“I’ll admit to asking all the wrong questions… if you admit to loving the answers.”
– Karan Johar, Koffee with Karan Season 6
When a trailer starts off like that, you know the show is going to be its trademark- shocking, scandalous and unapologetically controversial. As India’s most popular talk show, Koffee with Karan enters its sixth season, fans are on the lookout for more unique celebrity couplings and a fresh and secretive insight into the lives of these superstars. In its last season, the show had received somewhat of a lukewarm reaction from the audience, criticized for being more of a P.R. platform for upcoming releases instead of providing the fresh and engaging banter it delivers, however, Karan’s team has promised revised content and new game ideas to keep the fans coming back for more. The show was already the talk of the town before its premier on 21st October this year with Karan sharing little snippets and glimpses from the filming to his Instagram, with each post garnering well over one million likes (speaks for the excitement of fans!)
Apart from fresh new content, the show also introduced a fresh new set yet again. When the show sells drama, how can the set be too far behind? The fusion of pink and blue hues together makes the set appear both regal and youthful at the same time. The couch gets bigger, the lighting more modish and the décor more chic- be it the red piano, or the zebra flooring (that got Katrina feeling dizzy!) The set succeeds in fascinating the guests just as much it does the audience.
First airing on 19 November 2004, the show has steadily climbed the ranks among the Indian viewership, currently reigning as the Top Viewed primetime English entertainment show on Indian television. It’s not a surprise then that a variety of high-profile brands have decided to associate themselves with the show, bringing in anything between Rs 35-40 crore for Star World, and subsequently it’s parent organisation, Star India, according to industry experts. The title sponsorship for the show belongs to Google Home, while Audi and telecom service provider Idea are the driven by and powered by sponsors, next in hierarchy. Jaquar (bathroom solutions), mobile brand OPPO F9 Pro and L’Oreal Paris too are the exclusive partners for the show.
Though Star India shies away from commenting on the value of the sponsorship deals, Koffee with Karan, with its celeb allure and cheeky innuendos, has consistently set new benchmarks with the buzz and garnering an increasing number of premium consumers. An increasing number of brands and labels are hence keener than ever to partner with the show and expand their customer base.
Now the show has whipped up many-a-controversy over its many years and seasons, be it director Anurag Basu calling out Kareena for being more interested in the cast rather than the content of the film, or Kareena questioning Priyanka Chopra’s accent, or (onto the more scandalous) unfiltered Ranbir-bashing by Sonam Kapoor and Deepika Padukone, the curious case of Salman’s virginity or the much recent “flag-bearer of nepotism” accusation leveled against the host KJo himself by Kangana Ranaut, stirring up quite a debate in whole of Bollywood. It pretty obvious that fans wait for the potential list of guests at the beginning of each new season. So far, the show has already had quite a star-studded list of invitees- starting off high on “Girl Power” with Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhatt for its premier.
The second episode blessed us with the eclectic duo of Ranveer Singh and Akshay Kumar, a combo which certainly delivered, the episode even earning an 8.6 rating on IMDB! The 3rd episode which aired on 4th November had a slightly more relaxed tone with guest Aamir Khan giving his take #MeToo movement and taking Koffee shots with Karan as Malaika Arora played judge. Varun Dhawan and Katrina discussed past relationships and the experience of working together.
However, based on Karan’s Instagram posts, the father-daughter duo of Saif and Sara Ali Khan, siblings Abhishek and Shweta Bachchan-Nanda, Janhvi Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor, Kajol and Ajay Devgan will each be sharing a hot cuppa with KJo. Though the show has stayed away from pairing co-stars this season, it still promises the expected confessions and revelations. But will it deliver?
So far, the responses seem tailored and diplomatic, with actors still choosing words carefully while answering the trickiest and the most personal questions. Four episodes in so far and no controversial statements have been made, no snarky comments and no major hints of rivalry brewing. Is Bollywood finally witnessing the age of more mature actors with higher E.Q.s, or is Karan perhaps saving the best for last? Well it certainly seems the audience is sticking to find out with a viewership of whopping 6.2 million in just its first week. In a first, Star World is even working on creating “Koffee Filters” in partnership with the global social media platform- Snapchat.
Things are certainly looking interesting out here and we’re all sold on the suspense of the next new storm brewing in Bollywood. Consider my slot for this Sunday booked with a steaming cup of coffee…(oops, I meant Koffee) and a big tub of popcorn!