It’s an idea whose time has come: A show aimed at young people that launches on Facebook and whose protagonist engages with audiences on social media.
Confessions—It’s Complicated, which was launched on Facebook and YouTube on 4 April, uses its partnership with Facebook India to communicate with its audience. Additional clips are uploaded on the show’s Facebook page, some of which are live streamed, and the characters have profiles and talk to the audience through posts.
Made by Freemantle Media India, which makes reality television programmes such as Indian Idol, India’s Got Talent and Savdhaan India, Confessions is a light-hearted show that doesn’t ask much of its audience—the short episodes (each is around 10 minutes) have simple plots and characters. It is about three 23-year-olds—Nupur Murthy from Coimbatore, Raka Ghosh from Kolkata and Sameera Saxena from New Delhi—who go to Mumbai for their first job. They work for a news organization called Pulse, where Nupur and Sameera write features and Raka is a photographer. The seven episodes so far are about events such as the girls’ first assignment, a missed deadline, getting a car and apartment hunting.
The series uses exaggeration and caricature to get ideas across. For example, the apartment hunting scenes in episode 3 have the girls climbing over old furniture and squeezing through really narrow doorways to get into apartments.
The most interesting thing about this show is its effort to give its viewers something extra through social media. The creators have individualized the Facebook pages of each of the fictional characters. Sameera, who is acknowledged as the best at taking selfies in the series, has some good self-portraits on her Facebook page, for example. Their presence on Facebook is designed to make the girls more accessible and to get the audience involved in their fates. But when the same announcements and promotional material appear across the four accounts—three for the girls and one for the show itself—it jerks you out of the illusion that these are real people’s profiles and pages.
The sponsors of the show all get a fair amount of air time—the product placement is painfully obvious. A red GenX Nano features across multiple episodes of Confessions, as do other sponsors such as music streaming app Saavn and apparel e-retailer Myntra.
The title is confusing—seven episodes down, it’s not apparent what is complicated about the show. If anything, the protagonists’ lives are overly sorted. Despite the drama of squeezing through narrow doorways and jumping over boxes to see apartments, the girls are able to find a place they like and negotiate rent with the landlord within the course of a day. Their editor gives them a week to work on their first assignment, a generous time frame by most accounts.
In some ways, it’s a good thing that the show is not complicated. It makes it easy to watch, if you just want to take a 10-minute break from work or have a few minutes to kill while you wait for someone.