WW’s verdict…

on Masterchef India is out!

Eeks… I didn’t like it! I dont even bother remembering the timings it is telecast in, and that shows what I think of it.

Ok, top three reasons why it sucks?

  1. The celebrity judges are  ho hum
  2. The format – nothing captivating, yet.
  3. The filmy element – the “oohs and aahs” Akshay evokes and the Bollywoodish drama seem forced.

Guess after having seen Masterchef Aus, this one pales in comparison.


Telly Tales

Of late, one television program has been keeping me hooked… ‘Masterchef Australia’!

The program, currently aired on Star World, is being shown late to India TV viewers by a couple of monhs – as always, I suppose. The actual show was long over (in April, if I am right)  so that takes out the zing a bit, but nevertheless I still look forward to it every Tue-Thur.

All the famous aussie accent and fighting spirit is in full glory here. And like in any reality show, the emotional investment of viewers is important here too. You root for some contestants (Alvin and Jonathan, in my case), are indifferent to many and detest some others. Riding along is fun, speculating and guessing the winners and losers each week!

The innovative and creative means of testing the contestants makes for very interesting viewing. Every week, there is an invention test – there was an Indian Invention week also, where contestants had to cook exciting Indian dish with goat (mutton) as the principal ingredient. Wonder how someone can suddenly come up with a fine Indian dish (or any native dish, for that matter) when they dont have any experience ever working with it! Ask me, 7-8 years of on-off experience, working in Indian kitchen and I still can’t confidently cook up a decent roti… LOL!

Every week, typically 2 teams are formed, given interesting challenges, and the winning team (or super performers from winning teams) are treated to some nice lunches and dinners. Losers, of course, face pressure tests and the ones who succumb, get eliminated. So not just culinary skills, but also contestants’  leadership skills, team performance, stress tolerance etc. is tested.

Ok, any negatives at all? Yes, for a vegetarian like myself, the overdose of meat on the show can be a real put off. I mean, how many times can you not squirm as a chef goes on, like a doctor giving a practical anatomy demonstration – cutting and slicing through the various body parts of a poor dead animal.

Masterchef India is coming soon, I believe. Hosted by Akshay Kumar, it keeps up with the Indian telly tradition of signing up a Bollywood star for all and sundry things to hook viewers. I love Bollywood and mean no disrespect to its stars, but having had a dose of MC-Aus and seen how original and interesting the show can get, I only hope the channel doesn’t reduce the brand to a Bollywood masala pot boiler version in India.

So as of now, all I do is Wait ‘n Watch –  Wait for MC-India and watch MC-Aus!



I have mixed feelings about them.

I consider them an irritant when they interrupt a nice movie or show I am watching on telly. And then there are some, which I prefer over the actual show. But in either case, they get me thinking. No denying the fact that I have always had a fascination for the copywriting business. Always wondered how ads are created – Where does the germ of the idea come from (it is a sudden burst of inspirtation, brainstorming, or a dedicated group sitting down in a conf room and working on it?), how is it developed, how is it translated on the screen, what makes some instantly likeable and some others loathsome, do celebrities endorsing a brand have a say in making of the ads… I can go on and on. If I had a chance to choose any other job, I’d probably choose ad making (how successful I’d be in it is another matter altogether)

So here I write out my ad list – the good ones & the bad ones. Strictly including only whatever is being aired currently.

First, the Yucky ones:

1. The Shah Rukh Khan one, advertising fairness creams. At least, celebrities should stop endorsing fairness (and creams for fairness) Also add the OTT Hyundai ad. This inspite of my not being a SRK-hater.

2. The Salman Khan ad with some Chinese(?) girls asking about some extra fittings (or whatever) on cows! Gosh, I thought it was awful.

3. Amul Macho. For torturing the primates, and us.

4. A random boy walks up to a random girl on the road, and not only demands a bite of her chocolate, but also decides he is going to drop her home. Sorry, don’t know about that girl, I’d FREAK OUT if I were to meet such a stranger on the road!

5. The Kotak Mahindra Bank ad, where a man follows his pretty wife and suspects her when she is found talking to an attractive man. Come on, any woman interacting with a man other than her husband is worth suspecting? Not sure what they were trying to convey.

6. The Reliagare Insurance Ad. True, death can strike anytime, but I thought the ad smacks of insensitivity when talking about that.

The Nice ones:

1. Aamir’s “athithi devo bhava” Nothwithstanding the frequency of the ad and Aamir overdose on TV nowadays, I think the series is quite nicely done and timely, what with the CWG round the corner. We Indians sure need some lessons in manners.

2. The Kareena ad for Vivid laptop. Not a big fan of hers and nothing spectacular about the ad, but love her attitude and gait in it. And not to forget the groovy music. This one hits the target well.

3. The Kajol ad for Alpenliebe. Again, nothing amazing, but effervescent Kajol and her monkey-man master make it work for me.

4. Saffola – where a man offers his son a “crocodile ride” as wife watches on. Nicely conceptualized. Manages to get its message across humorously.

A side note – For some reason, I never particularly took a liking to ‘zoozoos’. Me thinks they were ok, but highly overrated.