Small little eyes which light up when they see their mother or innocent faces which explode with laughter when tickled - little kids always generate glances of adoration from those around. And if the young one happens to be as cute as a button, there is nothing to describe the outpour of affections. Developing on this psychology, televille directors are now adopting child protagonists. There wouldn’t be many who are not familiar with the bubbly child artiste ‘Akshara Kishore’ who essayed the character of Balachandrika in the soap ‘Karuthamuthu’ of Asianet. While Akshara is the channel’s celebrated child artiste with her adorable smile, there are more. A recent track in ‘Parasparam’, another daily soap has included a young boy in the cast.
However, the recent downpour of children protagonists seems to have started after Mazhavil Manorama came up with its primetime soap ‘Manjurukum Kalam’, so says the show’s director Binu Vellathooval. According to him, childhood is that stage of life which is most innocent and pure, and that makes them, especially the young ones, adorable to the audience. He elaborates, “Casting a young kid was inevitable for our story, as the narrative starts from the childhood of the protagonist. In general, I believe it becomes easier to hold the attention of the audience once the entire activity revolves around a kid.” While the young ‘Janikutty’ is a teen now, the channel has come up with another show ‘Malootty’, which again has the child artiste of ‘Manjurukum’ fame as protagonist.
The portrayal of children is something which is not just commonplace in soaps, but also in sitcoms. While a family of four with one or two kids is a familiar concept, another recently started sitcom in flowers titled ‘Uppum Mulakum’ shows five children, two of them young ones around 8-10. Says the director R Unnikrishnan, “For me, including young kids has never been part of any strategy to increase viewership, but to make it more merrier. But yes, I believe that people adore young kids and watch the show more because of them.” However, he feels that the concept of kids being broadcast is typecast and wrong as they are seen as always suffering.