Tamil serials, in general, have the constant woman-against-woman where for some reason, they are always concocting plots to put each other down. The protagonist, usually a naive young woman-child, falls prey to the vampish woman, who might be a sister-in-law or frenemy, and just when you think her naivety couldn’t get any worse, she is left writhing in pain because of something poisonous she may have consumed or simply upset with something incriminating hurled at her.
Look at Raja Rani, where the young Semba is told that her husband has an affair and she immediately spirals downwards. Messing with her mind happens to be the hobby of several of villainous women in the show and the same applies to other serials where witchcraft, gossip, mind games, and general badmouthing leads to the protagonist girl being tested to the limits.
Or when a woman has been turned into a fly thanks to witchcraft and needs perseverance and a lot of suffering just so she could be back in her human form. Ridiculous, but it also points to makers trying to take the audience for a ride with mindboggling scenarios and causes behind those scenarios. Rest assured, viewers are invested but at the cost of being manipulated throughout.
If one were to think of these mind games that are displayed in family dramas, then imagine the scale of it on reality shows like Bigg Boss. The last one week of the reality show was full of screams, glares, nasty games, foul language, and all things that strive to smush your mental well-being. Aishwarya Dutta has been the cynosure of all eyes thanks to Bigg Boss making her a ‘dictator’ for some reason. The word ‘dictator’ has a lot of negative connotations to it and Aishwarya is truly living up it. But having a “despotic rule” over fellow contestants, who are technically of her same level, makes her look like she’s the bad person around. She might be overdoing the whole task, but her breaking down whilst everybody goes against her paints a different story.