Zun Mureed ~ Episode 1 Review

Zun Mureed, a derogatory term used for husbands seen as excessively devoted to their wives, is the title of a new serial which opened its account on HUM TV today. Penned by Amna Mufti, directed by Ahmad Kamran and produced by Moomal Entertainment, this drama boasts names like Shamim Hilaly, Khalid Anam, Hina Bayat, Omair Rana, Ayesha Gul, Kashif Mehmood, along with Nadia Khan, Fatima Shah and others.

Sajjad is a silver-tongued charmer but only superficially. Behind the slick facade hides a selfish man whose world revolves around me, myself and I. His sick mother keeps crying out for attention but this guy is hardly bothered. He studiously ignores everything around him and focuses his attention squarely on the TV in front of him. Looking after his mother is not his job. That’s a woman’s responsibility. He is a man and works outside the house. When he comes home it is his right to relax. So he believes.

Sajjad’s wife Tabassum, on the other hand, cannot make any such claim. Though she too works outside but because she is a woman it is her duty to take care of the house, the children, and the invalid mother-in-law. Bi jan may be an invalid who can’t speak, but  is more than capable of making known her disdain for her daughter-in-law. Bottom line Tabassum has her hands full.

Like in all desi families Tabassum and Sajjad’s lives are further complicated with the intertwining extended familial bonds. Tabassum’s side of the family includes an older brother and his family and a younger unmarried sister. There is the typical tension between the bhabhi and her two nands with the brother caught squarely in between. Sajjad’s family includes a married elder sister Maryam apa who wields quite a bit of influence when it comes to family matters. Bi jan is a tough nut to crack otherwise but when it comes to Maryam she melts like butter.

This first episode served as a good introduction to the broader themes addressed by the serial, that of domestic violence and the debate surrounding the women’s protection bill. I appreciated that this issue was highlighted variously and reinforced throughout the episode. Also liked how the foundation is being laid to show that domestic violence does not happen in a vacuum nor does abusive behavior come out of nowhere, and how and why it continues unabated despite legislation. Already one can see grey clouds hovering over Sajjad and Tabassum’s relationship.

Shamim Hilaly, Khalid Anam, Hina Bayat, Omair Rana, Kashif Mehmood, Aisha Gul, all these actors together are a pleasure to watch. We have just watched Omair Rana as Wajih in O Rungreza and here he is in a totally different avatar. Hina and Shamim Hilaly together reminded me of Talkhiyan – I hope we get to see some of that magic again. The weakest link here has to be Nadia Khan, who is horribly and terribly miscast as Tabassum.

And on things that didn’t work: Why did Sajjad’s house look like a red and yellow color bomb exploded all over it? Why do all recent HUM TV dramas have these gaudy technicolored sets? Also, the background music, please lower the volume. There was a time when HUM dramas set the standard in terms of aesthetics and quality, seems like those days are gone.

Also gone are days when the HUM name stood for integrity. I don’t know how many watched the so-called “live teaser” of her character that Nadia Khan presented on the Jago Pakistan Jago morning show. For the lead actress of the serial to join hands with the morning show team and trivialize such a grave matter in so senseless manner is beyond my comprehension. All this for TRPs??

We know morning shows are  silly and trite, but for a women oriented channel to stoop to such a level, particularly when this serial is dealing squarely with a women related issue is disgusting. I wonder if channel owners and upper management even know about the nonsense they churn out on a daily basis. How can they expect their audiences to take their projects and their commitment to them seriously when their own morning show makes mockery of them?

From the promos and publicity stuff I understand this story deals with important and relevant issues but whether the drama can deliver is something only time will tell. For now I am on the fence.

Written by SZ~

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14 replies

  1. Dear SZ

    I’m yet to watch the first episode, but plan to, given the subject and cast. Thank you for the review.

    Omair Rana has apologised for the morning show fiasco, so has Hina Bayat. I haven’t watched JPJ (steer clear of morning shows these days), so I’m in the dark about what happened, but it must be quite serious given that you’ve highlighted it and the actors are upset about it as well. Will watch the clip you’ve given.

    I’m a bit behind with commenting on Aakhri Station, but planning to be one of your Humsafars 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • @VZ: Lovely to have you back ❤ Bas ab come back permanently – missing you yaar!

      i dont know if you've checked this out as yet, but let me warn you NK is really really bad – you just cannot buy into her character and thats a huge problem, because in order to connect with the whole issue it is imp to be able to relate/sympathize/empathize with the victim but it is pretty much impossible to do any such thing with NK. Like you I too am I very interested in the topic and the rest of the cast is fab so Ill give this a serious shot but I have a strong feeling Ms NK will be too much for me to handle … lets see.

      Aakhri Station is fab! Im totally loving it! Looking fwd to having you join in in that thread .. kal naya ep!

      Like

  2. Lovely review SZ.. a good satisfactory first episode minus NK… writer and director did pretty well to introduce what is it going to be about by subtle hints.. All other actors were pitch perfect for their characters..specially Shamim Hilaly… she was just fabulous… looking forward to this one and hoping it stay its course..

    Going bit tangent here but Manto has just 20 episodes.. isn’t it amazing

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    • Hello Sana, welcome to DRNR! Lovely to hear from you 😊
      Re: Nadia’s acting: I don’t find her convincing at all and her expressions and dialogue are too calculated and contrived for me. This shows up even more when she is up against powerhouse actors like Hina, Omair, Shamim, and Khalid. But that’s me. If you don’t mind her then it’s totally fine – art is very subjective in any case .. so no wrong or right.
      Re: the morning show: Nadia joined hands with Sanam Jung and her JPJ team and came up with a skit as a creative way to promote her character’s issues without informing any of the others who had come to promote the show with her .. unfortunately she got it all wrong and it backfired horribly. It was not just me even the rest of the ZM cast and director were shocked and horrified. Omair Rana and Hina posted statuses distancing themselves from this distasteful stunt .. you can check it out by watching the JPJ show for that day. It was played up quite a bit by the media that day ..
      I’m assuming you are following this show .. how are you liking it so far?

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      • Umm no I am not following the show. Ok now I am curious. What exactly was in that skit? This is killing me.
        As far as Nadia Khan goes. She is fine. I dont mind her because i still remember the Nadia of the old days. She is not the best actress out there but she had awesome chemistry with Sami Khan in Aisi Hai Tanhai surprisingly, which leads me to believe that you dont need to be awesome actors to have awesome chemistry. It just happens. Their scenes had sparks flying everywhere….I dreamed about them for days lol.

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        • Sana: if you are not following the show it won’t make sense but basically she was in character and pretends to go to a peer baba to get a taveez for her abusive husband .. I don’t remember the exact details but it was along these lines .. and it was so crazy because the show is not abt peer babas and black magic it’s abt the women’s protection bill that was passed in the Punjab assembly ..

          I tried watching ATH but the stereotypical mother and her obsession with her daughter’s shadi got to me so I gave up on it

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  3. Oh and no I dont watch JPJ. I hardly have time to wathc much I watch them while driving to work lol. And somehow find time to review in between work, kids, house work. You should see me writing my review on my phones notepad whenever I have a spare moment.
    Btw I love your reviews. I remember you used to review on dramapakistani.net. Remember you from those days.

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  4. Oh hey, going through your twitter, Woah! You keep track of everything and watch tons of shows too. Thats awesome. I will reply to the other ones that you posted shortly. I am at work till midnight : (

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    • Sure! Do come back! We always have convos going .. we are a blog based gp so detailed convos yahan hi hoti hain .. just sign up to get notifs of responses and sign up for email notify too ( if you would like to that is ) and you’ll be up to date with responses etc 😊

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    • Aww, about the steretypical mother about ther daughters obsession. nah it wasnt about that. And to be honest every mother is worried about her daughter getting married at a certain age. Heck I was scared for myself when I was 25 and hadnt found a guy lol. That biological clock. I wanted to have babies lol.
      But aisi hai tanhai wasnt about that at all. It was good. I liked watching it. It addressed many issues.

      I have no idea what this womens protection bill is so cant comment. I dont find anything bad about getting a taveez for an abusive husband except that taveez is not allowd in islam. hmm. I guess I wont understand. So were they mad at Nadia? She did and Sanam Jung say anything in their defense?

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      • I guess you would have to watch the show and read Omair and Hina’s statuses to get why they were upset. I don’t want to speak on their behalf .. I don’t know what Nadia said it didn’t say in her defense I didn’t hear anything and I haven’t gone looking to find anything either .. raat gayi baat gayi type attitude hai mera aisey mamlon mein .. the drama is still in the initial stages so hasn’t moved a whole lot .. I’ll write again when something substantial has happened.

        Yes, I heard ATH was addressing various issues but with so many dramas competing for our attention these days if something doesn’t catch your interest right away then it’s hard to get back to it .. these days it seems like there is a new drama starting up pretty much everyday – impossible to keep up!

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