The Flowers Supremacy

People might think that this post is about The War of the Roses, but the story about that Civil War is not the Flowers that we have here, for this one is a television channel, which Keralites have loved to watch since its inception. While learning about The War of the Roses was more or less part of the academics if not a requirement for raising the level of knowledge, Flowers channel has been all about entertainment. It was initially known for one particular programme, Uppum Mulakum, a series which competed with Mazhavil Manorama’s Thatteem Mutteem, and has not lost its charm due to repetitions and being outdated as a number of years have passed now, and Flowers itself has other shows which gained supremacy.

Among the shows of Flowers, the one programme which stands apart is Star Magic, an event which includes a number of performers who are skilled in more than one field, and it is like a celebration, which has been going on in Flowers channel for a long time, but doesn’t have a feeling of repetition at all. It has a limited number of participants, and they keep changing every day, even though more than half of them remain the same every day. There are talks, games and performances, and everything has a fine touch of humour to go with it. The programme is the kind of thing that we need to watch at night after a bust schedule or during a depressing Corona season to be happy.

A random screenshot from Star Magic (for blogging purpose only)

Some of the commonly repeated names in Star Magic other than the anchor Lakshmi Nakshathra are Binu Adimaly, Nelson Shooranadu, Kollam Sudhi, Sreevidya Mullassery, Jaseela Parveen, Anna Chacko, Dayyana Hameed, Anumol RS, Thankachan Vithura, Azeez Nedumangad, Shashankan Mayyanad, Shiyas Kareem, Bineesh Bastian, Kollam Shafi, Aiswarya Rajeev etc among others. Along with the same, there have been other names which made regular presence in the programme including Noby Marcose, Anu Joseph, Anna Prasad, Abhirami Murali, Mridula Vijay, Yuva Krishna, Naveen Arakkal, Stephy Leon, Saadhika Venugopal, Rini Raj, Krittika Pradeep, Manvi Surendran, Reneesha Rehman, Tanvi S Ravindran, Lakshmi Priya, Chilanka S Deedu etc and also a number of guests from films and other fields. The programme manages to be more or less like a festival, and has a wonderful spirit associated with it.

Along with Star Magic, another programme has risen to fame in the last few months, and it is a show on the lines of Ningalkkum Aakaam Kodeeshwaran, originally known as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, and best known in India as Kaun Banega Crorepati with Amitabh Bachchan’s early addition. This programme known as Flowers Oru Kodi is special because of having Sreekandan Nair as the host, and there is a certain amount of variety being added to it, with the help of its robotic sponsors, Lana Technologies, as it has two robots providing aid when required. It also has more or less a fun feeling rather than the emotional setting which was maintained by other programmes which provided cash to the contestants in exchange for answering questions – a case of positive energy here.

We have watched News 24 a lot, and basically it is the channel which provided a neutral viewpoint in almost every case, while all other channels were mostly having their anchors prejudiced towards one side. As both comes from the same source, we know that Flowers and News 24 are not to be separated when watching television. The use of technology and augmented reality has set the channels ahead of others, and the floor used for each programme is indeed splendid. This is the same reason why almost all the time, we are looking forward to watch News 24, despite having so many channels around. Flowers and News 24 are channels which know what to do when they have to do it, correctly, and without pretensions or prejudices.

Flowers also has Chakkappazham, a series about which I had already written earlier. Even though it had started become a little bit repetitive, it still remains fun, and you know how well a series with simple things of home depicted on the screen can work for the family audience. Thatteem Mutteem, the only programme which was giving competition to Uppum Mulakum has also paled in front of this one, as Mazhavil Manorama has once again lost the advantage here despite having Marimaayam much earlier, except for getting those new movies to have their television premiere in there, like Zee Keralam has been doing for some time – Asianet which earlier had Vellanakalude Naadu also has managed some similar television premieres rather than getting some quality shows in there. The competition is there, and it is good.

A random screenshot from Chakkappazham (for blogging purpose only)

Yet, in between all the competition, both Flowers and News 24 has brought an identity of their own, and it is the style which other channels have been trying to copy, but not with that much of an effect. After all, imitations can only be imitations, and won’t have that quality which is displayed by the original. We know about the same here too. During the time of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, Flowers has been the one channel which we watched regularly, and News 24, the one news channel which we watched the most, and that is something which might not change for a long time, as other television channels surely seem to lack in that diversity as well as innovation.

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<— Click here to go to the last film review.

TeNy

The Great Jackfruit Family

As most of you might already know, I am not a fan of the television series in Malayalam which have been part of different channels. But there was Thatteem Mutteem which became a show which I regularly watched, and that had changed. With the children in the series growing up to have children, things were never going to be the same again. Then, with the beginning of COVID-19, the episodes stopped, and we were no longer interested in this particular programme. I was never a fan of the much hyped Uppum Mulakum, even though in the beginning, I had found the same to be okay. As of now, one can be pretty sure that it can only live on its past hype and can come up with nothing new.

Then in August, we had another television show focusing on a family and its members at home, and that changed the situation by a long way. After watching television continuously for a long time during the pandemic, we had lost interest in watching anything anymore, and that was evident in the time spent in front of the television in the later stages. Chakkapazham which started its journey on August 10 was quick to catch our attention, and we have been watching the show without fail, every day from Monday to Friday. Even the presence of the WWE-like entertainment like IPL didn’t change that as we were stuck to this show like never before. It is after a long time that a programme has created such an effect.

This show feels that good because of its funny side which works so well, without adding any emotional side in between. Uppum Mulakum and Thatteem Mutteem have the tendency to turn emotional at times, but Chakkapazham manages to be a complete comedy with feel-good elements. The funny moments are all effective, thanks to a group of talented actors and actresses doing a great job. Lead by SP Sreekumar who plays Uthaman, a veterinary compounder who take care of the house which has more members than one would expect. The members of the family include Uthaman, his wife Asha, their three children, his jobless young brother Sumesh, his sister Painkili and her son, his brother-in-law who visits at times, his parents and also his grandmother.

SP Sreekumar is no stranger to us, as we have known him from Marimaayam, and as that villain in Memories. He does a natural job in the series as he has been doing for a long time. Aswathy Sreekanth who plays his wife makes the entry into acting from anchoring here with a touch of comedy, really well. Shruthi Rajnikanth who plays the sister Painkili is a joy to watch, and it is her along with Mohammed Raffi who plays the brother Sumesh that elevates the comedy to the highest level. Both are united by the interest in doing nothing, and if the former’s main interest is in sleeping, the latter spends his time trying to find some way of making the family members fight with each other or find any way of making some quick money without hardwork.

Arjun Somasekhar who plays Painkili’s husband Shivan makes some nice appearances, even though he is not there in all episodes. In his acting debut, he brings some memorable, funny moments. Amal Rajdev plays Kunjunni, the father figure who pretends that he was a pilot in the airforce until retirement, while Sabeeta George plays the mother figure of Lalitha. Both are also interesting characters, and blend in really well. Indira Devi plays the grandmother who is also an integral part of the fun. The children are also really good, and they contribute to the tale so well. Such natural acting from child actors are rarely seen, but they just manage to make the whole thing better.

The fight scenes in the television series are funny, and it is to be noted that there is something very interesting coming up every time. The characters are people whom we fall in love with – they are all simple people, and their life and tales are also really simple, even though strange in a really funny manner as we look at it. I would say that the best thing which started in television during these days is this programme, and telecasted at the same time as Thatteem Mutteem in Mazhavil Manorama, this one is sure to have won the battle. Flowers channel seems to have programmes for all categories of people – even Star Magic and Koodathayi seems to be much loved, while in the case of Mazhavil Manorama, we only have the new and updated Udan Panam, which thrives on its anchors.

At the same time when Koodathayi and Star Magic are running in Flowers, we have Udan Panam in Mazhavil Manorama, a show which has been lifted to the next level, thanks to its new anchors, Meenakshi and Dain. One has to say that other than these, there is not much that can be watched on television these days. There are the movies for sure, like Kilometres and Kilometers being released on Asianet, and we also have those songs which can be watched here and there. Then we only have the sports. Well, with the COVID-19 cases showing no signs of coming down in number, and the number of deaths increasing, we need to stay more at home, but there is not enough entertainment within, and the need to work is also not the same for everyone.

***The images used in this blog post are promotions used by Flowers TV.

<— Click here to go to the previous post.

<— Click here to go to the last film review.

TeNy

The Types of People

I have watched too many movies in the theatres, and what I have found out from my time there is that there are many types of people whom we see there, and the variety is actually more than the kind of people whom we meet otherwise. They can be classified into different categories according to their actions there. Most of them are seen only in the local theatres, and looking for them in the multiplexes of the malls rarely work. I am hoping to add these people to different kinds of magical races some day 😀

The Screamers: They are everywhere and they exist to disrupt the experiences of others. They scream and occasionally howl. They are so much skilled at it that one has to wonder if they were trained by banshees and werewolves. I hope that no theatre exists near any zoo, because the animals there will feel strange. I am sure that all of you have seen these kind in theatres more than the rest who are to come, because they are not attached to any group – they just scream and howl as if it is their basic right. If it is so, I don’t want to hear about the duties.

All hell will break loose - note the point :D

All hell will break loose because it is their season – please note the point 😀

People of the Foot: What is the first thing which is shown on the screen before the movie starts? Do not place your legs on the front seat. But it is what these people do from the moment they find the seats. They are the people of the foot, as we always see more of their feet than faces as far as these people are concerned. I have often wondered if they watch movie with their feet and that their eyes are placed there. May be they walk on their heads – you can’t say for sure because it is a twisted world. May be this is a disease which they have inherited after watching Happy Feet.

The Abusers: We think that with them being very active in Facebook, they might be less active otherwise, but that is a wrong conception. They abuse full time on Facebook and part-time in the theatres. The reasons? Well, when there is that anti-smoking advertisement, a delay in closing the doors, not switching off the last light in time, displaying too many advertisements – the list is rather endless. The display of this special culture in the darkness is a lot more convenient because the decent character of these people exists only when the light is there. When it is dark, they let the everyone know that multiplexes are better options for the families.

Multiplexes have something like these - local theatres should have at least tea!

Multiplexes have something like these – local theatres should have at least tea!

The Ignorant Evil: Yes, ignorance is not a crime, but making a terrible mess out there due to the same is a terrible thing. This happens mostly during a Hollywood movie, especially those without subtitles. Some people really can’t get it, and it is okay – but when they keep talking loudly about it, others can’t hear at all. I had this terrible experience while watching Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation; they were keeping on talking about why is it so, and why did that guy do that or talk like that to the other person or why are they not like this or that. The same is somewhat displayed during Hindi and Tamil movies too.

Slaves of Science: This is where the mobile phones take over. They already talk loud, and along with that, they have to talk on the mobiles too. Yes, it should be very important matter, but they keep talking and talking until the interval, sometimes continuing with the same thing in the second half too, and that makes one wonder if they have come to watch the movie or talk on the phone in the darkness. May be the mobile phone usage in the theatre comes as a special offer. Slavery has been abolished; these people should understand that in order to move out of the enslaving technology, and watch a movie as it should be; without making anyone uncomfortable.

Natural Fans: Well, this category needs no introduction. They are in the theatre for only two things, to clap and to howl – the first thing for their favourite actors, and the second for the others. From the beginning to the end, they make such an effect in the theatre that others won’t be enjoying the movie – sometimes, people will end up hearing nothing. Sometimes, we have to wonder what are they clapping for, especially when there is soem pathetic dialogue being delivered on the screen. Well, what can people do when they are programmed to love people who don’t know them, and hate random people?

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me only.

TeNy

The Worst that We See

We are forced to watch some of the worst advertisements because we have to look at the idiot box at times, and now even Youtube is doing the same. I have hated the motor-bike advertisements so much and I never wanted to talk about them (especially of Bajaj Pulsar) – most of those which we saw on the screen never really had anything to do with a particular bike. The same is the case of many others, but the ones I list below pretend that they are so awesome, while they are nowhere near doing that.

Special mention: Fair and Lovely Ads
I have always found the Fair and Lovely Ads more absurd that anything I have seen on the screen. There was rarely a moment for the Ad when it was not racist, and a lot of us had shamlessly fallen into that fairness cream trap. They have been making Indians too attached to turning white and looking down upon the people with darker skins. There was even a version for men, and this should been discouraged a long time ago; but at least we don’t see much of this one, or may be I am not watching enough of the television.

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5. The 5 Star Ads
I have to agree that this one began nicely, but then went on to become so repetitive and irritating that nobody really cared about any new advertisements. They actually end up making the chocolate feel like a certain kind of drug, or rather what makes people so stupid and unable to really use their brains in a proper way. It is very close to attaining the zombie status for those who eats them, which is possible with the next advertisements. They can surely think about making such advertisements.

4. The Boost Ads
The Boost Ads have finally succeeded in making sure that the Indian cricket team remained the champions – may be the heroes of our times stopped drinking Boost, and Dhoni never actually tried which is why Australia is the present champion. Boost is no longer the secret of anybody’s energy. Just by putting a number of cricketers in an advertisement, nothing gets better – this is just like a number of Ads with whom there can be a draw; there are too many celebrities and no sense about making a good advertisement. These let us know that some are people running short of ideas.

3. Airtel lovers Ads
The worst and the most irritating lovers were these who plagued our television sets for some time until getting extinct – may be they got divorced even before getting married, and it is only a fair thing. What the advertisement makes clear is that lovers can be really irritating and it is only fair not use the kind of mobile connection which these people use. It was just not working with its fake love content, and has no positive impact made in favour of getting new customers – it did have the ability to work reverse though, may be it brought more people to Vodafone, BSNL and others.

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2. The Thums Up Ads
Yes, everyone wants to jump off a building or a cliff and Mountain Dew would say the same “thumbs up” and applaud after you fall on your head. This has never really made any sense at all since it started bothering us on the television. Don’t we all just want to have these bottled drinks rather than think about making a sincere attempt to kill ourselves? I would consider these advertisements more like inspiring suicide rather than anything else. People have to drink these when they are thirsty, not when they are adventurous.

1. Idea IIN Ads
With their worst advertisement being the one which says that everyone has to do engineering, and join something which starts with “II”, and proclaiming that Idea is the only hope that they have with the internet, this mobile network has gone and found a new low. It also teaches the audience that the girls who aren’t allowed to go to college can be and should be happy with just the best andriod phones with internet from Idea. These are only two of the problems of a series of pathetic advertisements. All advertisements which come from them fight hard to outsmart the other to be even more worse.

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I am joining in on all the Pepsi IPL action in my own style with the #CrashThePepsiIPL activity at BlogAdda.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of these products.

This Pepsi IPL, it’s not just about cricket. It’s time to crash with your own created ad! Make your own Pepsi ad & if it’s chosen, it could play on TV during Pepsi IPL! And hey, it doesn’t end here… Even if you’re chosen as a finalist, you stand a chance of winning a prize amount of Rs.1 lakh! So what are you waiting for guys?

TeNy

Knowledge: Where it Stands

How often do we hear the phrase “knowledge is power”? It has been known to us for such a long time that it comes to mind for no reason, again and again. It was with us during our childhood and stays now too. Based on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, the Malayalam TV show Ningalkum Aakaam Kodeeshwaran also makes multiple references to the importance of knowing and learning through its anchor Suresh Gopi, who has been among my favourite actors.

The show has been a good knowledge booster, and becoming what is to Malayalam like Kaun Banega Crorepati was to Hindi speakers, this show has been something worth the watch due to the knowledge content as well as the way in which Suresh Gopi was presenting the whole thing. It was all about the value of gaining knowledge, and how important it was to read and learn things, something which was reiterated. It was a great relief at a time when depressing serials and stupid reality shows were ruling the channels.

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But as much as the show has money associated with it, people would surely choose money instead of knowledge on any day. It has been the thing guiding people, and in the outside world, people would choose money if it was placed with knowledge on a table. Yes, there is the need for money, but this is a greedy world – just money might not be enough in this case. There is the need for more and more.

The more saddening thing is when teachers say so. Is this what they are taught with BEd? If it is so, what is the value of education. There have been people who wanted to live forever. But if someone wants to learn at least for some more years, it becomes a hideous crime. Yes, after finishing the necessary course, go and do some job because there is the need for so much money – it should keep coming in bigger quantities.

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More tha anyone else, the teachers should know the value of knowledge, and if those from the school level can’t realize it, there is no point in education. Yes, we have a flawed system. Just getting the BEd degree doesn’t make one a good teacher. Just learning things by-heart and vomitting them at the UGC NET exams can’t make a good professor. We need better things – we need good men and women, and not those who memorize or can score marks.

A flawed system of selection is what has lead to the new generation having even less hope. Already the relatives try to stop students from learning more and force them to earn money against their wishes. Then there are the teachers who think the same. When there are relatives who are teachers, it is even more horror. Why would they stop someone who wants to learn more, when lots of people hates that process? Shouldn’t those who want to learn be allowed to do so?

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We have got lots of quotes about learning and power of knowledge and some people keep saying them. But does anybody care about that? Why are they often used, but why not when a real life situation comes? Why is the same applicable to only some people and not the others? Society makes us do things, but does it really know that we can do better even without crossing the limits? Is there the right to learn and acquire knowledge? Am I supposed to be money making machine or the knowledge seeker? Truth can only get further bitter.

*The television show says that one question can change one’s life, but I am left with all questions and no real change 😀 **All images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of the television show, Ningalkum Aakaam Kodeeshwaran (https://www.facebook.com/Kodeeshwaran). For further reference, the Facebook page of the 1997 National Award winner, Suresh Gopi – https://www.facebook.com/ActorSureshGopi.

TeNy