Sunday, July 10, 2011

Review of "The 6 pm slot" by Naomi Datta

I received the book , "The 6 pm slot" by Naomi Datta, for review, as part of the Blogadda Book review program.

The main theme of the book appears to be the workings of an entertainment channel, YTV, and the people of various ethical persuasions (or the lack of them )that work there. The one person who may be considered the main character is a young woman Tania, who is assigned to produce a badly needed show , to pep things up for the channel at 6 pm.

The predictable ingredients are a tunnel-visioned client (phone manufacturer), assorted in-charges and supervisors at the channel, unnecessarily high on fake style, attitude, and limited vocabulary.

Towards the last 30% of the book, the anchor of another news channel (YNN) makes an appearance , and the author describes the workings at a slightly more upmarket channel, but equally prone to dramabaazi.

The first 70% of the book meanders, a bit slow, amidst the various personages at the entertainment channel. It's not terribly clear what everyone does, apart from wandering about with attitude. Nobody seems to be supporting anyone else wholeheartedly. Unlike what is conveyed when you see an actual reality program on television, people seem to be completely rude, disrespectful , and demeaning to someone we think is the main person of the program. A big eye opener.

There are people like Bose and Stetson, who really appear to be totally dispensable (as far as the book goes), with not much to do. Then there are people like Harish, who might be a combined caricature, and is probably the eternal survivor in all this muck.

Penny pinching in a world of pound splurgers is obvious.

Amazingly, most women working at the channel office (except Tania) seem to be one step away from smart modelling stardom, while the actual downmarket (~ vernacular ?) starlet chosen to anchor the new phone-in reality program is treated like anatomical dirt, accentuated , by what is considered her unaccented language and perceived minimal IQ.

Manufacturing fake phone callers, implausible life situations, blatant in-the-face demeaning of those considered less than "with-it" , all for the sake of eyeballs of the public at 6 pm, and TRP's.

The last 30% of the book moves at a faster pace. The machinations of the big anchor chap at the news channel YNN, every one's public persona , how it is at odds with what they really are. The way folks behave in this book makes you lose faith in humankind.

The only tolerable person is Tania, the one main person, who with Aditya (I still haven't figured out what he does other than make smart pithy comments), sort of emerges OK from it all.

One channel's failure-scapegoat is another channel's find.

You cant help trying to relate folks in this book , with prominent folks in television channels and anchors today.

I read this book over several days. Its not something you cannot put down once you start.

The initial 70% of the book could have proceeded at a faster pace, to maintain interest.

But a sense of anger and disgust grows on you as you learn about the manipulations, blatant lies, demeaning of innocents, and cheating of the public.

And finally, it looks like using cuss words in every sentence is mandatory. Apparently, the people on the entertainment channel use the f-word to describe every single person, program, channel, tea,coffee, anatomy parts, other employees, expenses, food, clothing, profit, superiors.

Kind of defeats the English.

It never stops. It is excessive. And totally disgusting. And the book is replete with it.

The actual television channels , in a show of righteous indignation (or is it?) , beep things out when presenting to the public.

I wish the book had a built in beeper.


This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!


  1. I like this review — now I know it is a book to avoid if it ever shows up in Canada. Thank you for your honesty!
    I love your stick-figure drawings. They seem much more real than the characters in the book you just reviewed.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  2. I read it and did not enjoy it, for many of the reasons you gave here. Such an obnoxious kind of world:(

  3. An enjoyable read The 6 Pm Slot by Naomi Dutta. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and original, this book is going in by "to read" list.

  4. Pretyy detailed a review :) This is a review of the same book by my friend. Please have a look.
    She has started reviewing books of late. Has reviewed a few. I am sure she would love to have your views on the same.

  5. Sorry the link is -