Tamil Media: a reality check

The podcast is quite long (36 minutes), so I'll give a rough outline of what I've spoken about.

3': How we address celebrities in TV (Kamal sir, Rajini sir etc.)
5': Lollu Sabha. A historical moment - Pokkiri's parody - Bakery.
12': "Experts" in TV
15': Nayyandi durbar, Ari Giri assembly
17': Standup comedy in Tamil TV channels (Kalakka povadhu yaaru etc.)
23': Internet's influence on mainstream media
26': Lack of Tamil social commentary in audio-visual formats in the internet.
30': Mainstream hangover in non-mainstream mediums.
34': Interviews in Kumudam.com

Aside: Lollu Sabha issued an apology the week after 'Bakery' was aired. But the sentences were structured in a way that it was obvious that they were being sarcastic about the apology. It's good to see that these people not only have the guts do such parodies but the wit to deal with potentially serious repurcussions.


Anonymous said...

i loved bakery..
ippo ellarum "alagiri" rangeku ninaichukaranuka..don't want any thing to be said against them..

not sure.if vijay directly uses his fan base or.. fans try to appease their thalaivars..

Anonymous said...

for the best social commentary, visit


And leave your comments.

Anonymous said...

Tamil media (every form of it) sucks beyond redemption. All I am talking about is the utter absence of a basic level of professionalism and self-dignity (something national media has managed to achieve incomparably well), not impeccable and eminent journalism.

And, I'd suggest you to watch Stars Ungaludan with Mirchi Suchi on Jaya TV. She's refreshing in her levelheadedness (without even taking into account her pulling the stars' legs and the general informal tone). The other day she addressed Kamal Haasan as "Mr. Kamal Haasan." Dead on, first of its kind!

Thiru said...

Very nice podcast. I agree with most of your views presented here. I really enjoyed that bakery like anything. You are very much correct in pointing out that actors like vijay are taking tamil cinema in a wrong direction.
Is it ok for you if I embed this podcast in my blog?

Anonymous said...

This will feature as one of the best podcasts you've done. Because the diction was great - The whole video had some novelty and sets it apart from your other podcasts (I think the language had something to do with it - Or maybe it's just me).

I'm a big fan of Lollu Sabba - Guts, skill and resilience personified.

Oh yeah, I love the fact that RD's videos always gets more than four stars on average in Youtube and the number of viewers keeps increasing exponentially.

"Lack of Tamil social commentary in audio-visual formats in the internet."

oru paanai sorukku oru soru padham
- Ungala solraen. Seri romba yethi viduraen-nu nenaikadinga :)

Unfortunately, The biggest drawback is you. If I had to record a podcast, the 'base' or 'moola karanum' behind that would be things, you've already dealt in your podcasts. So, we can just talk about your podcasts with examples - Idha panna - yengala Plagiarizing idiots-nu solvanga! But I do agree, there are few topics where you haven't got deeper. But you would have touched upon that in your blog (sometimes in the comments).

BTW, could it be lack of Thamizh sociologist(experts) in blogosphere?

What do you think about Kiruba?


Anonymous said...


Count "Mr" and "Mrs" in this article.
39 "Mr"
1 "Mrs"

for around 5-6 politicians..

Interestingly, MGR don't need "Mr" while Alagiri is. Even Late Indira is "Mrs".

Looks like this author knows whom to give a "Mr" based on her fear factor(appraently those in power)


Escape.... Great Escape said...

Apparently the Lollu Sabha guys recieved a few death threats from Mad Vijay fans.. (a redundancy?)..

The same thing had happened with Madhan (the A Vikatan cartoonist) when he commented upon 'Youth'.

Suresh said...

Anon 1,
The way fan clubs work in TN is very interesting in itself. Some fan clubs are maintained with the hopes that someday the actor concerned would be start a political party which will give them a career (of course, one that is corrupt in all levels) in politics.
While some are there just to maintain power hubs that control theatre owners and the sale of tickets. Black ticket sales in some areas is organized business. The unofficial figures for Sivaji in the first week will probably be twice the official.
And some are just plain vetti who really like what the actor does in his movies.
Regardless of what the reason is, they just can't stand it when they are made to look like idiots.

You're right. Except for some people the almost all interviewers are either ignorant about the issue at hand or total suck ups.

I tried looking for 'Stars Ungaludan.' Found one episode with Sneha. I don't think I should take that as the best sample to judge the show (I was quite annoyed by it). But I think Suchi will be a lot more tolerable than the 'regular' presenters we see.

I thought 'Coffee With Anu' in Vijay is pretty decent too. Even though she doesn't address them any different, she's somewhat playful in how she carries the conversation. It's a lot less pretentious than other interviews. I don't know, it's probably because of the guests. I saw the one with Nalini and Vadivukkarasi - easily one of the best episodes in the show.

Thanks. Sure, it's 'open source', go ahead.


I'm glad you liked the language. I was just a little conscious here and there for the first few minutes and the flow got more and more natural as I progressed. It's amazing that that's all it takes for us to get rid of English words. And it felt really good.

I've often told you how restricted I am because of where I live. To give an example: people like you -- living in Madras, working with Tamils, hanging out with college friends, watching Tamil movies in theaters -- have a great advantage over me. You can bring in something in your podcasts (or videos) that is extremely hard for me. And I'm sure there are several other things the put you above me in whatever you'll have to say.
Besides, I would be glad if someone picked on something that I've said in any of my podcasts and use it to thrash me. Something I wouldn't mind doing if there are other podcasts (even if it's done by one of my friends). In fact, I'm surprised that no one has done that so far. (They probably thought I'm not worth the time.) For a lot of what I've said is quite problematic even for myself when I listen to them now.

And when I read some blogs - especially Tamil blogs - I'm terribly humbled by them. Some of what they write strike me so hard that I'm ashamed by my ignorance. I mean, we have some really intelligent and passionate people in the blogosphere (of course, it's a tiny minority). It's a shame that none of these people have stepped on to other mediums.
Even if they are not into political science or sociology or any kind of 'real' activism, they are no less academic or scholarly in what they say. I hope things will change gradually, but sooner the better.

Kiruba has little ability to do social commentary (or any kind of commentary). So I'm just glad that he doesn't try to do that often.

Idhellam over!


I've always wondered what rules they follow to use Mr, Ms, Mrs etc., in news articles. Both in TV and press. Because most of the time they are fairly inconsistent. Even within an article.

As for the one you've quoted if she was so worried about addressing them respectfully, it should have been Dr MK all the way and not Mr.
But yeah, Alagiri better get a Mr if not a Dr.


At least it stopped with death threats instead of actual deaths. It's very easy these days. Get the number, get drunk shout at the top of your voice in the phone - vettiruven, kuthiruven. Usually that does the job. It's enough to make the say "edhukku pa thevai illadha vambu?"

redcentredoc said...

Lollu Sabha is like a Tamil Mad TV isn't it. Very entertaining. I should see the originals movies that they are making fun of to be fully aware of what they are doing. Then again after your Roast of Pokkiri I don't think I need to. I vaguely remember Nayagan and it was really funny to see on LSabha's version how irritating even Kamal Hassan's acting can be at times.
I enjou listening to your podcasts despite the fact that I know little about Tamil Nadu happenings. I must admit you have toned down some of the dog remarks but nonetheless you still say it as you see it. This sir business in Tamil shows is very irritating ..some sort of Colonial unpleasant remnant. Why don't they just go 'rajini aiyaa' or jayalalitha amma and be done with it. Its so entrenched that it has even carried over to Malaysia. There was this TV interview on Malaysian TV with Kamal Hassan on youtube. It was almost like it was made in TN. They don't owe him anything and yet Kamal Saar this and Kamal Saar that..

Thiru said...

Thanks Suresh,

I have posted your podcast on Tamil media: a reality check in my blog.

by the way when you will be restarting mahabaratham pesukiradu?! that was really a good one man and you have a good number of following for that series.

Thilak pratap selva kumar said...

Yes, Inga ulla makkal-ku adhu oru advantage daan.

Could you give the links of those tamil blogs. I generally don't read them (office-la tamil fonts kadaiyaadu). So, veetla poi pakuraen. Thanks in advance :)

I'm a kamal fan and I loved Nayagan-mocking. In fact I prefer Devar magan over it, as they kalasified both Sivaji Ganesan and Kamal haasan. The fact is, how would the fans take. When Kamal and Rajini fans could stand criticism. Nethu penja mazhaila innaiku molacha kalan yellam sound vidranga - Adaan matter!

But the ever-green classic is 'Bakery' - hands down!

Visai(in a hangover tone): Yaen pecha naanaey kekka mattaen
Another guy: Dai apram mathavanga yepidi da keppanga..Oyyalle!!! :-D

Anonymous said...

hi hi,

unga podcost keten.unga karuthukal ellam othukka vendiathu than. aana, unga karutha solrappo, mathavanga enna nenachupangalo nu nenachu, antha karuthukkum neenga reply pannareengale.yean?. Paathi time athulaye poiduthu. unga karutha sollunga.maruppu vantha , avangalukku villakkam kuduthukalam. speed thevai, ithu athi vegama irukke. bore adichiduthu !

Anonymous said...

solrathellam sollitu, kazhpunarchi illanu sonna eppdi ! lol

I said...

For the record, Sun news is more neutral than CNN/CBS/ABC/CBC news. SUn TV is the best TV in the world. No pseudo intellectual documentaries, no shit. Plain movies and serial, which is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Interesting podcast, but speak more slowly, holmes.

bmurali80 said...

Suresh - I have used this podcast in one of my recent blog posts. Since the content was well developed I have written a wiki like description for it. Since you has give a "open source" permission in your comments, I have taken the liberty to publish first and then inform you. Hope you don't mind.

Content can be found @ http:// mrcritic.wordpress.com

Suresh said...

Hi Murali,

I'm glad you've linked the podcast in your blog. You're welcome to use it or quote the way you want. The summary was pretty good too. Thanks.


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