Stories about television

Saying goodbye to “Durr-e-Shahwar”

I decided to write this post mainly in response to “Durr-e-Shahwar: Television blames working women.” I was a bit surprised at the negative tone of that post, especially when it labelled “Durr-e-Shahwar” as a “masala drama.” Currently, it is a top-rated drama serial on air, and is definitely about much more than just ‘working women’. “Durr-e-Shahwar” is a masterpiece in my opinion. It is directed by Haissam Hussain, written by Umera Ahmad, produced by Momina Duraid, Samina Humayun Saeed and Shahzad Nasib, and is backed by an excellent cast of actors. The plot revolves around two couples – each with their own ...

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Goodbye, Dr House

As the saying “all good things come to an end” goes, “House M.D.”, the brilliantly written show, ended last week. There have been numerous television dramas over the years based on doctors and hospitals including “General Hospital” from the 60s to “Scrubs” and “Grey’s Anatomy” during the 2000s. “House M.D.” embarked on a journey to create its own presence and niche when it first aired in 2004. It is based on an ingenious but misanthropic doctor who is willing to cross all boundaries to solve a case. His actions are seen to be driven by his passion for medical puzzles and ...

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Our dual morality disorder

I was standing on a main road in Islamabad when I saw a big billboard depicting a woman provocatively posing in a nightgown. There, standing right below the billboard, hidden behind a face veil, was a woman who seemed to be a completely different specimen to the model above. Written on this billboard, in bold, was the word ‘Hidden.’ This might have been a brand name – I really don’t know what it stood for. However, to me it highlighted the hidden dual-morality disorder of the virtual and real world that is currently sweeping through our society. Let me explain what I mean ...

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Remember the ads of yesteryear?

‘Wasim bhai ap thaktay nahin hain?’ (Wasim brother, don’t you get tired?) ‘Nahi, mein cigarette nahin peeta.’ (No, because I don’t smoke.) These simple words uttered by Wasim Akram in an anti-smoking advertisement many years ago are still remembered by millions. I am sure all those born in the 80s watched this advertisement on their television sets, and those who missed it must have seen it on YouTube. Why is it that we still remember this ad? It is simply because the commercials of yesteryear had a certain feel to them. Even today, they successfully manage to grab our attention, and as soon as we watch them ...

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10 ways to put on a good TV show

Switching on the television these days is anything but uplifting. For one, you get transported back to an endless cycle of births, shaadis (marriages) and deaths.  Is this all that our audience is interested in? Are we really that laid-back about the content being aired? Do we actually take our masses to be that silly? These are the same masses that watched “Ankahi” and “Tanhaiyan” and enabled these shows to get the critical acclaim they deserved. Why are we then so afraid to experiment with new themes and plots? Times are changing and people are evolving rapidly. But what about our dramas? Most are still stuck ...

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Bhoja Air crash: Where are our media ethics?

Hit by one colossal tragedy after the other, the people of Pakistan are heartbroken and disappointed. What could have been an averted disaster became the inevitable when Bhoja Air decided to fly its 40-year-old Boeing 737-200 for Rawalpindi on April 20, 2012. Boarded by newly married couples, children and their parents among others, at 5:05 pm from the Karachi airport, the inaugural flight came hurtling down towards the outskirts of Rawalpindi at around 6:46 pm on Friday. While I checked channels for updated reports and alerts on any survivors, I couldn’t help but notice how rash and obscenely inappropriate the local ...

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Remembering the day I saw Moin Akhtar

When I was eight years old, I had the chance to be part of a scene in a show with Moin Akhtar.  The shooting of the show took place at my father’s friends place at night. I remember standing in a corner while my sister got to film next to the legendary actor. Jealous beyond measure, I finally convinced my parents and joined the scene just to sit next to him. My sister and I played guests who had come over to dine with him. He was delivering his dialogues along with his co-actors and I was eating oranges. I remember being amused that the elders ...

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Mata e Jaan Hai Tu: A new age drama

Humsafar fever is over. The drama may be remembered but the excitement has ended before you can sigh “Khirad”. But there is a new drama on the block! Hum TV’s Mata e Jaan Hai Tu is  based on a novel by Farhat Ishtiaq who also wrote Humsafar. Honestly, when the promos for the show were first aired I couldn’t even understand the name Mata e Jan properly! So, what got me hooked? The cast. Over time, directors have understood the importance of faces that brand the drama. This drama stars: Sarwat Gillani, Adeel Husain, Sanam Saeed, Junaid Khan and Sajida Syed. In the show Sarwat Gilani plays Hainya, a girl ...

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What next in Pakistan’s media (r)evolution?

We are no strangers to the evolution of Pakistani media. It has come a long way since its inception and according to a unanimous consensus, it is here to stay. What we have also witnessed on the other hand are major bloopers in the form of “leaked” videos that have the likes of Amir Liaquat, Mathira and Maya Khan on tape doing things that are questionable at the very least. Issues like these have brought the fact to light, that even though Pakistani Media is progressing – nay, even thriving, it is not short of its share of loopholes. We don’t ...

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Confessions of a Humsafar fan girl

The most popular show in the history of Pakistan television (with a TRP rating of 7.6) came to an end on Saturday, and the whole country went crazy. It was only when the electricity at my house suddenly went at 8:05 that I realised that I was a a Humsafar fan girl.  I called KESC begging them to restore the electricity. Why? Because I had to watch the last episode of Humsafar. My pleas however fell on deaf ears and I had to convince my family to go to our uncle’s house so that we could find out if Ashar ...

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