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Tag Archives: Jane by design

No coco on our channel

No coco on our channel

Let’s leave the terrible headline aside for now. Does anyone remember a show called Lakme Fashion House?  It was on Sony, Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla judge a bunch of amateur designers? Donatella Versace judged the finale? Katrina Kaif and Yana Gupta who were just models then, walked the ramp? No? Ok, just me then.

Fashion is a rare commodity on Indian television. In terms of reality tv, Lakme Fashion House, a really bad designer hunt on Zoom and the most recent What not to wear India on TLC, fashion and the fashion industry is not part of the entertainment industry here. We have two fashion weeks in this country but no Project Runway, Tim Gunn’s guide to style, Fashion Police, The Rachel Zoe project or other such shows.

Apart from reality television, the fashion industry has stayed unrepresented even in feature television. The only one I can remember that came somewhere in the vicinity of close is Jassi Jaisi koi nahi, the Indian version of Ugly Betty where the lead worked in a fashion magazine. No Jane by Design, Veronica’s closet, Sex and the city or Gossip Girls who have fashion as an important element.

It seems like an entire industry is ignored by Indian Tv. It’s not that we aren’t a fashion conscious country. We count fashion designers as celebrities, everyone knows Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi, Masaba and Ritu Kumar, we talk a lot about what our Bollywood stars wear, everyone has an opinion on Aishwarya Rai at Cannes, we have a line of fashion bloggers aiming to be India’s Go fug yourself and yet it hasn’t permeated the entertainment industry as a whole.

TLC’s What not to wear India is hosted by Soha Ali Khan and Aki Narula who are supposed to be our version of Trinny and Susannah. Even if you haven’t watched their show, you might remember them from their appearances of The Oprah show where they’d ambush poor American women, rip off their mom-jeans and give them a makeover. Trinny and Susannah’s show is vastly better than our own version because a) it’s an hour long show b) it takes into consideration the personality of the women they are trying to make over c) Trinny and Susannah are just fun.

Soha Ali Khan and Aki Narula don’t understand the women they are trying to make over at all. Most of their participants at some point have mentioned some sort of insecurity, with their post-pregnancy bodies or from their obviously hotter sister, etc. But it’s just a fleeting moment, there is no deeper probing into the psyche of the woman who doesn’t feel beautiful enough or doesn’t think she has what it takes to pull of a girly dress. They don’t go into their house and see how they live. It’s like in last week’s episode of Project Runway, where Ven made an ugly and uncomfortable dress for a working woman who has children to take care of and a two hour commute to her office. You can’t be telling a woman to not wear comfy chappals if she takes the Churchgate local every morning. The point of a make over is to change how people think about themselves and what they think people perceive them to be. Half an hour is not long enough to do that. Also, the surprise element, the ta-dah moment when the woman revels her new self to her friends and family isn’t magical enough because I barely know or feel for her.

I am surprisingly passionate about this subject, considering I don’t give a fuck about clothes and will never stop wearing flip flops. But yes, give me good fashion on TV and I’ll just lap it up.

“Ek ladka aur ladki kabhi dost nahi ho sakte”

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“Ek ladka aur ladki kabhi dost nahi ho sakte”

Thanks Maine Pyaar kiya. We shall carve this down in stone.

Raven, Eddie and Chelsea, Lizzy, Miranda and Gordo, Miley, Lily and Oliver. I was always fascinated that Disney channel made sure all their lead characters had two best friends, one of each sex. There was never a romantic angle there (except in the Lizzy Mcguire movie, when she kisses Gordo).

With kid shows, friendship is easy but past 16 and it’s a whole different ball game.

Too few TV shows manage to show that a guy and a girl can be friends without ever adding some romantic conflict. Almost like it’s fucking impossible. One drunken night or one vulnerable evening and bam! None of my friends have ever comforted me by making out with me (and thank god for that).

I’m not saying TV doesn’t explore the concept of friendship well. They do, but it seems like it’s just easier to stick to same sex BFFs. Christina and Meredith (Grey’s anatomy), Raj and Howard (the big bang theory), Paul and Kevin (the wonder years), House and Wilson (House MD), Abed and Troy (Community) Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, Charlotte (Sex and the City), JD and Turk (Scrubs), Bart and Milhouse (The Simpsons), Leslie and Ann (Parks and Rec)….you get my drift.

But put one boy and one girl together and at some point in the story, one of them is going to hear violins in the background. 90210 and One Tree Hill are so incestuous, you’d think there were no other people left in the world. Naomi was initially sleeping with Liam, and then Annie started sleeping with Liam, who is now sleeping with Silver, who was initially sleeping with Navid, who you used to be sleeping with Adrianna, who is now sleeping with Dixon, who used to sleep with Silver and thank god, that Annie and Dixon are related. And I promise I did not just make that up. Even My Boys, a show about the life and times of a bunch of friends playing poker, theres a conflicted PJ who has had secret kisses with two out of 5 boys (one of them is her brother).

Unless you are kooky like Phoebe who doesn’t fall for any of her guy friends or gay like Will from Will and Grace (or Kima and McNaulty from The Wire if they can be called friends), it’s unimaginable to have a group of friends where everybody doesn’t get involved with each other at some point. If Danny Tanner had a girl best friend instead of Joey, it’d be a whole different Full House. Even the pure, lets-watch-movies-together-in-bed-without-ever-toughing-our –private-parts to-each-others relationship a la Joey and Dawson from Dawsons creek goes to hell in a basket. Dawson starts dating Jen and Joey chooses his best friend Pacey – cue for angst, significant glances and conflict.

ABC Family has an utterly ridiculous show called Jane by Design (I secretly love it) where Jane is juggling two lives, one in the fashion industry and another in High School. Many boys and girls come and go to basically point out that best friends Jane and Billy are meant to be together. Why the fuck? They’ve been friends since they were children, have no shortage of hot girls and guys wanting to make out with them, but none of them work out. Why, they are meant to be together of course.  And Billy realises it first and then moves on when he thinks she’s not interested and then of course, as the season finale rolls in, she realises she’s in love with him. I mean, god! How about some communication? Also, how about realising that you both like different things and are different people. You can be best friends but you can’t be a couple? Also how about keeping it in your pants for once?

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