Ekta Kapoor Has Some Tips for Game of Throne Makers. We Kind of Agree With Her


Ekta Kapoor Has Some Tips for Game of Throne Makers. We Kind of Agree With Her

Illustration: Arati Gujar

Acouple of days ago, the country’s most prolific bahu torturer, Ekta Kapoor, raised a very valid point, one that we should all be acknowledging. All this Game of  Thrones fandom, the woman who gave us this laptop washing scene insisted, isn’t just annoying for the unfortunate souls who’ve never watched an episode for the show. It’s also a big fuck you to her own fans, who are mocked endlessly for watching Naagin.

HBO’s dragons, she argues, are as ridiculous as the 13-year-old’s attempt at CGI she calls snakes, and Jon Snow’s death and comeback are no different than a businessman falling off a cliff and walking into the house two episodes later with a small bandage on his head.

Fair point you have there Ekta, it’s definitely something that needs to be addressed two weeks after the show has ended. Why would HBO waste so much money creating eight seasons of good TV indeed? Why couldn’t they instead use that budget to create 3,000 episodes of “Ballika Throne”, a fantasy woven around the lives of modern Indian joint families, with bahu-slayers and agarbatti battles? Why am I not even treated to one reaction shot in this dragon show, Mr HBO executive, someone please tell me how I’m supposed to feel.

The first thing HBO could have done if they were serious about making a massy TV show (by the way, we’re not talking about the kind of massy that makes people all over the world tune in for a premiere, but the kind of massy that helps convince Ekta Kapoor she’s creating art) why base it off a book? Don’t you know books are boring, especially fantasy books. What are we 13 years old? Naagin doesn’t bother with all this pretention. It offers the simple story of two housewives, one of whom looks like she practices black magic and the other who is the shy housewife-y type, obviously. Now that’s a plot.

While Game of Thrones wasted its time building up this story of a dragon mother, only to let everyone down, Naagin simply inserted snakes in scenes that should have other featured no snakes. This shows the scale of the soap’s creativity; it initially started out as this totally normal saas-bahu drama, but somewhere down the line the creators smoked a couple and said, “How about we put some snakes in this shit.” Now if only the reaction shots to this suggestion had been captured on camera, you’d have some idea of how good an idea it was.

If the executives at HBO could switch to an Indian channel every now and then, they’d learn to make their shows a little more massy.

Meanwhile, our venerable Naagin – not to be confused with Naginn, which released a whole two years ago – isn’t just a 20-minute snake documentary. There are gratuitous shots of babas, whole minutes of bhajan rap, and awkward moments where extras steal centre stage. It may seem a little confusing at first glance, but if you go deeper, you’ll notice that Naagin is actually making an effort to bolster the plot line with compelling abstracts. Game of Thrones, on the other hand, will always be a stupid dragon show.

It all boils down to the way the resources were divided at the end of the day. Game of Thrones, if you ask Ekta or me, wasted too much money on looking for exotic locations in Europe and Africa to give it some kind of “fantasy” feel. What a colossal waste of time and money. We have just two words for D&D – papier mache. And this is where Naagin really steals the show. Especially in the scene where a dude pulls off a superhuman act of mountaineering, while somehow managing to find time to romance a snake on the edge of a fake cliff.

Game of Thrones wastes too much time building suspense with well-thought-out characters, and cliffhangers. Naagin, on the other hand, builds suspense with a nasty bassline, and a chorus of “Jai Shankar!” repeated a few thousand times. And that really drives home the point.

If you ask me, Game of Thrones wasn’t really serious about making a show that would capture the imagination of every Indian mother ever, and be more appealing to the masses, they would have had at least one cameo featuring an actor whose blockbuster movie is coming up. Doing it any other way just comes across as insincere, and honestly, lazy.

So here’s the deal, Game of Thrones, us Indians are not impressed by your battle over a glorified chair. If the executives at HBO could switch to an Indian channel every now and then, they’d learn to make their shows a little more massy. Maybe even watchable…