Television: Rise of working class soap queens...

By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service

imageMumbai, (IANS) After Sony's "Jassi" introduced TV viewers to the ordinary plain Jane with extraordinary dreams followed by Zee's "Kareena Kareena" showing the desi wannabe's aspirations, there are two more serials focusing on working class women.

Sahara's "Kittu Sab Janti Hai" and Sony's "Ek Ladki Anjaani Si" are both about hopes, dreams and travails of the average middle class girls.

While the lead in the Sony serial is played by Kanchi Kaul, the chosen girl on Sahara's serial is Ami Trivedi.

"We auditioned at last 50 girls before we zeroed in on Ami Trivedi. She has all the requirements for the role. We needed someone fresh-faced and able to connect with the audience," said "Kittu" producer Manish Goswami.

"It's the story of one middle class girl's life. What sets 'Kittu' apart is the fact that it's set in the media world. No other soap has done that," said Manish who is enjoying the success of his political soap "Sarrkar" on Zee.

"We're trying to do something different all the time. The glamorous business families are like desserts. Finally the audience wants their favourite daal-chawal.

"I want to make serials with real characters. That's where my earlier 'Kittie Patty', then 'Sarrkar' and now 'Kittu Sab Janti Hai' score," he asserted.

Does he foresee any competition from Sony's "Ek Ladki Anjaani Si"? "I'm not even aware of this serial. All I can say is, let's welcome soaps about real middle class characters," he said.

Tarun Katial of Sony has a different story to tell.

"Yes, 'Ek Ladki Anjaani Si' is about a middle class girl. But her journey is so jolting and so unexpected, and her experiences so far removed from what home viewers have seen that we feel 'Ek Ladki Anjaani Si' will crack a new genre among the working class serials," he said.