Eid frenzy on TV
When BTV was the sole Bangladeshi channel on air, Eid programmes extended to three days. With the introduction of more private stations, Eid programmes have become more elaborate, stretching to six-seven days. This Eid over a 100 TV plays, almost 20 tele-films and four mini-series were aired on the numerous channels.
However, the question remains as to who was the most prolific of the directors and actors this Eid, Another question mark looms over the reason for the spike in the number of TV plays during Eid.
Chayanika Chowdhury directed the most TV plays this festive season. The writer with the most screenplays was Brindabon Das, while the other two spots of the podium consecutively went to Sagor Jahan and Humayun Ahmed.
The actors whose face appeared on the screen the most were Mosharraf Karim, Mir Sabbir, Sajal and Anisur Rahman Milon. As for actresses, Bindu took the top spot.
Famous novelist and director Humayun Ahmed made five TV plays for Eid -- “Nosto Bashor”, “Amra Jege Aachhi”, “Rubik's Cube”, “Nil Botam” and “Shada Bari”. Humayun Ahmed says his significant output was a response to overwhelming requests from the channels.
For the first time a number of special mini series hit the screen during Eid: Desh TV's “Himu, Misir Ali, Boro Chacha O Baker Bhai”, Ekushey TV's “Lolita'r Eid”, Rtv's “Mohor Sheikh” and Boishakhi TV's “Premer Naam Bedona”.
Brindabon Das, the busiest screenwriter on Eid, says no drama was written in haste. The Eid plays are the ones, which get the most attention, with no compromise on quality, he adds.
Chayanika Chowdhury, who directed the most TV dramas this Eid, says the increase in channels and TV viewership has caused the spike in the number of TV plays. She also thinks that the increasing audience demand accounts for the seven-day Eid frenzy on the channels.
Eminent TV personality Atiqul Haq Chowdhury opines that the channels cannot be expected to come up with the best Eid plays anymore. Although mediocre and tasteless shows are aired, some TV plays still live up to high standards. Atiqul Haq reminds us that Eid plays do not necessarily mean tickling comedies, but those that touch the core feelings of our lives each year. Twenty years ago the emotions were more intense, but commerce has now infiltrated into the spirit of Eid, he adds. However, Atiqul Haq Chowdhury thinks commercialisation of Eid plays is not a negative phenomenon as long as it fulfils the demands of the viewers' emotions.
Advisor to ATN Bangla's programme section, Nowazesh Ali Khan points towards increased viewer demand for the stretch of Eid celebrations on the channels, but defends the commercialisation by saying that sponsors are necessary to carry out the effort. However, he also thinks that maintaining standards is the biggest challenge.
Many still think too many advertisement breaks during the Eid programmes are gobbling up the time allotted for pure entertainment. In the bargain, they say, the audience is being short-changed.