Genre – Sitcom (Comedy)
Created by – Sab TV Team , Neela Telefilms
Written by – Raju Odedra , Rajan Upadhyay
Directed by – Harshad Joshi , Malav Raida
Opening theme “Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah” – by Shailendra Barve
Original language(s) – Hindi
No. of episodes – 1191 as on July 26, 2013
Producer(s) – Neela Asit Modi , Asit Kumar Modi
Location(s) – Mumbai , Gujarat , London
Production company(s) – Neela Telefilms
Original channel – SAB TV
Original run – 28th July, 2008 – Present
It wisely said,’ One laugh that has the power to change so many lives and fortunes.’
With over 1000 episodes and still counting; there are no two minds about the fact that Taarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chashmah has managed to win the hearts and fickle minds of the Indian Audience. In the new era of Indian Television where shows are launched with much fanfare and bid adieu in silence within 3 months of their launch, the show continues to entertain week after week.
Mr Tarak Mehta, a popular Gujarati writer, whose column ‘Duniyane Undha Chashma’, which translates loosely into ‘seeing the world through upside-down glasses’, in the weekly Chitralekha, is the basis for this sitcom.
The serial is based on the happenings of Gokuldham Co-Operative Housing Society and the day-to-day life of its members.The bevy of cast includes the prominent families of;the Gadas, the Mehtas, the Bhides, the Hathis, the Sodhis, the Iyers and the singleton Popatlaal, all of whom are the dwellers of the society, with the associated characters of Sundarlaal, Pinku, Abdul, Natthu Kaka, Bagha, Reeta (reporter) and an unseen character of Daya’s mother.
The show is also one of the reasons for the altered perception of the channel. SAB TV till date has been just another channel at the periphery of our consciousness, with no real claim to fame, except perhaps for the sitcom FIR
But the preeminent reason for the success of the show,is its lead actors – ‘Jethalal and Daya’, this casting coup of sorts is entertaining and the best on screen jodi on Indian television. Its famously said, ‘It takes two to Tango’ and the led couple potray that to the tee. Dilip Joshi, a Gujurati theatre and Television veteran shines as the upper class businessman; he finally gets his due with this one. However, it’s Disha takes away the cake,considering that Ms Vakani’s filmography till date is quite forgettable, she has obviously seized this opportunity with her hands, legs and every other appendage that she has and immersed herself completely into the Daya Gada character with full abandon, hamming away to glory with a classic Gujju/Kathiawari/Kutchhi accent that works perfectly despite the “loud” performance. Complimenting each other beautifully; the camaraderie and the comic timing they share is impeccable and one of the best comedy couples in recent history; other being Ratna Pathak and Satish Shah of Sarabhai vs Sarabhai fame.
‘Two is a party, Three is a crowd and more than Three is a Party’, this line goes apt with the characters of the show, the other characters are brilliant and support the lead pair perfectly,the chemistry between each character looks real, each actor is a show stealer in itself, a pat on the back to the scriptwriters who have developed a detailed character sketch creating a perfect setting, each actor has a defined role and he plays it accordingly Shailesh Lodha portrays the role of ‘Taarak Mehta’ himself, his role as the narrator and his poems in the end of every chapter brings a silver lining to the show.
The children in the show are better then the adults at times; giving the limited screen time that they get; they manage to impress every time they get the opportunity. The scriptwriter has a very strenuous job of writing a story weaving every character into it, with comic as the basic theme, it has social cultural undertones in its core premise, he however does a fine job, some of the incidents and the supporting characters are too over the top and may irritate the rational mind but one won’t be bored in those 22 minutes.Also, the extras shown in some of the episodes are repeated extensively which indicates the tight and stringent budget which may bring a unintentional laugh.
The society members and their behaviour sometimes give an impression of a Sooraj Barjatya flick and its characters but thoes can be ignored. In times when Television is filled with an overdose of saas bahu dramas, this feel good family comedy manages to bring a smile on the faces of old to the adolescent.
The dialogues are good, however repeated at times which makes it sluggish and boring, but the performances hide these flaws. In the crowded space of general-purpose Hindi channels, populated by Star Plus, Colors, Zee and Sony, all battling for “saas-bahu”, “orphan/widowed children” and “song-dance reality show” eyeballs, Taarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chashmah is undoubtedly the best and probably the most popular show on Indian Television today. I know the last line may draw a lot of irks but with the recognition of having aired more episodes than any other in the world to it’s name, I don’t mind it!!