While Mythology has come back with a bang on TV with the roaring success of the masterpiece Devon ke Dev Mahadev, I would not bet on just a mythological theme to have the same amount of success everywhere. Many new programs of this genre have been introduced, hoping to cash in on the sudden love of fantastical stories among viewers. But is simply joining the myth bandwagon enough? No. It is mandatory to realize that a series like Mahadev is very different on many levels in its treatment and that , probably, is the reason for its unprecedented success, more than anything else.
The USP of Mahadev lies in the fact that till date it has not been treated like mythology at all. The reason it has captured the imagination of all age groups is the prominent absence of the undertone of preaching which assails almost all religious sagas. It is just a story. The viewer is given the option of interpreting the events, the dialogues and the multi layered characters in their own way. This freedom is what differentiates DKDM from previous and probably future projects of such genre. For example, for the first time, in a religious story, grey characters have been introduced and examined in great detail. The thinking audience can debate the right and the wrong. Whether it was Jallandhar’s merit or Sati’s arrogance, it gives you the freedom to explore your own perspective. In this way, Mahadev has captured the essence of the culture of myths: the freedom of interpretation.
The novelty of seeing Gods as humans, no, not as conniving humans of our saas bahu TV serials, but humans like us, is appealing. These characters go through their own dilemmas and come out with solutions in time. The scripting is amazingly practical for a period drama. When Mahadev solves a problem on Kailash, a viewer often finds that his contemporary problem has the same solution. This connect with the modern audience is no mean feat, given the limitations a religious theme entails. Some issues which are dealt in the series might not hold relevant anymore, but their solutions do. The fact that Mahadev has been able to make it all seem real to the 21st century viewer, who probably trashed the culture and tradition without a second thought before DKDM, is what makes it special. It does not judge you as a viewer and in turn does not get judged.
Apart from that , another differentiating factor is the attention to detail on all levels. The supreme commitment of the entire team, from actors to VFX technicians, is only too obvious when you look at the output. Mohit Raina has made history with his portrayal of Mahadev. All actors seem very dedicated to what they are doing. The creative team comes up with these beautiful looks and attires and make the characters look even better than they are in the head of the viewer. The sets amplify the fantasy factor.
All in all, everyday, DKDM mirrors the research dedication and passion that went into making of the series. The work done behind the scenes completely reflects on the screen and that is a very rare event. So to all mythology producers, I would say, the benchmark of DKDM is tough to achieve and it requires an in-depth study. For the sake of viewers, I hope Mahadev is just a precursor signaling that the era of intelligent TV has arrived.