Nadia Khan Show ~ A Review

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Back in the day the Nadia Khan Show used to be an unmissable part of my daily routine. That it ended ignominiously and later versions never came close to matching the verve and vibe of the original is a story for another day, but suffice it to say that Nadia Khan is a trendsetter as far as morning shows on Pakistani TV are concerned.

When news of Nadia’s comeback started making social media rounds I wondered how she would navigate the crazy kooky path that leads to high TRPs these days. Dressing up like a valimey ki dulhan, reading bad research off of note cards, playing idiotic games, organizing mehndis and shaadis of already very married couples, asking brilliantly appropriate questions – agar aap real life mein kisi larki ko tease karenge tau kaise karenge – staging dramatic walkouts, faking fights between real life couples, arranging for roohs to visit on cue- all were now de rigueur. Would she or wouldn’t she stoop to these by now standard lows?

Come November 9th, many of my trepidations were put to rest. Yes, there was rustiness but the warm camaraderie and genuine spontaneity made for great viewing, and that she was dressed in everyday clothes was a huge point in her favor. Nadia excels at putting her guests at ease and this was evident as we got to see the usually distant Aisha Khan for the lovely, intelligent person that she is, particularly impressive was her honesty about the drama industry today. Another guest, Sohai Ali Abro, shared more about herself in an hour than she had in the past three/four years combined. Faysal Qureshi and Aijaz Aslam were a lot of fun as well. Of the new segments, I particularly enjoyed the popular food section and would’ve happily given an arm ‘n a leg to have been on set the day they served nihari.

Had I written this at the end of last week, as I had originally planned, the tone and tenor of this post would have been markedly different. I would’ve probably ended on a cautiously optimistic note, highlighting the positives (noted above) and drawing attention to the fact that Team NKS needs to pull up its socks and get current in terms of popular culture references, and that Nadia should be more on point with her research, which would in turn help asking more relevant questions of her guests.

But, chalo, it was the first week, and if I had to hand out a score on Friday, I would’ve rated NKS as a 6/10 with the others trailing far behind with 2s and 3s.

Khair, that was then. This week the Meera incident put paid to any and all optimism I had about the Nadia Khan Show being any different. The packaging might be glossier but set that aside and all you’re left with is sensationalism, the same beast that drives the rest of our entertainment industry.

That Meera was being invited as a guest on the show had already been discussed publicly the week before, we heard the snarky comments about her asking for content approval, etc. It was evident there was no love lost between Meera and Nadia, but that the former was being invited for her Meeraji-isms, which are a surefire way of drawing attention to this old-wine-in-not-so-new-bottles show. Hence, despite knowing that she would be a difficult guest the team still went ahead and invited her. What happened on Monday morning is deplorable and I am in no way condoning Meera’s behaviour, but the big hullabaloo that took place later was even worse.

In addition to the rhetoric of Meera ne hamari producer ko zakhmi kar diya and continued references to the video of the whole incident, which would be shown only after the audience weighed in with their response on facebook, we were provided non-stop commentary on Meera’s whereabouts, even though by then it was obvious there was something pretty wrong with Meera, and I mean seriously wrong.

Tuesday’s show confirmed my hunch that all this was nothing but an beyond sad attempt to garner eyeballs. By now Meera had been nicknamed wolverine by our morning show queen, the #MeeraKiBadmashian hashtag was being hyped up on the show’s official Facebook page, and our entertainment related social media pages were happily sharing and re-posting videos of this incident. Buried under all the name-calling was the fact that nowhere in these videos did we see the strident Meera who was demanding nashta as had been reported the day before, what we got instead were disturbing images of an obviously distraught Meera.

Forgotten in this whole tamasha was the fact that this latest fiasco underscored what many of us had long suspected: there was something very off with Meera. Had it been any other host and any other talk show I wouldn’t have cared two hoots, but the fact that it was Nadia, who has had exposure to the duniya outside and should and does know better, I had hoped Tuesday’s show would be handled with a lot more maturity and this whole drama would be seen as a great opening to talk about the pressing need for raising awareness about mental health issues … magar yahan tau aisa kuch nahin hua.

Rather than inviting psychiatrists or psychologists and having them assess the situation from a professional standpoint, not a single opportunity was missed to diss Meera, the infamous video was milked for all it was worth, and aur tau aur becharey Adnan Siddiqui was also forced to weigh in on this matter. Kudos to him, though, for refusing to indulge his host and infact making it clear, in as many ways as he could, as to where he stood on the matter. To give credit where credit is due, Bunty, director of an older film based show, also pointed out that Meera needed professional help, and Mani made a very pertinent comment as to how chat shows thrived on such happenings and for them to then turn around and complain about such celebs and their issues made no sense.

To say I am disappointed would be a understatement. Heading a morning show is not just about kitty party chatter, snarky gossip and babas, dhongi or not, but also about pinpointing genuine social issues and creating awareness about them. This is what I’d hoped would set this show apart from others, magar ab if the Nadia Khan Show too is going to do more of the same then where’s the point of yet another morning show?

Written by SZ~

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22 replies

  1. SZ, you’ve hit the nail on the head! (but you always do that toh nothing new!)
    I too enjoyed NK’s ‘normal’ interviews last week… no morning show aaj kal is into ‘normal’ (apart from Bushra Ansari’s lil stint at Geo) so this was v welcome.
    But even though NK is much better than the rest, even she is not big enough to let go of opportunities to make fun of others. And in the process, letting her own greatness be seen.
    Meera really needs help… hope she gets it.

    • @Afia: So true about nothing being “normal” about these shows any more .. I knew NK was no doodh ki dhuli – I remember all too clearly all the drama that got her show closed down and all that Noor said about it on her HUM am show, so was laughing at both of them nodding their heads and saying ke hamarey beech aisa kuch nahin tha sirf media ne khabrein urain theen – but still I had hoped for some humility some inkling that she had learnt some lessons from the past magar yahan tau aisa kuch nahin tha .. total dhitaee and ek hafta bhi nahin laga for her true colors to show through #disappointedandhow!

  2. i agree with you 100% ….i was expecting nadia to learn from her past mistakes and mature and was kind of ready to ignore her little annoying bits until meera’s episodes happen….we all know meera is dramatic and she is this n that then why bother inviting her to the show right?but they did and thn what happened is in front of everyone….by the end of yesterday’s ep, i was sympathizing with meera…not endorsing what she did but the way nadia created drama puts her in the same league of morning show which she has been hating on…kudos to adnan and bunty…they talked sense…nadiq being a sane person(supposedly) could have dealt with this in a mature way but no create sensation..create drama and sell ur product and mind you this was just her 2nd week….

    she needs to shutup and stop making lame jokes..
    stop embarrassing guests and let them speak and listen to them…even in today’s show she was showing impatience when shiraz was telling his story and it didnt interest her apparently.
    cut these stupid segments
    let that trainer do his job rather than interepting him again n again…

    she does have potential but she doesnt learn.

    • @sana nazir: thank you for reading and commenting.. so glad everybody else found this whole Meera fiasco to be in really bad taste…

      I watched the Shiraz Uppal show abhi and yes, I did find the interruptions really annoying and her continuous attempts to draw attention to herself and the constant refrain, her show being better than all others, to be huge turnoffs. And what the heck was that golden snake scarf all about?? Normally, I wouldn’t have cared, but after her lecture,about wearing dupattas and being a role model for younger girls, this was just too much of an about face, and again a very dated reference to Shaista Lodhi and her wearing a real snake so many many years ago on her morning show :/

      I loved loved how Adnan called her a heroine and explained to her in very polite terms that one person alone is not responsible for the success of a show, it takes team effort, but apparently sab kuch baji ji ke sar par se guzar gaya …

  3. Such a perfect timing for this post…as always you have written spot on..i saw only one of the episode with FQ and AI in it and i really enjoyed the old look and how they nihari guys and everything.. The other day i was telling my husband that oh you know NK is back with her old format.. When it was all clean and quality morning show.. I was happily telling him about episode i saw.. And he was like oh thats good.. Next moment he opens up his laptop to watch something and see this headline.. Of Nadia khan and Meera..he look at me and says right so this was you were getting happy about 😕 Total bezati kharab…

    But on serious note I totally agree with you.. Being such a trendsetter didn’t expect any thing like this from Nadia especially when her comeback this time was rock solid one.

    • @Rehmat: LOL! Ab bas seekh lo ke never do tareef of a Pakistani show in front of shohar sahabs … aajkal the way things are going inevitably it will all backfire and bas phir besti kharab to done hai .. I’ve learnt this the hard way isliye now try to not even “listen” to dramas anymore around him!

      But you are so right, there was no need for her to stoop to such lows, specially this early in the game … people were really enjoying her return and she should’ve given herself and her show some breathing space before trying these cheap tactics ..

  4. Kudos SZ for a brilliant review, I agree with you 100%.

    Honestly speaking when this show went on air, I did not have any high hopes, I just knew they were bringing NK back for ratings. After Shaista and Dr. amir they were desperately looking for someone to fill the void.

    I did not follow the show during the first week, call it fate or my bad luck, I tuned in to watch the show, the same day as the infamous show went on air.

    The way NK handled the entire situation was thoroughly unprofessional. When you have been hosting a live show for 7 years, you should be prepared to handle anything. In live shows, things don’t always go as planned. Accidents happen but it does not give the host an excuse to lash out at a celebrity and drag an entire 3 hour show on that single point. Her side kick, Toni didn’t do anything to help matters either.

    Meera has issues, everyone knows that, then why invite her on the show in the first place ? These guys are just using her for TRPs. It’s high time, they should leave her alone. It was simply disgraceful, the way NK handled that show and then dragged that point the next day.

    Unfortunately NK is not mature enough to handle the situation when things don’t go her way and this is exactly why her show was banned in Dubai. The problem now is that in Pakistan they have no concept of banning hosts or shows…ab daikho aagay Kya Kya hota hai…sigh

    • @Kiranpdp: Hello! Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

      Like I responded above, it is really heartening to see so many coming out and condemning these cheap publicity tactics… and it is really sad because Nadia Khan has been provided such a huge platform, one from which she can really affect change if she puts her mind to it, but all we see her promoting is herself… every second sentence is a reference to mere dramey, merey offers, mera show, mere jootey, mere kaprey, mera hairstyle, mera music, mera mera mera …..

      I am cynical enough to have not expected miracles from her, and old enough to remember all the drama that went on before as well, but I did have hopes that she would conduct herself in a more mature fashion than say for instance Nida does, or that would have learnt her lessons from her past flop shows, but yahan tau sab kuch ulat tha .. I dont get why so much insecurity and that too in the first five six shows? It is a mad race for TRPs, I get that, but still … do haftey bhi intezar nahin kiya? Itna tau honeymoon period allow karna chahiye tha… and btw, did you see how Geo News had it on in the evening news as well?!?

      As for banning shows … I am not quite sure as to how that provides a solution … NKS was shut down but here she is again, more brazen than ever before; Shaista Lodhi was banned but there she is on another channel, still doing the same old .. I honestly dont know what the solution is, but I for one wouldn’t mind if they were shut down altogether, not like they are providing any great public service to anybody …

  5. Hey SZ , didn’t know you watched these morning shows.Seriously , NK may have had a few good ones right in the beginning but after that she was nothing better than Shaista L or Amir L.
    I mean , seriously what’s with the Happy To you ?? ? ? What rubbish is that stupid segment and making everyone act like clowns.

    • @deeba: LOL! Arrey bhai I am a real TV ka keera and watch all kinds of nonsense #guiltypleasures

      Also, at one point in time I used to really enjoy the Happy To You segment before it turned into a whole gimmick and what not ..#DontJudgeMe 😉

  6. SZ, last week I tuned into this show just by chance, I have no idea who NK is or her past shows.

    The episode I watched had FQ and Aijaz Aslam. NK was asking AA about Imran Khan’s divorce. It clearly made AA squirm, but NK kept at it until she got a reply from him. The way she was prodding was in really bad taste and I switched it off. To be honest, her show was nothing different to the scores of other rubbish on air in the mornings. I’ve not watched her show after that, so I don’t know about this Meera incident.

    I agree with Afia, in the recent times, Bushra’s show made for a decent watch. She still made rookie mistakes like not letting the guests talk more than her lol, but there was some dignity in that show.

    I remember one morning show host, Farah I think her name was. I don’t know which channel her show used to come (and whether she still hosts her show), but she was refreshingly calm and dignified and let the guests talk.

    Coming to Meera, I wish people would stop exploiting her health situation and using it fit cheap publicity. She really needs help, instead of using her as a prop, I wish someone takes her to get her some counselling/treatment she desperately needs.

    We see this happening all the time around us – when it comes to mental health issues, somehow people don’t get the support they need. Hina Bayat’s Uljhan Suljhan is probably one of those rare shows which actually got qualified professionals to look at this problem…

    • @VZ: Aah! Then you would have no idea of what a sensation her show was the first time around, when she was genuine and honest and really presented her guests in a way that we’d never seen them before. Unfortunately most have been taken down from the ‘net otherwise there were quite a few classic ones that I would’ve happily recommended. But then the malaise of stardom struck Nadia and as she climbed the ladder to superstardom she lost all that which connected her to her fans and this resulted in low ratings which in turn led to increasingly desperate publicity stunts, the last of which ended in her show getting shut down by authorities in Dubai …

      It was, therefore, more nostalgia and less of what she was doing now that had most of us tuning in to her show when it re-started last week … also, I really enjoyed her show with Aisha Khan and Sohai, the Aijaz Faysal show I probably zoned out at some point, but I did think she was much much better than the idiocy I watched on other channels last week as I was comparing. Nida, for instance, had Mikaal Zulfiqar as her guest, and one of her questions – agar Mikaal kisi larki ko chhairengey tau kaisey chhairengey- left me literally shocked. In this day and age, with all the problems we have these days, this is the kind of question that the host asks not only of her male guest bit also from her female audience members????

      So, to me, in comparison to this kind of nonsense, Nadia with all here irritations seemed infinitely better, but then this week happened and bas…

      And, re: mental health issues being discussed in a meaningful way on TV… I wait with bated breath but sincerely doubt its going to happen any time soon 😡

  7. @All: For those who had not seen the original Nadia Khan show here’s a classic interview with Sarmad Khoosat and Irfan Khoosat conducted in 2009. The print sucks but these older shows are really hard to find..

    • @SZ: oh this is so goood yaar.. I cant remember watching this one but yes this is great example of how amazing nadia khan was as a morning show host,.. And guests ke lye tou bus naam hie kaafi he 🙂

      • @Rehmat: So glad you enjoyed this as well! This is one of my favest Sarmad interviews ever – always makes me laugh no matter how many times I watch it – and yes this was NK at her best.

  8. Hi SZ, really pertinent and spot-on review. I never used to watch Nadia’s shows in the past but I had heard that she used to be the queen of morning shows so I tuned in and watched the Aisha Khan and Sohai Ali Abro show and found them both enjoyable and refreshing. I was able to find out a lot about the actresses and the conversation flowed comfortably. I also noticed how when Nadia went on a tangent, she always came back to what the actress had been originally talking about (something which other hosts don’t do and it annoys me so much! they cut guests off and then guest ki baat adhuri reh jaati hay). Anyway, during the Ayesha Khan show, Nadia mentioned that she had invited Meera and that Meera had demanded to take over the direction of the show and she asked Ayesha should I invite her. I thought it was odd that she was talking about an upcoming guest with another guest and felt she was trying to create controversy when there really was none. Fast forward a week and I see on social media all these articles about how Meera attacked a producer and all this other drama and I started suspecting this was a ratings ploy but I was so shocked that Nadia felt she needed to do this! Her show had already generated enough buzz and she knew already about the crazy tactics that have made morning shows painful to watch and she succumbed to those same tactics. After reading your review, it really disgusts me how Geo is trying to monopolize off of someone else’s pain, I mean I cannot believe they went and made a hashtag about the incident! And that Nadia kept bringing it up with her guests the next day! These are such cheap tactics and the whole team should honestly be ashamed of themselves. The only morning show worth a watch is the Morning with Farah show.

    • @Hafsa: Thank you for reading and commenting. It’s so good to know there are quite a few of us who are upset with the way NK has conducted herself since her return.

      And, yes, exactly! The whole snarkiness during the first week was really uncalled for if they had always intended to invite Meera.. but then if you watch her regularly you realize that this is just how she’s become which is really sad… backbiting, name calling and nastiness is fast becoming her trademark. I gave her two weeks ab bas I’m done :/

      #DisgustedAndHow

  9. I didn’t expect anything from NK and haven’t watched any of her shows. When someone told me about the meera incident I guessed that it was all staged to get ratings. I don’t think NK has an iota of credibility in her.

  10. I really don’t like hrr show because she keeps on talking , don’t let any of her guests talk.
    once she invited psychologist but kept on telling her own stories n didn’t let her talk.
    very sad nadia.

  11. Did you see NKS today? The intro was great. Nadia mentioned how dramas r being stretched to the nth degree. But basically she was taking about dramas that show a man with two wives. She said this was not a true reflection of our society and by showing this sensationalism in each drama, we are actually affecting how an outsider might view Pakistani society. Junaid Khan and Ushna Shah (who have both been in such dramas) were the guests and it was fun listening to them.

  12. @Afia: Nope, haven’t watched … Geo takes centuries to upload stuff on their dailymotion page and I guess DOLhad copyright issues with them so weren’t uploading stuff…

    And, haan talk to any of them and all media insiders say the same thing but when it comes to actually practicing what they preach all falls by the wayside .. NK points to dramas as to spreading sensationalism but look at what she did with Meera .. if not sensationalism I don’t know what else to call it. But yea, I will keep an eye out for his one .. thanks for the heads up 🙂

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