If you are having a bad day, the only way to make it worse is by watching MTV’s Splitsvilla.

There’s reality and then there’s Splitsvilla.

Now, I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I did watch the series before I arrived at this opinion. 

But how do the so-called Netflix-watching seekers of good content, end up enjoying a bunch of young men and women find their ‘true love’ through obnoxious obstacle courses? 

The show, now running its eleventh season, has consolidated gender stereotypes by turning women into embarrassing props in the gruelling battle for love, as the men fight for glory, flex their muscles and sprint through obstacle courses. All this to get a step closer to be declared as the King and Queen of the house. 

If you are having a bad day, the only way to make it worse is to just tune into MTV’s Splitsvilla. 

Each task has a name – like Baewatch, Corn Banega Cannibal, Banana se Manana. You can’t make this up. 


Also read: Uncensored Netflix is forcing Indian audiences to grow up


My favourite, though, is “Love is in the hair” because it’s the perfect name for the most repulsive and ridiculous episode that hit a new low, even by MTV and Splitsvillian standards.

The women have to dip their long hair in a bowl of oil, then smack the hair on their men’s bare back, making it as oily as possible. Apparently, in this alternative universe, this is the path to true love.  

The men – now with oily, glistening backs – stand while the women use blow-dryers to glue heart-shaped confetti to their backs. The men, all the while, keep posing to impress the show hostess Sunny Leone. Once their backs are covered with the confetti, they have to run up a little platform, where other men (non-participants) have to throw colour on the confetti men, so as to prevent them from reaching the finish line. You’d wish this would end here, but the men then have to wiggle on a heart-shaped mat and the women have to collect those heart confetti manually. Whoever collects the most, wins.

 Even Bollywood plot lines require you to use your brains a bit. In fact, I will never complain about Bollywood dance numbers any more. I have now watched Splitsvilla.

In the first episode Sunny Leone welcomed and enticed the female contestants saying:

“Do you like boys? Do you like chocolate? Well, we have both for you!” 

And lo and behold! Both arrive. A red heart-shaped pool of chocolate with men sitting inside it like in a jacuzzi. “Ladke and chocolate. Oh God, I mean, so hot,” says one female contestant Meera Mishra.  

Another woman talks to chocolate-covered bare-chested men in the pool and says, “I like sensible men”.


Also read: Netflix’s ‘Lust Stories’ shatter the Indian silence on sex


Each woman has to decide who she likes, and the lucky one has to kiss her hand. Then, the magic happens. The men get to take a shower and the camera pans up close revealing their faces. And the women evaluate their decisions. 

If we’re so critical of Bollywood and their sexualisation of everything, then why do we tolerate this mind-numbing excuse for entertainment on MTV? It is after all one of the most-watched shows. But even those who roll their eyes at its monumental idiocy say “but its MTV, what do you expect?”

I ended up watching four full episodes of Splitsvilla simply because I wanted to actually see how much worse it can get. Where else can you cringe every minute of the show. I now understand that there is something called cringe-porn. Men pump pichkari-full of water at women wearing see-through white kurtas (with bikinis inside), which the women have to squeeze out. And whoever squeezes out the maximum water wins. All this as the male contestants tell the camera how they enjoyed watching the women get wet.  

Or when women have to burst heart-shaped balloons that shirtless men hold and then they are asked the full form of high-IQ acronyms like – hold your breath – LOL, BTW and BFF. 

You can get addicted to this nonsense. Because it requires you to suspend logic and basic intelligence and just float through Dumbsvilla with your eyes closed.  


Also read: Bollywood’s Royals- Brave heroes on screen, spineless zeroes off it


Where else can couples approach a tacky, triangular glass “oracle” to find out if they are a perfect match? But this is no ordinary oracle. Before giving an answer, leaves rustle and a siren goes off. Then the oracle gives the final decision – in slow motion. 

I think we could all do well with such an oracle in real life.

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