This week, Metropolis is focusing on television: what are people all over the world watching? What programmes are the most popular, the most extraordinary and the most striking? Our correspondents joined fans as they were watching their favourite show: Bollywoodsoaps in India and Afghanistan, a cancelled youth program in Ethiopia and a popular Turkish show about the mafia. Our correspondent in Serbia even found a political party for soap fans.
Our correspondent Danya wanted to find out why ‘Kyonki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thee’ (‘For the mother in law was once a daughter in law’) is the most popular soap in India. Hundreds of million of people watch the show, which is also known as ‘Tulsi’, named after the main character: a young married woman who’s frustrated by her mother in law.
The most successful Indian soaps are also aired in other countries. One of these countries is Afghanistan, where ‘Tulsi’ is also very popular. In Afghanistan, a lot of people own a television but they have to power it with generators running on gasoline. These generators are also used for heating and lighting, which means that prime time in Afghanistan is between 5 and 9 PM when most people return from work. During the Taliban regime, soaps weren’t allowed and there still are religious leaders and people from the government who would like to forbid the Indian soaps. Emal, our correspondent from Kabul, made a report about a family that loves watching soaps, but he also interviewed a mullah who thinks soaps are immoral.
South American soaps are popular in countries all over the world, even in countries you wouldn’t expect it. In Serbia, the Latin soap ‘Kassandra’ is so popular that a whole village demonstrated against the arrest of an innocent character. Reporter Jelena visited these die hard fans, who have initiated a political party for ‘Kassandra’.
The action-packed show ‘Kurtlar Vadisi’ (‘Valley of the wolves’) is a huge hit in Turkey and it also had a spin-off movie. ‘Kurtlar Vadisi’ is about an undercover cop who works for a secret intelligence agency and who has to infiltrate in the Turkish maffia. While making a career in the maffia, he learns more about the Turkish business, politicians and the maffia. Our reporter Tuncay discusses this violent and action-packed show with some fans in a coffeehouse.
Until recently, ‘Blue Nile’ was the most innovative show on Ethiopian television. It was aimed at a young audience and promoted a lot of home grown music and entertainment. But the producers were constantly fighting to keep their program on the only TV station in Ethiopia. One of the station’s managers stopped the program after a guest in the show had criticized the TV station. The broadcast was blocked and it’s producers decided to cancel the show entirely.