Stories about scandal

Why is domestic abuse the selling point of Pakistani dramas?

The drama industry in Pakistan has grown exponentially and is a very valuable export of ours. These dramas have turned Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan into household names. For Pakistanis living abroad, they serve as a potent link to life back home and provide a much needed break from reality. However, there is still room for improvement. One particular thing that really irks me is the propensity to show violence against women on screen. There have been numerous incidents where a young member of my own family might be playing with a toy and they are suddenly transfixed to the TV screen, ...

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US presidential elections: What is the role of the media?

Given the current disposition of the 2016 US elections, shows like Scandal have rightfully depicted and drawn inspiration from the onscreen presence of many real political leaders and their quest for winning the presidential seat in the months to come. The media continues to play a significant role in shaping public opinion based on the rhetoric many television networks oppose or support, thereof.  The recent episode of the political-thriller show Scandal titled ‘The Miseducation of Susan Ross’ portrayed a rather realistic presidential debate among the nominees with characters emulating the real contenders for the US presidential election. One contender is Mellie Grant, the former First Lady, and ...

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Would this video ever be made from a man’s perspective?

I recently came across the concept of “dog whistle politics” whilst watching a riveting episode of the political drama, Scandal. Upon further deliberation, I realised that this phenomenon is all too common in our society. Dog whistle politics refers to a brand of communication where people sugar-coat their words to insult others in such a way that when those words are said, on social media or otherwise, only the person towards whom the words are directed can feel the attack. It’s ingenious, really, and this idea has been part of Pakistan’s family lives since time immemorial. For example, the phrase, “Mardon ka tou kaam ...

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House of Cards: Season 3 ends not with a… whimper

While the first season of House of Cards was about climbing and ascending the corridors of power and nullifying the enemies which Frank Underwood possessed, the second season was action-packed with simultaneous sub-plots reaching their logical conclusion. (Spoiler Alert) The third season, however, is all about endurance – now that Frank Underwood is the president of the United States, ultimately, he has managed to bring his dream of wielding absolute power to fruition, and he now wants to leave a legacy. Any other man would have been honoured just to serve his people in the highest office known to man, but as we all know, ...

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Tyrion Lannister is the best thing to happen to Game of Thrones

There is an obsession with TV series these days, particularly amongst the youth. New seasons are being awaited with much anticipation, especially popular ones like Suits, House of Cards, Scandal and, of course, Game of Thrones. You would find trailers of upcoming seasons on your newsfeed and much discussion on the storyline, quotes and characters shown so far, along with predictions of what might happen next. Quizzes such as “which character of a particular series are you”, and the likes, are common sight.

The euphoria grips everyone. As for me, my most favourite TV series thus far is Game of ...

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Celebrity photo leaks: Drop the drama, everyone loves a story!

The ‘nude celebrities’ pictures’ leak last week on the internet’s various social media sites has created an unwarranted, but nevertheless expected, level of hoopla. The truth is, in this day and age, any educated and avid internet user, with a plethora of passwords for a multitude of accounts and, who watches thrillers is well aware of the universal do-no-gooders called hackers, trolls, and cyberpunks. If the CIA can subject governments of entire countries to hacking, spying, and needlessly-putting-your-nose-where-it-definitely-does-not-belong, then you’d have the common sense to realise that once you put your images, messages, trivial and/or important personal information into any ...

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Emmys 2014: And the winners are…

I may not be a brilliant student, an exceptional debater or a God-gifted artist but the one thing I know I am is an avid television enthusiast and major celebrity gossiper. And I wear these badges with pride, might I add. Be it the Oscars, the Golden Globes or the Emmys, my mother and I get up at 5:30am every year and watch these magical ceremonies live. It’s like religion. I, for one, love watching the Emmys more because it congratulates and justifies all the hours I put into these television shows and the trivia I’m willing to solve. This might seem childish ...

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Are you a Pakistani pseudo-intellectual?

With the rise of free media, several classic cases of pseudo-intellectualism have emerged in Pakistan, but only a few hold a special place in the ‘Pseudo-intellectualism Hall of Fame’. So what is pseudo-intellectualism? The Urban Dictionary offers a very concise description of a pseudo-intellectual: “One who attempts to flex intellect that does not exist within his or her own mind” The water kit scandal is one example. The water kit scandal arose in 2012 when Pakistani ‘inventor’, Agha Waqar, claimed to have designed a perpetual motion machine that would utilise water as fuel for cars. Waqar’s claims were met with a mixture of scepticism and enthusiasm by the general public as ...

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Confessions of a liar

I’m sorry but I had to impress you. I had to put up my best act to make sure you fall for it, compare me to other men you knew and conclude that I am the best. I always felt inferior to you. People around you made me feel vulnerable and insecure. There was an aura of romance and sensuality about you, I was bare. You were beautiful, I wasn’t. You had friends, I had responsibilities. You had money, I had dreams. Can I blame my insecurities for what I did? I felt I had to compete to get you and so I decided to cheat. Will you take that as a genuine ...

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Killed for enjoying music? What is the truth?

Kohistan is a settled district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the predominantly non-Pashtun Hazara Division. It stretches to about 7,500 square kilometres on both, the east and west of the Indus River. The population of Kohistan is over 550,000 and the people speak Shina and Kohistani – both of Dardic origin. However, like the controversial video scandal the culture, history and ethnography of Kohistan is a mystery for the common Pakistani. Western Kohistan was a part of Swat-Kohistan in the district of Swat but back in the 70s it was made a separate district as was eastern Kohistan. Interestingly, the Kohistan district has two judicial systems in practice. Western Kohistan is ...

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