Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bollywood Passions

Growing up in what was initially a one-TV household, I was often forced to watch what my mom and sister were watching. From the 3-4 slot, this usually meant a heavy dose of Luke and Laura, Edward and Lila, Frisco and Felicia, and Tony and Bobby. For those of you that I know what I am talking about, we were General Hospital addicts. I hate to admit it, but I knew I had a problem when I started referring to it as GH, and would have conversations, that to anyone not familiar with the soap, would seem like jibber-jabber. I finally kicked my soap habit my sophomore year after studying abroad and now of course, work thankfully gets in the way. But when tipster Noelle (and all the other SM tipsters) informed us awhile back that television’s newest soap opera Passions was going Bollywood, I thought why couldn’t GH do that? Anyway, we over here at SM headquarters apologize for not mentioning this earlier, but most of the mutineers aren’t usually home to watch the show during the day, and for that reason we also wanted to wait for a video clip of the Bollywood item to be available before posting. So, now that the clip is available, you can find the video here. More information on the shoot, the clothes, the song, the choreography, and the video is available here. (The video only opens up in MS Explorer.) From what I gather from my five minute perusal of the show clips, the Bollywood triangle involves three characters: Ethan, Gwen, and Theresa. Gwen is scared of Theresa’s attempts to lure Ethan away from her, and convinces Ethan to travel with her to India so they could renew their vows. This is where the dance number begins and then turns into full on Bollywood melodrama. Featuring an ensemble cast of desi background dancers, Gwen and Ethan’s impending infinite bliss, and romp around the tree of life (I have no idea what that is about) is interrupted by the appearence of temptress Theresa in a ‘minimalist’ version of a sari and a black veil. From there it becomes full Bollywood dance dhamaka. The song, Love is Ecstasy comes off less like Bollywood Propah, and more like Bombay Dreams on Broadway. It is catchy though, and the hooks, oh my. Does it get any better than, “Bye Bye, Who Says Bye Bye, Who Gets the Guy?” repeated in a breathy refrain. You can hear the full song here. I got admit, Theresa has some moves, and she pulls off the Bollywood temptress bit quite nicely. She reminds me a bit of Marisa Tomei in The Guru. Ethan on the other hand, could use a couple of lessons from this guy. Ethan’s bhangra skills near the end of the number (5:30), looked more like armless chest pounding than any kind of dance. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the clip, and I think overall the cast did a good job. I think it also speaks to how far towards the mainstream bhangra and Bollywood has actually come in the U.S. I know we discuss this a lot on the site, but a soap opera’s target audience is housewives in middle America, not persons from cities already familiar with the genre. On the other hand, whats more inherently Bollywood, than the fantasy of an American soap opera? Anyway, the Bollywood-themed Passions episode originally aired on Friday January 27.

In other desi-on-tv news, tipster Priya informs us that VH-1 will air MC Vikram and Ludakrishna’s Curry and Rice Girl on the third installment of their show WebJunk, which is scheduled to air at 1AM on Tuesday January 31. WebJunk20 describes the video’s inclusion thusly: “Also, another installment of our ever-so-brief tradition of international amateur music videos, this one from India sends up Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl."