For people like me who always prefer to see things in a different way, Bengali mega serials are the perfect way to keep the average Bengali women stuck to the couch every evening. As an integral part of the Bengali television industry, these sitcoms have a viewership base larger than any Bengali film. However, there is a need to find why these sitcoms, or ‘serial’ as they are more commonly known in Bengal, are so popular, even if they are nowhere near to the intellectual standards set by noted Bengali film makers.
First, a closer look reveals that the sitcoms have a very simple way to tell a story. This goes well with average Bengali women. The stories are straightforward, though not always without deviation which in turn makes the plot more complicated and profound. Two Bengali mega serials which deserve mention and which are regarded by many as the trendsetter for modern soaps are Janani and Janmabhoomi. While Janani dealt with the day to day incidents in a joint family, Janmabhoomi, depicted the transition of a royal family from the pre-independence era to the post independence years. Both the sitcoms ran for hundreds of episodes before the production ceased and till the very end they retained their popularity.
Second, another important feature that seems to play an important role behind the success of Bengali sitcoms is the story itself. Almost all the stories revolve around a few families and the relationship between characters. There are one or two main protagonists and the story starts forming around them before spreading its branches. Bengali women can relate with the stories depicted and hence feel as if it is the story of their own life. This is why, even more than one sitcom has an almost similar plot.