Friday, August 04, 2006
Go Lola Go
Channel V has an office in the building next to the building that houses our office. They (Channel V) moved in recently (a couple of months ago). Since then I have caught sight of funnily dressed people many a times - the odd kurtas, rings on the nose/ears/eyebrows, long curly hair etc - you get the picture - these are people you pass by on the street and you know for sure from the one glance that they don’t work for a software firm or a bank. Funny how ones appearance most times is linked to the kind of work one does. Saw the VJ Luke Kenny chatting to his phone one evening. Was exciting stuff. He's one of my favourite VJs. As far as I am concerned, a VJ need not look good, need not crack jokes, need not dress well - as long as he plays good music, provides the odd trivia, caters to a varied audience I will love him/her. Luke did that. He had amazing body language. No overly waving of the hands, no sashaying to and fro, no pumping the eyebrows, no widening-dewidening eyes. He stood with his hands in his pockets and delivered. Nowadays he's stopped appearing on TV too. His program Luke's After Hours is non-stop music videos picked by him. I think that shows tremendous confidence. He knows he doesn't need to woo the audience. They see and listen to him through the videos. Anyways that's enough of the eulogy. That evening, I couldn't pluck up the courage to go pump his hands - I like to think it was because both his hands were indisposed - one as always was in his jeans pocket and the other holding the phone. It's also rude to interrupt someone when they are on the phone so I just happily gawked for a while.
The day before yesterday was a good day. Lola Kutty of the Lola T[V] show was outside the office getting ready for a shoot. She was to interview Vidya Balan (of Parineeta fame). A colleague spotted her on his cigarette break and he spread the news. We rushed down like school boys setting off on hearing the bell for recess. This time we went up to her and chatted. I told her I louve her wark (mallu ishtyle). I am not sure she appreciated the attempt at humour, partly because she may not have heard it. I get cold feet easily and I was looking at the floor when I said it even though I had rehearsed that line about 10 times before we went up to her. Anyways, we also had a photo taken. She was cool. She said on seeing our camera phone "You not going to send out MMS no?". I think she's a great TV personality. A friend of mine said that everything about her except her is real. He's a deep thinker, this friend of mine. Yes, she does put on a phoney accent, she actually may not need those huge glasses; am sure she wouldn't be caught with all the jewellery, bright silk saris and jasmine flowers on her hair at places other than on the TV set but I just can't picture her in anything else. To me Lola T[V] was radical. I enjoy watching the programme - I normally hate chat shows. I find them phoney. Maybe that's what sets this show apart. They know that the whole show is a sham and they make no effort to cover that up. The objective is to have fun, the chatting is secondary.
I have always liked Channel V as compared to MTV. Their VJs - Luke, Trey, Sophiya, Laila Rouass, Sarah, Gaurav, Ranvir, Yudi and Purab - they all had class. To borrow a quote from a friend (the deep thinker), if MTV was Jim Carrey, Channel V was Woody Allen. Its true though - the former is good only in small doses. I have nothing against the MTV VJs. They are a perky bunch and no doubt very talented but I find them too loud most times, a little pretentious and over the top. Sedateness appeals to me.
Channel V too started playing Hindi movie songs, just like MTV. I really don't know the reason why MTV and Channel V started showing more and more of the latest Hindi movie songs, showing promos of newly released movies and leaving the music videos to a few select shows that were peppered with lengthy advertisements and telephone calls between VJs and teenagers who wanted to be heard giggling on TV. I am not sure about the economics but there probably is more money in airing new movie songs and charging the producers than just broadcasting music videos. Whatever be the reason, it was with a heavy heart I saw the transformation. VH1 was brought on air by MTV and ZEE Turner in Dec 2004. That warmed the heart and brought a lot of cheer. In the beginning it played only music videos, it was also being promoted as a commercial free channel. It was awesome. That has however changed. But it still remains the channel that shows the maximum music videos and it occupies channel number 1 on my TV. MTV is now a lifestyle channel whatever that means (It unfortunately means talk shows, candid camera type shows, movie previews and more advertisements). Our cable network decided to take Channel V off their menu of channels sometime last year. Not sure how much of a loss that is since they anyway were following MTV's footsteps.
Video killed the Video star.