We temporarily switched to Dish network so that we could subscribe to Sun TV for my in-laws who are here. Somehow, I’ve gotten hooked on to it big time. It’s surprising that I am hooked on though, considering that scene after scene, serial after serial, is one cliche after another.
From what I see:
- The name of the serial has to be feminine – a particular woman’s name(Arasi, Mekala), female relationship (Magal, Mannaivi etc..)
- The title song has to be realllllllllllly long – long enough so that people who just started cooking dinner or lunch can finish before the actual story starts. They are usually not worth watching, because the idea is to give an aspiring singer, music director and choreographer an inexpensive platform to showcase their work.
- The protagonist has to be a woman.
- The protagonist has to be one that goes through unimaginable (and I mean unimaginable because nobody could imagine these in true life) burdens in succession.
- The protagonist usually has either a ‘villie’ mother-in-law or a ‘villain’ husband or both.
- If the villie mother-in-law and the villain husband aren’t villie or villain enough, then there will always be the official villain of the serial – one who is keen on ‘pazhi vaangifying’.
- If there is a priest(father) in the serial, he always (and I mean always) walks around with a rosary and bible in hand. I mean, come on, a priest has to be prepared at all times – What would he do if he were questioned on the bible by any of the other characters in the serial?
- The heroine or her kin have to visit prison for a crime they actually did not commit.
- The heroine has to have had multiple attempts on her life in the form of a speeding truck (which would be hard to ignore in real life, considering that it actually hits on slow bumpy out of the way chennai roads) and at-least one attempted poisoning.
- The heroine will have at-least one person in the good part of the family giving up his/her life for the former.
- The heroine or her family has to lose all the money they ever had by being naive enough to let the villain cheat them.
- If the background music is a happy tune, it’s because in the next few minutes, someone is going to have an accident, or the villain has unleashed a new form of attack on an unsuspecting family, because let’s face it – happy tunes are short-lived in tamil serials.
- If there is a death in the serial, the only way the viewer can empathize is, if they see all those involved wailing and mourning at excruciating decibel levels, see the nose-stuffed person acting dead, actually see a funeral pyre burn to the end, and watch people walk back in full ‘sogam’. All of the above needs to extend across at-least 2 episodes, so the viewer actually believes that the person is reallllly dead.
And if you are lucky enough to witness the almost non-existent occurrence of a last episode, then I’ve heard they usually end with a family get-together and surprisingly this time they are all laughing.
Enna Ulagamada Idhu?? Thankfully not our ulagam!