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Channel: SONY TV
Serial Timing: Saturday, 9:00PM
Cast: Salman Khan, Ajay Devgan, Fardeen Khan
Produced by: BIG SINERGY PVT. LTD.

The Review

The Crazy Capers of a Manchild

Rating : 2.5

What shall we call it? A quiz show? Well, it’s no ‘Quiz Time’ by Siddharth Basu or his elitist Mastermind India, or even the easy-on-the-brain, ‘KBC’, either. Actually, it is brainless.

But that perhaps, is what makes it different. Dus ka Dum has turned the Quiz Show concept upside down. It has made quizzing a feast of frivolity.

And that’s because of the man who is at the centre of it – actually, a Manchild, because that’s exactly how Salman Khan comes across while anchoring it. You can feel the child bursting out of him and that lifts the show to a bouncy zing – so much so that you even tend to gloss over the potty jokes, dotting it every now and then.

One remembers the early days when he started on the show last year and would be mouthing the anchor’s script in a sing-song fashion. But it goes to the credit of the man that he has made this sing-song anchoring accepted by the viewers.

Salman has shed his superstar skin and is so very earthy and approachable, here. Gone is the infamous Sallu temper and untraceable are those tantrums as well. Instead, he comes across as almost na�ve, while romping, skipping, jumping and breaking into a jig at the drop of a hat. Chuckling his heart out, he is always ready with a naughty aside and flings himself into a contestant’s embrace with engaging spontaneity. It would seem as if he was one with whom you can easily be on back-slapping terms.

That’s how those humdrum contestants come dancing around him in circles. They would just go nuts about him and he, too, would be nuts at their being nuts about him.

But that is almost a gone tale now. In the current season, because of some insecurity best known to them, the makers have packed the show with star-celebrities in episode after episode.

All that has robbed it of its freshness and spontaneity and given it a synthetic feel, because of those stars, who come with a baggage and then go through the motions with plastic smiles and that la-di-da air.

We caught the last episode of the season-2, featuring Ajay Devgan and Fardeen Khan, who actually have come to promote their, ‘All the Best’ through it. So even as we have tuned to ‘Dus Ka Dum’, we have to put up with those cheers for ‘All the Best’. But that’s how the times are, we guess – we have to live it.

The first fifteen minutes are squandered on a scripted sequence, in which Ajay and Fardeen pretend to be searching for Salman. They decide that Salman has been kidnapped (Dumb? What else?).

And then, Shivaji Satam comes pretending to be a real DCP with a few of his ‘Officers’. ‘Salman kidnap ho gaya’, gushes Ajay. ‘Arre, kidnapper ko marna hai kya?’ double gushes Shvaji Satam. Then, it goes on and on till Salman appears on the scene.

His coming buoys up things a bit and the predictable light banter follows between the stars.

There are references to past affairs, too to tickle the viewers’ salacious bone. Like, when the question comes up – ‘How many people have said – Iss Lallu ko ye ladki kaise mil gayee?’ Ajay asks Salman as to isn’t it exactly what he also said when his girlfriend went to another boy? (Ssshh, Aishwarya-Vivek, who?)

Strictly for the star-struck, smacking his lips at such suggestive bits.

There are the mandatory dances, too. But the star-guests just gyrate listlessly on the beats, unlike those ordinary guests once, who shook each pore of their bodies in true abandon.

Then, much time is frittered away in stitching buttons, and promoting other shows of the channel and some such, pushing the game to a back seat. One whole hour is coming to an end and hardly a couple of questions have been asked. Finally, the game very conveniently ends on the guests winning 10 Lac only. Actually, that has been seen to be the ceiling for ‘Star wins’ in the show.

But coming to the core question, does it make good viewing? Well, it’s a celebration of the senseless and we don’t have a quarrel with that. But it still leaves much to be desired. Actually, it owes its pull entirely to its anchor. Imagine the same show with a regular anchor - it would have just fallen flat.

It is the crazy capers of that Manchild which carry it… that’s why as the Dus (Crore) in the show have never happened; the Dum remains limited, too.

- VB