Television

JD Majethia On Why 'Sarabhai vs Sarabhai' Did Not Click With The Audience Initially: India Is A Country Of Mediocre People

JD Majethia talked about why 'Sarabhai vs Sarabhai' did not work when it was aired on television in 2004. The show starred Ratna Pathak Shah, Satish Shah, and Rupali Ganguly in lead roles.

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JD Majethia, Ratna Pathak Shah in 'Sarabhai vs Sarabhai' Photo: X
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Released in 2004, JD Majethia’s ‘Sarabhai vs Sarabhai’ has grown to become one of the most loved sitcoms on Indian television. However, when the show was aired on television back in 2004, it did not receive a great response from the audience. In a recent interview, JD Majethia explained why the show did not work initially and also blamed the audience.

In a conversation with Siddharth Kannan, JD Majethia talked about why ‘Sarabhai vs Sarabhai’ failed to resonate with the audience when it was aired on television back in 2004. He talked about how the audience is ‘mediocre’ and they wanted something light and fun, and not something satirical like ‘Sarabhai vs Sarabhai.’ Majethia said, “India is a country of mediocre people, especially in TV viewing. Mediocre as in, main bura nahi bol raha hoon, I mean that they don’t expect some super intelligent cinema in life, they just want some light-hearted stuff, the middle-class mentality of, ‘I have come back home after a long day, just give me something feel good to watch or drama for women.’ They don’t want to use their brains a lot.”

The producer continued, “Now, in this scenario, comes this comedy which has an excellent writing by Aatish Kapadia. It was important to have the knowledge of vocabulary (to enjoy it). Also, it would air every Monday, so the habit couldn’t get established. Those who would watch the show would love it. There was not much scope repeat viewing in those days, so they’d have to wait for the next Monday to watch the new episode.”

Majethia talked about how the internet helped to establish a fan base for ‘Sarabhai vs Sarabhai.’ He recalled how people look for the show on YouTube and watch its re-runs. This phenomenal response prompted the makers to create the second season which was streamed on Disney+ Hotstar during the pandemic.

Starring Satish Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah, Sumeet Raghavan, and Rupali Ganguly, ‘Sarabhai vs Sarabhai’ revolved around the life of an upper-middle-class Gujarati family living in South Mumbai.

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