Sunday, November 20, 2011

Love2HateU is rock on

We love to hate celebrities, berate them, calling them names, criticize them sitting on our couch munching away popcorn as they keep mouthing away some of the lousiest dialogues we've ever heard...or so we think. But what if they pop out of your TV screen, magically appear before you, put a gun on your head and say "Huh! so you were saying...?" That's pretty much the premise of Star World's latest television show called 'Love2HateU'. The show is presented by model-turned-actor Arjun Rampal and it makes celebrities come face to face with their haters.

I just watched the first show and came away pretty impressed. Each one-hour episode will have two celebrities facing their haters. The hater is a common man that the producers of the show seem to scout for, bring them to a place on the pretext of taking some interview on why s/he hates the celebrity so much. Basically, to make him or her get comfortable with the criticism. The celebrity is nearby and watching all this action from some hidden cameras. Once the hater is done talking, the celebrity walks out and meets the hater and takes him surprise. Then, both of them have a chat moderated by show presenter Arjun Rampal, sort out their 'differences', all the whole hoping that the hate-o-meter comes down!

The concept is original on Indian television and the show seems to be well directed. Rampal was the first celebrity to meet his hater, followed by director Madhur Bhandarkar. I liked Rampal's encounter more than Bhandarkar's. The former was light, breezy and the camaradie between Rampal and his hater, Farhan, a stand-up comedian and writer was entertaining. Farhan's criticism of Rampal was caustic- calling him furniture and expressionless- and I wouldn't be surprised if Rampal would have wanted to punch him. Rampal defended his mannerisms, especially Farhan's contest that he should not have won the national award for the movie 'Rock On'. Rampal made Farhan to stand-up comedy on the sets (The Comedy Store, Lower Parel, Mumbai; because Farhan is a stand-up comedian) and crack his usual bunch of Arjun Rampal jokes. That was silly in a funny way. Rampal followed up the act with his own, berating Farhan's favourite bashing subject: Arjun Rampal! That was better.

Love2HateU is a refreshing change from all the soppy soaps in the name of entertainment that we get to see on TV these days. The choice of celebrities will play a vital role to the show's success. Interesting celebrities can keep the show alive and the banter kicking. Next week is author Chetan Bhagat and producer / director Farah Khan, but I am already looking forward to Farah Khan's episode.

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