Times have changed a great deal in every context, even when you look at the whole drama watching experience, it has undergone big changes. Now the drama watching experience is not restricted to our own selves or how we feel about plays. It is not just that we discuss dramas with a few family members or friends who are watching a particular play but there are so many online forums nowadays where we can watch dramas online, they review dramas as well and so many viewers come and share how they feel about the plays there and how can I forget all the facebook pages, actively promoting different dramas. Not only this the drama discussions under the video threads of sites like dramasonline are so interactive and active that it seems like one is a part of the drama world for real. I remember when I used to watch dramas before , there were so many things that I wanted to discuss with others but many times it was not possible because everyone around me was busy and there were most often other things to talk about. This latest trend of discussions on dramas would quench the thirst of any drama lover who wants to analyze and talk about every little detail about dramas but I also think that like everything else this latest trend has its positive and negative points. Here I will discuss both good and bad points based on my own personal experience, particularly while engaging on three different very active drama forums.
1. The viewers get a chance to share their thoughts and observations about drama and by watching dramas only you automatically become a part of an online community.
2. The discussions help you understand things and aspects of a drama that you may not be able to understand otherwise and by reading analysis and comments on these forums you learn many things about how people around you look at things.
3. You make friends online and have a strong bond with them and when you discuss dramas with them, it is like discussing it with a close friend.
4. The drama discussions help directors, writers and actors in getting an immediate, honest feedback which could not have been possible in any other way.
5. Many of the writers and actors also come to these forums and interact directly with people who watch their plays. If it wasn’t for these forums we could not have talked so easily with our favorite writers, directors or actors. We have seen people linked with a certain drama answering people’s questions and even explaining things to the viewers. There have been times when I had a totally different perspective or impression of a story or character but a few lines from the writer changed how I thought about it. When people are upset over something, it is very easy for the writers and directors to convey their point of view to people. Lately it happened in the case of the ‘little miss jihad’ controversy and after the dialogues in Zindagi Gulzar Hai.
6. Online discussions and Forums help us find out which dramas we should be looking forward to next and provide all the details about them. Every drama nowadays has a facebook page and even if you miss something related to an upcoming play on air, you are sure to catch it on the facebook page.
7. Most importantly if you miss a play or even the promo, which we very often do then all we have to do is to visit one of these online forums and everything is easily available there. We can see our favorite dramas and the promos to our heart’s content.
The good news is that the good points outweigh the bad ones but sometimes it is because of these few bad aspects that I do not log in to the drama forums for weeks.
1. I think the biggest negative influence these forums had on my drama watching experience is that before watching dramas was a very personal experience, my likes and dislikes were based on what I thought about a character or the story but now it is greatly affected by the reviews and also by the different comments that people give about a play. There were many flaws that used to go unnoticed before but when so many people are watching something, there are a hundred opinions and I have to say that sometimes some of them maybe totally different from what I think but they do change my mind and that is not always good.
Let me explain, there are times when I watch an episode and I am so happy with it and think it was perfect but then all it takes is one critical review, pointing out all the small mistakes, a few comments to support the review and all I am left with is bad taste in the mouth, thinking if I was wrong in liking that particular episode or are these people more intelligent than me! Consider me a person who is easily convinced or is not very opinionated and for people like me these drama discussions can really be the deciding factor in what I watch and I am not completely okay with that.
2. Because of these forums and the discussions that are done on them, the drama watching experience has become somewhat complicated since very little detail about a play can create havoc.
3. Some people use facebook pages in particular to promote certain celebrities and I am guessing they get paid for it too because they do it with such devotion. A dramas page should only promote dramas and not continuously promote a certain celebrity or their page.
4. The attitude of the people who are discussing dramas can be very disappointing at times. Some of the people do not understand that there is a difference between sharing your thoughts in a decent manner and starting a fight. There are also viewers who use abusive language and get personal; the admins of such pages should moderate the comments on regular basis in order to avoid such things because people come to these forums to have a healthy discussion and not to engage in ugly fights. The drama discussions should be limited to the drama and getting personal with other viewers or even leaving personal remarks about the actors should be strictly prohibited even though I am sure many people will not agree with this point since that would hinder the concept of freedom of speech but I personally feel that people take undue advantage of this freedom. If people are being given the right to engage in these discussions, it is their duty to be more responsible and not leave comments that will hurt anyone’s feelings.
5. Some of the admins and even the people writing reviews and articles can be so defensive about what they write that they do not even want to hear a word against their wishes; this would be another extreme and some thing that can put a reader/fan off.
You can tell by reading the article that the advantages of these drama forums are much more than the disadvantages and all I can say is that where would we be without them! Although, I have to say that reading reviews, engaging in discussions, checking out the facebook pages for updates etc is proving to be fairly addictive but it is an addiction that can’t possibly be bad for a drama addict such as me. Please share with us how you feel about these drama forums. Which are the good and bad points based on your own experience?