Live Telecast is a 2021 Indian Tamil-language horror thriller web series written and directed by Venkat Prabhu and starring Kajal Aggarwal, Vaibhav Reddy, Anandhi, Ashwin Kumar Lakshmikanthan, Daniel Annie Pope and Priyanka Nair. The web series is set in the backdrop of 2005 and the title card also portrays a diary indicating the year 2005. It premiered on Disney+ Hotstar on 12 February 2021.
The web series revolves around Jennifer Matthew (Kajal Aggarwal) and her television production crew which reside at a house temporarily for shooting a reality TV show. However things take a turn as they come to know that the house is haunted by a ghost and stuck in the paranormal activity.
The story revolves around a group of college friends, Jenny, Ashwin, Aravind, Kanan, Selma, Saleem, Volga, Kalai, and Shekhar who run together a reality show ‘Dark Tales’ on Nam TV. The format of the show parodies the controversial Tamil talk show Solvathellam Unmai, where common people discuss their intimate family matters. But, Dark Tales invites people to share their brush with paranormal activities.
Before the victims are invited to the stage amid a lot of cheering and applause, the audience is treated to a clumsy re-enactment of the ordeal of the survivors. The show’s host Aravind (Daniel Annie Pope) has no empathy for his guests who have opened up about their worst experiences. He approaches the show with a gleam of sunshine and joy, contradicting the very dark theme of the show.
Jennifer (Kajal Agarwal) is a selfish, TRP-hungry woman whose lack of moral responsibility to promote scientific temperament among her audience is her biggest gift. She feels no guilt in reinforcing people’s superstitious beliefs to drive up the rating of her show. And she succeeds, Dark Tales tops the TRP chart. The show’s writer, Kanan has a problem with her attitude of fabricating the facts and confronts her but Jenny brushes all his warnings off and tells him that they are giving the public what they want, interesting content.
The story opens with the team attending the success party of the show Dark Tales, where we are introduced to all the members. Kanan, the show’s writer is in love with Selma, the AD but does not have the courage to confess to her. Kalai, the costume and makeup artist and Shekhar, the art director were in relationship until Shekhar flirted with a model on a soap ad set which Kalai witnessed and broke up with him. Ashwin is in love with Jenny and had tried to confess to her in the past but she brushed him off, as always. Volga is the producer of the show. The team is enjoying the party when Aravind receives a call from an unknown and rushes to Jenny, asking her to switch on the TV. A big screen actress, whom they had previously rejected for a role, was going to debut in the world of soap-opera just at the same time slot as theirs.
“Is she so jobless, that she started acting in television?,” mocks Jenifer while watching the promo. She ensures her friends that this is not going to affect their show and they will remain number 1. However, a few days later the soap opera’s higher views threatens Dark Tales and Jenifer’s lack of responsibility hits a new low. She gets her cast members to re-enact a scene, where a woman is raped by an invisible force (probably lifted from Hindi movie Hawa). All hell breaks loose, as the channel and advertisers pull the plug on her show. The social media also starts a protest, joined later by Mahila Morcha and demands to ban the show.
“Our people have no taste to appreciate a show of international standard,” rues Jenifer. Not for nothing they say ignorance is bliss. As she marinates in the illusion of her ingenuity and stupidity of people, she gets another golden idea. She decides to capture a ghost on tape and live broadcast it on her channel. The team goes to Ram with the script and ask for a last chance. He grants his permission as the other show’s numbers were dwindling as well. Jennifer and her team gets to know about a house where the family is going through similar demonic situations. They check with the location and they finalise the same.
A women (Shenbagham) with one son and one daughter (Oviya) lives in that house. Shenbagham is a tailor and her husband is working as a driver in abroad. Oviya is going to school whereas the son is staying home because of some mental issues. Shenbhagam tells the team that her son cannot remember the faces of people and mentions that if he sees any new face, he will start crying.
The entire team prepares the location for shoot by adding extra properties to the location. Meanwhile, Kalai (Anandhi) and Shekhar (Vaibhav Reddy) are into relationship. The team plans to telecast it live so that people can believe it completely. However they also appoint two actors so that just in case if the ghost doesn’t show up, they can use them as plan B so that the show is saved. However nothing happens as planned. Hence they go with plan B that is actors faking as a ghost. But suddenly the ghost appears and the actor who came to act as ghost gets possessed. After that every one is locked in the room and how they escape forms the remainining part of the story.