Old popular Bengal TV serials back on prime time slots

Kolkata: With shooting of different mega serials postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19 pandemic, several popular Bengali mega sops of early 2000 are making a comeback on prime time slots.

Prominent among the lot is ‘Gaaner Oparey’, helmed by late Rituparno Ghosh as creative director, which had given the Bengali audience a new, fresh content from the repetitive tearjerker stuff of telly soaps, industry sources said.

The serial, which showed a unique romantic tale of two young Tagore lovers having different temperament and view of Tagore music was telecast from June 2010 till April 2011.

“I am happy to bring back Gaaner Oparey, our first TV production, on telly before the audiences again after almost a decade. It had set a new benchmark in Bengali serials and the credit goes to Rituparno Ghosh and the team,” Prosenjit Chatterjee the producer of the serial told PTI on Tuesday.

The serial, being aired from April 6 on every evening, also features Bengali actress turned MP Mimi Chakraborty and popular actor Gourab Chakraborty, both fresh faces at that time.

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Seventeen years after being telecast on Doordarshan and running for a year, another popular Bengali serial ‘Janani’ also made a come back on Monday to be telecast for six weeks from 9:30 pm.

The ensemble cast features Anuradha Roy, Shankar Chakraborty, Kushal Chakraborty, Reshmi Sen, Kaushik Sen and Mrinal Mukhopadhyay among others.

“Instead of repeating daily soaps telecast weeks back, we want to dish content-rich literary works of yesteryears which evoke nostalgia among the senior citizens and middle aged and curiosity among the new generation who are more hooked to web series,” a member of the production house said.

Production houses are also airing ‘Sahityer Sera Samay’ a collation of the stories by renowned Bengali authors aired years back and ‘Amar Thikana Tai Briddhashram’, a much discussed fictional show on the plight of elderly forced to live in old age homes.

80-year old Mita Pal, a resident of Birati area in the north, is happy to see Mimi Chakravorty again in Gaaner Oparey.

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“I can still vividly recall how I would wait for this serial every evening. I had even rescheduled my visits to neighbours houses and relatives not to miss a single episode till it became a bit stale months before it ended. Now in Corona lockdown phase I am looking forward to watch it and Janani every day.”

She was echoed by her 25-year old niece Aritrika who recalls how serials like these brought a whiff of freshness and made teenagers like her turn to TV serials.

Ankita Mitra, a young professional commented, “the coming back of serials like Ramayan, Mahabharata, Byomkesh, Shaktiman on TV, the old habit of cooking at home, reading books and spending afternoon and evenings at home, no shopping mall, slow internet and empty streets make us feel as if the 90s are back.”

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