Technically, the fifth season of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ has gone on air but for Sony, it’s their second innings with one of the most successfully running non-fiction shows. The famous baritone (looking dapper in Rohit Bal’s creations) returns once again, the format is more or less the same with a few changes, the contestants participating from small towns and the interiors of our country with their emotional back stories, so on and so forth.
Does it work? Yes, it does. Amitabh Bachchan and the general knowledge questions keep you coming back to the show. True, now I don’t need to sit in front of the TV sets. I can go pottering around the house finishing household chores, looking at my son’s homework and still hear Bachchan in the background asking questions to nervous contestants, some who make him recite his famous dialogues while others who break into songs and tears.
I have seen it all before so I don’t really need to go through the motions once again. When Big B runs the contestants through the rules (now the participant has to pre-set the amount in the 13-question tree till which they think they can confidently sail through, for instance, he/she can set a mark on the Rs 80,000 question, the catch being, the buzzer now called Tiktiki — earlier it was Ghadiyal Babu — will set the time limit to 45 seconds within which the contestant has to answer till he/she reaches that mark after which there is no time limit) or makes small talk with them, it is déjà vu.
Yes, it does get a bit irritating when the proceedings slow down as Bachchan takes his own sweet time to tell the answer. But what’s heart-warming is the superstar’s reassuring demeanour and the warm stories of the contestants — like a young girl who dreamt of becoming an IPS officer but is now compelled to stay with her maternal uncle and aunt after losing her parents and brother in an accident or about a woman who had taken a loan to buy a tractor for her old farmer-father and now wants to repay the money and make his life comfortable.
At the time of writing, I don’t know if Kaun Banega Crorepati 5 opened the TRP charts with a bang, I also don’t know how the show will eventually fare but KBC continues to be an entertaining draw. It is great fun to sms answers to questions from home and stand a chance of winning (yes, yes I know it could well be the mobile service providers’ ploy of minting some more money, luring gullible viewers who want to hit the jackpot).
Yet, KBC 5 is still a notch above its rival shows.
Go ahead, exercise your grey cells.