Television on Safe Mode

During these days when televisions have become the true idiot boxes and are eating our brains, there are a few programs which manage to be better than the others. There are not many interesting things going in the Malayalam television channels these days, except for may be a few songs and comedy clips. Oridathoridathu is a program which should have been still there on Asianet, but it is not. But if someone is caught in a situation in which only Malayalam channels are there, he or she also needs to be saved, and here are a few programs which surely won’t make you throw the tea cup to the screen.

1. Badai Bungalow (Asianet): With a new and interesting concept, this one is the first preference for most of the people I know. Ramesh Pisharody and Arya are the new couple here who are the tenants of Mukesh in his bungalow, while Dharmajan is their cook who wishes to become a movie actor and Manoj is a neighbour who keeps coming to their home with something weird all the time. Praseetha plays the aunty who is still waiting for her knight in shining armour to get married. Every Sunday, they invite a celebrity guest, and it is followed by moments of unlimited fun to which the whole cast contribute so well. There is also an audience who can interact with the cast.

2. Marimaayam (Mazhavil Manorama): Working with so much efficiency as the one big satire for a long time, Marimayam has managed to create a big impact on the audience since the beginning itself. It mocks the ridiculous situations at the government offices as well as with the public, as there is a certain reflection of what happens in the common man’s life. All the problems that people have to face because of the system and the society are brought to light in a funny way. It also brought the actress Rachana Narayanankutty to the big screen, and also S. P. Sreekumar. More than an year old, the program is still going strong – no wonder when the system always needs cleaning.

Marimaayam is the political and social satire which you have been looking for!

Marimaayam is the political and social satire which you have been looking for!

3. Ningalkum Aakaam Kodeeswaran (Asianet): Continuing to be the Kaun Banega Crorepathi and Who Wants to be a Millionaire in Malayalam, this one is blessed with one of the best hosts of all time, Suresh Gopi, and keeps a certain responsibility towards the society going. Only if the locking of options had happened right after the contestants had answered without giving them clue that the answer was wrong, this would have been the top program. The contestant should never be helped, otherwise the resulting money should go not for him or her, but for the host. Measuring of knowledge should be done in a righteous manner without shortcuts. Otherwise, people can be helped directly.

4. Thatteem Mutteem (Mazhavil Manorama): Dealing mostly with the relationship between a mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law in a funny way, this one uses simple incidents and exaggerates the same to evoke laughter, but still stays close to life. The family which includes the mother, son, his wife, his daughter and son, creates all the fun inside the house itself. The home is where the fun is, and K. P. A. C. Lalitha and Manju Pillai steals the show along with Jayakumar who is mostly the one who begins the fun every episode. The kids are also nice, especially Bhagyalakshmi. Veena Nair’s guest presence at times also remain unique. This is a real hope among the pathetic television serials which keeps coming.

The cast of Thatteem Mutteem, never losing the charm.

The cast of Thatteem Mutteem, never losing the charm, even after all these years.

5. Onnum Onnum Moonu (Mazhavil Manorama): Even though this one has its ups and down according to the celebrities who come to the show, the whole thing works due to Rimi Tomy and her trademark style. Without her, the program has almost no charm, but she is there, making fun of everything including herself in a show which is more comedy than anything else. There are also some of those celebrities whom we don’t know or see, who become better known to us due to this show. The whole thing is so cheerful that it leaves the viewers happy – it is sure credit for Rimi Tomy and Mazhavil Manorama.

6. Comedy Stars (Asianet): Formerly Vodafone Comedy Stars, this has been the best comedy show on Malayalam television so far, and the first episode was huge. This program to select the best comedy team in Kerala surely had some of the best in the field and has given the Malayalam industry some of the interesting comedy actors like Noby, Nelson and Ullas. It has lost some charm in the recent years, but with the last episode mocking the educational blunders of the state’s tenth standard exams in which almost everyone passed, this has raised the level higher. This has made the common stressed man happy throughout the years, and there will surely be some nice skits coming up with so much scope for satire in Kerala.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Facebook pages of Marimaayam and Thatteem Mutteem. I also give a special mention here for the programs Don’t Do Don’t Do on Asianet Plus and Vellanakalude Naadu on Asianet, the former being a celebrity comedy show and the latter being another satire!