My opinion on these shows is long due, probably since the birth of V. During the final trimester and a few weeks after his birth, one TV show that I followed was a singing competition for kids. I was irritated at the way the episodes were telecast, promos shown and the attitude of children largely influenced by their parents. As I was clutching to my new born I could n't help but shudder at how my little one will react when he reaches that phase in life when either he on his own participates or others push him. Two years and many TV shows (both for children and youngsters - no channel telecasts a reality music show for the aged!) later my opinion is the same.
As channels hunt for super and star singers, sign them up for a certain period, let them feel absolutely cushioned under their glare and leave them to their destiny after some time, it is time for a 'real' reality check.
Two years ago when I my sister asked me whether I would encourage the little one to participate in shows I emphatically and confidently said no. She asked me the same thing a month back and I said that I did n't know. I will not talk about her reactions to that but I must admit that I really don't know. I will never push him or force him to do something, but if he is confident on, say, performing on stage how can I refuse. After all many of us have benefited from going up on stage for an act or a song at school or college. But it is the present trend that I am worried about. First of all children get to appear on television (and so are their parents), then they get to meet celebrities and then they get to display their talent, which will be viewed by thousands. The pressure and the change in attitude are appalling.
My first concern is the time these children would spend on the sets. Considering how long the 'senior' version of a particular show took to conclude and with the present competition for juniors looking to follow the same, this is bound to affect many other activities (including academics) of these children.
In one of the episodes, I was particularly shocked at the reaction of a judge towards a child who was found to be 'too expressive' for her age. The child was eventually eliminated from the competition. The funny thing is that the particular round featured songs, most of which many parents would not approve of. Many children took to dancing to and singing those songs. So why single out a particular child? What impact would this have on her attitude? How would her friends, teachers and others react? The funnier things is that this is not a live programme. The songs are rehearsed. Did n't the people concerned (say producer of the show, experts etc), realize the 'over-expressiveness'? Or even when the shoot was on, could n't any of them ask the child to tone it down? I am sure that this is possible.
Anyway...this is just one of my many reactions to follow as I feel very strongly about the issue. After all I too have a young child at home who at some time in his life will come across such things.