When the pandemic hit all of us, and as we tried hard to find a way of dealing with such hard times, interestingly, it was Prasar Bharti-run Doordarshan, which came to our rescue. Doordarshan National began reruns of the original ‘Ramayana’ on 28 March at 9 am, opening the doors to nostalgia. Over the years, many have tried their hands at recreating the old magic with a new cast and not-so-new storyline. We at BrandWagon Online try to take a look at some of these spin-offs.
At one point, the television industry went a tad overboard with its love for remakes of mythological serials. Ramayana was brought back on screen by Ravi Chopra, son of late BR Chopra, and remade on a budget of about Rs 100 crore. The show which saw the return of a six-packed Lord Ram and perhaps not-so-shy Sita, after all, it had to match the 20th-century mindset, at the time was aired on the then Hindi general entertainment channel NDTV Imagine (later the channel was shutdown). This one thankfully clicked with audiences and gathered its own fan following. Perhaps what made it work also is the fact that the two protagonists also began dating each other and ended up marrying.
Next in line, is the epic Mahabharat, which was a favourite among TV producers and channel content heads. No wonder, from Bobby Bedi to Ekta Kapoor, everyone made a dash for it. In fact, Ekta Kapoor went ahead and gave the name its ‘K’ spin and called it ‘Kahaani Hamaaray Mahaabhaarat Ki’. A huge disaster, it made audiences cringe in horror as Kapoor tried to style the epic in her own loud manners. Not to mention, for the serial, she had cast her regular actors from the popular K serials camp who were rather famous for their loud looks and strange acting chops. The show was aired on then GEC 9X. For many audiences Cut to 2013, the epic was remade again by Siddharth Kumar Tewary and was aired on Star Plus. Interestingly, this one which kind of towed the lines of its predecessor proved to be a hit among audiences.
It was then the turn of Devaki Nandan Khatri’s famous 1988 novel Chandrakanta. In 2017, once again Ekta Kapoor tried her hands at remaking the famous 1994 show by adding her own brand of masala. Interestingly, in 2017 two channels – Life Ok (now Star Bharat) and Colors aired their own version of the show. While Kapoor’s recreation lost the plot after a while, Life Ok’s Chandrakanta produced by Nikhil Sinha, still managed to find its ground among audiences.
After mythological serials, it was time to try our hands at reviving some of the classic comedy serials. And so began tryst in 2001 with the remake called Naya Office Office, followed by a movie titled Chala Mussaddi Office Office. Based on the same concept, both failed to enthrall the audiences. Yet another popular comedy show which remade was Hum Paanch. First aired in 1995, it ran until 1999 on ZEE. Interestingly, this was originally produced by Ekta Kapoor and was a hit among viewers. The remake Hum Paanch Phir Se, however not so much. Sarabhai vs Sarabhai is also one of the popular sitcoms which were brought back. Only aired on Disney + Hotstar, it featured the same cast with new additions and was directed by the same duo – Deven Bhojani and Aatish Kapadia. The storyline was an extension of the original and therefore, managed to regain popularity.
Over the years besides remakes, the Hindi TV genre has also witnessed the extension of serials. At times these work and there are many times when these fail miserably. That, however, has not been a deterrent to remakes.