Indian soap ‘Kyunki’ ends with a bang

After court battle, show takes final strange twist

Who killed the mother-in-law?

After eight years as the highest- profile soap on Indian TV, “Kyunki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi” (The Mother-in-law Was Once a Daughter-in-Law) finally went off the air last week after a Supreme Court battle and one final, improbable plot twist.

The series, which for seven of its eight years helped News Corp.’s Star Plus top the ratings, came to define the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law genre that was widely copied on Indian TV.

Devised and produced by Ekta Kapoor and her Balaji Telefilms, the series was often criticized for setting back the progress of Indian women. While “Kyunki” managed to bring in themes such as terrorism and rape, its core characters were stay-at-home wives who spent much of their time bitching about threats to their status.

When ratings slipped and Star set an end to the series, Kapoor took the channel to court, contending the show was contracted to run until March and Star wasn’t doing enough to promote it. But the high court dismissed Kapoor’s claims.

Star has since quashed talk that “Kyunki” might move to rival net 9X.

And there might not have been much life left in the series anyway. The end twist left many fans frustrated and seeking explanations. As one blogger put it: “It doesn’t make sense, it’s a horrible way to end a show.”

No, “Don’t Stop Believing” wasn’t the end-credits music.”

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