August 09, 2020
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Best And Worst Of TV

From lauding Barkha Dutt's partisanship to frowning at dumbed-down news, our couch-bound jury picks what caught their attention, and what didn't.

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Best And Worst Of TV
Best And Worst Of TV
Highs & Lows of Entertainment by Santosh Desai, President, McCann Erickson


  • Indian Idol (Sony): I like the format of the show, the way it focuses on fascinating stories of the ambitions of small-town India. It also shows how music works very well in India.
  • I am a huge fan of Lola Kutty (Channel V). A very original concept. There are no tired rehashes here. There’s a new voice and archetype.
  • Great Indian Laughter Challenge and Nach Baliye (Star One) and MTV Roadies.


  • I cannot stand a single soap or serial. They do nothing for me and also completely lack originality.
  • TVS SA RE GA MA (Zee) is unwatchable. Everything is on an overdrive, be it the singing or the judges.
  • Big Boss (Sony) is boring and desultory. The premise is great if something were to happen in the show; but nothing happens other than small ego skirmish

Highs & Lows of News by Paul Danahar, BBC’s South Asia Bureau Chief


  • Watching Barkha Dutt abandon all attempts at neutrality and lay into the I&B minister over the broadcasting bill on NDTV.
  • CNN-IBN’s coverage of the Mumbai blasts.
  • CNN-IBN’s on-air crowing about its Mumbai coverage afterwards.
  • Any attempt at a serious interview by anyone on Headlines Today. It’s like trying to watch two-year-olds eat spaghetti with a spoon.
  • Watching five different news channels all run the same interview at the same time with the same person and all slugged ‘exclusive’.


Highs & Lows of News by Sashi Kumar, Chairman, Media Development Foundation


  • India Vision, the Kerala-based channel, has been doing quality news presentation—regional, national as well as international. Overall, regional channels have been doing a far better job of news programming than any of the mainline English/Hindi channels
  • Some of the Karan Thapar interviews (CNN-IBN), especially the Jayalalitha interview, because she was as assertive as him.
  • A few interesting episodes of Barkha Dutt’s We The People (NDTV 24X7)


  • Dumbed-down TV news programming: It’s childish, displays an alarming level of immaturity and sensational ignorance. The presentation is strident.

Best Anchors by Sevanti Ninan, Media Columnist

  • Nidhi Razdan at NDTV
  • Vidya Shankar Aiyar at CNN-IBN
  • Mini Menon at Times Now
  • Nidhi Kulpati at NDTV India
  • Mark Lynn at DD News
  • Ashutosh and Sanjeev Pahliwal at IBN 7. 

All of them are pleasant and dignifed and can deliver the news with some degree of conviction, have presence without being intrusive, are not teenybopperish or oversmart, and do not seem to be just mouthing lines from a teleprompter. And they do not harangue the viewer.

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