Be alert, always

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Be alert, always

Sunday, 16 June 2019 | MUSBA HASHMI

Be alert, always

Crime shows have now become an option for the makers to experiment with due to wide acceptance from the viewers. MUSBA HASHMI tells you more

From Crime Patrol to Savdhaan India, there is no stopping when it comes to crime shows on TV. While these two are the longest running, there were others too which came and went. The success of these shows suggests that the audience is in love with the concept. The sense of realism, storyline and the connectivity of the hosts with the audience is whats makes these shows a success.

However making crime shows isn’t easy. “Brought up with the morality of three wise monkeys, embodying the proverbial principle ‘See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’, the audience need a social justification to see a crime show. Tales of crimes need to have a moral lesson attached to them. In a paradoxical way the crime show has to make the viewer secure, while he watches the violent stories,” Umesh Bist, show runner and creative director, Big Synergy says.

According to a study conducted, the majority of viewers watching crime shows are women, who feel secure in their home space, watching a crime show, as they feel it forewarns them of the bad things happening to others and prepares them with the knowledge to protect themselves in case of any unforeseen eventuality.

“Here in lies the challenge and the secret of designing a crime show. The stories selected have to be from their relatable world. The characters in the story have to be familiar. The social, economical issues the characters deal with in the story have to be their very own. But there is a catch. With few exceptions, in the real world the stories of crime are dry and boring. We have to face the challenge of narrating them in an entertaining way. It requires craft, experience and talent to come out with a package of entertaining crime stories with a moral lesson which seem to be real,” Bist tells you.

The USP of Savdhaan India is that it not only highlights the crime but also put light on how the survivor/victim fightsback the crime.

Rabindra Choubey, Director and Producer, Crime Patrol, Gaonwala Creation says that creating a show from the scratch is a challenging task.

“Creating a show from the scratch is challenging and with crime shows, the difficulties of the makers doubles,” he says.

First, the niche and loyal audience for crime shows on TV and those who binge on similar crime series on web are mostly the same. Our priority is to make concepts at par with those n number of series available on web. But on the hindside, we also have to abide by the rules and regulations of TV as all TV shows, even crime, are served for family viewing. Second big challenge for any crime show concept is relevance. Crime doesn’t touch all normal peoples’ lives, while romance and drama touches everyone. As crime show makers live in an extra pressure to make our concept relevant to the audience.

There has been a visible and obvious change that is still ongoing in the history of crime shows. From the kind of shows that were available five years back — if you look at the plethora of options available today, the change is nothing but drastic.

Choubey has a say on the controversy around whether the crime shows inspires the criminals to commit crime.

“Whatever shows we make — we always show the story of how the criminal is brought to justice. Crime never pays — in reel or real life. Does watching a ‘rags to riches’ movie make every viewer a millionaire? The answer is no. The seed of crime is in the individual’s mentality. The intent of any crime is a personal motive — developed by an individual himself. No maker ever intends to inspire criminals. We try and bring reality to our viewer’s screen and show them the ugly side of humanity, in hope that these crimes are not repeated,” Choubey says and tells you that though a PRO of Gurugram police said that the culprits they apprehended accepted that they took inspiration from crime shows.

But blaming the shows for inspiring criminals to commit a crime is never a good idea. The one who wants to commit a crime, he will, regardless of the medium of his inspiration. If not TV shows, he will take inspiration from news channels, newspapers or just from his surroundings.

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