Two back to back great telefilms and I was lulled into a false sense of hope: Perhaps I had been too cynical … perhaps all was not lost … perhaps there was hope of better things coming our way … perhaps … perhaps …
And then I watched the first episode of Shadi Mubarak Ho.
Written by Yasir Hussain and directed ‘n produced by Wajahat Rauf this latest shadi-themed serial opened its account on ARY Digital on Thursday. Billed as a lighthearted entertainer, Shadi Mubarak Ho revolves around the issue of Nyle’s shadi, jo ho ke nahin de rahi despite his mother and phupho’s best efforts.
While Nyle’s nitpicky mother is going crazy, and quickly driving others to that point as well, trying to find the perfect girl for her only son, the son in question is busy playing driver for his friend’s wife’s cousin. What ensues is supposedly a comedy of sorts, which might have been interesting conceptually but when translated on screen comes off as crass and patently un-funny.
This is Nyle’s story but in the first episode the servant, Ikhtiyar, gets more attention than the phupho, the parents, their son, his intended and the intended’s cousins all put together. And on Ikhtiyar, he was constantly referred to as a servant, but is he really one? We saw him cooking and talking about cleaning but I am yet to see a servant as well-dressed as the iklauta beta and who garners almost as much attention if not more.
Apart from Nyle’s household we were also introduced to Nyle’s best friend Ahsan, his wife Nimra and their newly arrived cousin Zoya. I’m not sure how old all these people are supposed to be but jokes about Nyle as a cancer patient can only be funny to a child. Ahsan’s constant complaints about his wife and marriage were off-putting as well. Also, while Yasir Hussain was spot on with his accent as the Pathan driver, Nyle’s behaviour with Zoya and his ensuing conversations with Ahsan about her were very troubling. And then after all that Zoya will still fall for him? Why?? It is this kind of glitzily packaged disturbing sexist content that normalizes misogyny and harrasment and contributes to regression on TV. To say I am disappointed in the Shadi Mubarak Team is putting it mildly.
With actors of the calibre of Salman Shahid and Bushra Ansari there is an unsaid expectation of quality, but none of that could be discerened from this episode. I hope as the story progresses there is more to these characters and that there is better stuff coming our way. I shall keep an eye on this serial and see how the story evolves but for now my first impression is not a positive one.
Any one else watched this first episode? What did you all think?
Written by SZ~