Morning shows: Nothing more important than dancing and remarriage ceremonies?

Published: September 16, 2013

The future for these morning shows is dark, as they are escalating to every sort of madness thinkable, in this mad run for ratings.

Usually while watching the idiot box, I flip through channels and dwell upon a few for news, views and trends before continuing with my flipping exercise again. Recently, however, I had the misfortune of stumbling upon the repeat telecast of certain morning show programmes. The shows were so horrific in nature that I wished my TV remote had the capacity to erase the debacle taking place on my television screen.

The scene began with a female host, who jumped on the sofa from the kitchen counter behind, did a jumping jack act and finally sat down, all the while grinning, laughing loud and clapping in a frenzy. She then dashed to the middle of the stage to join in the hip hop happening, which was truly a sight to behold! Everyone on stage had their hips moving and hands dangling in the air to the beat of an Indian song.

The performers were continuously arranging their hair, and rearranging the folds of their gorgeous, glittering designer dresses and pushing right and left to catch the best frame shot. To add more fun and steam, young boys and girls were called in to join in the dancing and the show ended just as it began – with a lot of waving and yelling and jumping for attention.

This was perhaps the third show in a row where the guest list was more or less the same and I felt like I was watching the same programme during the three hour duration with different hosts. Cross-talk, back-slaps, shrieks and screams by the host and her guests was the norm of the show. The guests were running around and across from one seat to another, meaninglessly rattling, and causing a total cacophony on precious air time. The endless mehndi and other ceremonies for unmarried stars were an anomaly of its own, and when they ran out of these idiosyncratic ideas, they began planning the remarriage ceremonies of already married actors!

Am I the only one who finds this disturbing?

A couple of nights before, I saw a guest (from TV) literally take off her dainty sandals to hit a boy disguised as a girl who supposedly trespassed in an all-female party as part of the creative script.

And what do these high profile guests discuss, when they are not jumping around on the floor? Here is an example of that.

Host: “Madeeha shadi say pehlay kuch banana janti thein?”

(Did Madeeha know how to make anything before she was married?)

Madeeha’s Mom: “Woh shadi say pehlay sirf bewaquoof banana janti thi!”

(The only thing she knew before marriage was how to make a fool out of others.)

And with that the mother pulled out a hearty laugh at her own humour, as no one was listening— even the host, who has developed a short attention span over the years, was distracted by something sillier going on at the other end of the set.

I am sure I will be watching the same show with the same theme, and the same old faces tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that.

This entire plethora of silliness was happening on, arguably, the most popular TV channel in Pakistan. It was hosted by rumoured-to-be the highest paid host for morning shows on TV. She has left her brother far behind, the self-claimed Shahrukh Khan look alike, philosopher, poet, singer, actor and host-on-another-TV-channel.

Not long ago, this pretty doctor-by-profession-turned-hostess was one of the more serious anchors conducting serious interviews on television. So, what went wrong? Was it the money? Money can be a great motivator for most. Or was it for the fame, popularity and ratings?

One is forced to question as to what future is left for these morning shows, which are escalating to every sort of madness thinkable, in this mad run for ratings.

Samina Iqbal

Samina Iqbal

An independent writer and editor who has done her degree in Journalism and has worked as an assistant editor (Herald), founding editor (TV Times, Travelogue, Glamour, The News magazines), and written for Dawn, Gulf News and Newsline. She tweets @samiqbal2010

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Sane

    Pakistani electronic media as a whole is immature and need to learn too much. Even news show breakfast and people at Sea View enjoying rides. Such ‘news’ do not have any news value, but…….. Anchors and hosts are not trained and do not know even what and how to talk.Recommend

  • AmnaW

    A majority of these morning shows can’t be watched for more than a minute. All the hosts have becoming irritating beyond belief. Morning shows have forgotten and lost their value to educate & disseminate information to their target audience; focussing instead on ‘entertainment’ that is mostly for the brain dead. There is hardly a display of intelligence to be seen or heard. The hosts as well as the shows’ contents are truly intolerable.
    The morning shows that were worth watching are no longer around such as ‘Kiran Aur George’ & the one that Ayesha Omar did last year. Having said this, I think Juggan is doing a reasonable job with her morning show.Recommend

  • TrueBlue43

    At last, someone spoke about it. Cudn’t agree with you more here. So many channles, so many programs … all in competition to earn as much rating (i.e. revenue) as possible …. this was bound to happen ….. Recommend

  • Samreen

    add farah hussain to the list too… her morning show is also sensible with realistic topics..Recommend

  • suzo

    what about maya khan’s show on express news where she’s doing a nice job of promoting superstitiousness and harming mental patients with her so-called ‘spiritual shahmans’ Recommend

  • Qasim

    The morning shows could become an extremely powerful tool in educating the masses on a variety of issues. Unfortunately most shows aimed at Begum Sahebs, add to frustrations of those not so fortunate with uncontrolled display of boutique clothing, expensive jewellery, lavish mehndees and weddings. The R(rat or rating) race has blinded the media owners, producers and hosts alike. Recommend

  • Ayesha

    well said! agreed 100%.
    useless talk shows with idiotic hosts and guests!Recommend

  • Teen Dabay Wala

    Shaista Waheedi.. plzz I want ur rebuttal to this…
    Pretty Please :DRecommend

  • hina jahanzeb

    missing nadia khan in her time morning show has its own charm and everbody get connect themselves cox the topic was always intersting but now shahista and specially nida they ruin it they only knows dancing herself and want to look good they dont realize she both r in national tv where everybody watching u and what msg u r sending ur viewers everyother day they celebrating shaaadi wk but y we all already know what is shaddi.if u celebrating it once a year then its ohk but everyother day its totally rubbish pls let this all stop now we r fedup now if u guys have nothing good to show us then u better quit.Recommend

  • Rida

    Couldn’t agree more…Recommend

  • Sana Ch

    Dont know who has the patience to watch these bakwaas,wah-yaat shows.Recommend

  • hyra

    farah hussian is the best n most sensible Recommend

  • Anshuman Tripathy

    @Author You cannot expect the common people to be interested in mind numbing Serious Debate shows when they turn on their tv’s every morning. people need a distraction from the real world and thats exactly what these shows provide. Just because the tastes of the masses differ from your own, you cannot accuse them of being intellectually depraved.

    They can always watch serious group discussions on tv at their own convinience at night. There is a demand for these hyper-active talk shows and hence the supply.

    Such kind of morning talk shows are non-existant in India because the demand is satisfied by Music Channels like Mtv,channel V & bollywood centric channels like Zoom & ETC bollywood.

    Try watching the highest rated prime time talk show in India, The NewsHour Debate with Arnab Goswami in Times Now. That is way worse than your morning shows. It feels like you’re watching a shouting match between the host ,Arnab Goswami, & all the other sad politicians who are jobless enough to come on that show. everybody talks at once and nobody makes any sense.The host gets an Ego boost by yelling at all the other participants whenever they don’t agree to his opnion. The attention span of the people on that show will put your morning show aunties to Shame.

    There hasn’t been a single decent debate show on Indian TV after NDTV’s We the people.Recommend

  • Sobia Razzaq

    These hosts and mornings show guests are true examples of our so called liberal and modern women who spend all their intellect in hairstyling and matching jewellery with designer’s joras.. early in the morning. A sheer and ugly display of women without substance.bringing utter disgrace to womanhood by proving that they don’t have any depth and as they are merely barbies ,not bringing on surface the real strengths and potentials of women around us.Recommend

  • Maham

    Geo TV please replace Shaista Wahidi with a mature and sensible woman/ man. Recommend

  • Humayun Aftab

    Morning talk shows…idiotic hosts and equally boring flop artistes wasting precious air time. Ofcourse the Channels will carry on with the shows coz sponsorships galore!!!Recommend

  • Rustam Shahriar

    Excellent Article, totally agree with the writer. Now a days pakistani channel is filled with useless stuff.Recommend

  • mind control


    Not all Morning Shows are as meaningless.

    I remember one anchor raiding public parks and saving Pakistan on her Morning Show.Recommend

  • Yasmin Elahi

    I find these shows disgusting beyond words. In fact, I never watch them sans come across them while flipping channels in lazy moments. Well written Samina, I feel majority of viewers agree with you. But I am at a loss why these senseless Morning Shows continue to be aired? Living in a country infested to the core with problems, we could find more sensible topics. And instead of glitzy dresses, artificial laughter and silly dances, we could have search for solutions to our problems through these shows.Recommend

  • Parvez

    If people stopped watching …………the shows may improve or die.
    I feel the problem here is that those who watch these morning shows want to watch something mindless, frivolous in nature but with a touch of class and what our TV people put out is mindless, frivolous junk and the TV people know they have a captive audience so they really don’t have much of an incentive to improve. Ergo, I go back to my opening…….people should stop watching morning shows, if they want improvement.

  • Tooba

    You are not the only one who’s disturbed about it.
    Do we not have anything other than marriages in our life? by wearing these highly expensive gaudy dresses, they show that marriage is incomplete without it,and the lot that gives them such ratings cannot even afford a half of what they show.
    These shows can be a very effective tool for making people aware about education, values, health and all those things required in people to solve the dilemmas of this society.Recommend

  • Nasir Mehmood

    Finally sombody realized this terrible need to speak on these disgusting so called entertainment shows….they dont have any difference or uniqueness , same thing on all 365days of a year, on a normal day or on an independence day or on eid ….alwayS dancing!!! What is this !??? Dont they have any skill or real talent to get rating except through dancing??!! They just imitate eachother, copy ,on vulnerable bogus script.For Gods sake! All channel’owners Wake up!!! Give us something like we had in past…anwar maqsood , bushra insari and moin akhtar…these people had actual humour! Please show new generation something like that instead of cheap jokes and poor dancing giving eyesores!Recommend

  • Erfan

    Whether its money or fame, the fact is that our media has sold itself to the Indian culture and keep showing this as our own culture. Our culture is always and will remain different from India. They are committed to making us change and show ourselves as Indians rather than adopt to our own Pakistani Culture. There was a time when our dramas, even sometimes today, used to be admired upon Indians and they used to be in awe about our stories and acting styles (which was truly our Pakistani Culture). Today there is absolutely no difference between our shows and Indians. The media always says its the AWAM who wants to see this. I am sure they call themselves in the show to increase popularity and give ‘evidence’ that the AWAM likes it…. BUT WE HATE IT !!!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • AverageMoe

    @Anshuman Tripathy:
    In Pakistan we also have music channels such as MTV Pakistan, there are many music channels in Pakistan but they usually have a female VJ talking about her own life, or asking callers mundane questions.Recommend

  • It’s Economics!

    As much I hate these shows, I would only say that these shows are the result of demand and supply rules. The bigwigs in TV channels are not some stupid guys. They have their money on stake. They have done their homework about their target audience i.e., housewives. They are showing what their audience wants to watch and tada! Here comes a plethora of morning shows. They supply what is dictated by the demand of the society. Simple! Rest assured I have never watched any episode of these shows and would never want to watch one.Recommend

  • Basit Ijaz

    @ET…how about Maya Khan the great :)Recommend


    The best Morning show EVER was when Chacha ji (Mustansir Hussain Tarrar) used to do it along with Quratulain Haider. After that Nadia Khan initially used to do very good shows with very informative guests before she starting teaching belly dancing on her show. Now they have become a huge irritation due to the hosts you have mentioned.

    Another thing I fail to understand is what is the point of showing all wedding festivities in the morning?!….who on earth is in the mood to watch something like that in the morning when they have to get ready for work…or women at home have to do household chores. I think the majority viewership of these shows is the housewives, therefore their show should focus on entertaining and educating them on household tips, child psychology, financial management, cost effective solutions, etcRecommend

  • KachuKuma

    Rather than such stuff which is mentioned , hosts should be creating awareness in shows on different issues..for instance never leave your children such tragic incidents don’t take place Recommend

  • Lion Heart

    As many others have said…could not agree more…all the morning shows have the same problems….glamour and glitter…nothing else…..but we as an audience too are a part to this….when we view and took interest in these absurd shows….Recommend

  • Gratgy

    Oh how I miss the good old days when we had limited but quality television!

    I am sure most Indians above thirty will agree.Recommend

  • ahmad

    I totally agree with you BUT exceptions are always there and the morning show by FARAH on ATV is really a very different one……… see it and i hope you will agree with me……Recommend

  • 19ErumShaikh87
  • Nasr

    Absolutely,right…….Thumbs upRecommend

  • None

    Can I comment without singing in?Recommend

  • Parvez

    Don’t like this new format.

  • Luqman Hafeez

    I wish Mustansar Hussein Tarrar and Qurrat-ul-Ain start their morning show again on PTV the way it was started first. What a relief it would be.Recommend

  • khnaveed

    Switch to ATV. Dr. Farah Hussain is the best anchor in morning shows.. See yourselfRecommend

  • a.b

    well said! and its time that somebody from the govt ban this nuisance on tv every morningRecommend

  • nabil

    so whats the issue again? Paki liberals should be happy the women in this country are free and are doing anything they want to do on live television. Paki liberals have a problem with everything these days.Recommend