10 things Morning Shows did in 2015 that we don’t want in 2016
2015 was no different from the previous years if we talk about the morning shows in Pakistan. Morning shows have emerged as one of the mandatory pillars without which an entertainment channel cannot stand amidst others. This trend has taken a good number of years to penetrate into our daily lives and this trend has no threat of going extinct any time soon. From nine o’clock in the morning till 11 o’clock, the slot is fixed for these shows. Sometimes the stretch is to 11:30 am or even 12:00 pm on some channels, every Monday to Friday.
The hosts of these morning shows claim that they blow new energy into their viewers every morning and every episode is a rejuvenation dose for their followers. Their popularity particularly amongst housewives proves as a reiteration of these claims.
I, however, beg to differ!
All these morning shows could be anything but ‘new’. Nothing in them is new or even close to being new or innovative in nature. From Good Morning Pakistan to Satrungi; from Subah Savery Samma Kay Saath to Jago Pakistan Jago, all the channels fail to bring forth content that is new, unique and refreshing.
Morning show teams compete in a race to become the best and the pressure to grab the highest Television Rating Points (TRPs) boggling their minds reaches the limit that their heads seize to function rationally. The more they try to become unique, the more they produce content that is clichéd and has already become a trend.
Today around 15 national channels, including both entertainment and news, run their own morning shows and all of them seem to follow particular trends and themes. Let’s have a roundup on all the highlights and trends of morning shows of 2015.
1. The return of old faces
2015 can correctly be called a ‘homecoming’ year for the pioneers of the contemporary morning show hosts. Disappearing from Geo TV soon after a morning show fiasco in 2014, Shaista Wahidi returned to Hum Network without making much noise. Her reason to leave was of a serious nature. Back in 2014, she hosted a wedding week themed show for Veena Malik and a controversy triggered when the effort to do things differently went way too off the track.
Religious sentiments were aroused in some segments and the matter got controversial which led her to flee from Pakistan. But now she is back with renewed energy to take Sitaray Ki Subha to new heights.
The happy-go-lucky Nadia Khan aka ‘Miss Happy To You’ took a long break from TV and parted ways from hosting for many years , but year 2015 saw her reunite with Geo Network in November as she re-launched The Nadia Khan show. Nadia promises to deliver a morning show that would stand out from the rest and won’t be an imitation of the formats other leading morning shows follow. Let’s see if what she brings to her audience is new or not!
2. Not everybody can pull off a morning show
2015 left us with some realisations that no matter how much we like to watch morning shows or we simply loathe them, to be a morning show host is no easy job. It looks all fun and no work but it in reality it requires a lot of hard work and consistency and not everybody can be a good morning show host. We witnessed Bushra Ansari do a morning show for Geo TV for a couple of months. From Aangan Terha to Loose Talk to Saima Chaudhary, we know the versatility in acting Ansari is gifted with but that couldn’t work with being a morning show host. Similarly former news anchor, Madiha Naqvi couldn’t perform well as a morning show host for all.
3. Wedding weeks
From chiffon lehengas to well-coordinated dancing, the weddings on a morning show have all the ingredients of a contemporary desi wedding that you may be given an illusion of a real wedding just being played on TV. From mayon to mehendi to baraat and concluding valima, everything from the beginning to end is covered in a wedding week.
Many morning shows have these themes as a permanent part of their show that is stretched upon weeks at times instead of just one week. I have been trying to comprehend the purpose of these themes since their inception and my constancy at failing is parallel to the consistency with which these themes are repeated and adapted by even more channels.
Maybe, the idea of getting married is alien to our people and their morning shows are just trying to help get the people acquainted with the very concept of ‘marriage’. How I utterly fail to understand the need of such shows.
4. Let’s remarry the already married
Some morning show hosts try to innovate upon the brilliant idea of showing a wedding on a live show that they somehow convince celebrity couples who have already been married for years to play as bride and groom and then happens the re-enactment of the big day just to literally re- live their memories.
5. Any expecting celebrities around? Let’s throw them a baby shower.
There have been days when morning show hosts are tired of their jobs and need to do something to fill the two hour slot, they get paid for. So they scout for a belly with a bump in Pakistan’s land of fame. If the hunting succeeds, they kick off the celebrations for the mom-to-be. The set is painted all pink if it’s a girl, blue if it’s a boy and a mix of both if the gender is still a secret.
6. Mirror mirror on the wall, which morning show make girls fairest of them all?
A woman cherishes her beauty and that certainly is her right. But does beauty necessarily mean to be as white as snow? If any part of Pakistan was left uncontaminated with the flawed notion of ‘fair is beautiful’ then the morning shows in 2015 would definitely have carried this message forward. Asian skin is meant to be Asian not European; I never knew it was so hard of a concept.
7. Bored of wedding weeks? Let’s do it differently! Let’s hunt a groom down!
Be it aunties next door or morning show hosts, weddings are on their minds. The team of Good Morning Zindagi morning show thought to stand out by finding a suitor for film actress Laila. Potential suitors from all walks of lives competed in different rounds to prove themselves best to win Laila’s coveted heart. Weeks of entertainment passed by with an anti-climactic end to it when actress Meera’s brother who wasn’t even a competing suitor conquered Laila’s heart.
8. Aamir Liaquat’s journey from Aalim Online to Subh e Pakistan
Seeing Saahir Lodhi being the only male morning show host in 2015, Dr Aamir Liaquat jumped in to give him some competition. Dr Aamir seems to be enjoying to experiment with different ways to adhere to our TV screens and what could be a better opportunity than to be a morning show host. Let’s see if with him as a morning show host, we see morning shows evolve in 2016 or not.
9. Fortune telling? Yes, please!
Morning shows which are new and want to have a firm footing in this race of TRPs make sure they have a segment of fortune-telling either in form of horoscope, palmistry, tarot card reading or numerology. Our society that already has an external locus of control is given another opportunity to project their shortcomings onto fate; conveniently brushing away responsibilities of their deeds off of their shoulders.
10. Cruising away in Istanbul.
Newest addition to the morning show trend is Sunrise From Istanbul on See TV that is recorded in Istanbul. The show is hosted by Maria Wasti in a boat; where the ambiance is adorned with Turkish singing, Turkish cuisine and a chilly breeze over the rippling water along with a friendly chitchat with the guest without the interruption from live calls or other on-set distractions. This show is simple in its content and the format is contrary to the conventional morning shows.
Here is a quick list of morning shows of 2015 that were somewhat similar in terms of themes and content:
Subh e Pakistan – Amir Liaquat Hussain
Subha Ki Kahani – Madiha Naqvi
Utho Geo Pakistan – Bushra Ansari
Sitaray ki Subha– Shaista Wahidi
Good Morning Pakistan– Nida Yasir
Nadia Khan Show– Nadia Khan
Jago Pakistan Jago- Sanam Jung
The morning show with Sanam Baloch- Sanam Baloch
Satrungi – Javeria Saud
ATV Morning with Farah
Morning with Juggun
Subha Bakhair Pakistan (Capital News)
Subah Savery Samma k saath- Saahir Lodhi
And that’s the wrap folks! Here is to hoping that year 2016 is a year of improvement, rational content and moving-forward but not that of stagnation for the morning
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.