Our actors are wasting their talent on Pakistani dramas like Sanam

Published: December 11, 2016

Does anyone miss Fifty FiftyStudio Dhai and Ponay Teen? It’s the age of Snapstories going viral and two second GIFs primarily providing the fodder for comedy. I have often tried to watch some comedy serials on television but it’s difficult to tolerate them for more than five (10, if you’re really that starved for entertainment) minutes. That’s all the more reason why I feel terrible when I see a talented comedian like Osman Khalid Butt playing regressive, emotional, and clearly messy roles like Haarib in Sanam.

In the recent episode of Sanam, Haarib berates Aan (Maya Ali) for not picking up her phone because her mother just had a heart attack. In the next episode’s promo, he is seen attempting to jostle with Aan’s fiancé. Sanam’s plot and characters keep making me wonder just how much fun Osman would have made of it had he still been vlogging for his YouTube channel, The Living Picture.

The scenes are badly written, and while everyone looks great and the performances are top notch, the drama is just one cliché after another. Also, the saddest part is not even Amma ji’s heart attack or Aan losing her job or her fiancé being a total jerk – it’s actually seeing Osman act completely out of his comfort zone and lose his mojo.

It’s even sadder because Osman is such a talented actor. I can just imagine him doing some fantastic comedy, writing and directing it, casting really funny and talented people like himself – the way he did in The Living Picture’s vlogs. And it is especially more disappointing because there is a significant dearth of good comedy on television. Most shows are either parodies of political personalities, commentaries on politics or a mix of both. There’s tremendous room (and need) for a good sharp comedy that addresses the Pakistani society and culture. The last time a noteworthy comedy like that aired was Loose Talk with Anwar Maqsood and Moin Akhtar.

Here’s my review of Sanam’s recent episode and a lament about the loss of perfectly good, smart, intelligent comedians to bubblegum television.


Mahwash Badar

The author is a clinical psychologist, a mum to two boys and permanently in a state of flux. She tweets @mahwashajaz_ (twitter.com/mahwashajaz_)

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