Amitabh Bachchan Soaps Up
Dominating prime time, the Indian soap is a strange beast. Less the scandalous, sexualized drama of its North American counterpart, Indian soaps tend to revolve around family life and moral dilemmas.
Even diehard serial watchers often embarrassingly delegate Indian soaps as a guilty pleasure. If you’re not already a fan of these campy and wildly outlandish dramas, trying to understand their appeal is pointless. But soapy popularity among Indians is set to skyrocket thanks to rumours that Amitabh Bachchan will be making the jump to primetime.
According to the Hindustan Times, the actor who has enthralled generations of viewers has accepted a leading role in a daily soap that will premier later this year.
Details of the show are a closely guarded secret, but the Times went on to say that sources close to the project revealed the new show is heavily funded and will be produced by AB Corp, Bachchan’s own company.
Part of India’s enduring love affair with soap can likely be attributed to the fact that the family structures and conflicts mirror real life. The oddly prosaic plots tend to stem almost exclusively from a single source: marriage and the personality clashes that occur within an extended family—the bedrock of Indian society.
All the scenarios that play out before the cameras are very real in Indian society. For example, a daughter-in-law or sister being asked to sacrifice their own dreams as the family overextends itself to send a son to a fancy, private school.
Of course, all the drama plays out in fine mansions laden with expensive furniture and a cast that perpetually looks wedding-ready. But putting identifiable characters in remarkable circumstances is an age-old strategy to ensure viewers empathize with and like the characters.
According to the latest buzz, casting auditions for Bachchan’s new venture are now underway. While the megastar will be the face of the series and promote it, he won’t be the focus of every episode revealed the Times.