DBuzz ~ Desis’ Take on the Hot ‘n Not of Dramas

Annoyed with me for not reviewing dramas you watch hence depriving you of the opportunity to discuss with friends here? A drama so fab you would love to share with fellow DRNRs? Or perhaps so shockingly disgusting it needs to be brought to everybody’s attention? A guilty pleasure serial you are itching to discuss? Something so bad it’s actually good and you think others would get a kick out of it? An interview, an article, a teaser, a trailer you’d like others to see? Well… fret no more!

You asked and here it is!

DBuzz is a brand new thread dedicated to you all – for all those dramas and drama related things that we don’t usually have the space to talk about. Here you can rant and rave to your heart’s content without fear of being judged – I promise, I won’t!

There are a number of new serials that have recently started, many popular ones are in mid-run and some mega projects are about to hit our screens. So go ahead and let’s get started and see how this works out. If this catches on I am happy to do a new thread every few months or so … dekhtey hain. Abhi tau the ball is in your court and let’s see what all you’re watching and thinking about the hot ‘n not of on-air dramas!

Written by SZ~

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589 replies

  1. @SZ! I’m a bad girl this morning – on DRNRs instead of writing!
    Am I seriously the first to post here?
    “DBuzz” what a great title SZ!

    DBUZZ: I’m Watching *Sammi* because of SS!

    This is a rave about Sania Saeed! Sammi started out with the ‘vanni’ plot that we’ve seen before and repetitively recently, so for me it wasn’t original. Then, enter Sania Saeed in episode 4. I am enjoying this character and her portrayal of it so very much. There’s been some discussion of dark themes on another thread; what works best for me is to see a mix for a good balance. Exploring the depth of darkness is worthy of merit in any art form but I like seeing stories of how characters negotiate the darkness, face it (in the inner and outer realm) make sense of it, yet manage not just to survive but to thrive, find their own moments of peace/happiness, and devise their own terms of/for success. Madam Chandini and SS’s characterization of her does just that for me. There’s a hint of her past liaison, and she has a son. The irony of her past love-interest who has a whole team of daughters gives me a chuckle because it tells me I am getting to know drama tropes better! It will be interesting to see how it unfolds.

    Love the blond highlights this character has! Now I’d like to see her sport electric-blue or purple streaks. Yay Chandini Madam!

    Anyone else watching?

    I am supposed to be writing, so pretend I’m not here SZ!

    Have a great week end all.
    JR

  2. Hello
    I don’t know if anyone else is watching but I’m thoroughly enjoying Faltu Larki .Each character is unique in their idiosyncrasies.
    Samiya Mumtaz is brilliant as Paro.
    Nadia Afghan is amazing as a conniving Saas.
    Some of the dialogues are utterly hilarious .
    And there’s Hina Dilpazeer , who is always a treat to watch.
    There’s comedy and serious stuff happening simultaneously.

    Sammis bearable only because of Sania Saeed and Saman Ansari .Mawra is a pain to watch , she gets on my nerves and that voice of hers….ughhh

    • I am currently deciding whether to watch Pinjara or Saami. I currently favour Pinjara solely because I am really not a fan of Mawra. We don’t get personal on this blog so won’t say anymore on that.

      Will check out Faltu Larki. How many episodes has this had so far…I really don’t want to get into something that is more than 30 episodes long. (Oh my goodness two years ago I would have said more than 23 episodes, Hum has really been working its magic on us slowly).

      • Pinjra is much better than Sammi in terms of sheer storytelling. Also, Pinjra’s Aasiya is more interesting than Sammi’s titular character.

  3. Faltu Larki is really good. Can I make a request for a review? It shows a mirror to our hypocrisies. The only character i didn’t like is the orphan girl, forgot her name. I understand her situation but her dialogues and expression have mazloom aurat written all over. Paro and her sautan, (is she Hina Dilpazeer?)have the best dialogues, they are awesome. I have not seen any shows of her before. So do not know if she is always so good. The lady with dementia/neurosis is also very interesting. This is one show you don’t have to forward while watching. Except for the MAZLOOM orphan.
    I am not a frequent drama watcher, so pls forgive my lack of knowledge.

  4. So I’m about halfway through a show called Khamoshiyan It’s not a new show, so not quite in the spirit of DBuzz, lol. Apologies! In fact, the show is almost a decade old, but I thought I’d share my thoughts in case anyone else is motivated to binge-watch it on YouTube.

    It’s not a fun show in the sense that the plot revolves around the failure of a long marriage, and there’s a lot of heavy emotional content. Also, the plot feels familiar, so I think this might be adapted from an English novel and/or Hollywood?

    But Sania Saeed is in the lead and wow, she’s just brilliant. She’s always brilliant, of course, but she sort of blew me away in this role because her character is so brittle and just on the cusp of a breakdown, but yet never actually breaks. Also, she’s drop-dead gorgeous in this drama.

    She has fabulous chemistry with Noman Ijaz who plays her husband (because of course he plays her husband…must be a standard clause in their contracts, lol) as well as with Faisal Rehman who plays her “friend.” There’s plenty of “controversial” content on this show, so I wonder if it went down poorly with desi audiences. This aired on HUM back in the day, and I wonder if HUM just likes to be a bit more controversial. (Also, do SS and NI have some sort of contract clause that requires them to be cast together so often, lol?)

    Finally, an observational note: there’s a lot of public display of affection and physically demonstrative behavior on this show. The lead couple hold hands, hug, embrace, touch each other, etc., and rather a lot more than I’ve noticed on shows of more recent vintage, especially considering the marriage is falling apart. Is “virgin romance” (as FK calls it) also a post-Humsafar trend, I wonder.

      • RK thanks for sharing this. Right now I have not started watching anything so I will start with Khamoshiyan just because of the cast 🙂

    • @RK: DBuzz is indeed intended for all kinds of dramas .. I shall remove the on-air part the next time around .. just wanted to put it out there that there is space to discuss dramas other than those being reviewed 🙂
      Re: your comment abt the SS and NI there are not many ppl ( read men) in that age gp who are willing to play a character of their age .. not Humayun saeed – started off as pairing again SS and Nadia J in the Kahaniyan series but since than has refused to age – check him out in Dillagi, Bin Roye, the film jawani phir nahin aani etc .. same for Faysal Qureshi .. Faisal Rehman is an excellent actor and he’s done a lot of work with SS as well .. so basically women are aged out pretty quickly whereas men can continue being the hot hero – be it here or Bollywood or Hollywood.
      Re: the physical aspect it’s a sign of times and reflection of the change in Pakistani society. Also the impact of TRPs means that the visual lingo is directed to a conservative section of the society. These tv dramas are not being watched by the “cool kids” in urban centers ..
      re: controversial content: tv has actually changed a lot – read dumbed down, become boring, repetitive, and unintelligent .. hence even when they approach an important issue it ends up becoming a joke .. also with the increase in social media there is a lot of sensationalism, viewers driven to frenzy abt how culture and religion is being threatened etc .. leading to the fact that the few ppl who d

      • Sorry my phone hinting strongly to end my monologue .. will just finish my sentence then shut up
        … few ppl who do dare to put “diff” things out there are then left by the wayside .. because ultimately it is abt TRPs and negative publicity might create a temporary buzz but won’t attract advertisers hence no income ..

        • Somewhere up in Humayun Saeed’s attic is a portrait of him looking absolutely ravaged, I’m sure. 😉

          This weekend, I was hanging out with an actress friend who noted that the reasons there are hardly any lead roles for women above 40 anywhere in the world is because there’s so little originality in writing anymore. Case in point: Hollywood’s biggest productions are superhero movies or franchise reboots, and these have barely ever featured older female leads. When older female characters do show up in these blockbusters, they’re openly criticized for their age while older male leads remain acceptable. (Case in point: Carrie Fisher was criticized for “not aging well” in the new Star Wars movies while Harrison Ford was not).

          Some of this is the fault of writers who choose not to write parts for women above a certain age. But as my friend noted, if you’re just trying to break into the industry, you’re not going to be the one to rock the boat. If you’re already big in the industry, you’re not going to risk your position by advocating things that might not be successful, so it’s a vicious cycle, and one that women aren’t likely to break out of anytime soon.

          This WaPo article breaks down statistics from way back in 1911, demonstrating that this has always been the case for women: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/09/19/these-charts-reveal-how-bad-the-film-industrys-sexism-is/?utm_term=.61352f0af2b1#comments

          And now that I’ve taken this way off track, I should let you guys know: I started watching DeD last night. Keep your fingers crossed for me, lol.

            • So far so good, I think. LOL.

              I like Osman Khalid Butt a lot anyway, so that’s a bonus.

              DeD is a gorgeous show, but watching it after SeMM is kind of odd. DeD’s look feels like a hyper-colorized fantasy version of SeMM, lol.

    • RK, re: PDA, I wonder if part of the issue is also the individual actors involved. For eg, Mahira has always said she wasn’t too comfortable with it, I’ve heard other stars like Sarwat mention it as well. But even 6-8 years ago plays were not so “careful” (for want of a better word!) about PDA on screen. With the cut throat focus on TRP, like SZ says, channels are trying to woo the more conservative audience. You might also notice the “Hi” being replaced by the more traditional greetings in the more recent plays.

      • That’s fair. Actors shouldn’t have to do things they’re not comfortable with, especially when it’s not particularly relevant to the plot.

        So is this lack of PDA limited to television, or is this also true in films? I’ve seen a few trailers for PK movies, and they seem a bit racier (for lack of a better word) than the TV shows.

        • RK, do you mean current films or films from say 60s/70s? I haven’t watched any of the recent ones, so I’m not sure, but I know that item numbers these days seem to generally attract a lot of criticism on religious/cultural grounds. As the industry is still trying to get back on its feet, all sorts of films are being made. Time will tell which kinds of films sustain the industry in the long run.

          Re: the films of 1960s/70s, we had many interesting conversations over on the Main Sitara thread (the play was focussed, at least initially, on a film actress from that time). Have a look when you have the time…

          • VZ: Re: the new movies: if you are so inclined, Dukhtar, Shah, Bachana, NaMaloom Afraad are online on yt. Some other randomers are online as well.
            Also, dukhtar and NMA are on Netflix as well. Ho Mann Jahan will most probably release on eid, I think.

            • SZ, thank you, Dukhtar has been on my must-watch list ever since you mentioned it. Hope to be able to watch it soon…

            • Saw Dukhtar on Netflix recently and enjoyed it a lot. Thought the cinematography was especially great.

              I saw a trailer for “Jawani Phir Nahin…” and I thought it was a bit more racy than things are on PK dramas, so was just wondering if film standards are a bit different than TV. Audiences in PK watch Bollywood movies too, so they’re probably used to some of that already.

            • I wanted to watch Dukhter . Thank you SZ .
              In Malal Faisal Rehman was good .and also aur zindgi badlti hai . I hope write the title
              correctly . My apologies .

    • @RK. You’re not alone. I am always watching some older classics. And when I just want a few quick laughs, Anwar Maqsood’s “Loose Talk” is my go-to show. The brilliant Moin Akhtar!

      I also love telefilms. SZ has a list on one of her pages. Some great stories and acting and all done in an hour-ish. One of my favorites is “Ghunghat.” And one of my favorite Sania Saeed’s “Drama Fever.” And of course anything by Mehreen Jabbar is worth watching.

      JR
      Over and Out

    • @RK – years ago we saw a short play or maybe it was a telefilm. Its starred Nadeem, Deepak Parwani and a female lead who I can’t remember. Anyway the lady was married to Nadeem who was an aspiring politician and while shown to be a loving and considerate husband was devoted to his career. They have a young son. The wife feeling neglected meets Deepak and starts an affair with him. If you excuse the adultery the story between the wife and Deepak is shown as a love story with Deepak wanting to marry her. What surprised us was not so much the adultery (thats an everyday occurrence in dramas now) but the physical contact between the female lead and Deepak Parwani. This was basically a short play or telefilm and yet they were shown meeting in hotel rooms and she was lying next him resting her head on him.

      I remember watching it at the time thinking wow this is pretty liberal set-up for a Pakistani production considering its not a film. It was well acted and you really felt for all the characters. It didn’t come across as sleazy unlike similar narratives in our dramas today. The story was narrated through a third person who was a friend of the wife.

      I have just googled any play that Nadeem and Deepak have done together and I came up with Lillian a telefilm made in 2006.

      Thanks for the tip on Khamoshiyan, will give it a go. However I have to ask my usual question:

      ‘Kitni episode tai’

      • I watched “Khamoshiyan” on YouTube, and the way the uploader spliced the episodes together, its hard to tell exactly how many episodes, but it’s either 23 or 24. I think they’re only 30 minute episodes though, so they go pretty quickly. There is the usual dragginess in the middle of the series, but it doesn’t feel padded or anything.

        Also, now that I’ve seen the whole thing, I was a bit disappointed by the ending, although it was nicely played by all three actors.

        • @RK: Not sure where SS said it, either here in response to a reader question or elsewhere, but she did say that she didnt want her character to go back to her husband … but ultimately it was the producers’ call with the usual excuse: our audiences will not accept a woman walking away … Other than that I can only recall hazy details so not quite sure what else was off..

          The Ghost, also an adaptation, was another fun one ..

          • Yeah, as soon as the final scene began, I just knew there was going to be a “Kollywood kop out.” (That’s a term from South Indian cinema…where no woman has ever EVER actually had a divorce, no matter how terrible a person her husband is).

            I’m sorta glad she had misgivings about the ending though, because SS’s character had clearly gotten over any tender affection she had for her cheating louse of a husband and had such fabulous chemistry (and really a rather tender-but-mature love story) with the Faisal Rehman character. It kind of broke my heart when she broke his heart (and her own too)!

            • One woman in a Pakistani drama had enough and did take a divorce without coming across as a bad woman – Aasiya in Mera Naam Yousuf Hai

          • Dear HKB – long time no see! Loved Afia’s spirit – you know, at one point MNYH simply put me off with all the glorified stalking by the hero. The only hopes were you and Mehreen. And that ending (or rather Afia’s new beginning) was really well done. I know you fought for Afia, so big salute to you!

            What are you working on these days, anything interesting we should watch out for?

            I am re-watching Shehr-e Zaat 🙂 What a gem! Lots of good wishes to you!

            • Thank you VZ for your warmth and love ❤ I took some time off because I was really feeling burnt out – acting is such a process of self negation and I had done so many difficult and challenging roles back to back that I was exhausted. Now reading scripts and mostly declining but formalising a few. Doing a few interesting telefilms. Just did Nayee Bahu from the Dukh Sukh series. A few more interesting ones I will be working on.
              As for hidden gems – Ishq Gumshuda, Tum ho keh Chup! Teri Meri Jori are worth watching!

            • Dear Hina, will definitely look out for Nayee Bahu, thank you for the heads up!

              Do take care of your health, I can understand how the demands of acting can leave you exhausted plus summer must be on its way as well, isn’t it. Hope you get a good break and feel refreshed.

              Thank you for the other drama recommendations as well. You were superb in Tum Ho Ke Chup, something I watched just some months ago… Lots of duas and best wishes from all of us here…

            • @HKB: Yay! So excited to see a comment from you! I’m newer to the TV drama world than most others here, so I haven’t had a chance to see Mera Naam Yousuf Hai yet, but I’m going to take your comment as a recommendation! 🙂

  5. SZ…..thank you for starting this thread. I have not had the courage to pick up any drama after Sang e Mar Mar ended. I am so afraid to waste time that I just decided to wait it out with drama’s currently on air. Got some good info on this thread though for older drama’s and telefilms 🙂 will discuss once I have watched something good :D.

  6. Ok, two possibly fazool questions:

    1. In the graphic above, aside from Sammi and the three shows with the titles transcribed in English, what are all these shows’ titles? I’d like to check them out on YT, but I don’t read even a little Urdu. (TBH, I’ve started to figure the alphabet out a bit just from the title cards, but honestly, there are too many dots and diacritics for me to decipher, lol).

    2. If you had to list your five favorite scenes from any dramas, what would they be? (Assuming it’s not just a list of scenes from Humsafar!)

    • OK so: L-R from top to bottom:

      Sammi, Shiza, Yeh Raha Dil, Woh Aik Pal
      Khuda Aur Muhabbat, Muqabil, Titli, Nazr-e Bad
      Khan, Khuda Mera Bhi Hai, Kitni Girhein Baqi Hain, Faltu Larki
      Dil Banjara, Mushrik, Tashnigi Dil Ki, Seeta Bagri

      And other current dramas: Munkir, Zindaan, Tere Bina, Khaali Haath, Sun Yaara, Rasm-e Duniya…

      So wanna go back to 2012 and the time of three big dramas a week on Fri, Sat and Sun…

    • RK, I’m going to try, because to my own utter sharmindgi I’m only learning to read Urdu now – better late than never eh?

      So, reading left to right, top to bottom:
      Sammi, Shiza, Yeh Raha Dil, Woh Aik Pal, Khuda aur Mohabbat, Muqabil, Titli, Nazr-e bad, Khan, Khuda Mera Bhi Hai, Kitni Girhain Baqi Hain, Faltu Larki, Dil Banjara, Mushrik, Tishnagi Dil Ki, Seeta Bagri.

    • RK, you asked about favourite scenes: for me Shehr-e Zaat is super special, there are many scenes from that play that I enjoy watching again and again.

      I love Malal – again so many scenes that are so good, it will be difficult to pick one… Again it is a play that I think has a lot of re-watch value for me – the scene where Zee breaks down in front of Jawad or the scene where Jawad convinces his Mum about Zee or Mahi’s last scene with Danish… I could honestly list so many in that play…

      Pehchan – again, so many scenes it’s hard to list one – sorry RK I think I’ve ended up listing plays rather than scenes. I’ve started so I might as well keep going.

      Daam – the last few scenes between the friends (including the last phone convo), the last Zara-Junaid scene (talking of PDA, these two had a hug, unimaginable in today’s times!), Zara’s scenes with Mano…

      Dastaan, MeJ (Aabi with his Mum, Hania’s scenes with Aabi’s parents, Aabi-Hania convo after he “comes back”)…

      I’m not a big Humsafar fan (nor ZGH!). SZ, raincoat, raincoat, please!

        • Oh dear SZ… Keep it, your need is greater hehehe…

          Talking of racy content in dramas, anyone remember Mujhe Khuda Pe Yakeen Hai? Well, Hum Europe was re-telecasting it recently and the way Aisha Khan’s character was chipkoing with Mikaal was quite cringe-worthy.

          And to be honest, any scene where the husband and wife characters are sharing a bedsheet (while still being 5 feet apart) does make me cringe. I think I’m a closet conservative…

          • I’m not particularly conservative about most things, but I don’t feel like visual media needs to hit us over the head with physical intimacy between couples. It’s good to leave things to the viewers’ imaginations, I think.

            • RK, true. Some of these scenes feel so awkward because either it’s unnecessary or three actors look awkward in those scenes.

              Recent Hum promos for Woh Aik Pal and Dil-e Jaanam are upping the ante on the PDA stuff as well.

          • Yep those husband and wife scenes where they are miles apart really look awful But you notice they didn’t have this problem in Humsafar. What you do is have one partner lying down and the other sitting up reading a newspaper or with an Ipad. Then if they have a conversation the physical distance between them doesn’t feel unnatural.

            • Yeah, that’s true.

              I recall SS saying that back in the old days, they wouldn’t even show a married couple sitting on the bed at the same time because of viewer concern that these actors weren’t really married to each other!

              Also, if a woman was shown sleeping, she still had to have her head covered with her dupatta, lol.

            • No no that’s not because of viewers, thats the Zia era and his censorship. Before him TV was normal as normal can be .. check out Teesra Kinara, Qurbatein aur Faasle etc.. all dramas of Sahira Kazmi, Rahat Kazmi, Roohi Bano, Khalida Riyasat, Simi Raheal, Samina Ahmed, The Peerzadas.. each worth watching .. there was nothing out there but there was nothing uber conservative abt stuff either .. Sahira, Roohi all wore sleeveless clothes without any fuss and nobody got hot n bothered. Zia brought in his own kind of a skewed understanding of religion and introduced censorship and moral policing where married couples had to be shown sleeping on twin beds and women wore dupattas 24/7 even while sleeping. Announcers also had to keep their heads covered. It is from there, the early ’80s that tv and society started changing in to what we see now .. ghosts of those years continue to linger.. I will not delve deeper into the politics of this era because this is not the forum but needless to say at that point in time it was not the viewers, that was the official line: ppl cannot watch such stuff it is wrong etc. over time though, for the generations who have grown up under these draconian laws, this kind of moral policing is the new old norm and now it’s so deeply embedded that it seems likes a given.

      • Ah, several shows I haven’t seen on that list, so thanks, VZ!

        Btw, don’t everyone hate me at once, but I just really couldn’t get into Dastaan. I tried several times, and I am rather fond of FK looking all young and pure and fabulous as Hasan. But for whatever reason, the show just never held my interest. I got as far as the episode where Bano and Hasan get engaged and kind of gave up after that.

        • Not at all! I couldnt care two cents for the jingoism but enjoyed the halal romance b/w FK and SB… the Post Partition bit was more interesting for the historian me in terms of a well-articulated critique of the newly formed nation-state… very rare to see in dramas particularly something as mainstream as this and that too in these times …..

          • Yes, history and critique of the state of things are not easy anywhere, and Partition is wound that hasn’t healed even now… To me, Bano’s life and journey are heart wrenching but so true of so many people…

        • RK.. same here even i couldnt get into Daastan .. even after trying like 2 to 3 times.. i couldn’t get myself involve in it.. i felt bad at times k such amazing drama which is being praised by almost everyone why m i so odd one out 🙈

        • Rehmat missing those days… Now there is no choice, mushkil se one play per year, that too if it doesn’t derail 😦

          When was the last time we enjoyed a play from start to finish recently?!

            • Pehchan I would say. Re: JH, I remember being annoyed with the channel when they dragged it like nobody’s business – at 27 weeks, it is MJ’s longest drama I think. But even that pales in comparison to DeD or SeMM. And at least they didn’t throw a googly by changing the behaviour of the key characters! And how dignified was Marina Khan as opposed to our Ruhi and Arjumand…

            • @VZ.. true it was stretched unnecessary but again like u said the finale wasnt disaster we were happy tht it ended and also how it ended

      • Wah! We have similar likes.. I just watched the last episode of Daam again. I should watch Malaal again, the acting of all the cast was amazing. It is still my most favorite drama till date. I have not seen Pechaan… but I love MeJ… I can watch that any time. Sarwat Gillani is an amazing actress, its just too bad that not all her drama’s are that great. I agree ZGH is still to date the most overrated drama and Humsafar had some good parts I guess.

        • Seher, Daam was so enjoyable, so many threads, but each interwoven so nicely. Malaal is my top favourite too. Umera and Mehreen just created magic in those days. The tight storytelling, beautiful script, great acting, characters we remember even today, meaningful dialogues… Really miss those gems.

  7. @RK: Re: PK movies being racier, isn’t that always the case all over the world? Also, in PK the cinema has traditionally been relatively more male oriented as compare to TV, and this is especially true of the rural or more conservative areas, where the prevalent mindset is to keep your “own” women at home and go ogle at “other” women in theaters.
    The fact that you have to pay for a ticket and have a “choice” allows the makers more leeway than TV although these days it is at times hard to differentiate b/w film and drama.. with dramas getting filmier and films looking like dramas ..
    Btw, racy content in dramas is on the rise as well …
    Also, check out PK film songs from the ’80s and ’90s we had plenty of home grown versions of khatiya sarkaiyle type of songs…more so in Punjabi and Pushto cinema, where when it came to the sleeze factor, movies of the entire world served as an inspiration.

    • I don’t know now why but “khatiya sarkaiyle” just made me laugh out loud. It’s a good job my office door is closed. 😊

      • Has anyone here watched the 1978 Pakistani movie Seeta Mariam Margaret? (its about twin sisters not triplets) There is no way that movie would have got passed the censors if it had been released 2 years later. I always thought the storyline was ahead of its time, although it did play on the theme of the Seeta Mariam being good girl from the east while Margaret was the evil corrupt western girl. It bought up the theme of minority rights and the treatment of Hindus in Pakistan. I loved the character of party girl Margaret who stated quite bluntly that at the end of the day men are after only one thing. To prove her point Margaret tried to seduce almost every man in the film including her sister’s fiance and her sister’s future father-in-law.

        Unfortunately I can’t find a link to my favourite song in this film ‘Hello Prince’ I just love Rani’s shoes and her style. Youtube has the song but no video from the film.

        Forget the item numbers today check this out:

        • NKhan, haven’t seen this before – certainly makes you think about our discussions during Main Sitara.

          Isn’t it sad that the girl is the “bad” one but the guy who is with her is purest of pure? Not just PK films, mainstream Bollywood as well has this disturbing trend. All feeding into the “a girl and a girl alone is responsible for her “chastity”, don’t blame the poor men it’s not their fault one bit” mindset that has become firmly entrenched…

          • VZ, absolutely off course chastity is a female ‘issue’ How many Salmna Khan movies have we seen where ‘Prem’ is the womanizing playboy but he falls in love with a nice (virgin) girl who eventually tames him. In Zindagi Gulzar Hai after Kashaf and Zaroon are married they are having a conversation in the car as husband and wife. I can’t remember what the conversation was but at one point we hear Kashaf’s thoughts and she is thinking that had she sat in the car in the front seat with Zaroon during their college days she would not be sitting in the front now as his wife. Again meaning that all those girls that sat in the front seat with Zaroon were not good enough to be his wife. What then is the difference between Prem and Zaroon?

            By the way there is an interesting conversation between Margaret and Sita/Mariam. Margaret tells her long lost identical twin sister with no ‘modesty’ that she is beautiful and has a great figure and she should use this to her advantage to find happiness. She then proceeds to tell her sister about all the ‘shareef’ men she has seduced and actually says how their sharafat disappears once she takes her clothes off. Off course in the end Margaret learns that she is only really a commodity and is redeemed to a pure life via the azaan playing in the background. I like the fact she doesn’t actually die in the end.

            • That aspect of ZGH really bothered me. That Kashaf puts such a high value on her own virtue is fine to me, but that Zaroon is drawn to her partly because of her unassailable virtue was really troubling. This was made more so by the fact that he had zero problems flirting with all the other girls in his class whose virtue was apparently not his problem.

              Plus, although the general tone of ZGH was very much in the direction of female empowerment, it also seemed to extol the virtues of the middle class (“conservative”) over the upper class (“liberal”).

              Also, Zaroon was just a big baby most of the time. A very attractive and charming one, of course, but still.

            • NKhan, yes true. ZGH raised all these issues, but Zaroon never really had a change of heart or realisation of what a chauvinistic man he was. There was no journey for any of the characters really. It was very disappointing.

              Thanks for the snippet about Seeta Mary Margaret 🙂

            • I watched ZGH as if I was watching an English or American TV series set in the 195s0 or early 60s. This was a time when society allowed women were to think about careers and have jobs. But she was still expected to cook the meals and look after her husband. This way I found myself less critical of Zaroon.

              There was a documentary recently on women in the police force in the UK. Right up until the late 1970s women in the London Metropolitan Police were expected to quit if they married or had a child (I can’t remember which one it was)

              I did read somewhere that in the novel Zaroon’s character was less nicer than he was shown in the drama. Mainly because we need a ‘hero’ in our dramas. I think he was actually cruel to Kashaf during the marriage.

  8. Did any one here watch the first ep of Woh Aik Pal? I did. It was all kinds of bad, but worse I was irritated throughout because I know I have seen this story (several versions of it actually) in either Bollywood or Hollywood … does anyone know the “inspiration” for this one?

    • Nope, didn’t watch it. The promos were off-putting somehow. All that dragging a girl and leaving her in the rain etc… And Aly Khan and Emmad Irfani are in every other play these days (or so it seems)…

    • After Mann Mayal, I have finally decided to not give any drama written by SF even one chance 🙂 We know Uniza will be another Mannu for the next 30 or so episodes.

      • DB, didn’t realise it was written by SF – then toh it will be Mann Mayal 2!

        Frankly the violence was so off-putting I guess plays like DeD and GeR have upped the ante on the violence 😦

  9. Oh man sincr the day it was posted..i was excited to sharw what i am watching now a days but couldnt manage time #StillNotAGoodAlrounderMommy 😦

    But wow the discussions as usual are so awesome. I am watching Mor Mahal by Sarmad Khoosat.. and its just absolute brilliance.. its a historical fantasy drama.. quest of power. And how each n every character has thirst of power without thinking of their blood relations..42 episodes in n i guess next week is last..i never felt bore with following this one as the conspiracies are so interesting tht u actually have to think on it… some tracks were bit boring but thts ok.. the cast is fab

    @RK.. SS is also in this one and her track with Hina Bayat is super cool.. i just loved this intriguing track of them. We have Meesha Shafi and Umair Jaswal of Coke Studio fame..

    Im sad that after this ending will be left only with Pinjra

    • Rehmat, re: your hashtag – please don’t feel that way, being a Mum is rewarding but exhausting work and guilt comes hand in hand with it! Join in whenever you feel like yaar…
      In other news I saw a promo or something for Bholi Bano and thought of you. Geo is really good at hitting home with the titles of their shows na? Bholi, bechari, khali haath – I mean, you immediately get a shot of confidence when you read the names lol… Also, it’s absolutely clear what it’s all about… Bonus!

      • @VZ that’s really sweet of u yaar..
        Thanku:).
        Reg: confidence.. haha you and @SZ are clearly great minds think alike.. as i remember SZ commented about same when Muhabat Subhah Ka Sitara was on air n the lead rumaiysa was so dumb that SZ said. K this gives boost to self esteem 😅😅

            • I watched the very first one by Bee Gul and I liked it. There’s another one she’s written as well and I wanted to watch that at some point.

              The one I saw was made without frills but the writing was taut and you didn’t miss the bells and whistles. I thought Bee Gul did a very nice job of portraying the feelings of the main character with a sincerity that’s her hallmark…

        • NKhan, Geo deserves an award for these “creative” names. The production quality of Geo plays is not that great either, that’s where Hum is miles ahead, but the quality of plays on both these channels is just disappointing.

          The current prime time plays on Hum go something like this: Mon, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – Mohabbat and related assorted problems nearly all of them are triangles, Tue, Sat – shaadi ke side effects, Sunday – women’s empowerment and social reform programme, also known as Sammi. No point in even hoping for anything interesting.

    • Rehmat: thanks for the heads up of MM. I can’t believe there is a SK serial on, and with such a fab cast to boot, and I’m not watching it 😕 I hope they put out DVDs fast because I can’t sit through those prints on the net 🙈

      And what is the nonsense with the hashtag?? Nahin bhai can’t have you feeling that way! Being a mom is the hardest job ever and the worst is that it’s never ever done. We are here to help you destress not to add to it .. just take it easy and post whenever .. you know we love hearing from you 😘

      • Oh DVD print will be treat to watch.. i know utube prints are meh.. i watched most of the episodes on tv… baqi rest phir utube per sabr karna para

        Aww you are sweetheart.. thanku so much 🙂 oh i am so grateful for this blog.. it indeed boosts me up and all my distress and depressions never last long due to you all lovely ppl out here.. 🙂

  10. Not a TV program rec, but I just started reading Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West. It’s pretty good and has “should be made into a movie” written all over it.

  11. Is anyone watching Saanp Seerhi? Its on Express Entertainment. Very different from their usual content. Curious to hear your thoughts?

    • Hey @DramaNut: thank you for visiting and commenting. I don’t know abt others but I haven’t yet had a chance to watch. I’m presuming you are watching, and so it would be great if you could perhaps share a quick synopsis and I’m sure one of us will check it out. You know given the deluge of dramas these days it’s hard to figure out what’s good and what’s not so it always helps if you know what the drama is abt and if it’s worth a watch.
      Thanks!

      • Thanks @SZ. It is actually pretty good. A lot of people have not watched it because its on express and there hasn’t been great content on there since Talkhyaan but it is very interesting. very true to life as well. Its about the life of wealthy politicians and the middle class and how their paths sometimes cross. It also has done a great and realistic job in shedding light of journalists and media in Pakistan and their good and bad relationships with the ones in power. anchor hosts etc. very different from the love triangle/saas bahu storyline so refreshing. it seems to reminiscent of the chaand girhen (circa 90s) genre.

      • @SZ & DramaNut. Yes I am am watching Saanp Seerhi. I stayed with it because it is government politics rather than kitchen or bedroom politics.

        Synposis: The female lead is from a wealthy, corrupt (business/political) family and that sub-plot exposes patriarchal double-standards, while a TV journalist (Anoushkay Ashraf – I haven’t seen her before) exposes corruption in politics. The male lead lives with his mother, a retired teacher and they have a close bond (that in the early episodes is a little OTT). So the romance sub-plot is an over-used one: rich girl/middle-class boy. As episodes progressed the focus was tilted towards the romance. The female lead character has a lot of grey, which I liked. I would have liked to see more balance with the political story line. Perhaps following one political intrigue through the play parallel to the romance, maybe with characters in both narratives intersecting now and then, with some sort of climax/resolution in the end. (Umera A are you listening?) According to the credits, the story is ‘supervised’ by UA; not quite sure what the logistics of that entails in drama showbiz.

        Either way no bezubaan, mazluum women in this show and some of the characters are interesting. The poster seems rather dull and dark but I’ve stayed with this one and I like the OST.

        Alrightey then,
        JR

        • @JR wow, that has been the most apt and correct review of the drama. Those are exactly my sentiments. There are definitely some aspects that make it fall flat but the story and premise is interesting and different which has made me watch a drama on Express which is an act of God in itself. Some aspects were very true to society and were youth focused so felt timely with the whole panama leaks thing. I liked Anoushey’s character and how that was another grey character and the battle between her and the former anchor and the cut-throat world of tv journalism was another aspect I enjoyed and which hooked me. Just 9 episodes so far so more than half of the story is left to see so it could go either way im sure. Ill stick to it!

          • Hi @DramaNut. Yes, I too like Anushay’s character and she portrayed her well. Nothing coy, or melodramatic about the way she deals with Raees Jr. when he threatens her or comes on to her on various occasions. In fact, she wants to take advantage of it to get an interview without being overly flirtatious. I think in the first few scenes she looked like she was spooked or diffident but then she came to her own when she took the opportunity and stepped in front of the camera.

            That’s what I like about these women. Even Sophia, when she confronts Mohid’s mom in the kitchen about her marrying M. It is a very open discussion yet there is no malice in the way they converse. Especially when M’s mother says there no greater love than a mother’s and she shows her the ring! Good acting by both in that scene. No overacting at all.
            Samina P., is elegant in her acceptance eventually; no great melodramatic dialogue like we hear from desi mothers.

            There are some flaws in the script but still it’s better than many shows. I think they had enough material and good actors to have made this a much better story.

            Aha! Bonus: Pir baba ka jadu. 🙂

            • @JR i agree with you completely. I liked the evolution of Anoushey the most. from the timid, scared intern-type girl who was always ambitious and then went for the jugular when she saw an opportunity and then her transformation 3 years later. That was probably my fav part of the show. and yes there are some minor flaws in the script but i am wondering if it is because of the co-writing part and with two writers, it may not be easy to keep consistency. the samina pirzada and sophia rais scenes are very powerful and i do love that this show has grey characters and not completely black and white. another thing i love is that this drama also shows a very sweet platonic friendship between anoushey and her assistant. makes it more realistic and its good to see a drama where a guy and a girl can be just friends without having to add masala.

  12. I’m off from work today because….well, I’m old and everything hurts, lol.

    But I’m making good use of my time by watching DeD. I’m on the second episode, and I have to say this is the prettiest TV show I’ve seen in a long time. The scenery, the sets, even the cast…so pretty!

    • RK, read SZ’s reviews and our comments on the DeD thread as you watch 🙂 The cinematography and the scenic locales of Gilgit-Baltistan made a refreshing change of pace.

      Re: Mohsin Hamid’s book – thanks for the reco. I have not read any of his books (is that a jaw-dropping statement or what!). Will probably try soon. I just don’t know why I never felt like reading his books…

      Hope you are feeling better now, take care…

      • The only other Mohsin Hamid book I’ve read is “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” which was alright. I enjoyed it, but not so much that I’d read it a second time.

        Exit West features a healthy dose of magical realism though, and I’m a fan of the genre, so that may explain why I’m enjoying it. It’s also mercifully short, so I can actually read it in a couple of days, lol.

      • I’m better, thanks. Also, OKB has finally made his entrance on DeD, so no complaints. 😊

        (Yes, I really am a terribly shallow human being, lol).

        • RK, arre no, we were all waiting with bated breath for his appearance. Also, Wali as a character had so much hype surrounding him that it was a mixture of that as well. But then…

          • I’m actually really enjoying DeD but in a slightly ironic way. For about two seconds, I felt really bad that I was laughing at Behroze and Ruhi when they were having such a serious conversation, but honestly. they do nothing for me and the actors have no chemistry at all.

            Agha jan is pretty interesting as a character though, even if he says things like “betiyaan behas nahin karti” or something equally regressive.

            • You are not liking Agha Jaan’s regressive streak? At least he can be thought of as old-school, etc but there will be others with worse attitudes as the drama progresses – don’t want to colour your opinion, but this play really rattled a lot of us with its unique take on “strong and empowered” characters…

            • Can I please request we keep the DeD comments on the DeD thread…makes it easier to read all takes on a particular drama in one place. Thanks!

            • Apologies, SZ. It was me that triggered that discussion on DeD. Will comment on the correct thread next time. RK – sorry yaar! 🙂

            • Aww! no it’s all of us .. I’m equally bad!

              Btw, can I ask for quick feedback? All of you can chime in..
              So the menu above … Do you use it at all? I’m redoing it by serial names rather than channels .. does that make finding dramas easier you think? Thanks in advance for your help!
              And yes it’s work in progress so still messed up 😊

  13. Hi All!
    This is not in sequence, so sorry!
    Speaking of “inspirations”…I saw the first episode (speed-watched) Kesi Yeh Paheli.
    “While You Were Sleeping” – hope I got the title right; Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman and Peter Gallagher – hope I got spellings right.
    … and I don’t intend to follow this one.

    Until soon
    JR

    • Saira Kazmi directed a drama years ago starring Marina Khan and the singer Ali Haider that was inspired by While You were sleeping. I think it was a PTV drama called ‘Tumse Kehna Tai. I remember liking it at the time. It did state quite clearly in the credits that it was an inspiration.

  14. LSA Nominations are out and clearly we know nothing.. below are the nominations in the TV category… the rest can be read at the link posted below

    Best TV Play

    Besharam on ARY Digital

    Dillagi on ARY Digital

    Mann Mayal on Hum TV

    Mein Sitara on TV One

    Udaari on Hum TV

    Best TV Actor

    Ahsan Khan for Udaari

    Faisal Qureshi for Bheegi Palkien

    Humayun Saeed for Dillagi

    Noman Ejaz for Dampukth

    Zahid Ahmed for Besharam

    Best TV Actress

    Maya Ali for Mann Mayal

    Mehwish Hayat for Dillagi

    Saba Qamar for Besharam

    Saba Qamar for Mein Sitara

    Sajal Ali for Gul-e-Rana

    Best TV Director

    Ehtishaamuddin for Udaari

    Farooq Rind for Besharam

    Haseeb Hasan for Mann Mayal

    Kashif Nisar for Dampukth

    Nadeem Baig for Dillagi

    Best TV Writer

    Faiza Iftikhar for Dillagi

    Farhat Ishtiaq for Udaari

    Sameera Fazal for Man Mayal

    Sarwat Nazeer for Besharam

    Zafar Mairai for Dampukth

    Best Original Sound Track

    Sun Yara by Damia Farooq (ARY Digital) (Producer: Six Sigma Productions)

    Udaari by Hadiqa Kiyani (HUM TV) (Producer: Momina Duraid, Haisaam Hussain and Shahzad Kashmiri)

    Hatheli by Nabeel Shaukat (HUM TV) (Producer: Moomal Shunaid, Moomal Entertainment)

    Mann Mayal by Quratulain Baloch (HUM TV) (Producer: Momina Duraid, Samina Humayun Saeed, Tariq Shah, Sana Shahnawaz)

    Yeh Ishq by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan (ARY Digital) (Producer: Big Bang Productions)

    https://images.dawn.com/news/1177261/lsa-2017-nominations-are-out

  15. Dear All, I have been keenly following the verbal exchanges​ between Karan Johar and Kangna Ranaut and what others in Bollywood felt about it etc. It made me wonder how difficult it is to be an outsider in the entertainment industry, which has no defined path to the way up. Weren’t today’s insiders outsiders at some point? Who was the last real outsider to make it big in Bollywood – SRK? Ranveer Singh? Anushka Sharma? The camps and cartels are so tightly adhered to that any outsider stands no chance… I’m ​sure Hollywood has its own brand of camps. Just made me think how undefined the criteria for success are in entertainment… #randomrantover

    • Nepotism is a big deal in Bollywood, but arguably, India is just rife with nepotism in all walks of life (especially politics), so Bollywood is just sticking with the norm, I guess.

      A lot of big stars who are self-made are, IMO, just lucky. (Not discounting their abilities…but luck seems to trump talent in many cases). There’s some sort of cosmic alignment of time and space that makes it possible for some entertainers to be in the right place at the right time, and if they’re strategic about their career goals, they make it. All else being equal between two potential actors, I can see how nepotism would tilt the scales considerably towards one over the other.

      • To clarify, it’s not that I think nepotism is alright or that it’s a net positive. It’s more that it seems to be entrenched to the point where arguing against it is a bit like Don Quixote tilting at windmills.

      • RK, re: outsiders making us because of luck, yes, bit it also seems to happen when someone at the top can’t do a project for some reason, eg Amitabh Bachchan came in because Jeetendra couldn’t do a film or SRK came in because Aamir Khan didn’t want to do Darr etc. But of course unless there films did well, the outsider can kiss his chances goodbye. But these days such rank outsiders don’t even seem to get chances.

        • It’s fascinating too because regional cinema in India is doing a great job with mining new talent as well as telling stories in a more innovative way.

          I think Bollywood’s problem is that it’s simply too risky to launch a new face without a big name behind it. I mean, sure, if you’re Irrfan Khan or Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and you’re extremely talented but also willing to wait until you’re on the wrong side of 30 to get your big break, things might ultimately go your way. But even there, luck helps. Irrfan had the benefit of TV to break into the industry (and he’s from a jagirdari family so there was no “starving actor” problem), and NS benefited from his association with Anurag Kashyap who tends to think outside the box a lot.

          • Agreed, the money is a big factor here … and then on top of that if you’re not even going to play by the rules why would anybody want to invest in you 🤔

          • RK, but Irfan or NS is still not the same league one of the Khans. They are still not “hero” in the mainstream definition na? It’s just so hard to get a break in…

            • Yaar woh tau they are not “pretty” enough to be mainstream Hindi cinema heros..and NS had a very very long struggling period before he got recognized by the mainstream. Even though notice how smartly he stays quiet during press cons and interviews never stealing the limelight from the stars .. the minute he stars asserting himself as a bigger better actor he will be thrown out ..

            • I think you can put Irrfan firmly into the “doesn’t give a damn” camp on his own stardom. Besides, he’s also a known quantity in Hollywood, so on some level, he’s a bigger deal than SRK, right? 😉

              They’ve both had lead roles opposite “big” names in Bollywood, fwiw. They’re just not huge stars.

            • Oh, and SZ already made my point about these actors not being “pretty enough” for Bollywood hero status. (That’s what makes you a “character actor,” btw: “great acting, too bad about the face.”) 😉

              Personally, I find them both quite attractive in their own way.

            • SZ, I saw the ad (NS with Ayesha Khan). I thought they looked really good together. I liked AK in the ad after a long time (maybe after Vasl lol).

              I hadn’t noticed how quiet he is in press conferences, I haven’t watched any of them – I just don’t get the whole hoo-ha of film promotions, be it Bollywood or PK ones, in PK they are all over the morning shows. It’s exhausting to even think about it.

              But even after so many seasons of Coffee with Karan, I am not sure either NS or IK has been on it?

              I loved NS in Kahaani – that was a hit and had so many outsiders like Vidya Balan, the director, NS.

            • There are a whole bunch of ns movies on Netflix now and also on einthusan ..
              no, I don’t think both these guys have been on .. in Nawaz’s case he would also make KJo very uncomfortable with his lack of English skills .. And given their personalities idk what they would even talk abt ..

              Re: AK this is her second ad with him .. check out their first one in this series .. same theme

    • For me this debate has been less abt nepotism than abt an outsider daring to question the insiders’ way of doing things, of upsetting the status quo, daring to say things that should not be said publicly ( much less by a woman and that too an outsider). Also, there is a lot of history embedded in this convo, including Kangana’s alleged affair with Hrithik now and Adhhyan Suman earlier, where she dared to go on the offensive rather than shutting up her mouth and hiding in her house. The industry is progressive in many ways but very regressive in other ways. Her taking on Hrithik made a lot of insiders beyond uncomfortable. How dare she when she was a nobody from nowhere and he an established insider and that too a married one. Also had she been married, to somebody rich and powerful, her comments would’ve been laughingly dismissed but now it’s open season. I remember Rakhi Sawant once saying, on this same show incidentally, abt how much respect Malaika Arora got even though she danced to item numbers just like Rakhi did, all this because Malaika was married to Salnan Khan’s brother hence respectable whereas Rakhi was a lower class nobody from nowhere. I can never forget how uncomfortable KJo got after that remark. And this leads to another factor- the socio- economic one. Kangana could’ve been an outsider but had she been an NRI or some millionaire billionaire’s relative all this bitchiness would’ve been happenening behind closed doors not openly.
      If you saw the finale of the Koffee show, notice how none of the “judges” refuted what she said .. all expressed shock instead on how she dared to openly say all that she did.
      And what she did say would’ve just been forgotten and laughed away had KJo not opened to his mouth at the LSE event..one nudge from Anu Chopra ( another insider) and out came the little hurt boy : how dare she come to my show and insult me .. boo hoo hoo
      The fact the none of the men can do anything abt her is what galls them all .. she doesn’t need the Chopras, khans or the KJos .. she’s doing ok on her own .. that said the harsh reality is that films, no matter how fab they are, can’t be made in isolation and there is a good chance she will end up self destructing if she doesn’t tone down her rhetoric .. #harshbuttrue

      • Yeah, I was going to mention the background of this kerfuffle, but thought that might go a bit too far afield.

        KJo’s remarks also reflected a lot of his (and the industry’s) in-built misogyny, IMO. He accused her of playing the “victim card,” and later suggested that anyone that unhappy with the industry should just leave it (which strikes me as the film industry equivalent of “don’t dress that way if you don’t want to be assaulted.”)

      • Yes SZ, KJo waited until Rangoon tanked as well, then decided to have a go at KR. Big egos, small hearts.

        As you point out, the real issue is whether anyone will want to cast her and invite the wrath of industry bigwigs like the Roshans or Johar is anyone’s guess.

        I was reading Ahmed Ali Akbar’s interview in Instep, where he was talking about casting couch in the industry. My first reaction was, this was bold of him to say (he hinted heavily at someone, I don’t know theatre well enough to identify the person, but those from the industry will get to know I’m sure). Made me think about the incredible strength and the incredible loneliness of being a whistle-blower…

        • I had an actress friend visiting me last weekend. She’s trying to break into American TV/movies, and she’s literally too broke to survive the process at this point. She can’t afford to take a regular 9-to-5 job, because auditions happen on a first-come-first-serve basis and on a totally unpredictable schedule. She’s not in the union because she can’t afford the dues, and that means she can’t take any union-only jobs. Finally, that stuff you see in the movies about some extra being discovered and becoming the next big thing? It’s practically impossible because the extras are just considered props on the set.

          It’s a wonder that anybody who doesn’t have the backing of their family would even try to get into such a cutthroat profession!

          • This so reminds of academics, phds looking for tenure track jobs in the humanities or the social sciences … so much of it all depends on your grad school, relationship with advisor, committee members, your lineage as it were .. I have friends who are brilliant and have written fab disses but cannot find a ttt job hence reduced to doing part time which is hardly enough to keep you off the streets .. same 2 same story

            • Yep, that whole business is such a rat race, which is why I’m glad I left it when I did, lol.

              New faculty in STEM fields are struggling too now, and given today’s budget announcement…ugh, I can’t even talk about it without frothing at the mouth!

            • Smart girl!
              Weird how things work out .. I started blogging abt dramas, early 2012, when I was on a diss writing fellowship in a postage stamp size gaon… 5 yrs later no longer a full time academic but the blogging continues ..

          • Reminded me of the movie Tootsie, the initial part where Dustin Hoffman’s character is auditioning for jobs and is rejected for each one of them on the flimsiest of grounds…

            • @SZ…. what did you think of LaLaland….I thought it was just ok..and then it won all these awards and I was like what?? I mean I think they should have cast someone else for Ryan’s role he just looked uncomfortable and his singing was really passable.

              About Kangana — I think she is amazing. I like her acting but I was impressed how she did not get scared from the whole Hrithik controversy. She stood her ground and it takes alot to do that. It also shows fans how most people we admire as actors are just pathetic. I just to like Hrithik once upon a time….. so sad.

      • @SZ, I was thinking the same thing about Kangana and KJ issue. Unless she has a ‘godfather’ in the industry or a couple of hit movies she is really not doing herself any favousr. Bollywood is not just filled with nepotism its also has its own mafia. KJ is really high up in this mafia and he has connections with other senior figures. It will be interesting to see how Kangana’s career goes from this point. KJ gave an interview around the time Ae Dil Hai Mushkil was to be released, that when he first saw Anuska Sharma was cast in Aditya Chopra’s Rab Ne Bana Jodi, he took a dislike to her and didn’t think she was good enough. He then tried his best to convince Aditya Chopra to drop her. . To be fair KJ then admitted that after he saw her performance in Band Baja Baraat he realised Anushka was a good actress. But it was interesting to see KJ’s thinking behind this and that he felt he could influence an Aditya Chopra production.

        Vivek Oberei’s promising career went downhill after he publicly criticized Salman Khan at a specially called press conference.

        Interesting point about Rakhi Sawant and Malaika Arora. Makes you think.

    • I had to comment as soon as i saw kangna and kjo topic being raised…..the way i see it, it seems like talented outsiders are step children​ of bollywood and should always be thankful to bollywood for getting whatever opportunities they are getting. Talent is irrelevant. The minute an outsider starts to speak up, entire industry gets rattled.
      Did u read kangna’s reply to kjo on being told to leave the industry??? It is amazing. Btw if you love strong women and movies, i highly recommend kangna’s interview with rajeev masand…. Please do. You won’t regret it.

      • Thanks for the info on Kangna’s interview, will look for it. Bollywood for outsiders is like being a gladiator and being thrown to the lions…

  16. SZ, too many nested loops, so I’m writing a fresh comment.

    I just realised there’s a new NS & AK ad. I had watched the older one lol (if I were a newspaper, I’d have last week’s date stamped on me, I’m always behind on these things!). The new one is better actually, it’s an interesting execution (both of them). NS is cool – these good actors just take a simple ad to a new level with their performance – the body language, intonation, all top class…

    Did you see the new Aurang-Shirin video of Kubra Khan and Mikaal?

    • Yes 🙂 and now with the DRNR insta feed on the right there is no reason for you to be out of the loop .. both videos posted there and other latest khabars as well 🙅🏼

      • SZ, was just reading an open letter to Mira Rajput on Dawn, about her puppy comment. My question is, what has she accomplished that her (MR) opinion was sought on Women’s day?!

        Thanks for the IG page reminder, will make that my homepage on the phone 🙂

        • Exactly! She’s lovely but give the girl a break! She’s 22 for gods sake. Why invite her in the first place what was the point? And then why are all these older ladies so threatened by what she said?? Seriously we women too need to grow up! Why should I be threatened by what a random kid thinks? Why do I need every single person to pat me on the back? More than anything else that letter signaled that no matter how far we women have come we still cannot get over the need for constant validation and approval. Why are these lawyers wasting their time over something somebody random said. The letter was more abt their insecurities than any immature utterances of a pampered kid… this is just like this current trend of everybody posting their two cents about every silly thing that makes the headlines.. matlab ke bolna zaroori hai .. let it be it will die out .. now that kid gets more mileage than ever .. Chalo ji another social media darling born

          • Agar sab kuch me baarey me koi opinion nahin hota toh hum Twitter star kaisey banengey?!

            Sarcasm only slightly intended. 😉 I think if you want to sell yourself now, social media is the easiest way to create instant notoriety, and power to those who know how to use it well.

          • Yes, we’ve got into this habit of reacting to everything, what with social media and online paparazzi and tabloids available for free 24×7. And the anonymity offered by the internet means that people don’t seem to have any self control and some celebrities too seem to thrive on this culture.

    • Just saw both ads (old and new) with Nawaz and Ayesha Khan, and that new one is perfect, lol. Maybe they’ll get to work together on a non-ad project someday.

      Also saw the Shirin-Aurang proposal courtesy of the DRNR instagram. That was so fun and I like that the actors had such a good sense of humor about it.

      • RK, actually we viewers get attached to projects more than the actors/writers etc most of the time. For them it’s another project, one of many (of course there are exceptions). That’s why we get hurt when things derail, we invest emotionally (and time too), so we get hit hard I guess.

        Also, they say once bitten twice shy, but here toh we get taken for granted almost always. It’s as if we viewers don’t matter at all. The channels run rough shod on our feelings all the time and we foolishly keep hoping for the next time and the next time… That too, viewers like us who enjoy nuanced story-telling are just cast aside almost always. Atleast those youngsters who ‘ship their stars can make videos, VMs and stuff to feel better. But what about people like us?

        • There’s always fan fiction! 😉 I’m only sort of kidding too. In my experience, there’s almost nothing as good at making up for disappointment as rewriting the plot yourself. I think that’s really what people who can make VMs are doing. Young women creating their own narratives and honing their skills as visual storytellers will absolutely pay dividends in the future, IMO.

          To your larger point, we should sublimate our collective disappointment into a killer DRNR original script. We have more than enough talent here between SZ and all our commentary crew here to make it happen. Fingers and toes crossed and all that.

  17. @HKB: No place up there hence replying here..

    Hina! ❤ Hugs! Glad to know all's good on your end. Hope you're feeling rested and refreshed after your break. Bas ab please come back jaldi se we've missed you both here and onscreen.

    Re: MNYH and Afia: Indeed! If I remember correctly you had shared with us about how you stood your ground and insisted on an empowering end to Asiya's track. Good on you! I so wish more of our actors did the same .. the channels and producers are upping up the ante with every second serial ..women being pushed around, slapped, abused… matlab ke there is no end to the nonsense! Please ab you need to seriously consider writing and producing something of your own.

    Re: Your Dukh Sukh ep: Yes, I have it on my watch list and will watch and get back to you on that one…

    • @SZ thank you as always for the warm welcome 😍 lately I also had to stand my ground to make some sense of Faseeha in Dil banjara – otherwise she would have just been silly comic relief without understanding what a serious problem she has and how as a society we worsen it by either ignoring it or labelling the victim paagal!
      Since it’s also throwback time – Jalpari aired on Geo years ago. Definitely something different and worth a watch

      • @HKB I would second that. Jalpari remains one of my favorites.
        Hinaji I loved the characters you played in Saman and Dil Banjara, though I was/am disappointed with the overall story development themselves. Please keep those wonderful characterizations coming – with sufficient R & R of course!

  18. @RK: LOL!! I just saw the FK twitter pic you posted.. too funny!
    Ppl have been suggesting it off n on but now Im seriously considering starting an FK thread only for you 😉

    • So I’m definitely a fan, but please, no thread just for me. Tobah tobah! I’d die of embarrassment…of both the first-hand and second-hand kind, lol.

      • Aww!! No it would be good fun… We’d cover it up by calling it About Celebs/Starry Talk or some such 😀 #SochoSocho #AisaMauqaPhirNahinMilega #LimitedTimeOffer
        Ok bas.. enough teasing 😀

        • If everyone is a willing participant in this thread (and c’mon, you all are, right?!) I’m more than happy to do my starry-eyed and breathless fangirling part. For the good of the community and all, lol.

          Just…if I ever actually run into the actual person, I’m disavowing any knowledge of my participation in such a venture! 😉

          • Haha! Its not all that bad! From first hand experience I can tell you I have had the privilege of meeting a few of the celebs I openly fangirl over here and after a few weird/awkward moments its all fine… or atleast thats what Ive told myself.. and for their part the celebs have been extremely kind and gracious in their interactions with me.

    • @SZ and all
      Thanks for the heads-up for Sunday’s KGBH. I only watched one episode – No. 15, with Sania Saeed. Anyone watched that one? What did you think of the ending? I’d love to hear your interpretation SZ.

  19. So the menu above … Do you use it at all?

    All the time. Even organized by networks, it was the easiest way to find reviews of old shows, etc. Btw, organizing it by show name is a really good idea. It will make things much easier to find. Thank you!

    Btw, I also use the tags at the end of posts to find things. This is one of the best organized blogs I’ve had the pleasure of reading recently.

      • One thing I just noticed (and this might only be a problem on my browser). The M-N list is quite long, and I’m not able to scroll all the way to the end of the list? I think it’s the longest of the lists by far, so maybe that one can be broken up into just Serials M, and then N can be clubbed in with P-R? (I assume there’s never been a show starting with O, lol).

        • Fixing it now 🙂 As @VZ remarked earlier it is all about Mohabbat, Meri, Main in these dramas …
          Im sure there mustve been O meri something or the other .. its just that it wouldve never made it here!

  20. I was fixing the menus and ended up going thru a lot of our older posts and wow! We used to have so much fun before! Dramas were bad then too but not in the numbers we are seeing now .. there were enough good ones to keep us going .. ab tau yeh haal ha ke we dont even bother checking them out … Anyways.. what with the LUX Awards and all I thought I’d reshare this older alphabet soup post … I still think I have the right idea about the award categories 🙂

    https://desirantsnraves.com/2015/04/16/alphabet-soup-the-abcs-of-pakistani-dramas-vi/

  21. I wanted to use this particular thread too bring something up but haven’t found the right forum to discuss it. I recently met up after many years with an old school friend and we got talking. The conversation turned to dramas and in particular Dhoop Kinare. We had watched the drama as ‘idealistic’ teenagers but now were older and possibly wiser. So reviewing the drama now she was looking at it differently. We particularly looked at the character of Dr Sheena and the treatment of older unmarried women in dramas. Everyone focused on Zoya and how she was an independent career women but what about Sheena? We criticize dramas of today for the lack of independent women and instead have women whose entire focus is a man and getting married. Yet how is Sheena different? Despite being an independent woman with a career her whole life revolved around Dr Ahmer. It seemed her career came second to Ahmer and was a means to an end. When she didn’t ‘get’ Ahmer she made a hasty marriage to another man which didn’t work out. In the end she was shown to have some sort of unfulfilled lonely life when if fact she had a lot going for her. Maybe they should have shown her picking herself up or finally getting over Ahmer and realizing she had wasted her life ‘waiting for a man’. Meanwhile no one questioned or even hinted that Ahmer as a man was ‘unfulfilled’ as an older man because he had so far not married.

    Maybe this aspect of Sheena was shown, its been years since I watched this drama and after my conversation with my friend I have been meaning to watch it again before I commented on this theme. But with so much going on and watching current dramas I just haven’t had the time. I really have no excuse,Dhoop Kinare was only 13 episodes. I could watch this in a few days. So please ignore my comment if the issue of Sheena’s character was resolved.

    I was also thinking of Shireen in SeMM and Dr Sheena. Both waited for a man that never gave any indication that he had a romantic interest in her. Both saw the man show romantic interest in another woman and felt jealousy. Both made hasty marriages to ‘get over’ the first man and both saw this marriage end in failure. Both had a lot of other things going for them, Sheena her career and life and Shireen had her nine shops. But both were seen to be shown as if any meaning in their lives were over once they didn’t have a man in their lives.

    Also I know many things are possible in Pakistan if you have money and lots of bad things happen but in theory how is it okay for a middle aged single man to walk into an orphanage and say I want to adopt a boy. In the innocent age of the 1980s were never questioned this but today I am thinking thats slightly ‘dodgy’

    When Zoya found out she had a long lost grandfather I suppose she was around 18 years old. We are shown that she and Anji go and have a quick look at the house. The whole visit is shown as a sort of immature giggling girls on a day out. But Zoya seems to show no interest in her actual grandfather, why did he leave the family and what kind of man he was? If I had a long lost grandfather I would certainly want to know about him more than the house. May be if she had taken an interest she would have found out her grandfather had an adopted son. She could have then made contact with this son to get a connection with the grandfather. Zoya’s character seemed to come across is rather flat in this matter.

    I was also told to listen properly to the lyrics of the songs Ahmer’s father was listening to in the flashback scenes. As they explained his emotions and regrets in life that led him to leave the house to the granddaughter he never met. As a teenager you don’t really listen to meaningful lyrics especially if Urdu is not your spoken language.

    The main focus of my conversation with my friend was however the issue of unmarried older women in dramas. I told my friend that she was not allowed to critique Dhoop Kinare, it just wasn’t allowed. Dhoop Kinare is a perfect childhood memory for me which I would not have ruined. 😦

    Anyway as I said intend to watch Dhoop Kinare again with a more critical eye and maybe all the issues raised above were answered, at the moment its all been said through my memory of the drama.

    • I have such fond memories of Dhoop Kinare, but when I try to recall details, I’m totally drawing a blank. I wonder if this is a case of time and distance making a good thing better, lol.

      I wouldn’t mind a DRNR rewatch of the show. Might be fun, no?

    • NKhan, I’ve been mulling over your comment about Dhoop Kinaray, for the last couple of days.

      As you’ve rightly pointed out, for a lot of us, DK is this gold standard when it comes to plays. And like you, I too feel defensive about it, it’s like a precious memory of sorts. But as I was reading your comment I thought that it’s quite true that Dr Sheena was painted with quite a black brush. She made life miserable for Dr Zoya by giving her too many shifts without breaks, so we can add breaking hospital rules, misuse of her powers​ to her list of crimes as well 🙂

      I remember she had a nervous breakdown and went into depression after her marriage was over – Badar Khalil’s portrayal at that point was excellent and of course well supported by the dialogues as well.

      Anyway, after that breakdown, with Dr Ahmed’s support she recovers, joins back at work – I thought that was quite positive. In these days, Dr Sheena would’ve forgotten her education/job and sat at home wailing, with useless scenes between her and Dr Ahmer to drag the story…Khair, I digress.

      Even at the end, I believe she would have had to swallow the news of Dr Ahmer and Zoya (which they didn’t go into, but that’s what I expect would’ve happened). So she may have actually ended up as a single lady, self-sufficient, though they did seem to show that as a sort of punishment instead of a dignified acceptance.

      Also Zoya and Dr Ahmer’s relationship was more of a companionship than the typical love stories of today. Both of them held on to their careers and their jobs were not some sort of a fancy backdrop but something they both did with passion. So for showing that life and jobs go on even when people fall in love, DK needs a thumbs up I guess.

      Agree with you that Zoya didn’t really show much interest in her Nana! As for Dr Ahmer’s father being able to adopt him, I think they showed that he had a good link with the orphanage so may be they knew him well and had no qualms about letting him adopt Dr Ahmer (how cute was young Ali Kazmi in that role?)…

      You’ve made an interesting point about Shireen versus Dr Sheena. Maybe this should be your “entry” in the Alphabet Soup post!

      Thanks for refreshing my memories of DK… I loved Dr Irfan, Anji and her parents – they offered the lighter moments but the comedy was nicely done!

    • @NKhan: Sorry, its taken me a while to respond to this comment – enjoyed reading it and like @VZ it made me reflect and think back to that time and here now are my two cents ..

      On the surface yes, DK is no different than what we see today, but watch not just for the text but also the subtext. You compared Sheena to Shirin,Shirin is what she is. They both may be sighing over a man and hence ostensibly similar but for me they are two very different characters. Shirin is a one note character, nothing here is speaking to us on a different level.

      With Sheena, yes, she’s sighing over an unrequited love, but thats not all there is to her. Remember this was the Zia era when chadar and chardiwari were the topics of the day, women were required to cover their heads on TV and expected to be demure and toe the line. Here, within that political context we get a professional woman who dares to live life on her own terms. Nobody is going to dictate to her how to live her life. She lives alone, she doesnt need a man to protect her. How fabulus is that! So many years laters we rarely if ever get to see interesting women like her. She “wants” Ahmer and has the gumption to vocalize her desire, to make her interest known to the man in question and is unafraid of being judged – where else have we seen this kind of thing? Maybe a couple of times but rare.

      Our heroines today might sigh like her but what are they doing about it? Would they have to courage to tell the man in question and then continue fighting for him? Shirin opted to cry and shed a bucket of tears and play the victim and martyr. Sheena was anything but. These days when we are shown a single woman living alone or shown expressing an interest in a man she is automatically designated bad. One might argue that Sheena too was painted in dark shades but I would say that those were different kinds of shades without casting aspersions on her characters. The characters around might make fun of her but not once did anyone, or even the audience at the time for that matter, pass a moral judgement on her character which remains refreshing even today. Try showing that today and see how viewers judge her, Kuku in Pehchan is a perfect example.

      We hated Sheena for interefering in Zoyas story with Ahmer, but beyond that she continued to be a serious doctor, not merely playing at being a doctor. And here I must applaud Hasina for writing characters who were serious abt their characters, unlike the silly Faras and Roohis of today who make a mockery of all the reasons why we want women to study. So basically back in the day we got a story with women who were educated, professional, living independently and strong enough to pursue a relationship without hiding behind the facade of meesnapan. Wah! How aspirational!

      Suffice it to say that for me Haseena’s writing remains a benchmark that writers of today, bar a few notable exceptions, are yet to surpass. Her subversion was par excellence, the amount of stuff she managed to convey while staying within the prescriptions of the time is simply amazing. Sadly these writers and channels have no such restrictions but still they are unable to match up. Forget abt being aspirational aajkal tau relatable character hi milna mushkil hai – female ho ya male :/

      • SZ, really enjoyed reading your comment. Thanks for explaining it clearly and eloquently.

        Re: judgement about Kuku in Pehchan, it might have come from the fact that she was married and later so was Mansoor? So slightly different from this situation I feel (although that’s no reason to judge anyone in my book).

        As you pointed out, careers and education meant something to characters in that era and not used as props.

        Re: whether today’s characters will be bold enough to express their interest to the man in question, it’s not so much that, but even after the man says no, they will continue to pursue and, most importantly, ignore everything else in their lives, it becomes a one point agenda. Here, this was one more strand in their lives.

        Thanks for putting your point across so clearly SZ…

      • SZ & VZ, thanks for your feedback on DK :). I quite forgot that Dr Sheena lived on her own, yes she had her own flat. I am literally going to copy and paste your comments and email them to my friend. Problem is I don’t think she has seen many of the recent dramas so may not know how bad the state of women in our dramas has become. Its amazing how even watching DK at that time we did not make any judgments on Sheena’s character living alone or making a play for Ahmer. It just never occurred to us but the way today’s dramas have almost ‘conditioned’ us to automatically question or think on why a woman is living alone, when we would not necessary do that if it was a man living alone. I must confess to have fallen into this ‘conditioning’ or way of thinking when watching some recent dramas. However it does depend on how the drama is written and presented as well. With Kuku in Pehchan from the first episode before I realised Kuku was married or when I found out there was a husband I didn’t think negative about Kuku’s independence. The drama and scenario was presented in a mature setting so you watched it with a mature attitude. Whereas with some other dramas perhaps you don’t realise how ‘dumbed down’ your brain gets when watching.

        The thing with many of the old dramas we never had that many ‘scheming (female) characters’. Dr Sheena never schemed against Zoya despite the extra shifts.

        @VZ still don’t think I am convinced about Ahmer’s father having links with the orphanage and that justifies the orphanage handing over a child to him. Any rich guy could make donations to an orphanage and then pick up a kid later. Than again has anyone ever made the same criticism of Annie, rich guy adopts a kid from an orphanage. Wasn’t there a 2014 remake of this film?

    • @SZ i just loved it. In just 11 minutes how amazingly Hina portrayed her points.. so v.articulate … throughly enjoyed.. and indeed respect n love have grew even more for this amazing person. Thanks for sharing 😊

    • That was a great interview. HKB is so articulate, but I also appreciate her candor in answering those questions.

      Much love and respect!

    • @SZ. Thanks for posting the link to this wonderful interview. Forever elegant, even in expressing her views; what a pleasure! I do not hear this kind of discourse this side of the border from within the industry. Excuse me all, while I run off to find ‘Muntazir.’ 🙂

  22. I had to read through a lot of comments 🙂

    @SZ yes I watched Drama Fever, but it ended quite abruptly no? Am I correct it was just 45 min? SHe comes down sees her brother and the end? As I was watching this telefilm I was reminded how Shahood Alvi is also such a great actor and so underrated! Has anyone seen Bol Meri Machli… that drama was so good! And he plays negative characters brilliantly.

    Is anyone watching Yeh Mera Dil. I started it and am really enjoying the fun character portrayed by Yumna ( she’s amazing….so almost ready to start Pinjra) also I find it very interesting that its the same writer from Sang e Mar Mar and both drama’s are like day and night. The last episode which aired today (the sixth one) had some funny dialogues. I hope it stays good though!

    At this point I remember I started watching Ullu baray farokht but quit at episode 6 or so.. So will probably pick that up …never got passed episode three of Main Sitara so need to get into that too…although that’s two seasons long now.

    As for the LSE awards.. from the nominees my vote for best directing goes to Dillagi. That’s a drama which is fun to watch again. And ofcourse Udaari is a winner everything else is just on there for fun

    Oh and Nadia Jamil is coming soon on Urdu1 Play…how exciting!

  23. Read that Farhat Ishtiaq’s Woh Yaqeen Ka Naya Safar is coming soon – directed by Shehzad Kashmiri, MD productions, Sajal Aly and Ahad Raza Mir in the cast.

    Has anyone read this novel? Sajal says it’s about a strong female character who overcomes difficulties. As if it can be anything else these days…

    Shad Raza Mir send to be the flavour of the season after Kubra Khan… Anyone watched him in Sammi? How is his acting?

    • Vo yaqeen ka naya safar is one of my favs n thankfully they r ruining it too.. @VZ do u want me to give synopsis? I so dislike sajal aly and playing Dr Zobaria will eventually break my beautiful imagination of tht strong character:/

      Reg: Ahad raza Mir.. i have seen him in Sammi n i wasnt impressed tbh…. but giving its his first he might act good as Dr Asfandyar

      • Rehmat, I was thinking of you when I saw the news. Yes please, would love to know the synopsis, if it’s not too much trouble. Thank you 🙂

        Shehzad Kashmiri is not very good yaar – as DoP he’s fine but not good as director, but he’s Hum’s favourite…

        • Hahah awww @VZ and secretly in my heart i was thinking what to write and wishing k VZ haan bol de for synopsis.. 🙈
          So this is story of Dr.Zobaria who have left her house becaude her brothers dont trust her anymore due to some reasons.. So she on her own first stays at mun boli khala and was practising her Doctor degree.. But somehow she has to leave that place as well because again trust issues.. So she applies to some far off place for practising. And here she meets Dr Asfandyar jin k hospital me she works.. N he is strict boss v.disciplined… So from then story goes how she proves her worth n how she is trust worthy and how Dr.Asfandyar trusted her till end..

          Its v.interesting story.. No saas bahu saaga 😉 and showed how actually our female lead persuaded her career..

          Reg Director.. Yes indeed he is one of the reason too.. He wont be able to justify the novel.. Sigh… Why why and why sre thet not stopping this tread of novels to dramas 🙄

          • Dear Rehmat, thank you so much for this, you are always very kindly giving the book perspective, which is so much more enjoyable than the dramas 🙂

            You know, if they stayed true to the story it might be nice for once to see a Farhat Ishtiaq story properly done, but I’m sure they are going to add extra masala and tarka. They have to make 30 episodes at least na… And even if the original story has no saas bahu, they can add these extras in the drama – I guess I’ve become bitter after many poor experiences.

            And yes, why can’t they write proper fresh scripts for dramas instead of dramatising one novel or the other…

          • Ooh! Rehmat is this the one where there is a feudal involved also and he needs immediate surgery? And he has a sister and an old daadi type relative living with him?
            Sorry not trying to give away spoilers but I think maybe I know this one

    • Here is what the article says: (https://www.thenews.com.pk/magazine/instep-today/175742-Sajal-Aly-returns-to-the-small-screen)

      Having made her film debut this year with Anjum Shahzad’s romantic tale Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay opposite Feroze Khan, actress Sajal Aly is all set to return to the small screen with Woh Yaqeen Ka Naya Safar. Starring Aly as the protagonist, the play is directed by Shahzad Kashmiri and is based on Farhat Ishtiaq’s novel of the same name.

      Aly’s character in Woh Yaqeen Ka Naya Safar is one that brings light to the lives of those in trouble. “It’s a highly positive character,” she told Instep. “She faces a lot of difficulties in life and finally reaches a point where she helps those in need of justice. She addresses social issues as well.”

      Sharing details about the play’s storyline, she told Instep, “The story is about a girl’s journey who comes from a very conservative family.”

      The actress has started shooting for Woh Yaqeen Ka Naya Safar, which is expected to air sometime next year. It is interesting to note that the play stars veteran actor Asif Raza Mir’s son Ahad Raza Mir as the male protagonist opposite Aly.

          • Nope .. the “issues” continue ..
            Urdu1 has another JHU sponsored serial coming up .. Mujhe Jeene Do ( name should be more explicit no? ) it is about child’s marriages – so not vani per se but kinda sorta similar .. same rural setup .. Nadia Jamil playing a health worker – Nadia Afgan’s kinda role from Sammi- Sarmad Khoosat is playing a dhoti wearing character and Mehreen Raheal is another character – a Salima type character from Sammi.
            This is written by Shahid Nizami and directed by

            • Spreading awareness about social justice and health related matter in the third world .. kinda along the lines that JR had mentioned on the pinjra thread .. this is where the post colonial comment comes into play .. the first world educating the third world .. since we can’t do this on our own .. and the sad part is we clearly can’t, not because we can’t but because we are focused elsewhere, increasing advertising revenues for instance

      • Social issues… kahan the story me..m🤔 they were there just to mention more characteristics of Dr Zobia (sorry not Zobaria) but not to actually address them

  24. So it looks like Noman Ijaz’s Khan is actually kinda good? I haven’t watched it yet, but early reviews suggest it might be decent.

    • It’s 5 eps in .. sure give it a shot. I know JR’s watching. I tried but it was a no go for me. NI does way too many dramas and he is generally very good but the projects themselves leave a lot to be desired.

      • I read a synopsis and the plot is normally exactly the kind of thing I like, so I might give it a shot. But I acknowledge it can be painful to watch a show just for one of the actors. Sammi is a chore, for example, even though Sania Saeed is so great in it.

        • I caught 20 minutes of Khan the other day and it then catch my attention. I haven’t seen many Noman Ijaz’s dramas during the last decade so perhaps its just his style of acting but I liked how his Khan was subtle, looked and dressed ordinary and not OTT like for example Bashar Momin.

          Bashar Momin was a big spectacle, slick clothes, hair and camera work. Khan had none of that and it seemed just about the characters and the storyline. But I can tell Khan is going to have so many twists and turns in the plot which will extend the storyline and I will find frustrating. So going to give it a miss.

          • I watched the first episode of Khan yesterday, and I think I’m done with the show. The thing is, the plot is absolutely the sort of thing I usually like (and wish featured more often in desi movies and television). But the acting and the direction left a lot to be desired, and the show didn’t really grab me.

            Noman Ijaz is, however, excellent. There’s a certain subtlety he brings to the role, whether he’s playing the mobster/politician or the loving father or even the slightly-unfaithful husband. NI has the gravitas to pull off the role just so. Everyone else is a bit one-note and forgettable. I don’t know if Atiqa Odho gets more to do as the show progresses, but she was pretty much just window dressing here, and she deserves much better than that.

            So yeah, that’s that. Sigh.

            • Yup, same here .. and the editing was world class bad, the screen play kinda jumped all over and that one scene b/w AO and NI just did it .. I couldn’t make it beyond 15-20 mins

            • Greetings all!
              Yes, I am watching ‘Khan’. As SZ mentioned, the editing leaves for a very choppy narrative. But I just can’t stomach the saas/bahu stuff, so am engaged with this plot.

              I am not familiar with the younger group of actors here but the senior actors are good in their respective roles.

              I am patiently waiting for the story to fully unfold and to be able to connect the dots. Another new character appeared in episode 5 – Mohammad Ahmad (I think…male lead in Ghoonghat). The mystery of how they are all connected will eventually emerge and merge, I hope.

              I do enjoy the well-crafted unraveling of a story, something like’ Meri Zaat,’ which remains one of my all-time favorites. ‘Humsafar’ didn’t do it for me, even though it had the same theme of a lying and conniving saas. SM’s stellar performance is another class altogether compared to the crying and sobbing we see so much of. I have to check if you reviewed it SZ, I would love to watch it again along with your reviews. Off on a tangent again…pardon!

              Later,
              JR

            • No, didn’t review Meri Zaat, before my time .. actually before there ever were reviews of dramas!
              You are spot on abt the commonalities b/w HS and MZZB, even though HS was novel based and written much earlier. but I guess only so many ways a gharelu story can be told. I loved Samiya M in MZZZB but the story itself did nothing for me and HS too for that matter was very basic stuff.

          • Check out DumPukht and Bhai .. both better done than Khan and NI in very diff roles .. Bhai I have reviewed the first couple of eps and also included in a piece I did for Friday Times and DumPukht I’m in the midst of these days .. both have issues but NI is so so good in both of them

            • Hi SZ
              What I liked about Meri Zaat was her realization and evolvement of her spiritual journey, which came after everything was completely stripped from her life. That was, I thought, well done. She didn’t need anything after that. It wasn’t about (self)pride.
              I love stories with spiritual themes. Recommendations welcome all!

              I started watching ‘Dumphukht’ (What a great title!) . Situated in Pir culture, I thought I would enjoy it but the story got too convoluted for me, despite the presence of NI.

              Anyone watching ‘Munkir’?

              JR

  25. Has anyone (everyone?) here seen Rehaai? It showed up in the sidebar as I was watching Khan on YT yesterday, and also features Noman Ijaz. But that’s all I know about it.

      • I should probably have read your reviews before I watched. I saw the first two episodes just now, without knowing the plot, and I’m stunned and in tears of the angry-helpless kind.

        I don’t think I have the stomach for the rest.

        • It actually gets diluted then with the silly plot twists …I was put off by the attempt to add in masala elements to sell it as a primetime serial. The writing was really bad when it came to the NGO lady and the Samina P’s dialogues. That said, compare it to the silliness we see now in Sammi and this looks brilliant. Also, though it is depressing I appreciate MJ for not trivilaizing the issue (Sammi) and making it all bright and colorful.
          More than anything else, the ending really really bothered me.

          • I see. I guess some of the silly plot twists were maybe necessary to soften the plot and make it easier for viewers to digest? I just know I could’t make myself watch a bit more.

            Is this a thing that happens somewhat frequently though? A cursory search on Google reveals there’s no age of consent in Pakistan, but that it’s illegal for girls below the age of 16 to be married, and that this law has been on the books since before 1947 (so it’s a law that exists in both India and Pakistan, and both countries have since modified these laws to increase the applicable age).

            As in India, I’m assuming these laws aren’t uniformly enforced in Pakistan and that a lack of education and public health resources may also be at fault.

            I know there are plenty of feet on the ground in both countries working on this terrible problem, but at the risk of spouting an empty platitude, wow, we should really do something about this.

            • @RK: Re: the age of consent: I am not a law expert so dont know for sure, Im sure it exists somewhere in the law books. The main problem though is that when ppl decide to marry they do it, laws be damned. Worse comes to worse the excuse provided will be: oh but the Prophet too married a very young girl, his wife Ayesha. Ab when religion is dragged in without understanding the context or the intention that is the end of the discussion. The irony of course is that thes guys, who talk big about religion, know hardly anythign about religion themselves. Similar excuses, dragging in Quranic verses, are used when justifying physical abuse or other similar atrocities towards women.

              Here, my problem was that the story ended with NI’s character getting off scott free, he was never taken to a law court etc. He lost his money ( a prostitute cheated him out of it) and then goes through other similar trials and that is deemed enough. Basically he was supposed to have suffered enough, hence that was his saza and like in SeMM, he asked for forgiveness and it was given. The young girl is married off to another guy at the end and she is assumed to be living happily ever after.There was no acknowledgement of the damage done to the young girl’s psyche and her as happily married as the end of her troubles was very disturbing to me. Once again a “happy shaadi” was the be all and end all of a woman’s existence. There was an attempt at the very end to show that NI’s character had reformed, when after a time gap he refuses to get his young daughter married off.. .there was talk of economic independence and the impact of education etc but this for me that was not enough .. how just how could we ever justify not showing any criminal action against this guy and how does everybody live happily ever after is just beyond my comprehemsion. No amoumt of eco independence or education can compensate for the damage already done.

              I know there are tons of fans of this show but for me this was a no go.

    • @RK the whole NGO talk really put me off and I couldn’t really get past it. I quit half way. And yes, like @SZ pointed out one can’t beat Sammi when it comes to silliness..
      On a separate note caught a few mins of Sammi by chance the other day and I was appalled!! Maybe what I caught was out of context as I haven’t been watching this one so correct me if I’m wrong.. So Sammi is working as an apprentice in SS ka salon – and she is refusing meni – pedi.. Later SS is telling her off but as soon as Sammi reveals that she is parhi likhi SS ki tone changes. Sammi who is sitting on the floor is imediately ordered to get up and sit on a kursi… So only parhe likhe ppl desreve a kursi? – no krsi for rest of the insaans?. Her son bans her from cleaning the bathrooms because she is a parhi likhi.. So ppl like us many of us here who don’t have the luxury of household help – who happen to clean our bathrooms may as well be jahils? .. I get the importance of taleem and all but honestly what kind of msg are we sending across? Only white collared jobs are good enough for the learned? Kursi only for the learned? kia baki sub insan nahin hain? Doesn’t everyone deserve respect??!! – and the saddest part is that all this in an NGO ka issue based drama!

      • @FA: yeah, that’s one of the many weird things about Sammi. Idhar social message toh udhar usual regressive nonsense and class bias!

        So ppl like us many of us here who don’t have the luxury of household help – who happen to clean our bathrooms may as well be jahils?

        Mulk ke baaher rehne wale sab log jaahil! 😉 I’m only joking but I’m put in mind of an incident from my own life. Years ago when we bought our first house, the husband and I took great pride in fixing it up ourselves (lots of tiling, painting, gardening, etc). When we showed off our handiwork to our parents, my father-in-law said (loosely translated):

        Tum log America me rehte ho aur jahillon ki tarah sab kaam khud hi karte ho? Paagal ho sab!

  26. Did anyone watch Viceroy’s House? Just watched it and would love to see what DRNR gang thought abt it.. @SZ I was thinking about you throughout and what you would make out of the history being told in this film. 🙂

    • I just saw the trailer for this, and it looks like it will be a grand movie indeed. Looking forward to it!

      I have a lot of faith in Gurinder Chadha, but considering the subject matter, I’m a little concerned that the movie is going to romanticize British involvement (and the Mountbattens) with respect to Partition. Maybe that’s inevitable, or maybe it’s a necessary concession to sell the movie to producers and to a predominantly English-speaking audience.

      It will be 70 years this August for both countries. That’s quite a milestone for India and Pakistan, all things considered, and especially considering the less-than-ideal start they both got back in 1947. I wonder if there will be homegrown films commemorating the anniversary as well.

  27. @RK the story is told from Mountbatten’s POV so Mountbattens do come out whiter than white here, however what was interesting was that they didn’t really romanticise British involvement. The blame was shifted on the British Establishment instead.

    Although I didn’t agree with everything, overall I felt it was a fairly objective and offered a very interesting perspective.

    Re English speaking audience : I thought there would be a fair number of desis watching this but I was surprised to see that the there were no other coloured ppl apart from me and my hubby in the hall. In cinemas where Bollywood movies are usually screened, offered very limited screenings for VH – if that, and that too mostly during the day.

    I hope you guys get to watch this soon . would love to hear what you thought about it.

    Have you watched Indian Summers?

    • Yes, I’ve watched Indian Summers. In fact, I loved the first season of the show and became something of a flag-waver for the show on Tumblr and Twitter. I even became friends with the writer and two of the cast members!

      But second season me pata nahin kya hua, but I think they knew the show was cancelled so it was all mitti pao on everything.

      • @RK haina! I really enjoyed the first season too.. but never managed to finish the second.. Now that I’m in that mode I might as well just catch up on that actually. 🙂

        • If you give the second season a shot, its best to stop watching around the time of the big explosion. It’s pretty much all downhill after that.

          • Oh I did end up watching it this weekend.. Ufff why oh why?! It was like watching SeMM again.. that roller coaster of a ride rushing full speed ahead – completely derailed.. politics and the raj underplayed, replaced with all kinds of weird skeletons in family closets, the whole terrorist plot, & and all kinds of non-sense.. And that last ep.. uff that was so Bollywood! losing the house, losing the club, the whole escape plan.. oh lets not forget about the Kaali Raat.. the indecent proposal how that was brushed away under the rug… I was very disappointed!..

            • It was so so terrible. The only minor plot point that sort of worked was Khan and Sooni, which I think was meant to be meaningful with respect to a Partition plot in a future season that never happened.

              That Ralph Whelan is a terrible person was already established in Season 1, so there was no need for that indecent proposal nonsense. Maybe they just wanted to give Art Malik something to do.

              I’m friends with the show’s writer and he told me that they found out midway through the Season 2 shoot that they were not going to get Season 3. So a lot of plot points had to be totally revised and it became a complete mess and not at all the vision they started out with.

          • Yes Khan & Sooni pairing could’ve been meaningful for future.. but mann!! was she popular or was she popular?! 3 proposals in a day! lol .. I actually felt sorry for the poor Scottish fella – bechara lol

            Oh Acha! Any idea how the show was actually planned? Was Ralph Whelan supposed to get anywhere near his dream office in the next 3 seasons? Was it planned to take us through partition and all?

            Oh btw why did they bother with bringing back the vicar’s widow and her grown up son at the very end? Oh and I absolutely hated how they used the little child and his wooden cart in that whole plot..

            • Poor Ian was super bechara. I felt really bad for him as he has to watch the girl he loves marry someone else. But I kinda get why she preferred Khan. His idea of a date was to take her to a freedom rally, and that appeals to her as a revolutionary. She’s all “inquilab zindabad” all the time anyway, lol.

              IIRC, the show was supposed to run right up to 1947 in 3-year intervals. I don’t think Ralph was ever supposed to make it to viceroy level, but he was meant to be very high up in the administration. He was also meant to be very conflicted, because while he’s a pukka sahib on the outside, on the inside, he’s a guy who wears kurta-pajama and eats dal-roti. It could have been fascinating.

          • Haan I understand why she chose Khan and they’re def better-suited… but comes back to bechara Ian lol. Idk there was something about that character that made him so loveable…

            Re Ralph Whelan : yes, he was def the most fascinating, most interesting character.. and tbh I was most interested in his story lol .. baki sub tou you could almost tell where they were all heading.. I wonder what role he would’ve played in the whole partition issue…

            • Ian was the best. I loved what Alexander Cobb did with that role, and I was so impressed with his Scottish accent too. (The actor is English).

              He and Alyy Khan’s Ramu had such a great bromance in the first season too. Ah, what could have been.

          • Yes, she had an obvious axe to grind, and it was a very calculated/political hit piece.

            Chaddha’s rebuttal was disappointing too though. She didn’t actually address Bhutto’s criticisms head on, and personally, I think I would have preferred if she’d said nothing at all. Then I could see the movie for what I think it actually might be: a subversive send-up of colonialism that might resonate more in a post-colonial world.

            Then again, we also live in a world where Shashi Tharoor was being entirely serious when he asked Britain to make symbolic reparations for the woes of the pre-1947 subcontinent.

            • @RK actually I found Fatima Bhutto’s criticism baseless and mostly absurd! She either totally missed the point or she’s just acting dumb. In her review most of the stuff is either quoted completely out of context or totally ignored. I was honestly thinking if we watched the same movie.. lol ..Abb aise main Chadda bole bhi tou kia bole lol .. Abb you guys watch and let me know if I really missed something or if I needed to take along a pair of 5d glasses.. Abb I’m seriously thinking of investing in some.. I just don’t seem to be getting the 4th and 5th dimensions lately lol..
              I really didn’t see where and how colonialism was celebrated in the movie.. if anything there was alot that was criticized. In a way it is exactly what you think it is : a subversive mockery of colonialism, but told very seriously indeed.. In a scene Mountbattens were happily enjoying dog’s dinner served on a silver platter – going to show what a mess post-war Britain really was and how they were keeping up appearances…
              The movie starts with “History is written by the victors.” and at the end you’re left to think who were the real victors after the partition… everyone has their own version of history, each celebrating their victory and triumph.

            • I remember reading Chadha’s rebuttal in the Guardian which lead me to read the review by FB. I left a scathing comment on the comments section about both FB and Chaddha. I won’t repeat everything I wrote (I am not FB’s biggest fan and that showed in my comment) but it was obvious that FB had a number of stock phrases and themes which she just wove around her review of the film. I have not seen the movie but it was obvious that FB had an axe to grind.

              For me the problem is I don’t see Chadha as a good film-maker. Apart from some groundbreaking earlier films such as Bhaji on the Beach and the crowd pleaser ‘Bend it Like Beckham’ some of her films have been awful. I think the main issue I have with Chadha is that I have just not forgiven her for completely ruining the desi version of Pride and Prejudice. Bride and Prejudice was an awful film with zero chemistry between the two leads. Mistress of Spices was no better. When she has therefore done a film on a serious topic there is a credibility issue for me. The other is having Hugh Bonnerville as Lord Mountbatten…seriously…this guy is a good actor but has never done any seriously dramatic roles. The last movie I saw him in was the Paddington Movie (good movie to watch with your kids). Before that his most famous role was as the Earl in Downton Abbey which was sugary crowd pleaser’ Usually I would run to watch a film on partition but with all the issues I have with the movie even before watching it I will wait a year and it will probably be on British TV within the next two years.

              Thanks for the link to the more sensible review in the Economist. Will still wait until this movie is on TV for free before I watch it.

        • @VZ thanks for sharing. Thats one of the more balanced reviews I read. Are you watching?

          Call me nuts but I always read reviews after watching. @RK When I read Fatima Bhutto’s review I was quite appalled and rather embarrassed. .. it was the politician speaking… Thanks for sharing the rebuttle. I hadn’t read that. I have to say that’s exactly how I felt when I was watching that the subject was handled very sensitively.

          Isn’t it interesting that although most of the blame was shifted towards the British establishment and Churchill for that matter, the backlash is coming from somewhere else – and that too from a someone who is supposedly intellectual and learned, and not the common man on the street who is usually blamed to be ”jazbati”..

          The humgama with Bajrangi Bhaijan and the drama with Raees ban.. sadly it’s the authorities and people on top who are feeding our janta this hatred and flase propoganda. In the movie Jinnah says he was played, but it’s a shame the our leaders and authorities are still playing the awam with their jazbat..

          Sorry I went off one one.. rant over.

          • @FA, too true. Jazbat is what is running the engine of politics all over the subcontinent!

            There is no political will to let these old injuries heal, so 70 years on, the entire border is still a festering wound and politicians keep picking at the scab whenever it suits them.

          • FA, I want to watch it, just trying to find a time when hubby will also be able to make it.

            I hear you about not reading reviews until you’ve watched something. I tend to read reviews then pick and choose, but this one I wanted to watch either way, because for such films it’s difficult to find unbiased reviews. I trust The Economist one, their voice is usually rational and balanced.

            Keep meaning to ask you if you were affected by all the London issue? Hope all is well at your end.

            • Sorry FA, for some reason I thought you were based in London.

              I’m not in London, but a friend who lives there mentioned that things were normal now…

            • I’m not in London but London is my second home. I’m there every other week 🙂

              I have family is in Greater London. They tell me it was fine there. There were delays and issues if you were commuting within Central London or using the tube etc. but otherwise it’s fairly calm.

    • We watched the first season of Indian Summers but never bothered with the second season. Might watch it as there were some loose ends to tie up. I loved how it showed the casual racism of the Raj, and the dilemma of Indians who worked for the state who needed to make a living and their own nationalist aspirations.

      I am sorry but I could never accept the guy playing Aafrin as a Parsi as much as I could accept Naveen Andrews as an Iraqi Arab in Lost.

      Really did the Mountbattens come out whiter than white?. See that would make me angry. I have studied the partition and I have a view on Mountbatten and his responsibility regarding some of the decisions made. He was told by his bosses in London to leave India by at least August 1948, but he decided the whole thing could be rushed through quicker. This thread is not the right place to go over partition but watching a film that doesn’t properly examine a topic would infuriate me.

      • Ah, Nikesh Patel is a solid-hold human being though. In Indian Summers, he has kind of a tough job as an actor. He has to fake a reasonably credible Indian accent, speak both Hindi and Gujarati, and somehow try to look good in a really ill-fitting suit, lol. I thought he did a nice job.

        But for me, Alyy Khan as the smoother-than-smooth tea estate owner was the highlight of the show, and his friendship with Alexander Cobb’s character was fascinating and really the emotional core of the first season.

        • True that.. actually there were some other actors playing locals who couldn’t speak Hindi at all! but IDK I found him too stiff and it was hard watching him.. esp in the second season..

          Yes Alyy Khan was very good and I really enjoyed his Ramu – so much better than his zalim husband or the dubious character that he always plays in TV dramas..

          • It was filmed in Malaysia, and I found it really amusing that all the cast and the extras wore mostly South Indian-style sarees, spoke in Malaysian-accented English, etc. The most amusing scene was when Ian goes to a local drinking establishment to get blotto, and there’s Carnatic (South Indian classical) music playing in the background!

            The average non-desi viewer wouldn’t have noticed though, lol.

            Does Alyy Khan do PK dramas? How amusing! Tell me something good he’s been in. I kinda love him, tbh.

            • Re Alyy Khan : he’s in alot of dramas but nothing worth watching that comes to mind. He’s in alot of the run in the mill-mazloom aurut type dramas These days he’s in Hum’s Woh Aik Pal.. @SZ you remember anything?

      • @NKhan re the decision to rush : the film also shows that it was Mountbatten’s decision to bring the dates back, however it also gives him his reasoning – that did go horribly wrong and he owns that – But what it also shows is how he was also played by the establishment and how he was another pawn in the game. When I say whiter than white I was referring to his sincerity in the matter etc,

        Re Indian Summers : Guy playing Aafrin was def the weakest link. VH also covers the dilema of the Indians who worked for the estate and their nationalist aspirations, but not just their struggle for freedom but also how they were effected by partition. In that respect in an hour and a half VH does cover alot of ground.

        That’s the thing with history – everyone and every side has their own version, but I think Chaddha is fairly objective here and has managed to pack in lots in a very short time – so in my opinion it deserves a dekho 🙂

  28. @SZ: Is there a DRNR podcast somewhere? I thought I saw a link (maybe on Instagram?), but it’s also possible I imagined it, lol.

    • Nope, the only audio stuff we have is for the SS interview.. and the links for those are embedded in the appropriate threads. I am open to doing more of those kinds of interview if there is interest and if the celeb in question agrees.. other than that who would want to listen to me? Lol

  29. Just watched Nwazuddin and AK post on IG.. Seriously together they could make such an interesting full project.. Jori is fun and I’m loving the ad concept.. 🙂 .. Do you think Nawaz would be interested in doing PK TV? he might fit in better with PK tv than the film.. what do you think? (If there’s a great story for him that is, which is an absolute rarity these days – fingers and toes crossed)

    • FA, weren’t they so good? I would love to see them in a slice of life kind of play (standalone episodes), with some nice subtle humour. Maybe a web series?

      Does anyone know which ad agency came up with the concept? It was nicely done…

      FA, do you watch Hum on TV or on YouTube? If you watch on TV, have you seen this scary lady in an ad for an ishtikhara place? I mean, she is really spooky, I almost worry she might jump out of the screen if I don’t listen to her lol…

      • Haina! That sounds sooo good!.. Anyone out there listening to this?!!! ..

        I mostly watch it on laptop but I usually have the TV turned on in the background for some background noise.. (yes I’m totally nuts).. thats why I catch snippets of all kinds of nonsense 🙂 Yes that Istkhara lady is too creepy.. but the worst ones are The Malik law solicitor ads most of them with celebs like Ranbir Kapoor, Shahid kapoor thrown in just like that.. I wonder if these celebs even know what these solicitors are doing to them lol

        • Uff, I know, those law people, how do they get all these actors on board, I’ve even seen Ali Zafar in one of them I think, totally random… There’s another “I can’t believe he’s saying this” type ad, where a guy is missing home food and wife (in that order) and some immigration consultants help him get his wife to the UK and the last scene is him enjoying rotis and what not, with his mashriqi sharmili biwi smiling indulgently… #biwiHoTohAisi

          • HAhaha u seen the one with this strange looking guy in a srtange looking hat reunited with his biwi bacha thanks (or no thanks) to these solicitors.. cutting bachas birthday cake.. celebrating the bday together pehli baar or something.. i mean they’re looking so bizzare ke no wonder they weren’t issue visas for them in the first place! 🙈

            • Lol, haven’t seen that one! #highlysuspicious

              There’s the ad with the “health conscious”dad cooking deep fried (and only deep fried) snacks for the family – reminded me of Faara’s fried fish diet (only for the faint hearted).

              Matlab ke sometimes the ads are more fun than the programmes they sponsor.

        • Haha! Is this specifically in the UK?

          I’m guessig that no permission was taken from those celebrities to make those ads, but I’m kind of surprised that lawyers are doing this sort of marketing because if anyone is afraid of lawsuits…

          • RK, local ads. They are getting celebrities too endorse them, I wonder how they agree to this and randomly endorse these. I mean I can understand SRK and Hrithik endorsing Chak89 (local restaurant) with groovy moves and all, but law firms?!

            • Hey, lawyers have to eat too. I speak from experience when I say that law is probably the most commoditized service industry in the world, and lawyers are always trying to find new ways to turn a profit while abiding by an increasingly onerous set of regulations around advertising, client contact, etc.

              It’s a hard business.

            • RK, the point is not about lawyers but these celebrities (many A Listers) who agree to endorse them – do they know what/whom they are promoting? Maybe they don’t care…

            • @VZ uff haan! that fried was totally nuts.. seen the topple wear / plastic container ads?… See what does SRK mean by he cant make biscuit sexy.. He should learn from these ppl lol

              And btw No, I don’t really have a yt channel.. I have absolutely nothing to do with these vids.

            • FA, I meant the Malik Law guys having a YouTube channel came as a surprise and tussi great ho for digging it out…

            • @VZ oh sorry 🙈 Jaldi main I misread that 🙈🙈
              Bass look they have a channel of their own! I was trying to dig out their craziest and sleeziest of ads.. but they didnt upload that lol

            • OMG, they have a YouTube channel?! FA, tussi great ho!

              RK and others, see what we get to watch 😀

            • I have been staring at this still photo of Malik Law firm ad and the guy in the purple tie walking with his coat hanging from his back with a finger. That background its Queen Mary University of London’s main campus in Mile End which is just around the corner from Bethnal Green. Okay I know this doesn’t mean anything to the non-Londoners on this thread.

            • Ok, what does “lift karaana” mean? I’ve heard this expression on a few PK dramas and I think I understand it from context, but I thought it had something to do with attention/flirting, and I don’t think I want that from an immigration lawyer, lol.

            • Sorry I am know I am late commenting on this topic but what does Adnan Sami think he is doing adverting this firm which has had ‘issues’ with UK Law Society regarding some its ‘practices’.

          • Immigration Law in the UK is a commodity. With rules on immigration getting tighter these lawyers were happy to advise people on how to work with the new laws. Up until about 2003 or 2004 asylum seekers were entitled to Legal Aid, that is – lawyers whose fees would by paid by the state. Throughout the 1990s and until the law was changed there were a number of law firms that were ‘milking the system’. They would have 100s of clients and then send the state the invoice. Some of these firms were caught giving unprofessional advice in undercover stings or raking up high bills. There were solicitor firms everywhere who only specialized in immigration law.

            Off course because of these unscrupulous solicitors genuine asylum seekers or those who just want honest immigration advise are now suffering.

            Once the government stopped the automatic right to legal aid a number of these firms closed down. The whole solicitor business in the UK is quite competitive. Apart from immigration, their other sources of income are divorce, child custody and conveyancing. With solicitor firms every 500 yards on some high streets there is not a a lot of business to go around sometimes.

            • So…lawyers are unscrupulous and there are too many of them? Sounds about right!

              (Disclaimer: I’m a lawyer, lol).

      • RK, if he’s to get “famous’, it will be because of movies like Bajrangi Bhaijaan, not Manto…

        Did anyone watch BaluMahi? How was it?

        • Yeah, probably! Who knows how far we are from this Manto film anyway? Nandita Das has run into a lot of casting/production difficulties.

          I saw the Balu Mahi trailer solely for OKB-shaped reasons, lol.

  30. @VZ: Ran out of room u thread…

    I’m guessing celebrities do these ads mostly as a favor to someone they know, but then again, it’s all about the benjamins, right?

    • RK, 100% right. 💰 💰 💰, Must be funny…

      Another interesting aspect of some of the ads is how they flaunt that they are original desi stuff (I’m talking about clothes ads) – so they advertise it as “original Bombay designs” or authentic Pakistani designer wear, whereas back home the emphasis will be on “Made in London” and such… Guess we’re never happy with what’s available locally!

    • I mean SK and PC are totally copy pasted there..And I’ve seen Ali Zafar and Ranbir Kapoor like that too.. If I were them I would distance myself from any such absurdity.. My bet is they don’t have a clue unn ke saath kya ho raha hai.. lol #IzzatkaSawalHaiAkhir lol

      Some more gems from them

      Mankind’s Angel has serious competition :

      • FA, uff, those Agent Smiths just stopped and gave up when this guy went running in to the office! I mean, no situation is too desperate if you can get these law guys to represent I guess… And that thrilling chase on the streets (please note, even in peak traffic they used zebra crossing! See the subtle road safety messages!)… Thanks for sharing this FA…

    • Malik Law Firm has ‘a dubious reputation’ (if I put it in speech marks this website can’t get sued right? – I learned that from the Trump’s Press Secretary – otherwise feel free to delete my comment). It ‘preys’ on people’s anxieties on immigration. There is plenty on the web about this.

      http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/malik—law-unto-himself-1005446

      Yes I do see a number of adverts on Zee TV, Star, Geo, ARY and HUm in the UK with these small firms who suddenly have these big south Asian stars doing a quick 2 minute advert for them. And you think how do they afford the fee? I always thought the starts were most probably doing a favour for a friend of a friend of a friend (as we South Asians do). SRK in one of his adverts looks like he was on his day off and is dressed casually.

      I usually don’t pay notice to these adverts but just watched the Malik Law ones, OMG they are bad, bad.

  31. Seriously guys I have a busy few days and don’t look at this thread for a few days and its gone to 303 comments. Just gone through what I missed and I have to put my two bits in on some these comments. Especially on FB’s review on Viceroy’s house.

    • That was fascinating. Thank you for the link, @VZ!

      As an aspiring writer, I really value the insight that writers provide, but I think their inherent biases are on display too. Vasay Ch seems to be the most “commercial” of this group, and I appreciated his candor in not backing down from that. I think he’d probably roll his eyes at all the “suffering for art” stuff that writers go on about.

      Also, I found myself nodding my head to everything OKB said, and I would love to meet him for like an hour and just pick his writer brain the entire time.

      • You’re welcome RK. Have you read Vasay’s interview here on DRNR? https://desirantsnraves.com/2015/01/27/vasay-chaudhry-se-sawal-you-ask-he-answers/

        SZ had arranged it when Jackson Heights was on air and it was a very nice one.

        We also had OKB answering our questions with some vlogs and his unique brand of humour: https://desirantsnraves.com/2015/03/29/osman-khalid-butt-se-sawal-you-asked-he-answered/

        OKB has talked about the process of writing in some of his other interviews as well if I remember. And he is part of the team at Desi Writers’ Lounge (http://desiwriterslounge.net/team/) and they offer support for budding writers as well…

        • I have read the Vasay C and OKB interviews here at DRNR, and they were both really informative, and OKB’s nerd personality was on proper display. For the record, “nerd” is my favorite kind of personality, lol,

          I did not know about the desi writers workshop, so thanks for the info, @VZ.

          One thing I’d love to know is how easy/difficult is it for a relative unknown to write a screenplay that actually gets picked up. Asking for a friend. 😉

          • RK, how easy/difficult is it for a relative unknown to write a screenplay that actually gets picked up.

            I have no idea, sorry. You mean for desi TV or films? In PK drama for example, there is a big tendency to dramatise novels published in magazines and the like, or get such writers to come up with original scripts. But I’m treading on areas that SZ or others might be able to answer better…

            • Right. I was just curious, and I imagine some of the same levers that operate on script-writing in other parts of the world are also at play in the PK media.

              One of the writers in the interview you linked noted that the subject matter of the next big script is decided mostly by the producers, which I think is fascinating, but also puts the cart slightly before the horse? It’s got to be hard to have a fantastic idea you have to sort of put on the back burner because there’s no demand for that content.

              Who are the biggest playwrights in PK right now? There’s a pretty good theater scene, so I imagine there’s plenty of writing talent in theater as well?

            • Yes it is all about putting the cart before the horse. There is a reason why I talk about TRPs so much. For TV ideas and concepts are dictated by , and if not initiated then definitely run through, the marketing department. Also there is a department called the content department where scripts are “touched up” by “experts”. I know writers who have been unable to recognize their projects when they aired. It’s a long story, and those who’ve been here long enough are familiar with some of the drama, but suffice it to say that stale and recycled stories are not merely because the writers don’t have fresh ideas or they cannot write. Read Bee Gul’s interview and it is very clear to see why one of our most gifted writers has not been writing for a while now.
              Theater scene is robust but not too many original scripts, BG has written some, but generally most of them are adaptations.

    • I’ve seen only one episode, and it’s hilarious in both content and general terrible-ness. But btw, it launched a lot of careers, lol.

    • You are welcome Seher. Jutt & Bond I watched a few parts on YouTube a while ago, you can check it out there (print quality is not very good though from what I remember)…

  32. For TV ideas and concepts are dictated by , and if not initiated then definitely run through, the marketing department.

    I think it’s interesting (appalling?) that–for whatever reason–producers and the marketing folks have either not considered or not encountered a screenplay that is both objectively good and likely to be commercially successful. To be fair, I think that’s happened on TV a fair amount, but in the nascent PK film industry, not quite as much. (Cf. Hollywood remaking everything all over again instead of making new movies).

    Case in point: I actually watched all three parts of Ho Mann Jahaan. I thought it was a really pretty film. All the shots were composed perfectly, the music was sort of unique and had the right feel and pace, and the cast is, of course, young and gorgeous. The film had a clear plot, but it lacked real substance, IMO, as if the story was just a bit of exposition used to fill out the spaces between song montages. I found the dialogue a bit trite, and I thought the three leads didn’t have much chemistry with each other.

    Major props to Hamza Ali Abbasi for his short cameo though. I didn’t even realize it was him for several minutes!

    • RK: you are a bigger and better person than I am 🙂 I got so very bored with the film… pretty ppl, pretty things, pretty shots, pretty locations .. all these pretties added up can only take you so far. A bit too much candy floss, I was nauseated pretty quickly.
      The music was not really unique, apart from 2 ( I think) songs the rest were re-mixed and rehashed coke studios songs and seemed to come and go at will .. the dialogues were by Yasir Hussain who was in the piece that VZ linked and they were some of the lamest lines I have heard in recent times. The chemistry as you have rightly pointed out was non existent and Adeel was really atrociously bad. Mahira was pretty but that was that. Shehryar was the best of the lot but thats not meant to be read as a compliment. The story itself was also seemingly from the dark ages and very superficial. When it was being promoted it was pushed as being targeted to the college kids as being very relevant and a whole fresh approach to story telling.. needless to say I found nothing like that in here.

      Re: the perfect shots: Asim Raza is a very experienced Ad maker and so has the ability to make things look pretty and glossy but do ad makers necessarily make good filmmakers?

      A lot has been made out of the recent resurgence of films in Pakistan and I understand that it is still very early for films to find their footing and lose their drama feel and look and to shake off their Bolly/Holly hangover, all that I get. What I cannot get is why these creatives have forgotten the importance of honesty of story telling. No amount of eye candy can disguise the fact that there was no story here …

      Re: the TV stories and screenplays: Its all about the money … why risk anything on an oroginal screenplay when the same old is doing just fine. Read other reviews and blogs everybody else is quite happy with whatever is being churned out and as long as the audiences are lapping it up why should the powers that be risk upsetting the apple cart .. .

      • I have this weird obsession with finishing everything I start. So no matter how painful a show, book, or movie turns out to be, I’ll watch it to the bitter end, lol. Also, I did get out of it a few minutes of FK (mostly playing himself, lol).

        AH really was a huge disappointment here. Except for one or two scenes he had with Bushra Ansari, it felt like he just phoned the rest of his performance in. Apparently he wasn’t feeling the plot any more than we were, lol.

        I think writing dialogues is super tricky anyway, and it’s especially tricky when you’re attempting to create a certain feel and capture a particular demographic. I appreciate that all the writers in the interview VZ linked agreed that dialogues in screenplays (even their own) were lacking. I don’t know if that’s the influence of TV dramas, or just a desire to get away from Mughal-e-Azam type profundity, but dialogues hardly ever stand out these days, and I’d say that’s true the world over now.

        Read other reviews and blogs everybody else is quite happy with whatever is being churned out

        Haha! I’ve read reviews for some PK dramas I’ve seen on other sites too, and it’s always amazing to me how differently each reviewer views exactly the same content. Oh, wait. Script idea: same story but told from three different points-of-view. It’s ok that it’s all been done before. As Humsafar proved, you can get away with telling an ordinary story if you the telling is remarkable, right?

        • @RK @SZ After seeing the trailers I was never really interested in it but I never imagined it to be this bad!!! It was the most disappointing movie I watched in recent times. Yes the story and the script was missing but so was acting.. i thought @SZ like you said AH and MK were so bad that it made SM look good! And ufff that crying! They were all atrotious at it. And after 20 min of solid cringe-worthy crying they gave us a solid 20 min of shadi sing and dance session for no reason! It was pretty and the last song was good but honestly it was so forced ke hadd nahin.. abb they couldnt make a movie without a shadi – that would be blasphamy right?! 😱 !!

          One of my biggest beef was the actors were not convincing as uni students!

          Nadir / AH’s role – omg it was as if Aabi was made to reincarnate himself and this time he had to do ihsan jamao and let the whole world know how his heart is made of gold and he’s God’s gift to mankind.. and what better way to make them all realize than by paying a hospital visit after a full on melodrama session..

          SM role : was there anyone he didnt hit on?

          Muneeze : she learnt balochi in Liyari? Really? Thats the best they could come up with to justify pashto/balochi songs?

          FK : his cameo was so forced! His lines made no sense – much like the rest of the movie.

          Hamza : yes i dodnt realize it was him either.. but did he add anything?

          Apart from it looking very pretty there was nothing else to offer..

          • Dear SZ, RK, FA – I haven’t watched HMJ yet (but I was really looking forward to it, because it felt like a fun movie 😦 ), now I think I won’t.

            Did you read Asim Raza has vented out against LSA? https://images.dawn.com/news/1177280

            Hmmm, Asim, may be your team was just not good enough? But then, was Mann Mayal worthy (in the dramas section)?…

            • :@VZ HMJ made it to nominations including best film, best director (himself) and best actress (MK) as well as male support actor and female support actress.. (SM and SJ).. last being female singer .. Only missed out on 2 categories tsk tsk.. So yes I am with him that LSA is pretty bogus.. 😉 lol .. or its an indicator of how bad our films really are! Out of all the nominations I have watched Janaan and Actor In Law. Must admit they were far better-entertaining films than HMJ, Especially AiL.

              I do hear his issues about Support cast category though. Not that they deserved nominations, roles like that of Bushra Ansari, Nimra Bucha and yes Sonia Jahan were support roles here.. And if a movie doeasn’t have any great supporting cast for male category it doesn’t mean you simply nominate the faltoo lead and turn him into a support.. Also support cast doesn’t always have to be hip and young.. eg. Mishi khan or the dadi in Janaan instead of Hania Aamir was alot more effectiveand memorable. I haven’t seen Dobara Phir se but I would’ve thought Sanam would’ve been one of the leads and not support..

            • Watch it .. ffwd button invented for exactly such times .. it’s like an extended tarang ad especially the last half hour or so

          • Your last line pretty much says it all: pretty but with nothing to offer.

            As for FK, I wasn’t paying attention to what he said, lol. But the role didn’t require him to do anything at all except be all FK-ish. 😊

            • IDK I felt they were trying to give him SRK in ADHM or in Lucky By Chance type entry where his cameo role/what he said was still a key turning point to the plot.. but in HMJ FK’s lines made zeo impact to the story or the plot – perhaps that’s because there was no plot 🙂

  33. @FA:

    Ufff, ADHM. There’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back. So much hype for such a fazool movie that ultimately couldn’t even be rescued by SRK’s cameo or FK’s, for that matter. About the only thing I genuinely liked in the film were Anushka’s outfits.

    I feel like the cameos in HMJ were meant to round out SM’s character arc, but the words from Hamza’s fakir and FK’s celebrity singer/actor don’t seem to have any impact on the character? The entire plot isn’t very well though out at all.

    Have you seen Janaan? I watched the trailer and it seems equally frothy and without substance, but OKB wrote the screenplay, so I’m curious what he did with it.

    • @RK acha! I quite enjoyed ADHM 🙂 . I hated the ending but otherwise I thought it was good entertainment. I thought Ranbir was fab and the intensity he brought with him.. And yes Anushka’s wardrobe was amazing! I thought SRK in that one scene made enough impact with what he had to say.

      Re Janaan : yes it was frothy and had it’s share of issues with it, it was much more entertaining than HMJ with OKB’s onliners and like you said ‘his brand of humour’. The lead were boring and pretty awful tbh, but the supporting cast (which was huge) made it watchable.

      • So….I’ve never been a huge KJo fan. Over time, I’ve become convinced that KJo is not an especially good storyteller, and this time around, not even a great performance from Ranbir could rescue ADHM.

        Also, I’m kind of tired of movies about giant man-babies who get friend-zoned and can’t deal with the consequences. Nothing about the characters or the movie felt “real” on any level to me, and the ending was just terrible.

        SRK’s cameo was interesting, but I was thrown by two things: he hasn’t aged particularly well (which you don’t notice in most of his movies but was really obvious in ADHM), and his recitation of Faiz Ahmed Faiz was not particularly good, IMO. For me, his one scene didn’t have the impact I thought it would, although it was at least useful to the plot. Oh, and FK’s part was so underwritten that he looked utterly bored by the whole thing. (Hot, but very bored, lol).

        I might give Janaan a look then, if only for OKB’s sake. 😀

        • @RK

          My theory is that Yash Chopra made all the movies Aditya Chopra was known for like DDLJ and Mohabbatein..the only movie Aditya actually made was Befikre.

          Same goes for KJO when I read his interviews it is very hard for me to comprehend he made movies like KKHH or K3G…or maybe some people’s maturity just goes into reverse with age.

        • @RK Re Janaan : Oh I’m def not recommending Janaan and it’s no way near good. I was just comparing the two, and entertainment-wise it’s much better than HMJ… So let me rephrase – HMJ made Janaan look good 🙂 .. abb I’ll need to keep my raincoat ready lol.

  34. Interesting Take everyone. I saw HMJ in the cinema when it released and I did enjoy it. I agree SM’s track was more interesting then Mahira’s and Adeel’s but despite the slow pace and not much of a plot I really thought the acting was decent. Pakistani movies still have a long way to go and atleast they tried to give a fresh take and create a light entertainer instead of the usual melodrama and family politics. It was a better watch than Bin Roye and unfortunately I have not been able to see any Pakistani movie since. Any idea where online I can watch a decent print of stuff that released later? Unfortunately I live in a part of US now where pk movies do not play in theaters. Really bummed I missed Balu Mahi as well.

    P.S. I just watched the last few episodes of Malaal again. How amazing is it that not one dialogue is frivolous in this drama. Every dialogue has meaning… I do not remember any recent drama like that, maybe Dillagi.

    • Totally agree with Pakistani movies need to do better than melodrama and family politics.. I thought HMJ still had quite a bit of that.. no?. I think that’s where crowd pleasers like JPNA and Actor in Law had much better cinema appeal.

    • Seher, FA, I’m looking forward to Chalay Thay Saath, it looks refreshing and stars a constant feature in our entertainment industry these days – Northern areas!

      • @VZ I wasn’t impressed with the first teaser but the longer teaser looks much better.. But I’ve learnt not to expect to too much from our PK films atm. I will pbbly go to watch this one – if anything we will re-live our road trip to those areas 🙂 .. The landscape is breathtakingly majestic and big screen will do justice that, if nothing else. 😉 ..
        By the looks of it Syra is playing a local doctor. I was actually fascinated by the locals and their stories. There is 98% literacy rate in Hunza and the young guy who was telling us these facts said he was part of the other 2% because he wasn’t a graduate. We met this lady and his son who had a tiny dhaba / khokha serving some local delicacy – she was making these rotis and chai while the young man served us – apparently one of her daughters was doing masters in Faislabad, another graduating in Lahore and the son had applied for his uni education in Turkey. Another young guy who was building a gate of his house, (doing usual mazdoor type kaam with gara mitti) was back home for vacations. He was studying at NUST. It was so heart warming to see a community (in Pakistan) so educated and yet so grounded, so humble and down to earth.. Abb look at our Sammi she refuses to do Meni pedi just because she’s matric pass lol..
        Sorry I went off on a tangent here

        • FA, yes the landscape is amazing and it will be a treat to watch it on the big screen. Did you watch BaluMahi? I’m getting déjà vu that I’ve asked you this before lol.

          I enjoyed your snippet based on your road trip. It’s nice to hear about the people there, but our dramas will only portray them as stereotypically​ illiterate exotic creatures…

          • No I didn’t watch Balu Mahi. I think there’s only so much you can go to theatre solely in support of revival of PK cinema and I’ve come to that threshold.. Janaan was my last venture. Even MJ couldn’t get me out for her DPS. And I didn’t like BM trailers at all.. I’ll wait for its TV premiere and then watch it online.

            • FA, I get what you mean. BaluMahi was a mixed bag I think (from reviews online, feedback from others etc). The trailers felt like a rehash of many Bollywood movies, especially Imtiaz Ali ones, it had a such a “been there, seen that” feel to it, some sort of generic stuff was going on, nothing that was arresting.

              DPS was something I wanted to watch but I was unwell then and didn’t have the energy to go.

              Also, is it just me or are we seriously in need of some proper film stars? Apart from 3-4 people, the rest don’t cut it as big stars…

            • @VZ I think that is def a big part of the problem. We see these faces day in day out in all kinds of trashy plays on TV. Watching them on big screen has no real charm. It’s like watching a telefilm esp if the screen play and presentations have nothing special going for the project.. Forget OKB’s Sanam, alongside Balu Mahi release Aini Jaffery was also on some Hum TV drama that was on even on prime time slot…

              Maybe the film makers are scared of using new talent? Janaan’s main lead (I think this was his first project – or atleast the first time I saw him) couldn’t act to save his life..

              Shaz Khan a relatively fresh face who has done a couple of decent films – I hear he’s now signed up for something for Hum Films. Abb he’s also in YKS (against Hira) – so by the time film comes out….. So our film makers who are also drama makers don’t help the matter. Rather than promoting them as mega film stars they decide to promote them by testing and perhaps training them, whilst rinsing them on TV first – killing 3 birds with one stone .. bass its all abt ROI lol

              What I don’t understand is that why do the movie stars agree to go back to TV? Do our movies not pay them enough? Is there not enough work? Or our film simply don’t have that much of an appeal yet that can create stars? Kubra Khan started off from movies and now she’s in every drama on every channel.. She’s def more popular now, but does she have more star value now after working on TV than what she would’ve had if she did more films instead, without doing TV?

            • FA, you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned “film makers who are also drama makers”. At the moment, film-making is still very risky business in PK. Given the big time gap since the film industry was a proper industry, we’ve lost all the “proper” film staff, from actors to directors to producers. What we have are the drama people who have the money and have access to a pool of actors and other technicians. So we are getting this major hangover from the drama industry.

              As to why the drama producers don’t want to introduce fresh talent in their films, it’s again about taking risks – an Adeel H or a Sajal Aly or a Syra or OKB are well-known to the audience, so why take risks with new faces? And even if new faces do get introduced (Hania A or Kubra Khan), they are usually as supporting cast only and signed in for dramas as well (as you’ve pointed out), so we’re back to the same pool.

              As to why producers shy away from introducing new leads – they may be reluctant to introduce, train and groom a star only for that star to leave their “stable” and make movies with other producers – why would they invest in this actor if they are not going to get the benefits? Even established production houses like Yash Raj and Dharma tie starlets into contracts in Bollywood out of this fear.

              As to why stars agree to do dramas after doing films – they may not have a choice, because (a) the producers as you say are the same, so if they refuse a drama, they may not be considered for the next film by the producer and (b) there are not that many films being made so unless they sign some dramas as well, they’ll have to be without a job for a long time, and the longer they are out of public sight, the less their star value…

              As I see it, we need external producers to come in and make movies, until then drama stars and producers will rule the roost. But given how risky it is, only someone big can take that chance – maybe a Hollywood studio, Disney etc – and for them to take risks, they will need ROI as well…

            • Just want to add a comment that – yes I agree there is so much you can do to support PK cinema and you can’t go to every movie however DPS was a good story and beautifully made.

  35. Anyone watching Tonite With HSY? I watched the one with OKB and Ainy Jaffri (SZ, you’re right, his clues were amazing!) and the latest one with Syra-Alishba.

    I enjoyed the OKB episode better, because of his quick wit and general “Obiness” lol. The sisters were quite frank and were not politically correct – which was refreshing, but they came across as mean, maybe that’s how gossip sessions between sisters are, but the thin-skinned person that I am, I did not enjoy it. They appeared snooty which wasn’t really nice. Plus Alishba’s constant giggling was annoying.

    Has anyone else been watching?

    • @VZ: I watch Tonite off n on. We don’t have it on yt here and watching it on DOL is a pain so I am not that into it. That said, I did watch bits of the Syra and Alishba show and like you would’ve liked a bit of restraint from them – there is a fine line between frankness/humor and meanness and I thought they crossed it on a few occasions. They did make for an interesting contrast with a relatively more restrained Aisha Khan who was on the week before. I do wonder how much of the sisters’ frankness derived from the fact that Syra is married into a noted showbiz family and is therefore not as concerned about repercussions as somebody else in her position (young starlet yet to make her mark ) might be..

      The OB show was fun but seemed dated because Balu Mahi has come and gone ..

      • SZ, I’m not watching HSY show regularly either, but was intrigued by your Instagram post on OKB’s clues, then saw the Syra episode out of intrigue because we don’t usually see them very often…

        Watched Yaqeen Ka Safar promos – seriously underwhelmed. Usual MD bells and whistles. Hira’s promo reminded me of Ruhi-Behroze, tauba!

        • Reg YKS promos.. uff those were seriously pathetic… matlab yar seeing Sajal makes it out loud clear but itna bura didnt expect :/

          Hira track is new rather according to FI.. its not based on novel just the central idea taken

          • Rehmat, isn’t it the trend to start from previous generation then have a leap or two in the story, maybe that’s what is happening here?!

        • @ SZ
          Is it me or does HSY’s questions this time are worded such that any answer would come across as dissing? The whole “I am giving you a status and you tell me the name that comes in your mind” thing will always get a response that puts someone off. I remember last year the questions were not that pointed. This year the show seems tailor made to incite gossip. Even Ayesha Khan’s responses came across as very blunt. That said, Syra/Alishba episode was the most irritating so far.

          • Yes! They are very nasty questions and he’s a terrible host. He clearly has no idea abt the actors’ work apart from what makes the headlines ( Mann Mayal) and so all that he is left with are these done to death games and questions, the answers to which nobody really cares about.
            KJo is many things but at least he knows his guests’ body of work which makes the questions fun because they play on the stuff with their co-stars or work related controversies. In this case devoid of that context do we really care whether Syra hooks up with one uncle or the other? Are we staying up nights wondering what any of these girls or guys will do if Emran Hashmi comes their way or a Deepika or a Salman for that matter? Given how small the industry is and how over exposed all these starlets are I honestly don’t see the point of this show. Also, I finally watched the complete show and the editing is really nastily done, where all that is left are giggles without reasons and him putting words in the ladies’ mouths. That said the gurus were behaving like entitled brats .. what have they done for them to pass judgement on others? And for that matter even his guests this weekend? I haven’t seen Humaima in anything substantial other than that flop movie and Feroze the less said the better…

            • KJo is right in the thick of things, so he is on firm footing on his show, with most of his guests keen to be on his good books as well. HSY – it’s clear he’s not doing his homework.

            • Wonder why they can’t find a proper host who actually knows what they’re doing .. my choice Hina Bayat.. elegant, intelligent warm and knows the who’s who and what’s what of the showbiz industry.. if she declines then main hoon na 😬🙈

            • SZ, they don’t want classy ladies like HKB or you, because you won’t get down to the levels the show is at – they clearly want controversy and publicity this way… Mahira’s Tuc programme did not stoop to these levels either (although there were other issues with that show).

            • I think Sarmad would make an interesting host. I enjoyed his iftar prog. He had a good rapport and he’s at the core of the industry – both dramas and films. Acting, writing direction.. he is fun and he knows his stuff, he is in a position where he commands respect. He’s a director, so hopefully he’d be able to steer the show – which HSY completely fails to do.

              sent from my iphone

    • @VZ.. yes i have been watching tonight with hsy.. okb n ainny wala was best… aisha Khan n azfar rahman i found boring.. it was fake.. yousuf sisters i liked minus tht annoying unnecessary laughs of alishba… i think i enjoyed their frankness but it could have been toned down n said in more better way

    • I used to watch HSY but found it quite boring.. I’d catch bits of it here and there .. but since I saw OKB and Yousuf sisters on SZ’s IG feed it’s been on my watchlist… I had watched bits of the ep with Hareem and Gohar.. It was funny when she was complaining about people complaining during DeD and I was thinking about our crazy conversations lol.. Gohar was more fun.

      • FA, I enjoyed OKB on the show, but Ainy was not very impressive (nerves?). The two sisters episode – I did not like it, but as SZ and Rehmat have pointed out, Aisha Khan (I haven’t watched her episode) was probably all politically correct and came across as fake/boring so there has to be a balance I guess…

        • The sisters came off kind of fake too, and in a really obnoxious way that might not necessarily be good for them.

          Now that I’ve seen a few episodes of HSY’s show, I think he might be the biggest problem with it?

    • I haven’t watched too many Tonite with HSY episodes, but I did catch the OKB one recently. It was fun, but only in parts and mostly because of OKB. I like that he’s a bit of an awkward nerd even in interview, and I think his candor in answering some questions is refreshing (and given our recent conversation here, his crack about being able to do better than Adeel Hussain in HMJ was hilarious). But I wonder if he has ever gotten (or will ever get) into trouble for being so open with his opinions.

      Also, what’s going on between him and Hamza Ali Abbasi anyway? Is it all just fun or actually a proper feud?

    • @Sz That looks bad!
      @VZ I haven’t read but although the name suggests some, I can’t see no spirituality in the teaser lol
      Although it’s seems like a quite a contrast, it reminded me of Laa.. I have no hope from this after what Hum did to Sehbai and his spiritual narrative.

      • FA, apart from SeZ, I haven’t seen anything recently that does justice to spiritual journey stories and the like.

        I’m not planning to give this a watch – if it’s really good, I’m sure SZ will bring it to our notice…

        • @VZ yes SeZ is top of the league for sure. Although it did go a bit haywire later on Sannata also had a spiritual theme and worked fairly well, although it was quite dark. Baqi yes now that you’ve put that way I can’t remember many others.. There was Wajood-Laraib that I watched years ago but I can’t remember much of it now but I remember enjoying it back then. and also Abdul-Qadir which did have tons of issues but it was alot better than alot of stuff thrown on us these days.
          Now looking at that list I feel a bit bad now dissing Hum 😬 . They seem to have produced most (and pbbly the best) of the spiritual lot . 🤐

  36. One of the best spiritual dramas ever was Ajaib Khana. Starring Nabeel and Mishi Khan, this was written by Noor ulHuda Shah (when she wrote brilliant stuff ) and directed by Iqbal Ansari. It was considered very controversial at the time because of its subject matter and was banned for a long time till it eventually aired on PTV. It is on YT for those interested.

    • @SZ and all. Thanks for the mention of dramas with spiritual themes. Always glad to watch some good old material.
      Have been searching through promos recently to find something that interests me (there’s a youtube channel that only does promos). So I’m seeing some trends: kidnapping – and kidnapping with forced nikah. Another theme seems to be intaqaam marriages with immediate divorce papers served right after.
      JR

      • Kidnapping is from last year and before. Remember Wali kidnapping Fara? Then we had the thriller Muqaddas ( badla, rape, wedding night kidnap sab kuch) and there was that other drama with either Sajal or Mawra where the bride is kidnapped as well .. @FA knows which one I’m talking abt..
        After a spate of these last year I had hoped we’d be done ‘n over with these types but from what you’re saying I guess not 😱

        • @SZ. Yes and also Gul e Rana. One current was ‘Andaz e Sitam.’ Anyone watching? It seemed like they take it into a court trial. If it really addressed the legal issues thoughtfully I might be tempted to watch.
          I remember in ‘Hawa Rait Aug Angan’ SS’s character – because of the way in which her husband divorced her, through many episodes her father went to different authorities, legal, religious, secular, bureaucratic etc., to determine if it was done according to prescribed parameters. It was an interesting dilemma that was portrayed in a subtle way without the melodrama of court scenes.

      • Aww! You are an absolute sweetheart 😘I’ve been caught up with work and been running around with errands etc. Am reading all you guys’ gup shup and loving it 🙂 will post pinjra today.
        Oh, and sorry you’d asked abt the ALif Allah novel, yes it is a self- described spiritual story that starts off with a big discussion abt metaphysical stuff. I have not yet gotten in to the story part and one part of me says to leave it and be surprised. That said, I have requested our resident novel expert @Rehmat to read it for us. I’m not sure if she’s found the time to read it as yet.

        • SZ, thanks for the info about AA. Thanks in advance to Rehmat for any insights. Why am I not very hopeful about this one…

          Looking forward to your Pinjra post, but please don’t feel rushed if you’re busy, the previous thread is still open na we can discuss there if it’s a busy time for you.

        • @SZ thank you for sharing the novel.. i didnt know at first k it was based on novel (again) .. i started reading and it’s quite heavy or complex u can say.. will read it more to atleast give u guys synopsis;)

          @VZ reg YKS… its actually different from original novel…just central plot they have taken.. n i wonder what n why.. n character names are same.. umm much like ZGH u can say.. but its totally disappointing tbh

  37. @SZ: You would make a perfect host for one of these interview programs. What do we need to do to make this happen? I think we’re all on board.

    I think Sarmad would make an interesting host. I enjoyed his iftar prog.

    @FA: I was just going to suggest Sarmad Khoosat too His familiarity with the media industry in PK, his status as a bit of an insider, and his vast knowledge of the art itself would make him perfect. Plus, he’s naturally charming and has this sort of dry sense of humor that would work really well in context.

        • JR, I did some digging around, looks like this is another love story (misguided youth and already engaged Larki). At the moment our drama makers are obsessed with love and romance, so this is one more of those dil ishq Mohabbat yada yada…

          • I had watched first ep and the teasers.. they tried to add various religions to the love story so as the name suggests it will pbbly end up heading in that direction.. but it looked dated And presentation was so awful I just couldn’t go back to it.

  38. You guys, I started watching Sitara aur Mehrunissa last night. So far all I can say is 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 for everyone involved with this show, but especially Sania Saeed. Brava!

    • @RK those were the days!! When even an orphan girl didnt have to be mazloomiat ki tasweer.. she had brains aa well as guts.. What a contrast between her and Romaisa..

  39. @SZ, FA, VZ!
    Thanks for the tips on Munkir.
    I was a little confused by the promos. There’s that scene in a white wedding gown etc.

    JR

    • @VZ: thanks for sharing this – I read it this am and was thinking of sharing it.. I found this to be a much more close to what I have heard and seen about scriptwriters in the industry.

      • SZ, Hai na? The working conditions are appalling. This also fits in with what Bee Gul talked about in terms of freedom to write, whether you get acknowledgement etc. Given the state, we are lucky to get whatever little glimpses of good work we are getting I suppose.

        Also, gives a glimpse into the tremendous power exerted by channels and producers, even more so with producers who also own channels. Why would any creative person want to be subject to this treatment? Even a well-known name like OKB was annoyed with the way they played around with his story in Janaan, so new names have no recourse at all.

        Unless writers get together and form a guild as they say in the article, there is no way out of this mess.

        Did you read Noor ul Huda Shah’s interview (slightly old, it was mentioned right below the article I’ve linked above)? Interesting to read in the light of Sammi…

        • Yes, I’d read that interview when it was first published and could only smile at the gumption and self righteousness. How easily director and writers are blamed and how easily a demarcation created between experience n inexperience, without any explanation of the criteria and qualification provided.
          I don’t remember if you were here during AZ days but that moment of glory ( as per this interview) was a major egg in the face moment when after pulling the serial after the first ep, without any explanation at that time, there was no further promotion or anything. Maybe an extra billboard but that was it. The only major thing that happened was that her name was superimposed over everything else as the “presenter” ( when she had absolutely nothing to do with the project she arrived after the deed was done) and something else that basically undercut Faiza’s credit as a writer. After these new posters were unveiled on social media I remember checking with Faiza and she was furious. Finally MS Shah had to remove her name from the posters … so much for that ..
          basically barks back to that blog abt the writers and their dilemma.. and it’s not just the writers all creatives are in a fix .. had it not been the fact that their livelihoods depended on these salaries many would have quit a long ago .. afsos not many have the luxury..

          • Thanks for the info about AZ. I wasn’t here at that time, so this is new to me. I didn’t know that AZ had a reboot after airing one episode. And if this is what they do with a name like Haissam, then what must be the position of others. It’s hard enough being creative without these extra pressures. It’s a very complicated business…

            • Most of this was discussed under the first ep thread of AZ, and you can read it all as it happened in real time with even the team not knowing what was happening. It was and continues to be mad…

          • I ended up binge reading all your AZ reviews SZ. And when you had written (in one of your comments to Hina) about the drought in the PK drama scene, I could only think “If only you knew then SZ, the kind of drought we’d be facing…”.

            Thanks for pointing me to the thread, really loved reading comments from Ash, Annie, Afia (where is Afia these days, missing her crisp comments) and HKB’s BTS info…

            We really can do with a light hearted fun drama that doesn’t make fun of our senses.

            • So glad you enjoyed reading the comments – we’ve been really really lucky to have had such a great group of fun and intelligent friends/commentators. Idk where Afia is .. haven’t heard from her lately. But as with Annie, I suspect dramas are no longer the kind that make you wanna engage with them. Annie was/is one of my favorites – actually you remind me of her at many times when I read your stuff abt the travel brochures and building complexes lol. If you have the time you have to read Annie on the Ashk not review threads .. omg I still ended up dying of laughter every time I read her analysis of why things were the way they were in that drama😂. And she also wrote on the sez finale thread kind of a reflection that you are in the process of writing these days .. Ash is newly married so has her hands full, bit yeah I miss them 😢
              Uff that AZ was such a breath of fresh air and it came around the time zgh ended and I was so so glad that the preachiness was behind us .. btw, AZ was also rejected as a concept by all major channels (nobody will watch this – the typical response) that’s why this project ended up with Aplus which was a nothing channel at the time.

            • SZ, I really enjoyed reading Annie’s comments on SeZ finale (left a note there as well).

              Thanks for pointing me in that direction, you know how much this play means to me 🙂

              On a separate note, when I saw Mahira and OKB together (hosting LSA possibly?), I thought of the comment you left many moons ago on OKB’s Instagram page, under his picture with Mahira (at ARY film awards I think). If not in a drama, we’ll get to see them together as presenters at least…

            • SeZ was special indeed! The original novella hadn’t made an impression so had the serial been made by a different bunch of ppl I don’t think it would have had this particular sensibility. Ab let’s see what Aehsun Talish does with Alif Allah ..

              And to update everybody, I am in Pk these days, got here a couple days ago, and will be here for a couple of weeks. I shall try to post regularly and will be in touch with you all. If I get any interesting khabars will def share with you guys 🙂

              P.S. Where’s RK these days? Hope all’s well on her end.

    • Not too much more info I’m afraid. Ilteja is written by Saji Gul, of Sannata fame, and apparently this script is very special to him. Ab one can only hope and pray that the director and producers treat it equally specially and we are not given a sob fest ( which is unfortunately what it looks like from the teasers n pics)
      Kisay Awaz Doon, I know nothing abt but reading the synopsis it seems like a bandwagon serial.
      There seem to be a whole bunch of serials staring in the next couple of weeks. My picks for a first look are:
      Muhabbat Tum Se Nafrat Hai – Geo- 8th April
      Dastaar-e Ana – TVone – 14th April
      Ilteja – ARY – mid April
      Yaqeen Ka Safar – Hum – 14/15 (?) April
      And Pinjra I’m continuing with on APLus

      Urdu1 has Mujhe Jeene Do coming up soonish as well – aside from the star cast there is not much to write home about that one.

      So basically one drama on each channel 😃

  40. Hi DRNRs peeps
    So I’ve bypassed ‘Bechari Mehrunissa,’ ‘Bheegi Palkein’ ‘Piya Bedardi’ ‘Haya ke Rang’ and looking at ‘Farz’ as potential viewing pleasure. It’s about a cop’s daughter who joins the police force to battle corruption/crime.
    Anyone watching? Any thoughts?

    JR

    • Good choice, JR! The names of these serials alone are enough to give me a headache – taubah! Farz does sound interesting tho. Please keep us posted on that one. Who’s in the serial .. any more info on this one?

    • Thank you 🙂

      All:
      Check out the trailer for Saba Qamar’s Bollywood debut film – Hindi Medium. Looks really good! And from the sublime to the ridiculous check out the teaser for Naagin 🙈
      Both on instagram.

      • @SZ, Thanks for posting SQ & IK film on Twitter. I saw the trailer. Looks great. Looking forward to it. I wish we see more of our favorite actors come to India.
        Just from this trailer I like the chemistry of SQ & IK.

        • Haina! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when they had announced the project but am quite impressed with this first look which has left me wanting more. Seems like an intelligent combo of art and commercial cinema.

          • I loved the trailer! Already Saba Qamar’s acting is super! She will surely impress the larger audience with her performance…such a natural! Anyone seen the MOM trailer? There is a scene where Sajal hugs her father Adnan Siddiqui and it made me wonder if he has been her love interest in any drama hahaha….like with Marwa he has been cast opposite.

      • SZ, thanks for the uploads. Like FA, I too am not a big fan of Saba (you all know my thoughts about her!), but she is indeed shining in this trailer, so keeping my hopes up.

        I was thinking that the company of good actors like Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Irfan Khan does seem to work wonders for our actors too. Of course, the scripts are crucial, but given a good script, having a co-star who can act elevates their performance even more, they get the chance to polish their skills as well. Almost everyone who’s had a go at Bollywood has come back with that sort of experience. Ab whether they get to showcase that locally or if it is back to same old same old, I don’t know…

        RK, where are you? Missing your take on Naagin! 😬…

        Hope your holiday is going well SZ. I hope those people who got their hand pump (village off Karachi) still have it and the school is doing well… I am just reading Pir-e Kamil and this reminded me of Salar’s school project…

        Anyone watched Mohabbat Tumse Nafrat Hai today? Any comments on it?

  41. @SZ finally checked out the trailer.. not a fan of SQ but the promo looks interesting and SQ actually looks really good – as in performancewise
    @VZ thought of you when I read abt Nagin.. they heard you!! 😊 … looks like someone’s reading our comments and taking us rather seriously 😳 .. jo bhi parh raha hai, there’s loads off better, proper serious stuff to pick up on bhai!! Lol

    • FA, when I made the Naagin comment, I knew this was in the pipeline (I’d read about it somewhere). But really, what are they up to? 🙄

      Shows how keenly our TV channel heads are watching those TRP meters. FYI, there is an Indian Naagin show that’s ruling the roost, so the light bulb has gone on someone’s head here, it was only a matter of time… Every time I think they’ve hit rock bottom, they surprise us by falling further…

  42. Wow. You all have been very busy here, I see!

    Thanks for asking about me. I appreciate the concern. This really is a wonderful community! I’ve just been busy with work, traveling with family…the usual stuff, lol.

    I tried to follow all the comments here that I missed in the past few days, but I think there’s been a bit too much for me.

    Still, let’s see if I can cover most of it:

    1. That link to the screenwriting article that VZ posted was really interesting. I think there were already some hints of “we have a gun held to our head” in the earlier article featuring OKB, Vasay Ch, and others, but this made it really clear that screenwriting is a bit of a bargain with the devil: you might get a writing credit, but it probably won’t be your story and there’s not enough money for an aspiring writer to make a living off just screenwriting.

    2. I watched the Hindi Medium trailer and kind of loved it! I’m a huge Irrfan Khan fan anyway, but it looks like Saba Qamar has really upped her game here too, so good for her. I think the premise of the movie is interesting too, because (as Saba’s character notes) there’s a bit of a class warfare problem going on right now with fluency in English as its lynchpin. I’m also slightly amused that this movie is being made by the same industry where a producer/director like Karan Johar routinely makes movies with characters and plot themes that face so hard west that the movies are only barely Indian in the first place. Bollywood is also famous for making new actors who are not especially fluent in English feel uncomfortable and inferior, so I’m really glad there’s a film tackling this subject matter, even if in a humorous way.

    3. Naagin? What is Naagin, and should I be watching it?

    4. I finished watching Sitara aur Mehrunnisa. The acting (OMG, Sania Saeed is so young in this, and she still blows everyone else out of the water) and the dialogues in this show were out of this world, and there’s a strong classical music motif throughout that I really enjoyed. The show theme is based on Desh raag, which is one of my favorites, fwiw. But I found the resolution of the plot a bit trite after such great buildup. It’s a fairly minor complaint overall though.

  43. Hi RK and all
    Yes, interesting timing – Hindi Medium.
    Given that the historic North-South conflict over Hindi as the national language has reared its head and is in high gear right now.
    See Twitter #StopHindiChauvinism.

    Language politics (and related elitism) is alive and well.
    Cheers!
    JR

    • @JR:

      Well, that was a thing I was happy not knowing about! I read through about 20% of the tweets with that hashtag, and I think I have a general sense of where this is headed. Ugh. I don’t really want to get into a whole debate about identity politics in India, but what happened to spawn this debate at this particular time?

      (Full disclosure: native/fluent Tamil speaker here. I have some sympathy for the things folks are complaining about, but I just can’t get outraged about it. I don’t share the whole “if you learn Hindi, Tamil will somehow die out” level of parochialism that some folks in South India have, even if I think they have a point).

      • RK, JR,

        Isn’t language something that binds and something that divides with equal fervour? Referring to the situation where Urdu being imposed as the sole national language in East Pakistan was one of the big triggers for the 1971 war…

        • Yes, that’s very true, @VZ. In fact, I was just watching an interview with Usman Peerzada (who is fabulously articulate and gives a great interview) where he said much the same thing, i.e. “if you want to control a populace, the first thing you do is take away their language.”

          This isn’t India’s first dance with language/identity politics, and I doubt it will be the last. I don’t know if PK is struggling with similar issues these days, but I think dividing the country into administrative units based on language was probably a bad idea in hindsight.

          • RK, here’s an article that might explain how things stand in PK: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-34215293

            Language is by no means is homogenous in PK, just as in many parts​ of the world – here in the UK, the Welsh are very proud of their language and try to keep it alive by teaching in schools, having channels in Welsh, road signs​, etc are in both Welsh and English… Similarly for Scottish Gaelic and I think Irish Gaelic as well. I mean, the regional language identities are seen to be quite important. Same ​is the case in PK as well, with Urdu sometimes seen as the language that is being used to bulldoze other regional languages like Pashto, Sindhi, Balochi etc.

            As always, politicians and politics play a big role in whipping up such sentiments – I guess some things are the same around the world!

        • Hi VZ & RK
          This recent uproar started with Hindi signage on national highways in Tamilnadu and Karnataka.
          In the ’50s and ’60s there were serious protests and hunger strikes (when people actually died) in the south in the face of aggressive initiatives to make Hindi the national language. Only 35% of people have Hindi as their mother tongue (R. Guha – historian). There are thousands of dialects in the north. Hindi started to be used because the first printing presses developed were in Devanagari script.
          Many north Indians I have met think Devanagari is the script of Sanskrit, they don’t realize that in the south we have always used regional language scripts to write Sanskrit. Even this is pretty divisive. As a grad student, I had an opportunity to speak with an administrator (also a Sanskritist) at BHU, who when he learned of my Sanskrit work said, “But there is a difference between Arya Sanskrit and Dravida Sanskrit.” I was speaking to him as a student of an American University; this gives you an idea of the position a leading university is taking with researchers and the international community in general.
          Anyhoo…so many years since independence and we have not been able to find a solution to or compromise on this issue. Of course, scholarly voices (those who dare to speak) are drowned amidst the noise.
          Today with land acquisition (due to economic liberalization policies) industrialization and urbanization, rural populations are being displaced and not only losing their communities but also their identities, traditions, and yes, languages.
          P. Sainath’s online Archives, PARI, is doing great work documenting rural peoples, their traditions, work, arts, languages etc. (ruralindiaonline.org). If you happen to visit their site, check out their “faces” page. It’s fabulous! You’ll see people of all ages from all across India, not just the light-skinned faces we see represented in Bollywood and ad. media TV etc. Which leads me to “Titlee”…I’ll make it a separate post. This seems to have become long-winded…Sorry! winding down after midnight.
          Have a great week end everyone
          JR

          • JR, that was an interesting and informative comment, thank you! I visited the rural India website, you are right about the myriad of issues that have come up as a result of displacement of rural people and the valuable traditions, languages, culture and history we’re losing in the process…

  44. Anyone catch Marina Khan on Mazaaq Raat? It was great to see her on screen at all, but I wish the show could manage more actual interview content and a bit less of the comedy routine. I was kind of hoping for a bit of a Jackson Heights discussion since Vasay Ch hosts the show.

    • I saw bits of it as well. Yes, this talking over the guests and the random interruptions are very annoying.
      Btw, don’t know if you know this already, but the Baraat series, bar the first installment, was penned by Vasay Ch. the first one was written by Syed Mohammad Ahmed sb, an acclaimed writer/actor. If you haven’t already I would highly recommend his telefilm Ghoonghat.

    • Anyone checked out the new serials? I’m traveling and have therefore lost track of days and dates and despite my best efforts have been unable to watch. Please do share your views. I shall write them up on my return.

      • @SZ hope you are having great time… i watched Daastar e Anaa.. uff thts one ridiculous drama.. wonder wht made me watch it for 30 mins

        A

        • Rehmat, what is it about? And what about it put you off?

          I haven’t watched it yet, will wait for your comments to see whether it’s worthwhile giving it a go 🙂

          • @VZ yar its sooo slow…first of all.. then the issue they showed is so lame and dialogues were crazier.. or maybe i expected alot… so when it didnt turn up like i expected i got pissed off… Uzma.G us maalkin.. her husband is Abid Ali..wheelchairs bound and is paralysed.. she does all decisions.. she has kick out her son Faisal Rehman who dared to marry his kinda girl.. she is Ayesha Gul who was in Main Sitara.. they r married from 3 years.. n have a 3 year daughter.. his mother first asked him that he can enter haveli with condition of giving divorce..he didnt agree.. so first epi started tht maalkin has agreed to forgive hashim khan (FR) but his wife n daughter wony b allowrd to enter haveli.. hashim khan has cousin Wali played by Kashif .. forgot his full name… oh n maalkin has killed abid ali’s mehbooba cuz eventually he first killed maalkin ka aashiq..

            It might turn interesting later on but filhal tou its big no 🙈

            • Rehmat, thanks for the details. Doesn’t look good, not going to watch it. So many dramas started but so far nothing out of the box or even decent entertainment value 😦

    • Also, your thoughts on the LSA noms? No nods for SS and NI?!? MZ gets best actor nod for SeMM and he and Kubra Khan are nominated for best pair, also for SeMM .. apparently they went by the teasers and promos and didn’t bother watching the serial itself. Koi memo hi bhej deta ke bhai they were not a pair 🙈🙄

      • Haan I caught the Best on screen couple category on hum.. and I was like but MZ and Kubra weren’t even a couple.. goes back to that complaint raised by HMJ director.. ke there’s no thought process or any process involved with these…. There’s no category for supporting cast.. NI got nominated for Dumpukht because he was the main lead although he was wayyy more impressive, exceptional even in SeMM… Buss abb it’s about time we have our own nominations and awards!
        Btw did anyone watch besharam? It seems to have made it to every single tv nomination! Was it any good?

        • Oops sorry just realized the best couple / MZ and Kubra nominations I caught on Hum were for Hum awards – not LSA..

        • @FA

          Yes and it was good. Despite the one episode which brings the twist in the drama which was totally out of character for the main leads, the events that follow were very well handled. Overall it was an enjoyable drama. These days I prefer serials not heavy on sadness and with good dialogues and banter. This was definitely it and also the fact that Zahid Ahmed and Saba Qamar made a good pair. Very believable and the supporting cast had really fun dialogues, everyone had a meaningful role to play to bring the story forward. The director, Farooq Rind, did a good job with this but MTNH is a different play all together not my cup of tea.

      • @SZ yes the nominations for HUM awards are even worse than LSA. No nomination for NI for Sang e Marmar, he should have been lead instead of Mikaal who was just there for no purpose at all in the end. and Ahsan Khan’s nomination does not make sense with the fellow nominees. There should have been a negative role category in which they could also include the actors playing (Torah/ Bano or Pari)

        Anyways, I don’t know if anyone is watching Yeh Raha Dil. It is great! Same writer as SeMM. Yumna Ziadi is doing a tremendous job as is the supporting cast. The dialogues are fun and very real like. It’s refreshing to watch a female role which does not give up or give in and keeps a very positive outlook on life despite hitting bottom. Overall this drama leaves you feeling upbeat despite the usual fare which makes me just depressed.

        • @Seher: I am traveling isilye away from TV these days. I had tried watching the first ep of Yeh Raha Dil and couldn’t get into it. Since then I have read a lot of praises so will give it a go once I return. Do keep us all posted as to its progress. 🙏🏼

        • @Seher im watching YRD… and indeed its interesting… though i have been some criticism that mustafa afridi the writet has actually copied line by line from that Korean drama and to top of it there is no any credit or acknowledgment being mentioned in credits.. which has not gone well with some viewers

  45. @SZ hope you’re enjoying yourself – don’t worry you’re not missing much 🙂

    I tried to watch the muhabbat nafrat drama.. Ufff idk it was like watching a cross between a 70’s / 80’s bollywood / lollywood movie and MZZB style emotional khandani saga.. IDK why it kept reminding me of MZZB.. I’m sure there will be KUR’s Ishq wala love somewhere, but that hasn’t showed up yet… or perhaps I was so bored I missed it..

    Iltija … uff that was something I could only watch like 10 min of.. that was too boring and with too many ghareloo issues.. Only thing that caught my eye was the kitchen.. What a weird place to have a kitchen! it was like oh we forgot to add a kitchen to this house – chalo yahan rakh dete hain.. or perhaps it was a desi take on open plan living.. Imagine having a kitchen at the bottom of your staircase.. yani ke poore ghar mein ooper neeche khane ki mehek.. sorry but all I could think of was the curry smell penetrating every inch of the house – even the clothes upstairs in a wardrobe.. #nightmare

    • SZ, FA, I just watched Mohabbat Tumse Nafrat Hai.

      I like the idea of playing with time by starting at a current point and then revealing the past. But the execution of the drama didn’t impress me.

      The emotions were all over the place. Someone like MJ would’ve reined it all in, but here it was such an in-your-face kind of portrayal. And what was with Saba Faisal’s make-up? She played old characters gracefully in dramas like DeS, so why all the unnatural ageing a la DeD?

      And Ayeza Khan has a one-note performance in all her plays – whatever character she plays they all appear the same. Yes, KRQ’s dialogues are good, but what can we do with just good dialogues, when all the mohabbat/nafrat stuff has been done to death?

      I did like Imran Abbas – he has been genuinely trying to up his game and carry dramas on his shoulders, but he does so as a star rather than as an “actor”. With the quality of writing and directing being at an all time low, how much can one star do?

      And the loud background music – please can we use Rahat sahab really sparingly?

      Sorry, full blown rant…

      • @VZ haina! yes I enjoy bit of time travel, and the way story would unravel would probably be interesting.. but aren’t such sagas done to death by now too.. and starting this kind of story with an epic everyone huddled together on a death bed scene.. how ironic!

        yes that make up was so so off! IDK I’m not really an Imran Abbas fan – so his star value doesn’t really do it for me either. I find he’s another one who tends to have that one-note issue..

        Although PA, MNYH, ST and were supposed to be serious plays, they had something comical about them all which married well with KUR’s filmy dialigues.. Although I had issues with all of them they were watchable and interesting in their own way.. but here they seem to have gone literal with the film and for me that serious kinda filmy falls flat and doesn’t work at all. Moral of the story is you can’t afford to go all serious with KUR’s writing – it needs a comical approach to tone it down.

        • FA, I see what you mean about KuR scripts needing a lighter touch. MNYH inspite of dealing with some serious issues, never felt heavy – Imran Mughees, his mum, Molvi Noor Mohammad, Afia Begum, all of them could provide that lol moment or at least a smile. PA toh was an out and out light entertainment. Here, it all feels so heavy and melodramatic that it’s not working at all. Blame it on the director maybe?

          But as usual, others are praising this to the skies – I’m sure drama makers must be thinking we’re some constipated aunties lol.

          Re: Imran Abbas, I’m not a big fan, but I can see how post his stint in Bollywood (however small that was), he’s trying harder somehow. Compared to his older set of dramas, his demeanour and dialogue delivery are much better. But he needs a good director to polish his performance, which he got with MJ. Here he seems to be on his own.

          I haven’t watched Farooq Rind’s other stuff, so I don’t know if this is his signature style?

          • Thank you @FA and @VZ for providing a clearer picture .. I haven’t yet watched but my first impression from the trailers was pretty much the same as yours. But then read the same glowing reviews as you did @VZ and questioned myself ( as I am doing more n more these days when I read comments/recaps on various fora).

            I agree with you ladies abt KURQ’s scripts needing a director who can really read between the lines and get the writer’s very dry humor and his biting social commentary .. warna tau his lines ending sounding like one long monologue after another filled with flowery urdu.

            Also, @VZ: I have found a very interesting group which I think you will enjoy.. check out The Joy Of Urdu fb page. I met the founder of this initiative a couple of days ago and will write more abt it when I return but for now suffice it to say I immediately thought of you when she was explaining why and wherefores..

            • Thanks SZ, I’m looking at the page now. It’s really kind of you! Have a safe journey, hope to hear from you about the fb page on your return.

            • SZ, caught up reading all about the Joy of Urdu page. Also read Zarminae Ansari’s interview on TNS they had posted links to. The mention of Sabeen Mahmud in the interview was really poignant… Here is the link to the article if anyone else is interested: http://tns.thenews.com.pk/dedicated-project/#.WO6EFs_RbqD

              It’s a truly commendable project, thanks for telling me about it. This is the sort of thing I was mentioning earlier – good quality children’s books, fiction and non-fiction. Much needed, if we want our children to develop the love for the language and also given how far children’s books in other languages have come. Also, at the moment trying to get children’s books from PK delivered overseas is a big struggle. I’m hoping at least some of these books will become available on Amazon.

              Her second project of bilingual books on culture, art and architecture sounds interesting too, I’d be keen to see the kind of topics they’d cover.

              I also read Zarminae Ansari’s piece on Ibn e Safi’s Imran books. Why don’t our drama makers even attempt these other genres like crime thrillers? Here I go again…

          • I tried watching the first episode, but I got a bit upset seeing the Bollywood style directing with those enlarged pictures on the wall and showing everyone’s face all the time to see the emotion. I also got put off by the pace. I don’t have patience anymore to see sad faced people sitting around without some context. The patience required to follow the story seems forced here. I am going to skip this.

      • @VZ I agree with every point you’ve made! Thank god I was not the only was cringing watching this episode. Ghar wale ofcourse loved it LOL

        • Seher, uff it was too melodramatic and I had to vent, but your gharwale are not alone, I think the majority of viewers liked it…

    • sorry but all I could think of was the curry smell penetrating every inch of the house – even the clothes upstairs in a wardrobe.. #nightmare

      Haha! I don’t know about the UK, but this is a legit problem in the US, where our houses aren’t properly ventilated and it’s too cold for at least part of the year to just keep all the windows open. (Case in point: we got two inches of snow yesterday…in April!)

      Desi cooking smells all over the house is no joke. And yes, the staircase is right by the kitchen in our house, lol.

      • @RK yes precisely the issue I was referring to lol. In our match-box houses here in the UK cooking curry means you either freeze or prepare to fumigate your place.. And opening windows doesn’t guarantee anything!
        Oops sorry! Did you watch Iltija? Do check out the strategic positioning of that kitchen. This staircase is ”in” the kitchen, right next to the stove and the worktops.

        • The partial solution I’ve discovered for the cooking smell problem is a combination of an industrial-sized kitchen exhaust and hardwood floors all over the house, lol.

          The kitchen in Iltija is odd for sure. I think I once saw something similar in one of those IKEA models…you know, “here’s a whole house in 250 square feet” or something like that. Maybe IKEA does set designs for TV now, lol.

    • I watched the first episode of Iltija too. As you noted, FA, it was kinda boring. Also I thought it was sort of badly edited and the production value was generally low. Nothing about it made me curious about Episode 2, but khair, I’ll probably watch the next couple of episodes just to see if it grows on me.

      What does “iltija” mean, btw?

      I have recently started watching ZGH again, and as much as the things that annoyed me still annoy me (and maybe even more now on a second watch), there’s something to be said for great direction, cinematography and all-around good acting from nearly the entire cast. I know exactly what’s coming, and I’m still compelled to keep watching it. Kaash more shows were this well made!

    • FA, re: similarities with MZZB: I think both stories start off with a bit of mystery about the past and why it’s casting shadows on the present. In both, the arrival of a character triggers sad+painful memories, the “hero” had caused those sad events plus the shock of seeing the hero in an aged role… But the similarities end here I think. For all its faults, MZZB had a powerful start and the first episode did a good job of creating that air of mystery about the past, it was a good opener. For MTNH to have the same impact, they should have gone easy on the emotional overload.

  46. I just went back and read all the comments on the ZGH reviews for the first few episodes here. I’m so impressed with how bored and annoyed people were with this show back then! It affirms my faith in humanity and in the DRNR community. Well done, all!

    LOL. I’ve commented so much today, it’s like I’m talking to myself. Sorry.

  47. Anyone caught the teaser for Punjab Nahi Jaungi? It’s Bin Roye meets Dillagi meets various Bollywood movies of the 80s/90s.

    Humayun Saeed is the hero in our films for the next two decades at least.

    • @VZ lol ufff haan spot on with that!

      Re HUmayum Saeed : Yes looks that way.. hes been around since my bachpan and will be there for another teo decades by the looks of it! I wonder why and how though? Does Having his own production house help? We can hardly compare him with bollywood khans so what gives him that edge here? I think when it comes to his craft, if anything he doesnt seem to be as good as he used to be once.. so i do
      wonder why?

      • FA, re: Humayun Saeed, it’s all about lack of stars that we discussed earlier, one who can guarantee paisa wasool. Whether it’s fair or not (referring to the female versus male actors’ age), whether he’s good at his craft or not, so far HS has been the only one to churn out hit films in PK in this generation – Bin Roye, JPNA, etc., he’s been in all of the ones that have made money.

        In Bollywood, a film like Punjab Nahi Jaungi will probably have Akshay Kumar. May be Ajay Devgun. Possibly Salman Khan? An Aamir Khan or Hrithik will do other types/styles of films. Then you have the “groupies” like Abhishek B, Riteish Deshmukh etc who are individually not good enough to guarantee hits, but as a team can deliver them.

        But situation in PK films is very different. Here, whether it’s a suave, urban role like Bin Roye or a village goonda with a big heart role, only HS has been able to get the returns on investment. If we ask him, he’d probably ask us to find another actor who can deliver these roles, but who else is there who is willing and able to do these roles?

        A film like BaluMahi, with an ace director like Haissam and a well known actor like OKB, is not able to deliver the kind of returns (at least that’s what I’m reading), so casting HS is a business call rather than acting ability or anything else.

        It all comes back to having a painful transition period until we have a full fledged film industry that produces its own stars who are bankable. Until then, it’s HS all the way. The alternatives are Danish Taimoor or Adeel H or Shehryar M, again with no guarantees on ROI.

    • It will be funny (in an appalling way) when an actress who once played his heroines (like Nadia Jamil or Sania Saeed) is cast as his mother in a future film while he on-screen-romances actresses young enough to be his daughters or whatever.

      What fabulous double standards in the entertainment world!

      • RK, there’s a big chance that this will happen…

        Given how common unequal gender standards are in fields where there’s a clearly defined career path (professions like law, accountancy, etc), it’s hardly surprising that these exist in the entertainment industry (or, sports) where it’s a very insecure setting (one/two failures​ and you’re out of the reckoning, a newbie can upset the position of the top performer, etc), so it’s harder to fight for equality because someone else can do the job you refuse on these grounds.

        Fighting for equality needs a group effort, strong enough to lobby for changes, like the suffrage movement.

        • @VZ: all very true. But at least in other professions, there are potential laws and regulations preventing overt discrimination on the basis of gender, age, etc. I feel like the entertainment industry all over the world falls back too often to “this is what the market demands,” instead of even trying to create an environment that is welcoming to people of a certain age.

          In Humayun Saeed’s defense, this isn’t really entirely his fault. He looks younger than his age and the demands of his industry are such that the women acting opposite him have to be much younger of necessity. He’s often talked about both NJ and SS as his favorite and most memorable co-stars though, and I imagine even he’d be embarrassed if they ended up playing his parental figures!

          Given that he has his own production house, it’s possible for him to take up this challenge and try something different. He could choose a part that’s closer to his real age and give his senior colleagues a chance to show off their considerable acting chops in a more commercial setting with his presence making the project more bankable, for example. In the alternative, he could endorse/produce projects featuring actresses of a certain age playing age-appropriate parts, etc.

          • RK, yes he could do all that, but why would he, when the alternative proposition (him as a traditional Bollywood type hero) is a sure-shot money spinner? He’s a businessman at the end of the day and will do what’s viable in money terms.

            But why just him, what does Hum do? It’s helmed by, owned by, women “of a certain age”. Shouldn’t they be backing projects like Pehchan or Talkhiyan? It’s all about commerce.

            Re: But at least in other professions, there are potential laws and regulations preventing overt discrimination – yes, but in the case of entertainment industry a straight forward rule about gender discrimination may not be easy to impose as a one-size fits all. The demands of a programme have to be taken into account but at the same time, this may be used as an excuse to get out of such regulations or inclusivity may be done as a tick-box exercise without any real change. I’m not saying that these sort of challenges should stop us from introducing rules, but it has to be done in a sensible way to suit this industry. A lot has to do with public perception and public putting pressure on the regulator to do the right things as well, as long as the regulator is sensible!

            For example, in the UK, there was a lot of criticism that many TV programmes had panels that were exclusively male, and the director of the BBC said that this was unacceptable etc (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-26107011) and now we’re seeing women on these programmes – in some cases it’s blatant why that one female is there, but still it counts as some progress. So this sort of realisation has to come and lead to positive action. But dekhlo, this is UK (first world and all that) and this happened 2-3 years ago and the BBC is funded by licence paying public. So we have a long way to go before we can get private channels in PK to be more inclusive etc.

            Sorry for the XL rant, not sure if I wrote something sensible…

            • @VZ: An XL comment gets you an XXL response. Everything is bigger in America, after all. 😉

              You’re absolutely right that Humayun Saeed has no obligation to do anything except commercial cinema and chocolate hero roles. My view is more that actors with his level of wealth, success and influence have a platform, and maybe as service to the industry, they might consider investing in different kinds of projects once in a while. I think the film industry–which isn’t necessarily restrained in the same way as television–could be an ideal place to shake things up, especially for someone like HS. His place in the industry is secure and his ability to deliver hits is unquestioned at this point. He can afford to take the risk. (So can someone like Fawad Khan, but that’s a story for a different day, lol).

              The obvious analogy here is Aamir Khan. His production house’s first film was Lagaan, and Aamir made so much money and gained so much clout from that one film that he was able to bankroll several non-commercial films after that, including his directorial debut Taare Zameen Par (about a boy on the autism spectrum), the political satire Peepli Live (which featured a bunch of unknown theater actors), the arthouse film Dhobi Ghaat (directed by his wife), and most recently, Dangal. Apparently, Aamir didn’t want to do Dangal because he perceived the character as “too old,” but he changed his mind when he realized it would be a massive hit.

              Your point about HUM and Sultana Siddiqui and Momina Duraid is well taken too, and I agree with you. But in their defense, I’d like to make two comments. First, I think HUM is actually trying to shake things up a bit. It’s not lost on me that “Chewing Gum,” that very controversial episode of Kitni Ghirain Baqi Hain, was on HUM. The network ran the episode with full knowledge that they’d get hit with a PEMRA notice for it. (Tangentially, we discussed here the fact that Sania Saeed and Farah Shah were not especially credible as women who’d been in college as recently as the Humsafar era, but only very well-established actresses like them could have taken the risk in the first place…all part of the same problem, really).

              I think SeMM, Ullu Baraye Farokht Nahi, and other HUM shows of the more hat ke variety have also been risky propositions for the network, but they’ve put that content out there and gotten both critical acclaim and commercial success out of them. I think HUM has realized that marketing–and not content–is really king in this industry. I expect we’ll see more risky programming from them in the next few years, but I’m not holding my breath necessarily.

              Second, and this is a comment about South Asian culture and female empowerment generally, but I really think women who want to make change and shake things up often need the backing of a man with significant influence. I know this is controversial because it flies in the face of progressive views on women and what they’re capable of. But in places like India and Pakistan, women still only get ahead when men either let them or give them a leg up. So while the Sultanas and Mominas of this world should definitely fly the flag for women, maybe they can’t make that women-centric project featuring actresses of a certain age unless the Humayun Saeeds of this world step up and join them in the fight?

              but in the case of entertainment industry a straight forward rule about gender discrimination may not be easy to impose as a one-size fits all

              Very true. I have many, many thoughts about this, but I’m trying really hard not to put my lawyer hat on today, so let’s table it for another day. Vaisey bhi yeh comment kuch zyaada hi ho gaya, lol!

            • @RK @VZ very interesting points raised!

              I was at a branding seminar today and reading ur comments made me think of something along those lines. At the end of the day these big names are not just actors or celebrities, they are also brands.. audience /market associate certain attributes with these names and that’s what sells.. however brands must evolve to stay relevant to their market and their industry. Amir Khan has done that really well and in a way Amitabh Bachan (and SRK to an extent) are doing the same.. there’s only so much one can play a chocolate hero.. if not now in a few years HS will have to rethink his brand image in order to maintain his relevance.. thats when he will have to ‘rebrand’ himself again.. (he has already been on a sabbatical and re-emerged with a rebranded image couple of yrs ago)

              I know Im moving from bollywood khan to dramaland khan (so not much of a comparison 😬 ) but isn’t it Interesting to watch Ahsan Khan now who seems to have taken a more interesting approach recently. Udaari and preet were hatke roles.. so perhaps he seems to be embracing the evolution route.. ?!

              I think im not making much sense now 😐.. Omg by the looks of it i think ill be dreaming branding and rebranding tonight 🙈

            • @VZ while there is a trend or acceptance that there must be women on panels and a percentage of TV presenters there is still the issue of older women. The BBC has faced criticism on how on key programmes (Country file and that Saturday night dance programme I can’t remember the name of) the female judges/presenters were replaced by younger females. On both occasions the older females publicly stated that they were dropped due to their age while older male presenters were kept. Nothing happened the BBC denied the allegations and came out with some corporate speech about giving the programmes a fresh look. But the situation is true everywhere in showbiz. Anne Hathaway who is in her 30s recently said she was now loosing roles to actresses in their 20s while male actors of the same age did not have the same problem. Seriously Anne Hathaway is in her 30s and she is feeling the gender-age bias already.

  48. Not sure if anyone has seen this, but here’s a great interview with SeMM’s Omair Rana: https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=h4HlI-Vp93o

    It’s a bit long, but kind of interesting. Rana may in fact be the least pretentious actor of all time, and towards the end of the interview, he talks about ACT, a union for actors that he helped found/organize with a bunch of senior actors. The idea is to have formalized/standard contracts, health insurance, and other forms of legal protections for actors and to avoid exploitation of actors by production houses. It looks like the plan is to have an awards system similar to what the Screen Actors Guild does in Hollywood.

    • Hi RK
      Thanks for the link to the interview. This is very interesting.
      In fact if you haven’t already, listen to SS’s interview on DRNRs. It was a question I remember posing (also the question about alternate sources of financing, like crowd-funding, which the makers of the Kannada film Lucia did – and the film received many awards) and her response (s) to all our questions were so thoughtful, well-considered and well-spoken.
      JR

      • Yes, I’ve listened to the Sania Saeed Q&A here at least twice. She’s brilliant and so thoughtful and candid with her answers.

        I have a massive girl crush on SS right now. I’m in the process of watching everything she’s ever been in, lol.

  49. Hi guys, just caught up on everyones comments and had a look at some of the links. Interesting reading. Not watching a drama at the moment..can’t decide. Wondering if I should take the plunge with Pinjara only because SZ is reviewing it.

    Also saw that Urdu 1 is now available in the UK and I thought the lady that did commentary for the drama promos on GEO was irritatingly upbeat, I obviously hadn’t listened to her sister on Urdu 1. Just seen my first dubbed Turkish drama Fatima Gul. I can see why this story would be ‘popular’ its about a woman forced to marry her alleged rapist.

    Anyway a few days ago I caught an episode of a drama on Urdu 1 called Andaz e Sitam, JR mentioned it above in a comment. Yes its another one of those kidnapping and forced marriage dramas. The episode I watched was episode 4. I ended up binge watching it with the forward key on YouTube. Its seriously twisted….sick is all I can say. I never watched Gul e Rana and I know thats these topics are handled badly by the drama makers but seriously I thought after Sangat the producers would stop showing a rapist as some sort of hero but no.

    What angered me was that this drama was promoted as a drama about a strong woman and the issue of marital rape. Ah no no no thats not it.

    Kubra Khan gets kidnapped by Agha Ali who is a rich spoilt playboy. He forces her into a quickie Nikah and then the next morning burns the nikah nama but does not divorce.

    She goes home and eventually takes him to court to make him acknowledge that she is his wife. She does not file rape charges, she only wants to prove that they were married. As she has no proof she is about to loose the case but finds out she is pregnant. Her lawyer suggests that they file a rape case as they now have DNA evidence. But this is what I found disturbing. Kubra Khan refuses to file a rape charge because of the Nikah. Her lawyer tells her that under the law a forced Nikah (jabbar Nikah?) is considered the same as rape. Kubra Khan argues back that yes she was pressured into the Nikah at the time but it was her choice to say yes. . Hey she was tired up in the middle of nowhere and our hero…..opps I mean villain told her that she either said kubool hai or he would rape her and kill her but still Kubra Khan says no at the end of the day she made the ‘choice’ to say yes to the Nikah. Seriously what message is that sending? The Urdu got slightly legalistic during this conversation and I found it difficult to follow it 100% but I got the impression that Kubra Khan was determined to say that the Nikah was valid and therefore the consummation of the marriage was not illegal. The reason for not filing a rape charge was that she was determined not to be a victim but instead someone who wanted to prove that a Nikah took place.

    Meanwhile Agha Ali’s evil mother asks him why he did it and he said and he actually said this, because she didn’t love him enough and daddy committed suicide. Really if your mummy doesn’t love you its okay to go around kidnapping and doing all sorts to girls. Agha Ali’s character is slowly shown as being in love with Kubra Khan and is portrayed as some sort of dewana crazed aashiq who at least had the decency to have a Nikah with the girl before he had his wicked way.

    I just couldn’t believe the direction this drama is taking. We have a rapist who is slowly being shown as a hero, as I said how could anyone think after Sangat that this would be a good idea. And as for Kubra Khan’s character..she is determined that she was not raped because she is wants to show Agha Ali that she is a strong woman who can fight for her rights. What message does this send to rape victims?

    • @NKhan
      Yes, I did watch some episodes; I wanted to see how the legal issue would be handled and was somewhat confused myself. I am not a fan of KK’s acting. She pretty much has the same non-expression (staring unblinking, head tilt and dialogue delivery) in several dramas I’ve seen.

      AA’s character at one point said he kidnapped and raped her because he wanted to expose the “hypocrisy” – he used the English term. It wasn’t clear whether it was the hypocrisy of society or his mother, who runs a women’s organization of sorts. Even if this is justification, a woman’s body is used once again.

      I could not figure out why she insisted it was not rape. Perhaps she felt it would save her reputation. I find the intro (to the episodes) rather disturbing where she’s in some sort of a pipe – her arms flaying, fighting him off.

      Another thing I want to mention is some early episodes where he is shown in his bedroom – check out the graphics on his wall. He has a large poster that says “Compton” on it, and there figures painted on the wall – uh…well. I was wondering if Pakistani audiences get the significance of this and its suggestive nature. Yikes! Don’t actors of this stature have a say in something like this? AA seems pretty savvy and appears to have been around for a while.

      I find “Pinjra” also disturbing. I speed-watch because SZ is reviewing it as well. This last episode where the #MenacingMatriarch is standing guard while her son is attempting to rape the vani , who is screaming for help, was too much for me. And Zulaika’s role in setting the ball rolling as well. Uff!

      “Saan Seerhi” has developed a mystery/whodunit now. I like the women here.

      Have a great Sunday everyone,
      JR
      PS: I saw an old movie online a couple of years ago, “Hamare Dil Aapke Pas Hai” Anil Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai. Her father wants her to marry her rapist and he takes her into his home. So this issue – of women being forced to marry the rapist – was addressed..

      • Her father wants her to marry her rapist and he takes her into his home. So this issue – of women being forced to marry the rapist – was addressed.

        I feel like this was once a fairly common trope in Indian cinema, or at least in South Indian cinema. I recall watching a movie in the early 90s which featured a similar theme. A young village girl is raped by a wealthy, city-dwelling sophisticated type. She’s engaged to marry her cousin but refuses to go through with the wedding because she feels her honor will only be restored if her rapist marries her. At the end of the movie, the trope is magically turned on its head though, because after the rapist finally expresses remorse and agrees to marry her, she kills him in full view of the entire village. I think that was the end of that trope, lol.

        • Raja Ki Ayge Barat?? Remember that movie with Rani Mukherjee and the late Amjad Khan’s son. Here she willingly marries her rapist and then tries her best to be a good wife to him so that he would become a good guy. There was a Pakistani version of this movie with Resham. Then there was Benam Badsha with Anil Kapoor and Juhi Chawla. Here after being raped by Anil Kapoor she rejects her fiance who still wants to marry her, Juhi goes too Anil Kapoor and insists on marrying him even though he doesn’t want to. I remember at the time that even for Bollywood this film was a step too far and Juhi received criticism for this role.

          Oh God if we really go for it we could probably bring up more films with the same theme.

          Unfortunately it seems rapists offering to marry their victims is quite common, see following article:

          http://www.indiatogether.org/rapevict-women

          • Yes, it’s a real and very serious social problem where victims end up being married to their rapists. Often it’s done not for reasons of honor or to prevent stigma against the victim but to allow the rapist to escape punishment. The poor victim, now married to her attacker, will often choose not to pursue a police complaint or any panchayat decision against her husband. He basically commits the crime, admits to it, and goes scot-free.

            Add to that the fact that the Indian legal system still doesn’t recognize marital rape as a crime, and you have a vicious circle of social injustice that seems unbreakable.

  50. @RK I think thats the issue – the difference here is that It is an ‘industry’.. at the end of the day it is all abt marketing and commerce and responding to ”what the market demands”..

    In a weird sort of way, the professionals involved in the showbiz industry are also a product ( or part of a product).. so i guess the equation is not as simple… for the industry like this any such change or regulations would have to be driven by public demand.. however, unfortunately its only a handful of us who seem to be worried about these matters..

    On a separate note : isnt it interesting that all the movies that did well /better in PK had stronger male lead role except maybe bin roye (not sure how well it actually did on box office).. Infact were there any commercial movies made with stonger /central female lead role apart from a couple that MK did? Why is that?

    Apart from MK who else was a successful female lead?

    • FA, re: strong female lead, let’s see how Chalay Thay Saath does, it’s basically riding on Syra isn’t it?

      Other than her, has Mawra signed anything? Will Saba Qamar be doing any PK films? The rest like Urwa, Mehwish etc lack that star quality I think. Aisha Khan did Waar but nothing else after that. Maya Ali is doing Teefa in Trouble with Ali Z isn’t she?

      Re: Ahsan Khan reinventing himself, he’s also producing plays na, Dukh Sukh is his production…

  51. Hi all
    I watched a few promos and some episodes of “Titlee.”

    From the promos it looked like a “Beauty and the Beast” theme. Alas, the Beauty is the Beast!
    I was curious about it because the female lead thinks she is beautiful and is totally spoiled in her house, and she is waited on etc. Anyways she is married to a very rich, but in her opinion, a guy who is not “khubsoorat” and is not a good match for her khubsoorati. Truth is, the guy is just a brown-skinned desi guy – of course with glasses! She is no Helen of Troy (do we have a desi equivalent? LOL! ) really, she is just light-skinned. The point here is that Khubsoorati = light skinned.

    We never see brown-skinned men or women anymore yaar. I remember the much acclaimed “Traffic Signal” the actress (lead) was plastered with some kind of reddish brown makeup. I mean, really! are there no brown-skinned actresses in Bollywood? The same with “Sanwali” an older drama I watched, I thought it would be an interesting story. There too the female lead was caked with various shades of brownish makeup that changed shades frequently. Has anyone noticed that SRK is looking his nice brown self compared to all his glossy fairness in the even glossier Yash R productions? Perhaps it was only for “Raees.”

    Anyways, given NDTVs stand not to run Skin Fairness Creams and Abhay Deol’s recent statements :
    http://www.hindustantimes.com/editorials/movie-stars-are-role-models-they-should-not-be-promoting-fairness-creams/story-Qw4v0SDQ8BwHNg000PgQAJ.html

    And a recent Scroll.in article
    https://scroll.in/article/834438/the-tm-krishna-column-news-flash-tarun-vijay-critics-we-south-indians-are-racist-too?utm_content=buffer5330e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    I was thinking our borders are rather porous, no?

    I saw a Kangana R. interview (some time ago) where she said she has never done a Skin Fairness ad., Priyanka C did some early on but has since then become enlightened and doesn’t do them anymore she said (Barkha Dutt interview). But in India TV is full of these ads., including products for men and SRK and Shahid K (including a host of others) do these commercials.

    OK…not sure where I was going with this so I’ll stop my late-night Rant!.

    Anyone watching “Titlee?” Worth the watch?

    I’m still watching “Saanp Seerhi” but haven’t found anything else really very engaging. Maybe I’m not looking well enough!

    JR

    • It’s strange that desi culture hasn’t moved on from the 1950s when it comes to fair skin and making value judgments about people based on the fairness of their skin.

      I wish more people would understand skin color for what it really is: an evolutionary adaptation to one’s climate. People from southern geographies tend to be darker (and have thicker lips and coarser hair) because these traits help protect humans from prolonged exposure to the sun. That’s it. It has nothing to do with beauty, ability, etc.

      On the other hand, this isn’t exclusively a desi problem. I suspect that the amount of money spent on fairness creams in South Asia is roughly proportional to the amount of money spent on self-tanning cream and tanning beds in the western world.

      • RK, re: not exclusively a desi problem – spot on, it’s a big problem in Africa as well, with girls opting for poor quality fairness creams and bleaches, which leave them with scars and what not. If only we can get it across that skin colour has absolutely no impact on skills or intelligence or such…

        Off tangent, but it reminded me how the recent Noddy books had removed​ references to the naughty Golliwog characters, which were, of course, black: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/6359248/Noddy-returns-without-the-golliwogs.html

        • All: Apologies for the very short notice but bas ab what to do.
          The very talented Kaif Ghaznavi – Pari from SeMM – has graciously agreed to an interview for DRNR. Since you all are as much a part of DRNR as I am, here’s your opportunity to send in your questions for the lovely Kaif. The

        • …. sorry didn’t mean to hit send as yet..
          I am meeting Kaif early tom am, PST, so please send in your questions asap. Please start a new thread below to post your questions.

    • Ha! Well, you saved me the trouble, lol.

      Off the top of my head, I can’t think of too many questions! Some of these questions are lame. SZ, please modify/review as needed!

      1. Kaif, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview! SeMM’s Pari was an absolutely fascinating character, and we all loved your portrayal. Could you describe the character and her motivation? Her headspace seems like it would be fascinating and frightening at the same time? What did you think of the character’s ultimate fate?

      2. You’ve been involved with Sheema Kermani’s Tehrik-e-Niswan group and classical dance. Sheema herself has talked about dance as activism, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the same. Do you feel that dance is still something of a stigma? What do you think about the future of classical dance in Pakistan? Do you think dance will feature in television dramas are on film more prominently one of these days? (Fellow Odissi dance here, by the way!)

      3. You were a Fulbright scholar, I believe. Where and what did you study? What did you think of the whole experience, and how has it informed your career as an actor?

  52. Dear Kaif
    Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed by us. If you have had a chance to look at our discussion threads on ‘Sang e Mar Mar’ you will see that your work was much appreciated on this forum.

    My first question is:
    Your role in SeMM was much more nuanced and had more complex dimension than a couple of the female leads in the drama.
    Do you think that supporting roles offer more challenges and diversity for actors than the leads, which can often be somewhat formulaic?

    Second Question:
    I read that you are a Lecturer in the Arts; I’m not sure if you still are but is your acting (on stage and in film) an extension of your academic interests? Do they nurture and sustain each other? Or is it all a confluence of personal (intellectual/spiritual/philosophical/existential) goals?

    I wish you every success and look forward to seeing you portray new and interesting characters.

    JR

  53. Dear SZ, thank you for arranging this, it’s really kind of you 🙂

    Kaif, many thanks for agreeing to answer questions from DRNRers! Here are some of my questions for you:

    1. Pari of SeMM is one of the few strong female characters in recent dramas. All of us here loved the way you played this complex character.

    We did feel that Pari’s character got short changed in the end – she became the symbol of everything that was bad/mean. In fact, here at DRNR, we thought she would give any MBA a run for their money, with​ her negotiating skills, her ability to hire and fire staff and keeping an eye on finances!

    Also, at a time when female characters in our dramas are fixated with shaadi as the ultimate destination, Pari was different in the way she handled herself and the way she tackled her problems head-on.

    Did you feel that the story did justice to Pari? Wasn’t there more to her, for example what was her back story?

    If you had your way, what would have happened to Pari?

    2. You have a beautiful voice, do you sing? What kinds of music do you like to listen to?

    3. What are the top 3 biggest challenges ​facing artists (any art form) in Pakistan today?

    4. It feels like mainstream TV dramas hardly give any space for different kinds of stories or characters these days. From senior actors who are merely used as props to the most mundane plots to sensationalising or trivialising serious issues, looks like we’re headed downhill as far as TV dramas are concerned.

    Do you feel the same way about how things stand or do you feel this is too pessimistic a view? As the TV drama industry currently stands, what are the big positives in the industry?

    5. An artist whose work inspires you?

    Many thanks for your time.

    SZ, thank you, if I think of more questions I’ll add them.

    • Amazing SZ.. thank you so much for this.

      Kaif.. its an absolute delight to watch your work.. keep working amazingly and best wishes for your future work..

      P.s.. i love your name:)

      So here are few questions i could think of

      Q:1 .what made you choose pari’s character and were you satisfied with how character shaped specially in last episodes?

      Q:2 In teri meri jodi.. you played a gujarati girl.. loved your track… how exciting it is to play a free willed girl …as opposed to saiqa you played in thora san asman?

      Q:3 And how was it to be part of Tanhaiyaan naye silslay.. and make a mark of your character along side some v.famous characters ?

  54. Hi all
    Just going through some promos. There is a new show (I think) entitled “Kohar.” Kaif Ghaznavi is part of the ensemble cast. She has a “mother” role,

    JR

        • SZ, wow! Thank you so much for the clip, she sings beautifully!

          And what a beautiful office space!

          Thanks for taking the trouble SZ 🙂

        • Thank you for the clip, SZ! What a gorgeous voice Kaif has. That was a real treat!

          I’m glad the interview went well. Can’t wait to read all about it.

          How’s your trip going so far?

        • @SZ.
          Thanks so much for the clip; she looks lovely with her dark hair and that gorgeous pink.
          And what a clear, sweet voice; wonderful!
          Hugs,
          JR

      • @VZ. No kidding yaar. She enters in episode 3. Affan Waheed is her nephew and her daughter is another actress who I’ve seen in a few dramas. In trying to find news about this, I’ve discovered it must be a remake from ’90s play written by Haseena Moin and the female lead in that was Marina Khan.
        It looks like it was made in 2013; it’s an Urdu1 play and either it’s a re-run on the channel or someone is posting it. So far 4 episodes out on Youtube.

        JR

        • PS: I thought it was interesting since SZ is bringing us her interview plus we just had a thread here about the (long) life of male actors as “heroes” playing opposite younger actresses.

          • JR, thanks for the info about Kohar, I had not known about it. I might give the Marina Khan version a go some time.

            Re: long shelf life of male actors – yes you’re correct, this seems to be yet another example of that. Shame, really. I think Hina Bayat mentioned it in her BBC interview as well I think…

          • Hi VZ,
            Thanks so much. This sounds far more interesting that “Kohar” that is being uploaded on Youtube. The female lead in this 2013 “Kohar” is the kind of woman most of us love to hate. I did find all the episodes of this Kohar with KG on tv-dramas.pk. It’s super slow…
            I might check out some episodes of the Marina Khan “Kohar.”

            JR

            • I remember watching the original drama Kohar with Marina Khan. Looking back I am not surprised it was not a hit.

              SPOILER ALERT:
              People generally like their shows and films both in South Asia and in Hollywood end with the boy and girl living happily ever after. This didn’t happen in Kohar and maybe that’s why I remember this drama as it didn’t have the usual expected ending. I remember feeling frustrated and almost cheated by the ending. I couldn’t understand why the male and female leads didn’t get together in the end. Today hearing about this drama and reading the article I see this drama was really about Marina Khan’s character’s emotional state and her journey.

        • I was watching an extended interview with Noman Ijaz where he noted that child actors who were once his on-screen daughters were now his heroines. But he also seemed fairly accepting of this as a natural consequence of the industry’s social mores and the fact that male actors are less subject to age restrictions, not just in PK but everywhere. He did go on to say that he’s barely ever cast in the traditional hero role these days anyway, so his co-stars tend to be other senior actresses he’s worked with before.

          It’s a fascinating interview…very candid and wide-ranging. I liked the bit where he admitted to being vaguely in love with all his heroines. 😉

  55. @RK
    Thanks so much; what a great interview. I loved the distinction he made about people in the industry (window/godaun)! The person who interviewed him (Farah?) acted opposite him in a drama.
    JR

  56. So just saw this update.. Mays Ali won best actress fot MM at LSA .. we can see where hum awarde would be going 🙈

    • And Sheheryar Munawar beat out–of all people–the late Om Puri for the best supporting actor award.

      I think SM could grow into a fine actor and he was probably the best of the lot in Ho Mann Jahaan. But c’mon.

      • True indeed.. MK won best actress film for Ho Man Jahaan, Fahad Mustafa for best actor film Actor in Law.. im curious about best drama n best actor drama

    • Rehmat, thanks so much for sharing these 🙂

      I thought that rap between MK and OKB was cute! He writes really well na? Compared to the same old same old, this was refreshing. And I thought MK did really well.

      After Asim Raza cried buckets they’ve decided to give SM the best actor award… These awards are a joke… More jokes coming up with Hum awards I think – Bin Roye, MM and Udaari will sweep all the awards…

      Did you watch Yaqeen Ka Safar?

      • @VZ: ummm i find it bit weird tbh.. like mentioning of 100crores… so full of herself.. it come across like that :/ hahah exactly like RK said of all the actote. SM… and best actor drama was Ahsan Khan for Udaari and best drama was Dil Lagi.. Sansm Saeed got best actresses aupporting for DPS. Best film n director went to Actor in Law.. which I think was fair enough

        No yar i was scared watching that and reviews were so full of tareefs… but i watcg today and wl let you know

        • Rehmat, I see what you mean, MK is usually down to earth, so I took it as OKB’S brand of humour, just in good fun…

          I’m not planning to watch YKS yaar, Shehzad Kashmiri is not good but wonder why he keeps getting project after project at prime time 😦 I didn’t like the promos either. Giving it a miss yaar.

      • Liked the rap, thought it was good. On a certain level it could easily be taken as MK being full of herself but I think she was just mimicking that image.

        Just thinking of the conversation above about skin whitening creams and fair skin etc. I kept missing the odd word during the rap but Mahira seemed to be playing on OKB’s fair skin or something like that. How easily during this rap does Mahira say OKB that ‘tumse gora ur chita ha Imran Abbas’ This whole issue of fair skin is so ingrained in our cultural psyche that these words seem so harmless in this rap.

        Seriously May Ali for Mann Mayal? I suppose if they had the award for the best ‘bechari aurat’ then she definitely deserved that award. Opposite this award in the male category they could do the ‘best kidnapper’ award.

        I wonder if