it turns into a trend in the market.”
One can assume that the resurgence of remakes may be due to creative bankruptcy. With newer shows failing to connect with the audience, remakes of iconic shows seem to be a safer bet for networks. Pilgaonkar, who was seen in two sequels this year — Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi 3 (KRPKAB3) and the recently launched Sasuraal Genda Phool 2 defends her show is not back due to lack of content. She elaborates, “It is important to bring back iconic shows because the memory of the viewers is too short.”
Actor Sumeet Raghvan, who is back on TV with Wagle ki Duniya – Nayi Peedhi Naye Kissey, a sequel to the iconic 1988 show disagrees to the debate. He shares, “It has nothing to do with lack of fresh content. There are some shows which need to be revamped.”
Producers are also banking on names of iconic shows to attract audience. Balika Vadhu 2, a reboot of the daily soap which ran for eight years, is back with a new story under the same title. Although actor Shivangi Joshi plays Anandi, her character, she claims her rendition is different from the original. Joshi says, “Our season 2 is different in terms of content and treatment. In this version, Anandi is more responsible and of today’s age.”
But do remakes really work well on the TRP charts? Some of these shows such as Mann Ki Awaaz Pratigya 2, Jijaji Chhat Par Hain 2, KRPKAB3 and Bade Acche Lagte Hain 2 failed to recreate the magic their predecessors did. Actor Pooja Gor, who reprised the role of Pratigya in the sequel rues every project has its own destiny. She says, “We would have loved if the show reached more people.”
Bhatia, on the other hand, believes her show “Sasural Simar Ka 2 is doing better than other reboots because of its content”. She explains, “Its a today’s show with today’s women.”
Meanwhile, Raghvan believes recreations and sequels may work if they remain authentic to their original storytelling . “We need to maintain the sanctity of the original, it can’t be a completely different take. It must have newer elements to make the show relevant to the current generation, but we can’t completely change it. It should be a new wine in an old bottle ” he ends.