There was a time when we could proudly say that our dramas have quality, wholesome content along with a well written script. Some examples are Zindagi Gulzaar Hai, Durre Shahwar, Qaid-e-Tanhai, Marasim etc. These dramas were very different from the over the top, melodramatic Star Plus Dramas which would mostly be about the dynamics of Saas- Bahu Politics. Families would sit together after dinner and enjoy the 8pm drama altogether. Even dramas that mostly revolved around women and their domestic issues had an interesting story, some good old romance and a moral at the end.
However, recently watching Pakistani TV dramas with your family has become especially uncomfortable. Some of our recent dramas like Jalan, Nand, Kashf, Mohabbat Tujhe Alvida made our family time very awkward and had some very inappropriate messages. Jalan, which showed a girl stealing her sister’s husband was wrong on so many levels! The relationship between sisters is very special and to portray it in such a negative manner can be very uncomfortable to watch. Moreover, many young girls tend to watch these dramas and imagine what would go in their, still developing, mindset! Is this really something to normalize for the younger generation?
Nand, which reminds me of a star plus drama more than any other, shows a very ‘evil’ nand or sister in law who goes out of her way to make schemes to make the life of the heroine (her bhabi) as miserable as possible. This can be troubling for young girls who are going to get married soon. In addition to that, the Nand is also shown accusing her bhabi of having an affair with her brother in law (Nand’s own husband!) This is something very inappropriate to show on national television and can you imagine watching this program with your nand and her husband. (Um awkward.)
Kashf seemed promising in the start, highlighting several important issues and having a relatively new premise but almost immediately that was proven wrong and to add to the worries of Kashf, the titular character, her sister was after her fiancé! That particular plot was unnecessary and it was pretty cringe worthy to watch Zoya going over to Wajdan’s
house and literally begging him to marry her, over and over again! Is there no grace and respect left to show in such precious relationships. Your brother in law is practically like the older brother you never had and it has become so cringey that every second drama on our Television shows sisters wanting the same guy. Can we show some respect to these relationships and rise above all of this and talk about a million other things that are so important in our society.
Mohabbat Tujhe Alvida has been accused of ripping off the idea of a Bollywood movie, ‘Judai’. The overall plot of this drama is about how Sonya Hussain’s character longs for luxuries and comforts. Seizing the opportunity, she gets her husband married to a wealthy woman in order to enjoy a life of comforts herself. These are dramas that are allotted the prime time of 8 to 9 pm, with the exception of Nand, which airs four times a week from 7 to 8 pm. Is this really the best we can do? Portraying relationships that are all about love and respect in such a manner is very degrading and disrespectful to our culture also. Airing dramas with messages like these isn’t okay and as regular viewers, we should demand better quality content. Dramas like Udaari, Dar Si Jaati hai Sila and Yakeen ka Safar were one of the few dramas in recent times that had a well written story and educated the viewers.
While dramas with serious messages are important, sometimes people who work all day look forward to that one hour where they can watch a drama and relax a bit. In order to provide people light hearted entertainment, perhaps drama makers should consider making more dramas that will both entertain and educate their audience. These dramas proved to be a refreshing treat to watch as compared to inappropriate plots that revolve around lusting over your own brother in law or wrongly accusing women of having an affair with another family member. Pakistani have immense talent and given the right direction, we know we can produce brilliant dramas that will entertain a global audience.