The Rating Rat-Trap

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rat trap

So many movies of all genres, in multitudes of languages are releasing every other week in the cinemas all through the world, each and every one with delightfully decked up posters with tasteful titles (or not sometimes), whatever the content of the movies may be no matter. And just like how movies of all sorts come out, all types of people flock to the cinemas, or the rental DVD shops, or those stands in the streets and alleys selling so many pirated CDs of films in a mad desire to watch that much anticipated rather long video. The scene as of now is that where it matters not whether there is a message contained in the movie or not. Furthermore, anything that spans over an hour or so with both audio and video actively stretching it is being called a movie. Branded, fully produced or even documentaries can also be labeled as a movie, too, I believe.  The impact that these movies have on the larger audience is huge for there are even revolutionary ones that leave a strong imprint on who watches them, and are not very easy to be wiped off of memory. Righto; we now know the spread of the movies among the general public.

Next up is what keeps just about everybody glued to their TV screens, or computers with perhaps the highest level of anticipation, with bated breath as to what twisting turn the plot would take that day—for about five days of a week, leaving the weekend for a continual re-telecast of all the episodes that were aired the previous days: serials, or soap operas is what I intend to have a little write-up on here. Here in India, these started out with comedy as the first genre breached when the concept of soap operas was born, and was later expanded with shows aimed at children. But what is perhaps most iconic in today’s India soap operas is that about ninety eight percent plus of them would be the routine saas-bahu themes—in all the Indian regional languages, this one theme has always been predominant more than anything else; it is one of those things the public relates to very well, and thus sticks on to. Once the time comes for its telecast, everyone at home right from the tiny tots who can barely form a word, to the adults, grandparents drop whatever they are doing to convene where the TV is, to watch all those shows they follow every day. What is more is that even the maids leave their duties as it is, and watch the soap operas with their employers.

After these come the currently widespread comedy shows and reality shows. Nay, there are various fully fledged channels that solely broadcast the oh so many clippings of the comedy scenes in the movies, to telecast them literally 24 x 7. These are perhaps the hot selling cakes in the entertainment industry now; it is so that the comedy channels are always successful, but what with the rather silly reality shows, too, gaining much accolades and positive response, it’s like that sickly sweet caramel pie that somehow surprisingly is the hot selling item on the menu. What is covered in these reality shows is singing contests, daredevil fear-not ones, and oh! It is quite hard to pen it all down; anything silly that one can think of would have already been manifested in the form of these shows.

And ah, the ever so dear internet again takes the acclaimed limelight figure that is fashionable last and late, yet most influential. With the advent and compass of the social media platforms which seems to have ready takers. Any news that is legitimate or even otherwise is distributed in just a flash, mindless of where the springing source of it is from.

There exist people in the audience who truly enjoy the medium and take in the intended message, but there are also those who merely wish to while away time, or show off on social media that they have watched it and such narrow minded fools would almost always be the reason as to why controversies or protests rise against that medium. Ratings are an inconsequential thing to such folks.

Well, here: so much goes on in all forms of media, yes. But does any of us really stop and assess where it all stands? No! We are all caught up in the fierce whirlwind of what goes about that we know not of what elfin mischief lies hidden in it. Though so many entertaining and educative platforms have so much to offer for everyone, what is safe for that one particular person to take in, and enjoy must be kept within well-defined limits for the greater good; with every second of what is watched being grasped in the reach of the intellectual human mind, there is great requirement of moderation in what we watch. Hence there exist ratings for everything that we see everywhere.

The crux is that the ratings are not at all regarded now: though there is that bold ‘A’ marked for the movies meaning its meant for adults, and that identity proof must mandatorily be flashed while at the cinemas, who really does that? Plus, we see children less than even ten years old at the theaters sitting in tow with their parents when the adult-rated movies are shown. Whatever content should be restricted to them is not being done so.

The comedy shows, reality shows are all fine to a certain extent. It is time for the border-collie to start rounding up the sheep once that safe barrier is past; the elder folks should caution the young ones, and guide them toward what is okay for their reach. Pure adult content is relayed most movies whose clippings are then shown in the comedy channels—our society has reached a steep cliff where adult things are clung onto, claiming it to be comedy. What a messy affair this is indeed.

Kids reciting steamy adult content after having memorized it straight off of the movies and other entertainment media, without knowing the real meaning behind it sure gives an air of innocence, but deep regret, too. If this heads in the same direction as it is proceeding right now, plain sanity might as well be chipped off the block.

To keep it grounded, it may be safe to call the system of ratings to be a rat-trap: it is always there to carefully close in on the wrongdoing or mischief of the rat, but always fails at it as the rat eventually learns where the danger spots are, and evade it, resulting in the rat successfully stealing that big block of cheese.

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