Tanhaiyan Naye Silsilay – Episode 1 Review

Loved it! Loved it! Loved it!!!

Rarely do I so enjoy a first episode that I feel compelled to write it up right away and share my excitement. I had watched the original when it first aired – I remember calling up my bff as soon as the episode ended and we gabbed for hours after, going on and on and on. Tanhaiyan is an integral part of my very fond memories of growing up, friends, family, Karachi…. Given my personal attachment to this serial, I was horrified to hear of a sequel – my first thoughts: Why?? Please leave good enough alone!!

Reading all the hype surrounding the sequel, I have to say I was getting more and more put off. Shahzad Khalil the man behind the magic was no longer among us. Veterans like Jamshed Ansari, Azra Sherwani, and Yasmeen Ismail are irreplaceable. Shahnaz Shaikh, my beloved Zara, was not going to be a part of this, and though Haseena Moin is undoubtedly a writer par exellence her recent Meri Behen Maya has disappointed me.

Khair, but the news that Marina Khan was directing and Mohammed Ahmad Sahab, a huge personal favorite, was co-writing this serial held out hope. The fact that most of the original cast was returning and the younger stars seemed to have been judiciously chosen was comforting. So….

With all these thoughts running through my mind I sat down to watch this opening round, expecting it to be ho-hum, kinda faded and steeped in nostalgia – more like moving forwards but with the gaze turned backwards.

Let me just say that this was NOT the case. This first episode had a very bright and fresh look and a contemporary feel. Mohammed Ahmed’s monologue, with a very quick recap of past events, set up the opening beautifully. Yes, this is a sequel so there were innumerable references to the past scattered throughout, but not in a way that held back the narrative, rather these were used as  signposts for the future direction of the story. The most appealing thing for me was that as an opening chapter it made sense in and of itself even if one had not seen the original.

The episode opened with a celebration of Zara’s birthday. I enjoyed the way the characters interacted with each other. Sania is grownup, a much more mature  woman, but the minute she walks in the door, the mature woman is left behind and the fun loving bubbly Sania burst out in her full glory. I liked the way we were shown the two very different facets of her personality. As an advisor at the Youth Center she is the personification of what a ideal counselor should be, but at home she is the madcap we love and adore.

Zara, the other half of this iconic pair of sisters, was MIA and I loved the build up to the hook, Zain’s entry sans Zara. The whole anticipation and excitement, the looking forward to Zara’s return was beautifully scripted and directed, BUT thanks to all the spoilers, sadly the whole suspense was rendered completely ineffective. We all knew what was going to happen. I so wish that somehow they had managed to keep that under wraps, because in effect it spoils not only the first but the second episode as well. I am now guessing the actual story will probably start around the third episode or so …

What I enjoyed was the complete package. The story starts off with a familiar premise but then takes off in new directions – I loved the tantalizing hints of what is yet to come. Marina’s direction was very crisp. The scene showing Qazi Wajid’s nightmare was excellent. The cast comprises of an exciting blend of new and old. The veterans need no introduction, and the newer lot have recently given very good accounts of themselves. The announcement of the youngest pair’s off-screen hookup adds that much more to the anticipation of seeing this pair onscreen. After a very long time we get to see a clean comedy, with no bawdy lines or sly inferences. The affection that the actors have for their characters is very real.  I liked the way the newer characters were knitted in alongside the older ones. Looking forward to Qabacha’s return and seeing how he fits in this new set up. The very brief glimpse of Zain’s family is enough for me to start a countdown to next Saturday.

So, yes, though I was cynical to begin with, Marina Khan, Haseena Moin and Mohammed Ahmed have forced me to re-evaluate and put all nasty thoughts aside for now. Looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds! 

Written by SZ~

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44 replies

  1. Hey sz loved the episode too it has that hasina moin touch…..i love hasina moin dramas and btw meri behan mayais going awesome i agree the makeup is bad but the story is goin tooo well…

    • Hi Sabeen! Glad I’m not the only one who found this so very enjoyable :) Yes Haseena Moin is amazing and her classics will of course always remain with us!

      Re: Meri Behen Maya: As you rightly say, I was very put off by Bindya’s makeup and Neelum didn’t impress me much with her acting, so I stopped watching after a couple of episodes, but now I am hearing that the story has progressed quite a bit so will go back to catch up :)

      Keep visiting – looking forward to hearing more from you!

      • Thanks sz :) and yes meri behan mayas story is progressing nicely im loving the cuteness in the play the comedy was well done specially by annie and danish taimoor in the recent episode i love mondays bcz of this drama and no doubt hasina apa is a legend and is back with a bang with two wonderful plays :) and if u gettime do review meri behan maya…

    • @Maha: Welcome! True! I missed Zara too :( Magar, hoping ke the story will not disappoint and the new characters will make us fall in love with them, just as the older ones did :)

      @Sabeen: IA, I will review MBM in the very near future – aajkal itne saarey dramey hian ke what to do?!! ;)

  2. hey i am so glad that you wrote this , i really liked it .Marina was looking really nice for a change with dyed hair and i guess it will have a strong story line. But i was really wondering Saniya and Zara were my all favorite sisters what really that bad happened that they did not talk for ten whole years .That was something i was not expecting and not sure wanted to see but loved the over all light humor touch of the play. A little tit bit of laughter here and there,so lets see quiet hopeful.The new sisters were really looking adorable oh and bibi so very needed now i am just dying to see Qabacha :D

    • Hi Javeria: I so agree with you, though ostensibly a humorous episode, there were all these tantalizing hints of something having gone very wrong. We heard of the ten year rift b/w the sisters and Farhan’s nightmare was very interesting too – what are the demons that have turned him into a cranky person. I liked these unexpected twists. Looking forward to all the explanations! And yes, Qabacha too!

  3. Excellently written SZ:) and i am so glad you wrote on this one too!

    With watching only one generic promo and hearing to epic music score.. i was all set for Saturday to come soon…only thing that made me sad was absence of Shehnaz Shaikh:( while going through older pics of Tanhaiyaan, i also missed Late Jamshed Ansari..

    But the show must go on :D i too loved the episode.. starting was simply cherry on cake who could have imagined such starting :) recalling some great memories is always fun… Biibi, Saniya, Aani and Faaran..their interaction with each other was so natural.. direction,acting,script and background score all super cool..

    Last part was episode was treat to see with title song playing.. and precap is even more cool :):) Weekends are Wow

  4. I am still undecided . I have not watched the original, but I guess for you guys its like a Humsafer sequel in ten years? This is omething I will probably catch up with over the week and only because you gave it a good review SZ.

    • @Sadaf: I loved it – and yes, it does have a lot to do with my affection and nostalgia for the original, and I was on the fence abt the sequel as I wrote, but the first episode did not disappoint. Please do come back and share your thoughts once you watch it – would be interesting to see it from the perspective of someone who’s not seen the original.
      And yes can be compared to the excitement surrounding a Humsafar sequel, but not after 10 yrs, more like 27/28!

  5. Saturdays have become so busy for us drama watchers!! Enjoyed the first episode of Tanhiyan and 2nd episode of Aik Naye Cinderella!
    LOVED seeing Marina Khan in front of the camera acting like her cute bubbly self. The fay ki boli part was hilarious! Reminded me of my father and how he used to teach us fay ki boli and as kids we used to be so amazed as to how he could talk like that! :) Good memories!
    I watched Tanhaiyan a LONG time ago and wasn’t averse to the idea of a sequel because enough time has passed that I think a sequel can be made.
    Looking forward to the upcoming episodes with the fresh new couples and some old familiar faces :)

    • @Annie: yes, watching Marina was soo fabulous! I just love her!!
      Haven’t gotten around to watching ANC properly as yet, but will give it a shot in a week or so –

  6. I read the title of the post. started reading this post and stopped after the first two paragraphs because I have not yet seen the episode and will be doing so in a day or two. And would not like my fun to be ruined. And yes, Tanhaiyan was definitely awesome.

    • @ Hina: Great idea to not anticipate anything and go in with no expectations :) But do come back and share your thoughts on the episode. Would love to know your take :)

      • I watched the episode and loved it thoroughly. Marina Khan was definitely awesome (I have loved her for a long time now and I have met her too!)

        The wait for Zara was awesomely scripted too. I was not really following on spoilers and stuff and knew nothing about what may or may not happen in the sequel. I knew for a fact that Shahnaz Shaikh is no more (that is what my mom told me) so I was curious as to what they may do to to Zara’s character.

        I heard about Shehroze Sabzwari (another actor I really like) being married yesterday, is it true?

  7. I watched Bari Apa last night but after I read your review I went back to catch up on Tanhayaan. I simply loved it! It was such a cute episode showing strong family bonds and no family politics. Every character is loveable. Since I have not watched Tanhayaan One , I do not know these characters much though my mother did give me in a insight but I do not have any preset Ideas about the characters so for me this drama is a ‘win’ !
    Beautiful episode!

    • Heela: I’m so touched that you took my review seriously enough to go back and watch – thank you! looking forward to some fun discussions on Tanhaiyan – really happy that we have a lighthearted serial with a good balance of thori khushi thora ghum :)

  8. hey SZ. Great review. I am still on the fence, though. I was laughing helplessly through the first half but then I got too tired of Bibi and Chandni! Maybe, once the plot is more clear, and Syra/Alishba get more screen time, I would enjoy it more. Let’s see! Not giving up yet:)

    • Hey DB! Thanks! Read your review as well on the Tanhaiyan page and enjoyed it :) fun to see how we both started off at the same point but had differing responses by the end :) I didn’t mind the Chandni/Bibi sequences as much b/c they were so well-integrated.I also liked how the whole Sana’s absence thing was woven into the story rather than being conveniently ignored – this way the whole story then becomes a huge homage to Sana – so really liked that master stroke from the writers.

      Looking forward to reading more of your thoughts on TNS as it progresses – It would be funny if it became like KPKP, where you started off loving it and defended it to me and towards the end I was defending the story line to you! :D

  9. A great review.it was great fun to watch first episode n it seem that we have gone back 10-15 years.Nice starting in background voice of Muhammad ahmad sir.Full of emotions and fun in the episode.I am sure this serial will a big hit.Desperately waiting for next episode.

    • Hello Yasir, Thanks for commenting – glad you enjoyed the review! Looking forward to hearing more from you as we move forward with the serial :)

  10. Like you, I was skeptical of a sequal to Tanhaiyan (still haven’t clicked the ‘like’ button on fb) but unlike you I’m still skeptical.
    I like Marina Khan but somehow I can’t stomach her character of Sania still looking so ‘happy and chirpy’ even though she hasn’t talked to her sis in 10 yrs. She doesn’t know the reason for Zara’s silence (I liked the way you were referring to her as Sana -remembering sana murad? in a previous comment) but is still able to have a ‘happy’ cake cutting for her. I guess I should give it time to develop but they should have a good reason for this estrangement.
    Zain was and is a breath of fresh air :)

    • LOL!! Afia: Good catch! I didnt even realize I wrote Sana – a totally Freudian slip ;) Kya karoon love, love Shahnaz Shaikh!
      Yes, Zain was the Ashar of that era wasn’t he? ;) He’s is indeed a breath of fresh air!
      Like you, I wondered as well why Sania looked so happy too – but since this was the first episode, i liked that it left us with so many open-ended questions. I too want to know what happened and its seldom aajkal that first episodes leave us with so much to look forward to …
      Lets see how it goes – if it becomes bad and boring then yes, remind me and say I told you so! ;)

  11. I remember growing up, and it wasn’t even in Pakistan btw and all I used tonhear was how Tanhaoyan had been the best drama ever!! I remember some clips and the overall story and how yes Zain was the of that time, and how the sisters had this beautiful bond and then Qabacha… That is about all I remember…I should really sit down and watch it again, but just don’t have time! I also agree it was so refreshing to see most of the characters and how they have fared, obviously people change die to circumstances and seriously it’s only the first episode but it’s surprising that people want all the answers right away from what I’ve read. Guys there’s a whole drama to come, I’m glad there is suspense about. What happened with Zara, it makes it all the more interesting as everyone is missing her. Loved the references to the past and omg it was so great to watch bobo she was fab and still is amazing! Nice to see Marina Khan and looking forwad to syra and alishba playing their parts. King Kong was classic, loved it! Btw in the Saturday trio of blockbusters, I just had to watch this first due to all the memories. I know it can not beat the original, which I don’t even want it to, but hopefully it should be watched as a sequel and judged on its own merit, and not as in competition with the original.

    • Ignore my bloopers please. I am really writing in a rush as I couldn’t help myself to write even though I had barely no time today. I meant Zain was Ashar of that time, totally agree with you SZ. So hated Saad salman!

    • Same here SK . I remember the fuzzy story line but not all the details and that’s why I was not averse to a sequel because I don’t have any fond memories or huge attachments to the characters

  12. I will echo what SK said about constantly hearing about how great Tanhayan was . I lived in England and my Urdu was not perfect, but my aunts forced me to watch a Video (remember those) ,it may even have been at a later date than when the serial was originally aired but I did not like it. I visited Pakistan and the adults were all watching Dhoop Kinarey and I could not make head nor tail of it then. I was hoping to understand the excitement now my Urdu is so much better but sadly I just am not feeling the romance… Maybe it has something to do with my Aunts well meaning threat to give me Marina Khan’s haircut in Dhoop Kinarey .

    • Sadaf: LOL @ the Dhoop Kinarey haircut – that would be traumatic! Truly childhood traumas are hard to let go off!
      But thanks for coming back and sharing your thoughts :) We all don’t have to like the same things. I get where you are coming from, there have been so many dramas/movies that everybody and their uncle went gaga over and i could never get remotely interested in …
      If you do end up following this though, do continue sharing your thoughts. Always great to read/hear different views. :)

  13. @SK: Totally agree with you. I fail to understand what people expect just from the first episode. If the team provides all the answers in the first episode and show all people want to see then what’s the point of having numerous episodes. These are the people who should stick to telefilms. In one watch they get all the answers but wait they might complain the story was rushed. ;-). At the end of the day people are just never completely satisfied. Always wanting more and learning nothing from shehrezaat. Tsk tsk.

    It’s always too soon to judge an entire serial just from the first episode unless the first episode is intolerable like for me that was mera pehla pyar. Couldn’t sit through it all.

    Anyways I recently just watched the old tanhiyan but not completely. I do wish to finish it off soon because I totally loved the drama. After so long I am glad to see another serial that has started off on a mellow and not OTT. I am not sure how people keep watching and loving the same old story line of the mazloom aurat , the cheating husband and the issues of the marital life , oh and the conniving relatives. Please give me a break! This drama for me was a breath of fresh air and new faces are finally shown. I am really looking forward to to the forthcoming episodes, love all the actors that have not Been introduced yet in the first episode.

    @SZ: Thanks for a great review!

    • i do not think there is anything bad in speculating about a drama especially in case of a sequel.For all the die heart tanhiyan fans there had to be some questions popping up.The more story line gets you intrigued or speculating the more you are into a serial and of course no one wants answers in a single episode but just to share ideas where the play is headed .