Whenever I heard people shout in anger that a person has “manhandled” a work of art, I used to wonder what they actually meant. Somehow, I believed that everyone is free to use their creative energies, the way they liked. Adaptations, with due credit, could co-exist with originals. However, today I saw something and clearly understood what those people meant by abusing or manhandling a work of art. I am not sure whether it was done with or without permission from the concerned people or authorities.
I am not really a TV person but watch an occasional show here and there. With nothing better to do, I was flicking through channels when the doorbell rang. I rushed to open the door. I came back to the telly again but could not remember where I had kept the remote, in my hurry to see who was at the door. I would have never known what they have done to the classic and one of my all-time favorite shows “I dream of Jeannie” if I had found the remote. SabTV airs a very distorted adaptation called “Jeannie and Juju”. I am no expert, but I felt betrayed, looking at what they have done to the original in the name of adaptation. Anyone who hasn’t seen the original, and happens to see this desi version, will never ever even think of trying to watch the original. That is the kind of damage SabTV has done to the epic TV show. And I clearly understood what those experts meant by manhandling a work of art.
If Sidney Sheldon ever got to watch this one, he would surely haunt the people behind this cheap mockery of a classic. After being forced to watch the show for about ten minutes, I, as the audience felt robbed of my childhood memories of Major Nelson and Jeannie’s escapades on Sony. Even if they did get the rights to re-make it, they as so-called “creative people” should have the sensibility to check for themselves, what kind of an adaptation they are bringing for the world to see.
Adaptations are accepted. Sometimes they might be even better than originals. There are times when we don’t have the intellect to understand the original, so translations or dubbed versions are also acceptable. However, making such a mockery of an original, which was one of the best of its time, and lowering it to standards which are lower than “Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta Chashma” is not only pointless, but also a crime. I wish someone gave the creators of such TV shows some brains, to create something of their own rather than distorting great works. Also, I hope these people never ever get the re-make rights of any of my favorite TV shows, especially F.R.I.E.N.D.S.