Sang-e Mar Mar ~ Episode 28 ~ Finale Review

First off a standing ovation for the brilliance that is Sania Saeed. Her Shamim was the heart and soul of Sang-e Mar Mar. I disagreed with Shamim more often than I agreed with her – her Stockholm Syndromed daasi was very difficult to digest – but not once did I detect a false note in the actor’s portrayal of her character. Likewise, a standing ovation for Nauman Ijaz’s portrayal of Gulistan Khan as well. Whatever I thought of the character and how much ever evil I wished for Gulistan Khan, Nauman Ijaz was always on point, nary a misstep.  As a viewer one cannot ask for more than to see Sania and Nauman together. Their body language, walks, accents, blink-and-miss nuances – the overall honesty of their portrayals all went a long way in making their characters memorable.

Following closely behind were Paras Masroor, Uzma Hassan and Kaif Ghaznavi. Though their characters went crazy and did and said things I wished they hadn’t –  and in Pari’s case met an ending which she didn’t deserve – nonetheless these actors were superb. Paras Masroor was outstanding in his confrontation scene with Nauman Ijaz and Uzma Hassan and Sania Saeed were magic in their scene together. Among the actors we didn’t see today, Omair Rana, Tipu Sharif, Mikaal Zulfiqar, Najiba Faiz, all added much to the overall narrative. Not to be forgotten among the seniors, newcomer Kubra Khan made her presence felt as the beleaguered Shirin.

With this highly merited tareef all done and out of the way, here’s my big question: Did I really just see what I just saw??? What the heck was this??? How just how can those in charge justify such regressive content and pass it off as entertainment??? After a very shoddy episode last week I had no hopes from this finale, but that it would turn out to be so disgusting was something I did not see coming.

I cringed when Bano was offering herself up on a platter to a husband she had abhorred up until the last episode. Why the sudden desperation? Bano peaded till the time Torah threw her to the floor.But she continued begging, now talking about children and new beginnings. I am not sure when I missed what but this was certainly not the Bano I thought I knew. Where was the woman with the strong sense of self? And the next day she was offering to bring Torah food?? I didn’t realize Palwasha’s “success” in landing her choice of husband had made her way-to-a-man’s-heart-is-through-his-stomach technique worthy of immediate emulation. Were we back in 19th century? Had Torah’s threat, to marry Shirin, scared Bano so much? Their shaadi and rishta had been DOA so what was it that she was so desperate to hold on to here? The fear of being left without a husband? Or was she afraid of being judged a loser? Whatever her reasons, and however the creatives may choose to justify this, there was no reason for such a long-winded demeaning sequence. As a women I couldn’t help but be sorry for Bano. Did we really need to see her like this?

And on shaadi, why are our creatives so short of ideas on how a woman should spend her life? Why does it all have to begin and end with shaadi? When will we be done with this regression in our content? Starting off with the silly mor pankh now that Shirin wants to take revenge she takes Torah up on his offer to marry her? Why? Why not build a school with the money her brother left her? A hospital maybe? Perhaps start a handicraft business? Create opportunities to empower women so that they may never find themselves in similarly desperate situations, helping them find a voice so that  they are never again silent bystanders in their own lives. But no. Here, it was all about the shaadi. Not once did any one throughout this serial even offer up a hint of a suggestion, for any of these farigh women to do something constructive with their time. So much for TV being a powerful instrument of social change.

Domestic violence and physical abuse are very serious, life and death issues, more so in our desi societies. Within this context, showing Bano beating Shirin with a stick – while the entire family stood watching, including an educated man held back by his young wife – and using it as a plot point to move the narrative forward is irresponsible to say the least. But to then follow the beating up with facile apologies and everybody including the victim shrugging off this heinous incident as a no big deal is very disturbing. And if you weren’t yet convinced that beating up a woman was no big deal, then Gulistan Khan’s response to Torah’s accusations should really set your mind at ease. How could he have ever known that Torah’s mother would die of a beating? Wah! Thank you HUM TV and Thank you MD Productions for setting the clock back to the 18/19th century. Ironic indeed that this episode aired just a day after the rah-rah of Women’s Day.

Throughout the course of the last twenty-eight weeks Sang-e Mar Mar had raised many pertinent issues, asked many though provoking questions and after last week’s announcement we all wondered how the creatives would tie up the loose ends in just one episode. Well, as we saw today, quite easily. Simply leave it all to the big final confrontation and mitti pao on all that couldn’t be shoved into that one scene.

Hence, though she was responsible for the entire mess, Durkhaney waltzed away into the sunset with her chichora husband, Bulbul was forgotten as if he had never existed, Gulistan Khan walked away with two murders, despite her self-reflection Shamim was unable to break free of her daasi mindset and shoot the one really responsible for her sons’ deaths, and Aurang and Palwasha were absent and not one person commented on their absence. I guess their urge to honeymoon was stronger than the very basic human impulse to help Shirin. So much for Aurang and his much-vaunted shehri education and his high-flying ideas of ushering in social reform. And Shirin, well she remained the Shirin she always was – helpless and clueless. Basically the only people who really suffered were Pari and Torah. The rest of the gang pretty much got away with it all.

At the end of the day Sang-e Mar Mar joins the rapidly increasing list of high-profile projects that have flattered to deceive. There were quite a few flashes of brilliance from Mustafa Afridi’s pen that kept us tuning in week after week, but ultimately the unquenchable  thirst for TRPs turned this one into such a messy mess that it became well-nigh impossible to sort it all out.

With so much wrong where would you even begin? And one rushed episode with overlong scenes was most definitely not the solution to the problem. Saife Hasan’s direction, which had been fine up until a few episodes ago, left a lot to be desired in the past few weeks, particularly scenes of abuse and violence deserved a lot more sensitivity and nuance than what we saw here. Needless to say I walk away feeling very disappointed and let down.

Finally, Sang-e Mar Mar has been receiving a lot of praise on social media as having been successful in taking on the saas-bahu serials, but I can’t help question this much-touted success. Has this serial really introduced a new narrative? Yes, it definitely had the potential to do so, but now, after these past two three episodes, it looks like we have merely exchanged one kind of regressive content with another. Women continue to be slaves to the system and the men of their household, they get routinely beaten up and shaadi continues to be the be-all and end-all of our drama woman’s existence. What’s so new here?

As we close the books on this crazy Sang-e Mar Mar journey I would like to thank you all for being such fab humsafars. Its been a pleasure reviewing this serial with you guys. The ups and downs – all made memorable because of your comments and insights. I now look forward to reading your take on this final episode.

Written by SZ~

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91 replies

  1. The number of people on drama review sites appreciating this last episode is mind boggling!
    Why on earth can’t women see how regressive this was? Justifying Bano’s behaviour and calling her a loyal wife – good God!
    “At the end of the day Sang-e Mar Mar joins the rapidly increasing list of high-profile projects that have flattered to deceive.” – this is the most accurate description of this drama.

    Btw, are you watching Muqabil?

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    • Hi RG: I’m happy for all those enjoying this. I know I was very disturbed and upset and annoyed. I was just telling a friend I should give up on reviewing since I clearly cannot understand these dramas any more.

      Re: Muqabil: Apologies, you had asked earlier as well .. my bad for not responding earlier. No, not watching anymore. I had given the first 3 eps a go but couldn’t take it any more. I think we had even discussed it in one of SeMM threads as well. There was so much off in the story even at that early point and add on to that the shaandaar aesthetic sensibility – what was that garden?! So yeah Muqabil is a no go for me. That said I understand many are liking it. What about you? Are you enjoying it?

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    • RG, I enjoyed reading your comment. I think with the deluge of dramas on air, the quality of not only the writing in our dramas, but also the quality of reviews have gone down. Reviewers (except SZ here) are not questioning the messages coming out of dramas, both overt and covert. For example, when Diyar-e Dil was airing, there was this whole sequence where the “hero” drags the female lead, kidnaps her, holds her hostage, terrorises her until she agreed to his plans. I can’t remember that many reviewers condemned this violence – some in fact applauded the “hero” on being a proper man! Just like writers, producers and channels, reviewers also have a responsibility – they have to be proactive in pointing out unacceptable messages in addition to pointing out technical flaws. But the problem is, a reviewer needs to be intelligent enough to look out for these wrong messages – and the majority of the reviewers out there are simply not up to the mark.

      A review should be truthful, balanced and look beyond the obvious. Very few reviewers are able to do justice to their work. Just my opinion based on what little I’ve seen…

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  2. Hi SZ, I haven’t seen this drama. The first couple of episodes were off-putting for me. Having said that, i have read your reviews, and kind of follow the plot. Two comments on why HUM TV or any other television channel shows women in disempowered situations:
    1. I think these dramas are meant to show as things are happening in real life. Not how they should be. I still think that the 18/19th century things are still happening! We need to wake up and own that reality.
    2. I also think that these dramas are meant to create the conversations that you and I are having. Why is it that there is only one lone voice of SZ discussing the empowerment of women (I understand there are more, but for the sake of argument). Empowerment of women should be at the forefront of political debates. Gender inequality is rife in our society!

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    • Hi NC, welcome aboard. Lovely to hear from a silent reader 🙂
      I am so with you on the first few eps being annoying but unlike you I kept watching for the actors till the story found its bearings and came into its own. Then I was hooked. But of course as the end showed I was a fool to have allowed myself to get attached to the story and it’s characters since they all turned a 180 and turned into whackos 😢#dhokaandhow

      Re: your two points: well taken and I agree with you abt the state of our society. I am under no illusions as to the daily living conditions of majority of our viewers. I own that reality and that’s why I support and back content like the four telefilms post that I just reposted again. The women in those four telefilms are living equally hard lives and have their own challenges etc. my issue with these mainstream dramas is that they offer no solution to the status quo. At the end of the day they do nothing more than reify patriarchy, legitimize domestic violence, etc.. and not just that but do it in the most heavy handed manner possible. Example the latest ep of SeMM. In a society like ours where access to education is limited and TV provides the window to the world outside, what are we showing them? And it’s not like I’m making this argument out of thin air, our esteemed TV channels and producers are well aware of this hence the “issue-based” serials that we see mushrooming these days. If the idea is to only show real life and merely create conversations then why the hoopla surrounding Sammi and Udaari? Why are those two serials being treated differently than the rest? Why are we pushing for women empowerment in udaari while we are showing women being beaten up in SeMM? Why the emphasis on being independent and self reliant in Sammi when SeMM is only talking abt shaadi as the be all and end all of a woman’s life? This equivocation, when the target audience remains the same, is what is really getting to me now ..
      Re: Need for convos: Yes, absolutely I agree we need more space for convos, but when the drama touches the bottom of the pit, like SeMM in the last two eps, then convos also stop. You have to take a drama seriously enough to discuss it, otherwise why would anybody waste their time …
      Sorry I am rambling but I am still very upset after this latest ep ..
      Empowerment of women can only happen if we move the narrative beyond shaadis.. yahan tau aisey kuch aasaar hi nahin ..

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  3. OH MY GOODNESS. SANIA SAEED. ALL THE AWARDS.

    In the end, she was the whole show, the daasi, the one with the titular sang-e mar mar ka dil.

    Now that’s out of the way, I can reflect on what a disappointment this episode was. It did have its flashes of brilliance, of course. Noman Ijaz was terrific as usual, and Paras Masroor has been a revelation throughout the show’s run. There were also a couple of brilliantly composed camera shots in this episode, including in the final scene where you just see a flash of Shamim’s blue attire in the background as Torah takes aim.

    But everything else deserves to be roundly condemned. Bano’s realization might have worked as a plot point if it had come four episodes ago, when there was some hope of a reconciliation between her and Torah. Shirin’s decision to marry Torah came out of nowhere and was mostly meaningless other than possibly leading to Torah’s ultimate downfall. (Of all the things this man has put up with, having his new bride say another man’s name is what sets him off!? Ghairat is so important that aur sab toh baarh mein jaayein. Ugh).

    But the most disappointing track of all was Pari’s story. At least Torah got to tell his story, spill the poison in his heart before he got what was coming to him. What did Pari get in the end? Did she even deserve that comeuppance? Akhir uska kasoor hi kya tha? The worst part is that Pari was the show’s only example of a woman trying to make it on her own. She was running her late husband’s business and she was doing it well, and she could have well been a positive example rather than a cautionary tale. But I guess this is a world in which only marriage and motherhood are appropriate goals for a woman.

    I also wonder if the overarching moral of this story is something else altogether. You can be hasty, arrogant, willful, dishonest, and manipulative. But don’t you dare have any sort of ambition, or you’ll meet the worst possible fate. To use a very tortured analogy, Torah and Pari dared to be Slytherins in a world where only the Gryffindors are allowed to win.

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    • Haina!! How, just how brill was the woman here! That scene with Uzma wah wah wah 🙌🙌🙌
      Baqi, yes yes to all that you have written. Honestly, I’m just so so upset I cannot even begin to articulate my disappointment .. my mouth was literally hanging open when GK said what he did abt Torah’s mom. As someone who has worked extensively with DV survivors I just could not believe what all went on in this and the previous ep. And then Pari at the dargah .. what was the point of showing that guy eyeing her like that?? Basically if you don’t have a man in your life then you are doomed .. shaadi only way to ensure a safe secure life.. so what if the guy treats you like a daasi.. uff!! Still mad

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      • I do a lot of pro bono work with DV survivors too, so I know where you’re coming from. I do think it’s important to hold up a mirror to domestic violence, but lately I feel like it’s being used as a plot device to move the narrative rather than to make a point, and it’s really quite appalling.

        By the way, I should compliment you on the excellent review. It’s hard to keep writing about things that are so frustrating in the end, and I commend you for your determination! I hope you stick with it, because these reviews are better than the actual show, IMO.

        Hey, btw, you (and I assume other reviewers on the Internet) got a bit of a shoutout from SS in an interview I watched recently: http://xpressnetwork.pk/zara-hut-kay-6th-july-2016-sania-saeed-exclusive-interview/

        (Bonus highlight: totally random clip from Numm makes it into this interview, lol).

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        • Haha! You and your chashm-e numm – love your ishq for that show!
          Yes, I’ve seen this and love how blunt SS is here and how her comments are so strikingly similar to all that we talk about here. She would fit just right in with us.
          I will keep writing, I’m too hard headed to give up this easily but complaining abt the same stuff day in day out is indeed frustrating. By the way, I’m sure you’ve already seen it, but if you haven’t SS’ Lorelei in on yt, along with Nadia J’s English version.
          Also the OLOMOPOLO theater stuff she is referring to here is the brainchild of Kanwal Khoosat, director of Aao Kahani series, and Sania is one of the founding members of that gp.
          On the issue of DV, I agree with you on how casually it is depicted. Mehreen J is the only director in recent times who has been uber careful with the way she handles the issue and how deftly she manages to work it in in almost all her serials.

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          • Ha! My inexplicable fascination with the show notwithstanding, I was just amused that they chose a clip from Numm when SS has been in SO many other things.

            I’ve seen a few versions of Lorilei now. It’s a pretty well known play among anti-death penalty groups (and that should cement my credentials as way, way left-of-center, lol). But the Sania Saeed version is exceptionally good. It’s also the only one I’ve seen in translation, btw. It’s actually quite interesting that SS and Nadia Jamil took such a different approach to the same material.

            I hope the OLOMOPOLO folks eventually make a film of some sort. I’m sure it would be fantastic!

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    • RK, your point about Pari running the business well is so true. She was good at recruitment, management, finance & accounts – really a one woman band, multitasking. But the makers couldn’t bear to let her be a decent example…

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      • A woman with the gall to try to control her own destiny must be punished. A woman cannot have brains and agency unless she’s deploying them to find a husband or if she’s the avenging angel.

        Rinse, repeat.

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        • Oho! ladies you are not getting the point at all!

          This serial featured many strong female characters and sent such strong messages about empowering women. Pari was an evil woman who destroyed Shirin’s life. She deserved her bad ending. Truly a final episode worth airing around women’s day …

          Paraphrasing twitter comments

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          • Yes, after DeD, here’s another play showing empowered, strong female characters! How angry I am at Khirad at the moment… Humsafar ke wajah say hum aaj tak suffer kar rahen hain..

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    • I think this drama was showing a culture, which unfortunately, is alive and well in remote parts of Pakistan and has not changed at all. Women empowerment has not yet reached even in many cities of Pakistan. How do you expect this should be shown happening in such remote areas? I enjoyed the the overall quality of script, direction, and most of all first class acting from all actors, and I am proud of that.

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  4. Thank you for the accurate review. The last two episodes were truly disappointing. It is unfortunate they were not able to show that despite everything that has transpired no character had any growth or change. In the end they all were the same as when the drama started.

    Too bad!

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  5. Thank you for the review SZ. Now to my fellow in-mates in the asylum….

    What exactly was this episode? Does Hum TV decide the number of episodes a drama will be in advance or do they edit and patch-up as they go along?. Looks like someone decided last week that that 28 was enough. And they had filmed a number of scenes and then patched them together to ‘end’ the story.

    There is an article currently on the Dawn newspaper website on this final episode and the drama in general. I quote a line from the article:

    “Afridi is one of those rare male writers who understand the female psyche…”

    I am not familiar with the names of writers or producers in the drama industry so please forgive me if Afridi is a big name but I totally disagree with this statement. As you mentioned SZ Bano’s attempt at suddenly appeasing Torah was so out of the blue it was unbelievable and so contrived. Bano has always made it clear that Torah disgusts her, she is repulsed by him, yes her reasons are based on racism and arrogance but that is how she feels. This feeling of disgust that a woman may have for a man that then prevent her from having intimate relations with him are not switched on or off at a switch of a button. How many women in the world have to have intimate relations with men they can’t stand the touch of and here we are shown its just a matter of switching a button on and off. Women have likes and dislikes and desires. It always annoyed me how on one hand Shamim also had negative views on Torah’s dark appearance and blurted out during the situation where he and Gullahai were accused by Bano of an affair, that who in their right mind would look at Torah, Shamin said this and then more or less told her daughter to go and ‘make babies with him’ (sorry needed to be said). Not once did Shamim show Bano sympathy. Yes yes I know Bano’s feeling were based on racism but as I said in principle a woman should have a right feel attraction to a man of her liking and desire him. The problem is that in our society its not accepted for a woman to have such feelings, once she is married then she must automatically accept her husband for better or worse. The only acceptable love a woman must show is some sort of ‘pure love’ that Shireen had for Aurang which is based on love and not desire (there is a difference). As RK said if there had been a couple of episodes build up to this then may be we could have believed that Bano suddenly found Torah attractive. Okay there was an implication that she wanted children and this override any negative feelings she had. But again its not a switch that is turned on and off. Bano would have taken her time to come to this decision.

    And what was it with the continuous eavesdropping in this drama? You would think that everyone had been eavesdropped enough that they would stop having serious conversations in their bedrooms. This showed lazy writing. Instead of finding a way to move the plot forward we had eavesdropping as a means to move the story along. Okay once, twice, it happens but almost every other episode?

    I still can’t get over Aurang not stopping Bano beating Shireen. That was so out of character. I understand Palwasha, remember she has also been poisoned against Shireen by her brother. But Aurang’s character would have stopped the beating. Someone called him weak. Aurang is not a weak character, he just defied GK and married Palwasha, thats a big deal in that family. No this was the director/producer again….they wanted Shireen to get a full beating and only have Torah try to interfere to give Shireen an extra push to marry Torah in the next episode. Aurang interfering would have spoiled this…so they just decided to mess-up Aurang’s character instead.

    I was about to write something about Shamim’s character, how she only showed love to Aurang and showed no love to Bano. Ok Saifulluh and Gohar were GK’s creations but I wonder how much input Shamim had in her daughter’s upbringing. But Shamim partially answered this question when she said she was her children’s and GK’s daasi.

    Did Shireen really say Aurang during her sleep or did Torah make that up? If she did then I suppose Torah would be upset.

    Could someone explain Pari’s fate I didn’t quite get that.

    SZ I thought GK’s reply to Torah about his mother and how he didn’t know she was going to die was actually consistent with his character. The guy has not suddenly changed his spots overnight. Remember he still felt the need to Aurang who he should marry. But what the drama did show was the outcome of what GK did…it was standing in front of him with a gun. And then after Shamin shot Torah she told GK it’s all your fault and he had no reply for her.

    Overall this drama had some absolute brilliant characters and acting by Noman Ijaz, Sanaam Saeed, Paras Masroor and Uzma Hussain. Wah, brilliant. Kubra Khan’s acting was the weakest link. But as usual bad editing, TRPs and a possible last minute decision to end the drama ruined it.

    Akhir Torah ke biwi ne sari pani te, mane kaha taha nah.

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    • @NKhan: Thank you for the detailed comment. I will respond in detail in a bit but just wanted to clarify quickly that I completely agree with you re: GK’s comment’s being in character and I am not surprised at him thinking the way he does … any other way would’ve been unbelievable, we know he hasn’t changed beyond the superficial. My beef is with the actual lines. There are so many other ways he couldve said the same thing. Not everybody is listening with the same sensitivities as us few. First the casual dismissal of Shirin’s beating, as if they had taken away her favorite toy or some such, then these lines … it was really shocking, for me at least.

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    • Dear NKhan – asylum is the right word (following on from SZ’s Manto reference from last week).

      Looks like they went for this hurried ending so that they can milk the TRP cow again with season 2 (see SZ’s comment below). So it’s not a hurried ending but a well thought-out plan.

      I agree with you on how they’ve reduced Aurang to a farce, just to move the plot along.

      Your explanation of Bano’s feelings and how they cannot be switched on or off just like that, is definitely true. The whole sequence was repulsive to say the least. And completely out of character (just like Aurang not stopping Bano was out of character).

      Hahaha, your saree prediction came true. That saree was such an important symbol – for Torah, for the narrative, and look how flippantly they handled it!

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  6. Sorry SZ, I didn’t know what to write after last night’s episode. I’m disappointed, sad and feel deceived. I’ll come back when I’ve sorted my thoughts. I thought of writing something along the lines of “Shamim’s diary” or Shamim’s Twitter feed, but honestly, I’ve lost my humourous bone I think…

    Thank you for your review, as usual you are a sane and lonely voice among the cacophony.

    I really cannot fathom how a play that was intelligently written and brought to life on screen could have derailed so badly.

    We were wondering about the timelines, reading dates on tombstones, how did it matter whether it was 2000-01 or 1799-1800? The dates didn’t matter one bit. I was hoping for an intelligent unravelling of Torah’s actions, I was hopeful of Aurang piecing together the mysteries of his brothers’ murders, I was hoping they would take a leap to 2016, with Shirin standing up for herself… You’ve hit all the right notes in your review SZ. This very hurried, regressive, unintelligent way of ending the play was so unlike what was such a promising play in the earlier episodes.

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    • VZ: I hear you my friend … Were it any other serial I wouldn’t have been hit so hard but this one has really upset me in ways I had not thought possible.

      BTW, producers are now dropping hints of a possible season 2 .. acc to them all the loose ends were left so on purpose …

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      • The phrase “face palm” has been invented for this purpose I guess.

        Where’s FA, she predicted 4 seasons of this play in one of the other threads na? FA, you were so right! Why stop at season 2, let’s move on to a live feed from Ghari Baraan…

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        • @VZ yaar this was so bad ke I feel like I have nothing left to say.. well i guess that’s what SeMM managed to achieve as that’s very rare… here at DRNR you guys have seen my lambe lambe comments..
          honestly I’m appalled at what they did to Bano’s character.. Im sorry but shamims daasi lines didnt do it for me either.. it was as if she was saying bano got to her bura haal because she wasnt the daasi to her husband.. for me that didnt work at all.. nothing worked.. all shockingly regressive!!
          SeMM was set in once upon a time and sadly it ended with “they all lived regressively ever after… ” 😔 #NoHope ??!

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  7. Thank you SZ for reviewing and explaining in detail . Very disappointed. but any way it is over . I guess we will get drama like Pahechan or Talkhiya may be in ten years . Thanks all DRNR friends . I enjoyed the comments.

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  8. Have been meaning to share this with you all 🙂
    Was in D.C. over the weekend and walked into a random lunch place and this is what I saw 🙈 #curseofthemorpankh #haunted

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    • Oh lol! I hope there isn’t a Shirin there, feeding this mor pankh! Look what happens with excess cheeni khilaoing! Thanks for the laugh SZ… #thereturnofthemorpankh #thisisasign #qayamatkinishani

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      • Needless to say this mor, pankhs ‘n all, will def not feature in Palwasha’s halwa restaurant! #neednomemoriesofShirin

        How about if we do a run through of possibilities for the second season … So many loose ends, so many women without husbands, so few men left in Garhi Baran … given how shaadi is the solution to every problem will they have to import more men?

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        • Oh SZ, please don’t tell me you’ve forgotten the idea of dusri biwis? Come on, SeMM finale already set the scene with Torah’s second marriage…#hinthint

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        • Shirin is probably pregnant, so that Bano can now resent her even more. Plus, what an indignity for the family when the only grandchild and heir ends up being a Bangalan’s grandchild! GK’s ghairat is going up in smoke even as I type!

          Meanwhile, because mazloom aurat ka hifazat karna hamara farz banta hai, Aurang will probably marry Shirin. Together, they will rescue Pari from her fate, thus proving that Shirin is a better person than her bhabhi.

          Shamim will get heartily sick of all of them and shoot GK, which is what she should have done in the first place.

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          • Oh RK, thanks for this gem! Imagine if Shirin married Aurang, she’d become everyone’s sautan, wah! Is that innovative enough SZ? All these strong, empowered women can have cat fights all day long…

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            • Talking of cat fights you during the last episode when Shirin had come to GK’s house in a sari and Shamim had sat her down in the sitting room sort of area. Shamin took the gun out of Bano’s hand and took her in to make peace with Shirin. Bano had the usual daggers in her eyes, as she walked towards Shirin. There was a moment where for a second I thought Bano was going to lash out, I heard myself saying ‘fight fight fight fight’ like kids do in the school playground. Oh I so wanted Bano to pull Shirin’s hair, I mean the whole thing had become a farce by then so a good old fashioned hair pulling girlie fight would have been interesting.

              Before that when Bano comes to GK’s house after Shirin had decided to marry Torah. She walks in with red shawl/duputta hanging of her shoulders crying that she is ‘barbad’. The song ‘Tragedy’ by the British band Steps came to mind. Oh crap if only I had the media and audio-visual skills to put this together. If possible guys go to that scene and then play the chores of this song:

              (go to 2.56 minutes for the full chores.) You could actually play this song at the end just after Shamim shoots Torah.

              This either works or its just my British sense of humour.

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        • Oh no they will use season two break up Aurang and Palwasha, the romantic in me was so glad Palwasha got her man. With almost everyone outside this blog wanting Shirin to get Aurang, I was so glad that didn’t happen. Okay there is a way that they can keep the Aurang and Palwasha story alive…and satisfy the Shirin fan club

          Palwasha dies…and leaves a diary for her eight year old child to read. She tells her child that she feels guilty about taking her father away from a girl who truly loved him. The child is left clear instructions on how to unite daddy with that girl, plus lyrics to a couple of khandani songs. Okay on second thoughts leave the songs, dadaji doesn’t like songs. The child is also told to to take a peacock’s feather.

          Second scenario – Shirin has a boy. Later Palwasha has a girl (you can see where I am going with this). Aurang misses his family and secretly looks at photos of them. 17 years later he learns that his mother is on her death bed. He rushes back and re-connects with everyone. Then he calls Palwasha and his daughter. In an emotional state he tells Palwasha that his daughter will marry Shirin’s son to -reunite the family and heal the wounds. Palwasha refuses even though its her brother’s son also. Aurang threatens her with divorce. Then he emotionally blackmails Shirin who is also against it. The two teenagers have a quickie Nikah for the ruksati to take place a few years later. The Aurang dies a week later. Leaving Palwasha and Shirin to fight over the ‘nikah-fied’ kids who are unsure of what to make of each other. Do they divorce to please their mothers or do they make a go of it for the sake of dadaji and dadi-ma who by the way made a miraculous recovery. Add to this is a bitter and twisted Paupo to deal with.

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            • Kuch kuch hota hai meets K3G meets every other desi soap – spot on RK 👌
              NKhan thank you for the laugh! Much needed after the horrible migraine I’ve been nursing all day today.
              Pinjra review shall be up tomorrow .. it’s going really well!

              Like

        • Re Possibilities for second season
          i was thinking of Palwasha planning to take “apnay bhae ka badla”.. trying to poison shameem.. Aurang catches her red-handed.. asks her to leave the house and divorces her.. which intrigues her more and she is now determined to take apni bezti ka badla too. and she can use bulbul to help her with the plannings..
          and for akeli aurato ki shadiyan.. Gulistan khan will ask shareefullah to marry Bano as apology of what Gohar did to Durkhane (after all Bano is still a virgin).. and Aurang can marry both Shirin and Pari.. Shirin ko tau waisey bhi sautan bannay ki adat ho chuki hai.

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          • Lol palwaha’S badla sounds about right.. but i think shorin being shirin wouldn’t help herself but take the blame for this murder too…. bano ko aur kia chahye.. gk only ever needs to talk to mirror anyway.. shamim still in a state of shock to say anything.. shirin returns the mor pankh to palwasha (not as peace offering but as the ultimate sainthood offering) magar palwasha has something else planned for her badla… watch season x of SeMM to find out more.. (btw that will only happen in the last ep., so hang in there for like 50 weeks…)

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      • Haha! If this were Shirin’s then she should have absolutely no problem … after all she now has not just the inheritance from her father but is also a widow of two men, un donon ka hissa bhi milta hoga na …

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  9. I was severely disappointed and furious on this pathetic last episode but trust me guys your comments made me go LOL.. literally and sara gussa jhagh ki tarah bheth gaya…

    So shirin has to go through 2 iddats.. dusri iddat khatam hote hie GK will find another rishta.. phir shadi.. phir shohar sahab mar maraa gaye phir iddat.. and cycle goes on.. as clearly shadi is only way out.. nope no.. not thinking otherwise.. oh and in meanwhile DV bhi chalta rahega as shirin is quite expert now in handling all kind of this ….

    Sudden change in Bano was totally uncalled… only because she felt threatened of having soutan in life.. ahh give me a break .. i agree with comments above k theg should have given time to show bano’s change..

    Sania Saeed was absolutely brilliant and flawless… jitna kahon kam he..so was NI..

    I can’t remember when was the last time that we saw any drama which started and ended perfectly..🤔

    Like

    • Rehmat: yaar, what to do .. only way to deal with the disappointment is to laugh at it .. warna tau sirf depression hi ho raha tha ke what all we discussed and how disappointing it all turned out :/

      Oh and another good news to share with you all: DeD is being rerun on HUM.. starting sometime soon .. how many looking fwd to that?😜

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        • Watch — it was after all designated as the best drama of 2015/2016 .. ppl loved it like crazy and it was also known as the next Humsafar .. written by the same writer and also declared as an accurate representation of tribal culture .. matlab ke bas mother of all masterpieces 🏆🎗🥈🥇🎖🎖🏅🥉

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      • Oh and the description says BLOCKBUSTER DRAMA. And comments were like cant wait,my faav,yaye will watch again

        Mujhe sun k hie depression hogya k. Haye phir se…

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        • Running in the opposite direction after hearing the words DeD and re-telecast.

          This seems to be the new lazy trend – at the moment in the UK in the 9pm weekday slot they are re-telecasting the soap “Susral Mera” – are they so out of options?! It’s just that people have become so immune that they know the awaam will lap up whatever is shown.

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          • Hahah VZ yes… n do you know Susral Mera was apparantly hit soap.. this was first appearance of Zarnish Khan.. the lead actress.. n shr won award for best debutant….

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            • Rehmat, the only good thing about DeD was interacting with all of you here.

              Re: Susral Mera – oh, so it’s the return of the hit soaps and dramas (DeD) from 2 years ago?!

              Not only does Hum have 8pm dramas running anywhere between 25 to 33 episodes, they have these other dramas that appear twice a week and they go on for 40 weeks (so 80 hours of episodes) plus soaps that are usually 90 episodes, so around 45 hours of that… All these hours of TV and not one decent thing to watch. Everywhere it’s the same story, saas bahu, mazloom aurats, saazishes, farigh girls with nothing worthwhile to do but day dream, love triangles, one compulsory story set in the Northern areas, another one set abroad, rest local. Dialogues that sound the same, stories with zero imagination… It’s become a factory…

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      • SZ, meaning to write to you with duas and good wishes so that your migraine headache subsides. Have you tried acupuncture? In the UK, this is recommended by the NHS (National Health Service). They also mention a treatment called “transcranial magnetic stimulation” TMS. Sorry if you already know about these or have tried these, just thought I’ll let you know.

        Hope you feel better soon.

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        • @VZ: Thank you ❤
          I have tried acupuncture, the other one I dont know of .. will check with my PCP. Thanks for the heads up. The severity of pain doesnt get to me as much now, but the frustration of not being able to schedule stuff or make plans, or knowing what tomorrow will bring is really getting to me now as the headaches have gotten worse over the past couple of years.. but khair on the plus side this has taught me to be very grateful for the good days.. we take our health so much for granted that we often forget it is a blessing we take so very easily as a given.
          On that note, hope you are doing better as well!

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          • Dear SZ sorry to hear about the migraines. The thing with acupuncture it works on some people or it just doesn’t do anything. Once I had a severe migraine attack during pregnancy and couldn’t take my usual medication. We managed to get an immediate appointment and went to have acupuncture and OMG the migraine calmed down after 15-20 minutes of the needles going in. I am a great believer in traditional and alternative medicines but only to compliment modern medicine. Unlike GK I don’t reject modern medicine. Maybe reflexology or something?

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            • Lol at GK and his aversion for doctors and medicines. Maybe there’s a story there… I’m incorrigible lol.

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          • Dear SZ, definitely agree with you on taking our health for granted. Especially us desi ladies, we have this unwritten rule that we will put ourselves last and keep going with a painkiller here and a desi totka there…

            I am getting better but they recently changed my medication and the new one is making me drowsy all the time, so will tell them the next time. These days on the NHS we have to be proactive with the doctors. A friend of mine has a 6yo who broke a finger at school. The docs refused x-ray and gave painkillers. After 2 weeks of unbearable pain my friend demanded an x-ray and guess what, it was a broken finger. The child and parents were struggling unnecessarily… Sorry for the competition un-SeMM convo…

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  10. Just wanted to share something I read yesterday that seemed particularly on point with respect to this final episode of SeMM. These are quotes from a Nadia Jamil interview some years ago:

    “Amid all the romance and chemical spine-tingling looks, surely a woman can have dreams, ambitions and the desire to achieve. Today in Pakistan, women scale heights in politics, business, banking, sports and the arts, but our TV doggedly keeps them sobbing and clutching onto the dream of some mediocre sour-faced man.”

    Later in the same interview, she also says this:

    “Disappointing women in the media are those who stupidly allow their choices to harm and affect the environment more than it is already damaged, who make downright dangerous choices out of stupidity or some false hypocritical modesty, thus making the lives of other women tougher. They annoy me.”

    I think she just described every female character in SeMM, with maybe the exception of Shamim.

    None of this is news for any of us, of course. I just really liked the way she phrased her disappointment.

    It makes me wonder if DRNR should just co-write a script together. We all know what we don’t want to see, after all.

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  11. Hello. Thanks SZ for the review. Feels good to know that I am not the only one in this ‘asylum’. There were only a few episodes of SeMM that I watched without forwarding. For me worst part was how the morpankh stupidity were being treated as some form of pure love. No doubt, there are girls like Shirin in real life, but no one in there right minds will treat them as heroines. Infact we would be repulsed by their idiocacy, I would definitely stay away from her, rather prefer Dana dushman over a Bewaqoof se dost
    So everyone got their punishments. But what was GK’s punishment. They just showed a blood stained handkerchief that he used for his rather sudden bout of cough. I am definitely intrigued, and want to know his diagnosis.

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    • @NH: Haha! A very warm welcome to you from the inmates 😀
      (Gotta hand it to Manto – the man surely knew the Pakistani drama industry before it was even born!)

      Well, GK’s punishment: I understood it as being a maqafaat-e amal type punishment as in God has and will continue to hand out HIS own form of justice – GK lost two sons, one bahu actually two and is now coughing up blood.

      Re: the diagnosis: It might well be blood cancer, as @VZ says, I thought of it as TB .. maybe because it was dated in the ’80s and I was reminded of all those streotypical desi films where the elderly would cough their lungs out and the handkerchiefs would be all red and the doctors gravely prounced them as suffering from TB ..

      Or maybe he was just eating paans on the sly and coughed up the red stuff .. and hamari bechari Shamim is so bholi that she bekaar mmein got worried?

      Anybody else with an interpretation of Da ji’s beemari?

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      • The blood was on a peela kapra.. and there was a peela kambla on his bed.. tb hai ya cancer , waise tou daji’s time is nearly up.. magar mazeed janne ke liye dekhye SeMM ka season x.. aur intazar kijye uss ki aakhri kist ka.. 😡

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        • FA, was missing your take!

          Why do they systematically spoil every decent play, uff! Remember Goya? I started watching it after hearing how wonderful it was – yes it was good until it completely derailed.

          Can’t believe they had a good opportunity to show one strong girl among the gazillion others ​on TV, and this is what they choose to show?! But given all this talk of season 2, 3 infinity, it makes sense…

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          • @VZ ufff Goya was another one!! #WhyDoTheyDoThat ?!

            But I feel SeMM is setting a dangerous trend… we are seeing strong relatable characters reduced to absolutely nothing.. moral of the story is aurut ki koi izzat nahin.. she will have to be the daasi all her life if she wants to earn maybe an ounce of respect much later in her life…. #disappointed

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            • +1 on the dangerous trend setting. This will be just the excuse needed to shove more violence and regressive ideas down the audience’s throat. They’ll conveniently ignore why we liked SeMM in the first place, they’ll take what they like from this “success”…

              And the number of people who keep justifying that this is a village set-up, this is what traditional villages are like etc etc – can’t believe how good we are at justifying this utter rubbish in the name of realism…

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  12. SZ thanks for this review and this space (assylum is pefectly apt 😊 )
    Last week I thought Aurung and durkhane were the ones who got away magar yahan tou everyone seems to have got away with absolutely everything.. hawi fires, goli , dande.. muder, assault…

    This ep was so besaro paa and so filmy ke hadd nahin.. our mr and mrs smith with their his and hers versions of guns.. pehle tou i was thinking banos hers version itna choti?! Tsk tsk But then SeMM proved their gender equality and women empowerment policies in SeMMs unique style – with shamims king of all bandooks!!! I mean honestly what kind of nonsense is this?!
    Bano and her jelous side… shirin and her revenge tip… #rediculous

    After SeMM ki kamyabi dont just brace urself for SeMM season x .m, but also 1000 other versions of SeMM.. shudder! 🙈

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    • Lol at Mr and Mrs Smith! And Shamim’s aim Ka kya kehna, I mean she had all the time in the world to take aim, Torah’s dialogue baazi was going on and on… There must be something in that doorstep of GK’s house – everyone likes to confess sins committed it otherwise there – Shirin, Torah, Durkhane…

      Like

    • FA! I was waiting for your commentary. Mr and Mrs Smith, LOL.

      I really enjoyed Shamim with her giant bandook, but her nishaana baazi is not very good. I think she was aiming at GK the whole time!

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  13. So where did it all go wrong, do you think? Through the first 20-odd episodes, this was an eminently watchable show. If you were the writer, how would the rest of the plot (after the burning of the ledgers) have played out?

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    • RK, i would’ve made Shirin introspect at that stage. I would like to think that the period of iddat is a good opportunity to take stock, come to terms with stuff. I would then have made her go to GK asking for permission to study further or do something constructive like maybe teaching local girls or something. I would’ve made sure Sharifullah mentioned the nine shops that Saif-ur-Rehman left for Shirin. Probably get Shirin to take Pari to a hospital and save her baby. Get Bulbul to blurt out Torah’s truth. Get Bano and Torah to shoot one another. The focus should have been on Shirin waking up to reality and making something worthwhile of her life. Cut to 2016, I would have liked to see Shirin bringing some real change in Ghari Baraan, everyone treating her with respect, being proud of what she’s achieved… Probably won’t make TRP material…

      Like

    • The problem was the abrupt ending. Gohar I believe wasn’t killed until episode 7. The build up to that was to long, they could have at least cut at least two episodes and killed Gohar in at least episode 5. We could have lost some of the girlie scenes between Shireen and Durkane.

      The episodes then really dragged between Gohar’s death and Shireen’s wedding to Saifulluh.

      Everything could have stayed the same after the ledgers were burnt. Aurang rejects Shireen, she presents him with the morpankh and they have the same conversation. Bano goes to visit Pari.

      However instead of Pari’s baby dying, Pari’s dies and the child lives. Rather convenient but then so was Gullali’s death and all the continuous eavesdropping. And this was Pari’s punishment for taking a false oath on the Quran.

      Then exactly the same thing happens, Bano beats Shireen with a stick. But before she does Aurang and Palwasha have already left for the city. This way Palwasha and Aurang are not shown to be complicit in Shireen’s beating.

      Durkane shows up conveniently (after he mental whatsup from Shireen) and sets the record straight. Before she leaves Durkane tells Shireen she has a nephew that needs a mother or looking after.

      The next day Shamim apologies to Shireen and Shireen then says something like that its time she stops letting others decide her future and life. She goes and sees GK who can’t look her in the eyes. Anyway she seeks his permission to leave after her iddat is finished to go back to her house. Shireen goes back to her brother’s house. Picks up her nephew and hugs him. She then calls Durkane’s brother and her brother’s former driver. She asks them to work for her. Durkane again mentions her brother’s proposal. The last we see of Shireen is having a conversation with Durkane on how she is no longer going to live in her dreams and needs to live in reality. She then takes out the morpankh (which she did not destroy) and lets it blow away in the wind.

      Meanwhile back at GK headquarters, Bano has time to contemplate her actions. Because we now have a few extra episodes (Gohar dies in episode 5 and Saifullah and Shireen’s marriage took place a few episodes earlier). Bano beating of Shireen repeats itself in Bano’s mind and she remembers Torah stopping her. Somehow Bano has a change of heart. But instead of having that sleazy scene where she approaches Torah in her wedding clothes she talks to him. But Bano being Bano she doesn’t do a straight apology. She tries to talk to Torah again but this time Bano can’t take Torah’s rejection and yells at him about how she despite being a pure Pathan is willing to accept him as her husband and how he should be grateful. Torah slaps her hard and threatens to divorce her. She goes running to daddy’s house. She has a conversation with her mother where Shamim calls herself GK’s and her children’s daasi.

      Torah shows up a few days later with his turban and gun and demands to have his wife back. However Torah instead of going straight for the confession has a good ten minutes dialogue about his mother and how the family has treated him. He yells at GK and says how the family treated him as second class citizen and the family lapdog. He then confesses to Gohar’s and Saifullah’s deaths but has a few minutes explaining them before Shamim shoots him. She then says the same dialogue and the drama ends.

      And there is no need for season 2!

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      • excellent ending…but i think if they have shown that Torah’s plan of second marriage was the destruction of bano..so let it b like that and Torah should have got married to some other woman in village but certainly not Shireen…He takes his wife to GK in saari n same scene but at the end his second wife cries on his deadbody and bano sits at the door where she was standing (we can really prevent tht pathetic scene where both wives sat beside Shamim with no sympathy for dead husband at all!)

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      • Beautiful end of the story. I wish the writer had written it like this! I feel like Shireen unnecessarily suffered due to this crazy khandan. The marriage to Torah was so unneeded. If Pari had died instead of the child, she would have a nephew to look after and all her brothers zameen as a source of income.

        Like

  14. I have raised this before but did Hum TV know how may episodes some of its bigger projects will have before they start? I know with DeD the drama was still being edited and finalized as the first couple of episodes were being shown. Hence the promos for the next episode showing scenes that were never shown. Remember we never saw Laila telling Behroze the ‘truth’.

    I suspect the same happened with SeMM. Maybe scenes were filmed showing Bano contemplating her relationship with Torah to be shown near the end of the drama. May be Torah had a longer conversation with GK before being shot. But in the end it all got edited out to fit in with the 28 episodes and 40 minutes slot. I have also heard in interviews with various people that work is sometimes delegated to assistants who never have their names appearing on the credits. So if different assistant editors chopped and edited the scenes and no one was looking out for continuity then the result is there for all to see. This is one of the conclusions I think is possible once you piece together everything that you hear people in the industry say during interviews. Any why should Hum TV work change this formula, its been a ‘success’ so far.

    Like

    • NKhan, interesting point about when and how Hum decides the length of a drama. Gone are the days when the entire drama used to be shot and then telecast (SZ and others can correct me if I’m wrong). But things changed after Humsafar. I believe due to its popularity they re-edited some stuff to prolong it.

      More recently, the trend is to keep shooting even while a play goes on air. Photos posted by stars on Instagram show that it is the case (Mann Mayal, Sanam etc). I think OKB mentioned somewhere re: Sanam that he only had part of the story/screenplay when they started shooting.

      I don’t think they’ve re-shot stuff for SeMM, I think they may have shot a lot more, hoping to edit later on. Since this drama was shot on location in Swat, I don’t think they went back there. They just used whatever they shot. Also, the success of the play might have taken them by surprise, hence they suddenly realised they could profit by prolonging the play, that’s why all that dragging of the story from after Gohar’s death to the triple deaths. (Just my opinion.) Somewhere in the middle of this, someone has come up with the brainwave of season 2 etc, so the hurried ending…

      Like

  15. @NKhan: @VZ is exactly right. Typically shooting is done and dusted and then the eps are edited as they air, their reception determing the exact number of eps. SeMM for instance was shot in the summer of last year, when I met SS in Aug, she was already done.

    More recently, as VZ has noted, the trend is to shoot in batches, given these stars are all shooting so much else and with the tendency to shoot dramas with so many stars (DeD, SeMM) its impossible to get so many ppl together in one go .. hence the many schedules. Also, the ever increasing number of dramas per week means that channels have to keep shooting more and more dramas so dates of not just actors bit directors, techies etc .. all have to be kept in mind.

    That said, Bin Roye, is I think an exception that they came back to shoot after the movie was released. They added in the scenes with Adnan Malik (who was nowhere on the tv scene when the original shoot happened) and others to add more masala and make it different from the movie. That it flopped so badly is a whole other story. Can you even imagine – a Mahira Khan serial ending at 18 eps in this day and age?!

    Also, as VZ said, they shoot much more than what ultimately makes it on screen, different angles, different takes on scenes, extra scenes that might seem unwanted later on .. .for instance, in Humsafar, I remember Mahira telling me that they had actually shot scenes of Khirad and Ashar in the car, ostensibly travelling back from Hyderabad, which never actually made it to the final cut.. also scenes with other side characters often get cut.

    Along similar lines but different case, when a serial has already been sold as having x no of eps, and then they end up not shooting as much as they thought they repeat scenes ad nausuam, case in point, Numm and scenes of Sania walking by the empty pool or checking out her grey hair in the mirror.

    Re: editing by assistants and nobody looking .. no I dont think anything happens without the director or somebody senior signing off on the final edit. What may be possible is there might be a diff set of ppl working on the promos and the actual ep…

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    • Thanks SZ. I am just becoming cynical on the whole set-up. Its just that this drama had a good story, great acting, cinematography and good characters. For all our criticisms in the greater scheme of things it was quite good. There must have been talented people behind this and I just don’t understand how they could have messed up the ending.

      Like

  16. @VZ: Would love to read about the following:
    An entry in Shamim’s diary,
    Palwasha’s cooking show,
    Durkhaney’s twitter feed,
    Bano’s “about” page on her FB,
    Bulbul’s radio chat show – Hot ‘n Not in Garhi Baran

    #farmaishiprogram

    Like

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