Year: 1997 – present
Number of episodes: 1392 (That’s right!) and counting
Channel: Sony Entertainment
I am not sure where to start. CID is an epic show no matter where it stands now. It was part of my growing up days. It influenced me to watch crime shows. It nurtured my story telling skills. It doesn’t matter how CID is now, but it would always be the most memorable show on Indian Television. It would always hold a very special place in my heart.
As much as I adore(d) this show, I am not going to stop myself from criticizing it. I have been mourning over the declining quality of the show for the past 5 years or even more. I didn’t want to mess the good memory of the show in my mind and hence stopped watching it long back. Just out of curiosity, I watched the recent episode and was devastated to see the state it is in now.
At the time when this show started, there weren’t many serious crime shows on Indian Television. This series depicted CID as closer to reality as possible, BACK THEN. It had very interesting cases, very dynamic team, good acting and sufficient action. It was such a great relief and break from the wailing family drama on Indian TV. The cases weren’t gruesome and hence it was suitable for kids. Children loved it and the characters slowly became very popular. Every character’s mannerisms were imitated and sooner, the show reached a cult status. It entered the Guinness World of Records for shooting an entire episode in one single shot. It’s probably the longest running show in India- 19 years now.
Apart from the cases, it’s the characters that made this show remarkable. ACP Pradyuman played by Shivaji Satam is that of a strong leader who stands for honesty and integrity. Abhijeet and Daya play his right and left hand. Abhijeet is more of a serious type, brainy kind while Daya is the action guy and has a good sense of humour. Freddie is the junior office (Back then and even now) and is for the comic factor. We have Dr Salunkhe, Forensics head, who has a continuous banter with ACP and Tarika is his assistant. Abhijeet and Tarika have something of a flirting going on between them (Till now… :X). This team has been constant with many additions and subtractions over the course of 19 years. I love this team, no doubt. They have the right balance for a good entertainment.
The cases aren’t complicated. It’s usually (Always!) a murder. CID enters (Directly). Body is inspected (With civilians around). Interviews are conducted with the people involved. Mind boggling pathology and forensic results follow. And then the murderer is found. A SLAP. And the confession. This worked well initially when people didn’t know much about police procedural. Honestly, I enjoyed it too then. But to continue the same method for all these years is atrocious. The audience is well informed now but the show is still stuck in the previous era. Moreover, no attempts were and are taken to better the show, to reach today’s times. In the recent episode, I still see ACP with “Kuch toh gadbad hai”, Abhijeet and Daya with “Haan Sir” and Freddie with his silly bhoot phobia. As always, there is one woman officer in the team whose sole purpose is to handle women suspects- hold them, slap them, etc. We have a comic officer too who is scared of everything. It’s miserable how this character shows CID officers in such a bad light.
One of the reasons why CID could never reach a high quality show status is because of its mediocre supporting cast. A crime case involves, apart from the CID team, a set of characters around whom the story revolves. These characters are played by such poor actors that the episode actually becomes laughable. There is no scope for even a drop of seriousness. I mean- imagine- the CID team is seriously investigating the case and the other actors display such substandard acting that the entire episode becomes ludicrous. There is some ridiculous dubbing too. The entire story is narrated by the characters without any depicting scenes. It’s sad to see the confession still taking place after the famous SLAP with all the officers standing around the culprit. Not to forget the absurd titles to every episode- Rahasmay Painting, Bayanak raat, etc.
ACP has been ACP for 19 years. Isn’t it time he retires? The rest of the officers don’t seem to have grown even an ounce in their careers or their personal lives. No transfers in their job – can you believe it? We still have colourful bubbling liquids in the forensic lab. In recent times, after watching so many quality crime shows, I really wish CID adapts into something like that. I can’t believe the show still has CID being called directly by the public. Public has CID’s number, really??!! And they are the only CID in India apparently! The entire army parade even to the smallest of the enquiry (Chaiwala, driverwala, etc). The car always stops with the screaming screech. And they break down doors when no one answers their call. Wah! It’s time they take their show seriously or exit gracefully.
I had always hoped for a major revamp but I think it’s a very futile wish.
CID is cult. A declining cult. It will turn 20 next year. It is better they either end the show or make some drastic changes to the show’s structure and shift the show to this century. Till then, I will hold the memory of how the show was a decade back.