08 May, 2021

Shoma Munshi

Anthropologist and soap-addict on her book Prime Time Soap Operas on Indian Television

Shoma Munshi

How did you start working on the book?

I switched on the TV to watch the first episode of Kaun Banega Crorepati, and Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi started—I was hooked.

So you’re an academic who enjoys soaps?

They are like Karan Johar films on small screen—hugely entertaining, lavish sets, gorgeous costumes, good acting.

What’s the difference between Hindi cinema and Indian soap operas?

A soap opera is a woman-centred, home-based story, and has no closure—it keeps going.

Who are these soaps made for?

The earlier K soaps were for the metro audience. But with viewership shifting to towns and villages, they also cater to families there.

Many call soap operas regressive.

That’s because most people think if a woman is not working outside the home, it’s regressive. Soaps may be only about home-makers but these women are in control and command respect within the...

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