The growing popularity of streamers won’t drive away the loyal family audiences from television, say the cast members of the ongoing Sony SAB serial Dil Diyaan Gallaan. Dil Diyaan Gallaan is billed as a story of three generations that are torn apart due to misunderstandings. The Amritsar-set TV series revolves around a shattered family that continues to reel under pain after the one of their sons emigrates to the US for better prospects.
Its cast Pankaj Berry, Jasjeet Babbar, Ravi Gossain, Sandeep Baswana and Kaveri Priyam were in the capital earlier this week to promote the Lohri special episode of the show.
For veteran actor Berry, known for popular shows such as Gul Gulshan Gulfaam and Tenali Rama, television is the “toughest” medium to work for actors where they have to deliver maximum results in a minimum time period.
Berry, who plays the conservative and dignified patriarch Dilpreet Singh Brar on Dil Diyaan Gallaan, said he never felt any difference among TV, films and web series as an actor.
“Only technicalities may be different. In TV, you don’t have the luxury of retakes that we have in cinema. The budgets are so high that you can even shoot just one scene in one day, no one will bat an eyelid.
“In TV, you have to deliver the best in the least amount of time and limited conditions. An actor has to work like a soldier on TV, always stay alert. It is tougher than working in cinema and web series,” the actor told PTI in an interview.
Berry said it would be unfair to pit streaming platforms and television against each other.
“OTT is no competition for TV. Many streamers are making so many web series but people are not watching everything that is being put out. They are choosy on OTT as well.” Besides streamers like Netflix have a limited audience, whereas TV has an audience in every house of the country, he added.
“There is no bigger medium of entertainment than TV. But TV also needs to undergo change. It is a very progressive medium where you get entertainment along with a message. Our show will bring about a change,” the actor said.
Priyam, rising star of TV shows such as Ye Rishtey Hain Pyaar Ke and Ziddi Dil Maane Na, said every medium enjoys a different audience. The actor plays Amrita, the third generation member of the Brar family who resolves to bridge the gap between her father Dr Mandeep and grandfather Dilpreet.
“But the TV audience is very loyal. They belong to those parts of India where the access to technology is still in its nascent stage. So, I think TV is here to stay,” she said.
According to Gossain, OTT (over-the-top) platforms must be viewed as an “addition” to the bouquet of different mediums of entertainment like theatre, cinema and television. Known for films such as Maachis and TV serial Amanat, the actor plays Randeep, who is bitter towards his parents Dilpreet and Sanjot for showering all the love on his US-based brother Mandeep.
“OTT is just a different medium. When movies came, people thought it meant the death of theatre. Even today films of all types keep getting made.
“When TV came, they thought now no one will watch films. Now, with the web too people feel TV is gone. But it doesn’t work like that,” said Gossain, who termed Dil Diyaan Gallaan a show that stay close to people’s hearts for years to come.
Baswana, best known for starring on the long-running soap opera Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, said TV and OTT are “merging” into each other.
Citing the example of Dil Diyaan Gallaan, he said: “Our show is available on TV on the channel Sony SAB and also on (its streaming platform) Sony LIV.” The actor plays Dr Mandeep, who has a fractured relationship with his family back in Punjab.
Baswana said the digital medium is on the cusp of a saturation point owing to content loaded with expletives, which can’t be watched by family audiences together.
“No streamer is making clean family shows… Right now, such shows are only made for TV. People still prefer TV for family shows,” he argued.
The actor said he hopes for a time when “sitcoms and clean shows” are created for OTT so that he can watch them along with his family.
“OTT still struggles with content. There are very few shows that are good. Most of them have cheap language and they can’t be watched together with parents and children. OTT needs to pull its socks up and make clean shows,” he added.
Babbar, who plays the matriarch Sanjot on the show, said Dil Diyaan Gallaan gives the message to people to reconnect with their family.
“This is a show that will touch the hearts of people and help them connect with their loved ones. How the third generation plays an important role in bridging the gap between the older two generations forms the base of this story,” she added.
Dil Diyaan Gallaan airs from Monday to Saturday on Sony SAB at 7.30 pm.