Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Negativity of Convenience

I'm having a hard time keeping up with my shorter-than-usual list of 15 dramas that I'm watching these days.  Unfortunately, with the exception of Mere Humdum Mere Dost, Marasim, Pyaray Afzal, Aahista Aahista and Laa, I'm struggling to maintain an interest in the rest.

So that said, I have NOT caught up on the remaining 10 dramas in the last 2 weeks.  I do apologize for the lag in updates for other dramas.  I can't be blamed for some of them though, because due to the Geo shut down, obviously shows like Bashar Momin, Laadon Mein Palli, etc. aren't being aired anyway.  But I apologize regardless!  =)  Hopefully in this next week, I will be able to catch up.

Coming back to the point of this post, after watching this week's episodes of the 5 that have been maintaining my interest, I've been left with a similar feeling after each episode:  characters are turned negative just to conveniently fit the way the writers want the story to go.  

In Mere Humdum Mere Dost, we suddenly see Mazhar (Junaid Khan) at his negative worst.  We are presented an entirely new face in the latest episode (episode 10), where it's revealed that Mazhar's still-first-wife Saima has given birth to a baby boy in Pakistan and he's been using Sajeela for her money, as well as lying about the divorce.  We're also made aware that Sajeela's marriage to Haider was all part of Mazhar's grand plan from the beginning.  For me personally, this seems like a twist of convenience, as up until now, we were made to believe that their relationship had at least started off  as genuine.  We also randomly see Aiman (Sanam Jung) suddenly begin to snap at Haider, her attitude blatantly rude and insulting.  Of course, the attitude change only lasts for the episode, but honestly, what was the purpose of all that nonsense?  

In Marasim, we see Momina (Sonya Hussain) and Dawood (Ahsan Khan) re-bonding while spending time with Abdullah and Deeba.  This is an interestingly annoying turn of events, considering Dawood was the one who told Nayyab (Urwa Hocane) that he wanted to have a relationship and she had given birth to his son.  We also see Dawood and Momina shamelessly making eyes at each other at Abdullah & Deeba's wedding right in front of Nayyab and also see Momina hesitantly speaking to her mother and husband on the phone while continuing to make eyes at Dawood.  I'm not sure what sort of "realism" we're being presented with here, but it's disturbing.  After at least two years of marriage, we're supposed to stomach that these two are still experiencing such a disconnect with their (very nice) spouses?  What disgusted me even more were the scenes showing Geeti Ara and Deeba insulting Nayyab to Momina right in front of Nayyab and watching Momina listen with a smile.  It's hard to root for a girl's happiness (Momina) when she refuses to stay out of another woman's marriage.  In the upcoming episode, we're shown a preview of Dawood's complete 180, saying he'd like to leave Nayyab and would like her to start distancing herself from their son in order to make the separation painless.  WHAT. ON. EARTH?  We're also shown many parenting bloopers by Nayyab, deeming her a "irresponsible" mother.  Why?  I'm not sure what role these conveniently new character traits play, but they are grating on my nerves.  With this new turn of events, I'm feeling less excited about the show and more annoyed.  Yet another example of writing characters to go against their past personality.

And then we come to Aahista Aahista, where we see Zawaar turn into an obviously agitated man with not only Soffee, his wife in the US, but horribly so with Hayaa, his wife in Pakistan.  A man who was, in the last three episodes, a very nice man has slowly been written to be very little short of a jerk.  You're found wishing that ultimately both women leave this coward - and it's only been 4 episodes!

Laa does not fall into this category so far, fortunately and is progressing nicely.  At this point, there's still little to write about the show, as it's still in its starting stages.  Sabreen Hisbani has finally made her appearance, though it remains to be seen what part she plays in the story.  Sadia Khan's acting still leaves a lot to be desired, but I definitely feel that she may improve now that she will no longer be required to play "hyper and happy."  The adoption angle, though realistic, is leaving me feeling very sad for Daniyal's (Mekaal) parents.  Let's wait and see how this one progresses.  =)

That's all for now.  Hopefully my next post will be sooner than later and about a show other than this usual list I've been working with.  Haha.  Happy watching!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Aahista Aahista - Random Thoughts on Episode 3

Episode 3 was great and with that, this show has picked up tremendously!

We now see Zawaar and Hayaa married and, while Zawaar does his best to not give Hayaa importance, he begins to see that she's a good wife.  It SEEMS as though he really enjoys her company.  When the episode ended, we saw that Zawaar left Pakistan and has now landed back in California, back to his (first) wife's waiting arms.

Sarwat is terrible as Soffee (why this weird spelling?).  Also, the character is the most annoying, NEEDIEST wife ever.  I'm a woman.  If I were married to a girl who couldn't stand being apart from me for one month, I'd ditch her.  What on earth?  The man is visiting his family.  Given, he's been up to no good and has gotten himself a 2nd wife - but SHE doesn't know that.  Sarwat's character is absolutely ridiculous and just for that reason, I'm anticipating him leaving her.  Haha.

Mawra is doing a great job as Hayaa.  She's lovable, adorable, relatable and a character you want to root for.  =)

Adnan Siddiqui is too old for roles like these now.  He's no longer "main hero" material.  So it does make it awkward to watch at times.  That being said, he's still doing a good job here.  Zawaar's discomfort is presented perfectly by Adnan's expressions.  Zawaar isn't a bad guy leading on two women.  He's just a man who wants to make his mother happy and is being eaten inside by guilt.  It does make for good story.

I'm really enjoying this drama so far.  It's definitely awkward to see Saba Hameed playing "mother" to Behroz Sabzwari and Hina Bayat, no doubt.  But everyone is doing a great job with their roles.

We can only hope this story doesn't take the stereotypical route.

Happy watching!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Two Favorites: Mere Humdum Mere Dost & Marasim

If there are two dramas that are keeping me on the edge of my seat these days, it's Mere Humdum Mere Dost and Marasim.  They have equally interesting storylines and compelling characters that aren't entirely black or white, despite having some negative traits, especially in the case of Marasim, looking at Geeti Ara and her daughter.  They're "negative," but negativity is born from circumstances.

So let's start!

Mere Humdum Mere Dost

So this week, we saw a drastic change in Sajeela's personality.  Suddenly all the confusion over the taunts made by Mazhar in the initial few episodes made sense.  We discover that Sajeela settled for Haider and was mildly happy with him.  However, when the two moved back to Pakistan, she began her association with Mazhar again, which intensified after the death of her father.  

This was heart-breaking to watch, as Haider truly loved Sajeela.  I think this was a great twist.  What will be interesting is that now, when Sajeela & Mazhar's marriage is so horribly on the rocks, will Sajeela make a re-appearance into Haider's life and disturb the potential romance between Haider & Aiman?

It has to be said that everyone is doing a great job of acting.  There isn't any melodrama or overreacting on this show.  It all seems very "real."  I'm still glued to my screen with this one!


We're finally making progress!  This was my thought during this entire episode.  While it's uncertain what finally made Dawood decide to make  his life with Nayyab work, it was a refreshing change.  The chemistry between Urwa & Ahsan is actually very good, which makes this show all the better to watch.

This week, Dawood decided to cement his relationship with Nayyab and commit to his marriage, providing her with all the necessities of married life, barring one - his love.  Nayyab resists this compromise at first, but later accepts it, realizing it's in her best interest.  The two seem fairly happy, especially after Nayyab gives birth to a son.

The upcoming twist in the tale is that Abdullah (remember Momina's jerk brother?) is now divorced and wants to marry Deeba (too little, too late!).  What kind of controversy will emerge from this situation?  The possibilities are endless!  Momina's mother could create problems for Deeba to get Dawood for Momina.  Momina could poison Deeba against Nayyab (though Deeba is already a jerk to her).  Nayyab's insecurities could grow.  Geeti Aara's treatment of Nayyab could worsen due to conditions.......ENDLESS!

I have a feeling Nayyab will have a lot more pain in store for her in future episodes.  But the treatment of this show is what makes it unique - I just want to keep watching.  

And on that note, happy watching!  As always, please feel free to leave comments and feedback!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Shab E Zindagi - Episode 20....Random Thoughts

This is definitely one of those dramas that, episode after episode, leaves me wondering why I actually watch this show.  Irritating would be an understatement.  

We have Mariam (Sumbal Iqbal) who lost her husband Yasir (Agha Ali) and is left with her two children.  And the world inflicts zulm on her.  And inflicts more zulm on her.  Her family inflicts zulm on her.  Her in-laws inflict zulm on her.  Her bhabi inflicts zulm on her.  Her new husband (who was once a supportive figure in her life) inflicts zulm on her.  OH MAN!  SHAB E ZINDAGI!  

This show feels like complete and utter nonsense.  Mariam does not take responsibility for her own bratty behavior.  She does not acknowledge that her children are ill-behaved - to the extent that they openly insult her new husband!  She does not accept that she or her children could ever be at fault.

Is Mariam only at fault?  No.  She also has an insane brother-in-law who randomly decides he wants to marry her, only after his wife becomes suspicious of his intentions (Yes, what the hell?).  She has an insane mother who always takes the side of her brother.  She has a brother and bhabi who are a rotten, money-grubbing, evil-thinking duo who make Mariam and her childrens' lives hell. She has an evil cousin who wants to tarnish her reputation by having relations before marriage - or was marriage even on the table?  Not sure.  Either way, he's skeezy.  Mariam has a new husband who she used to call Nasir CHACHA - a man her father's age.  Nasir Chacha was once the gem of the show, but now even he has become a bitter old man who hates her children.  We can attribute this to bad writing which makes characters and their natures change to suit the situation (Read:  How majboor and bebas Mariam can become).  

This show has done my head in.  Zaalim samajh, zaalim log, zaalim duniya.....we are fed all sorts of nonsense like this throughout the show, as if no windowed women with children have ever lived independently and happily in Pakistan.  EVER.

This show is HOPEFULLY nearing its end.  I can't imagine it'll run past episode 24.  And if it does, I might just slap myself for watching it for that long.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Laa - Episode 1 Thoughts

For myself personally, when I see Momina Duraid's name attached to a show, expectations immediately are formed.  Add to that Sarmad Sehbai's name as writer and expectations are sky high.  I'm still trying to forgive Farooq Rind as a director after Rishtey Kuch Adhooray Se, but putting that bias aside, let's see how Laa makes out after first impressions!

As the drama begins, we're presented with a series of "flashbacks," none of which necessarily make sense entirely, but serve to make us aware that "Laa" is not simply a love story.  In these flashbacks, we do see a man of the name Naimat Khan who loses his daughter Aaminah due to some feudal dispute (from what I could understand).

As the show progresses, we meet Daniyal and Naina, who are family friends.  Naina belongs to a Syed family from Karachi, while Daniyal belongs to a Malik family from Lahore.  They are family friends and Naina's family is in Lahore to find a good rishta for Naina - strictly a Syed boy.  

Some awkward sequences follow, including Naina & Daniyal's meeting, where Naina bullies Daniyal into carrying her luggage upstairs.  This scene could have been rather humorous had Sadia Khan been a better actress.  We're also treated to an awkward scene where Daniyal's friends are checking Naina out as she cluelessly wonders where sounds of shouting are coming from.  I think what makes this all really uncomfortable is simply that Mekaal and Sadia do not look young enough for the roles they are playing.  I assume there's a leap involved in the storyline that will rectify this situation.  Haha.  

There are some cute scenes between Daniyal and Naina where they discuss their dreams for the future.  There's also a humorous scene where Naina chases off her "good Syed suitor" by publicly smoking sheesha.  
The most intriguing scene in this episode was the one where Naimat Khan approaches Daniyal and asks to speak with him, alluding to the fact that Daniyal may not be a Malik after all.

Little else is revealed in the episode, as the focus is placed on light-hearted moments between Naina & Daniyal, along with Daniyal and his (slightly annoying) friends.

Acting-wise, Mekaal is doing an OK job.  There isn't much to brag about, but not too much to complain about either (barring his age).  I'm sure it will improve as the story progresses.

Sadia Khan's acting leaves a lot to be desired.  Overacting would be an understatement:  While Sadia may have been a popular choice previously, in this day, there are actresses like Aiza Khan, Sohai Ali Abro, Maya Khan, etc. that immediately come to mind and would have been able to pull off this character more naturally.  That aside, she is strikingly pretty.  We'll have to wait and watch.

The supporting cast is all good, of course.

I'm curious as to what part Sabreen Hisbani will be playing, as she's one of my favorites!  The episode has taken the drama to a good start so far.  I'm looking forward to see how this one unravels.

Happy watching!

*  Disclaimer:  All images and pictures are not my own and are taken from a magic tool called Google.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Pyaray Afzal - Ab Tak

I feel like I've been reviewing every drama's last episode these days, so I wanted to put a stop to that and go back to reviewing shows that are still airing.  Haha.  Of course, topping the list is Pyaray Afzal, which has been a favorite since day one.

Slowly, Afzal has taken course from being a good kid keeping bad company to transforming into this gangster.  It's strange how the storyline changed so naturally.  Pyaray Afzal has now turned into Gunda Afzal.   But Hamza Ali Abbasi has done an amazing job not only playing Afzal to perfection, but also allowing the audience to feel for Afzal.  He's a lovable character, despite the mess he's presently in.

At this conjecture, Farah is more irritating than I ever thought possible.  I really want people to discuss with me here - so PLEASE do leave your comments.  I'm curious as to how many people are actually "Team Farah" in regards to seeing Farah with Afzal?  I love Aiza Khan and I think she's doing an incredible job of portraying Farah's ridiculously insane nature.  But Farah as a character is a nutjob and I hope she does not end up with Afzal.  As Lubna said, she doesn't even deserve his picture.

On the other end, I have a love-hate relationship with Lubna.  Sometimes I can't understand what the girl is playing at - and then other moments, I think she's amazing.  It has to be said that from day one, Lubna was always on Afzal's "side."  She's been loyal.  I have a soft spot for her.  And that being said, first with Ranjish Hee Sahi and now with Pyaray Afzal, Sana Javed is fast becoming a favorite on Pakistani television!

And coming to the final member of the "Afzal Ki Deewani" trio, we come to Yasmeen.  A silly girl, but a girl with a heart of gold.  She is the reason Afzal was dragged into his current predicament, but can she really be blamed for the entire situation?  She has shown loyalty to Afzal as soon as she began to understand him.  Her "chalaaki" is only a mask for her innocence and I think that's what draws the viewer to Yasmeen.  Sohai Ali Abro is a natural in this role and makes Yasmeen incredibly endearing.

At this point, I would love to see Afzal end up with either Lubna OR Yasmeen.  Any other opinions are welcome - please comment below!

And coming to my favorite character on the show - Molvi SubhanAllah.  What an incredible character enacted by an incredible person.  Each dialogue, each sad look, each smile just goes straight to my heart.  I don't think there has been a more effective portrayal of a character on television to date.

Pair with him Saba Hameed as Ruqaiyya Begum and it is possibly the cutest "love story" on TV right now.  I love seeing their bickering which conceals their deep love and respect for each other.  Two brilliant actors working together = magic.

Anoushey Abbasi is adorable as Arifa and completes this perfect family picture.  Unfortunately, this perfect family is going through a lot of pain in the drama at present and it has been painful watching their struggle to forget their son/brother and present an outlook of calm.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a happy ending for these three!

Coming to Farah & Lubna's family, it's hard not to love Shehryar Zaidi and Saba Faisal as Sheikh Ibrahim and Mrs. Ibrahim.  They are well aware of the ridiculous nature of both their daughters, yet house so much affection for them that they are now disheartened by them, namely Farah.  This new twist with Vasay Chaudhary as the psychiatrist and Farah's new fiance is hilarious and brings forth much needed light-hearted moments!

There we have it.  Pyaray Afzal in a nutshell at present.  I'm not sure how many more episodes are left, but the show is beginning to feel a little stretched out.  But I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for a happy ending.

Happy watching!  And please do continue to leave your comments!  =)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

And Two More Shows End......Zindagi Tere Bina & Meray Apne

Some shows are so dull, have such irritating, loud characters and are so miserable that  you really can't bring yourself to put them on voluntarily.  Such was the case with both Meray Apne and Zindagi Tere Bina.  With Zindagi Tere Bina, it was to such an extent that I literally could not force myself to physically turn it on and didn't realize that the show had ended a month ago!

But alas, I did finally put both shows to rest last night.

Mere Apnay:

When the promos of this show began, I thought "Hey, a story about parents and their children - this has promise."  When the show actually began, however, I was instantly slapped in the face with another thought:  "Wow.  This is a copy of Baghban."  If I wanted to watch Baghban, I would watch Baghban.  That aside, I'm a stickler for punishment, so I continued watching.

The problem with this story, copying aside, was simple:  The sons and daughter-in-laws were terrible people.  The dialogues almost made me want to scream at times, they were so cruel and so full of hatred towards two old people who did nothing wrong.  This was especially true in the case of Laiba (Rehma Ali), who is Humera's (Bushra Ansari) own niece!  The complete change in her attitude towards Humera was highly unpalatable.  Bazil (Khalid Malick) was not only a terrible excuse for a son, but also a terrible husband and defined the word nalaik (worthless) throughout the show.  On the other end, we had Faran (Hassan Ahmed), who was not necessarily a terrible son (he had some redeeming qualities), but was easily influenced by his scheming wife Saira (Mansha Pasha).  This couple was harder to read, because they were only 50% rotten.  Haha.  Jasim (Asad Siddiqui) and Ayila (Sana Sarfaraz) were completely useless characters as they had no real importance.

A part of me expected Ayila's husband or Ayila herself to play the role of "Salman Khan" (Baghban) and save Saim (Nadeem) and Humera (Bushra) from their fate.  Unfortunately, after making promises of taking them with her to Canada, we never so much as see Ayila again.

Ultimately, the ending is what did truly affect me the most about the show.  The children, in the end, may have realized their mistake, but only after it was too late.  Their parents left the world, heart-broken and disillusioned with their children, while their children were left to deal with their guilt.  The closing scene on Faran particularly left a deep impact.

Despite some touching moments, Mere Apnay did not necessarily hold my attention or my interest.  In fact, I can think of a show that did a much better job projecting the same message in 2013:  Qarz.  While the overall feel of the show was different, the basic nature of the storyline was the same.  However. Qarz was much more effective.

My verdict:  There are some good performances from Nadeem, Bushra Ansari and Hassan Ahmed, but overall?  You could easily give this one a miss.

Zindagi Tere Bina

I have yet to watch a show with a character as irritating, loud, scheming, dishonest and just an all-round COW like the character of Safia in this show.  "Safia bholi hai, bewakoof nahin."  No.  No, Safia.  You are bewakoof.  You're also a downright, no good kameeni.  The character of Safia single-handedly kept me away from watching this show regularly.  Instead, I would find myself catching up on 2-3 episodes at a time in fast-forward motion.  Some characters are so evil, you love to hate them - Ex. Saman from Maat.  And then there are characters that are so evil and so irritating, you can't even fathom watching their scenes.  The character of Safia falls into the latter category.  Irritating.

Now that you know where my mind basically was throughout the show, let's talk about the rest of the show.  Iqrar was a nice man, but knowing everything he did about his sister-in-law, he was still a very stupid man who did not provide enough security for his wife and children after his death.  Waqar did not understand how to control his wife and that alone made him irritating.  Samia needed to speak up for her children more.  Safia was so evil, she allowed her psychotic, murdering son to marry Samia's daughter?  Seriously?

Honestly?  This show was a train wreck held together by a phenomenal performance by Nauman Ejaz.  Everyone else in this show (Yes, even Samiya Mumtaz) was thoroughly wasted.


Now that these two shows, which barely made any impact on my life, are finally over, I can try to find something to replace them that may actually be worth watching.  Haha.

Happy watching!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Mere Humdum Mere Dost - Aahista Aahista: Promising beginnings!

I know!  It's been a while since my last post.  Not only have the current lot of dramas failed to hold my interest, but I've also been busy with a lot of personal things.  But anyways, I'm taking a time out to discuss two dramas that I'm really liking these days.  So let's get started!

First off:  Mere Humdum Mere Dost.  This show has been my favorite since the very first episode aired.  For the last 6 weeks, I've been held riveted by this show week after week.  Not only are the performances great, but the characters, the writing and the pace is all just very good.  Initially, I had a hard time understanding how Mazhar and Sajeela's track fit in to the parallell story.  However, after episode 7, it has become apparent that their storyline will affect Aiman and Haider in a big way in the future!  Everyone here is doing a fabulous job.  Sanam Jung is playing a character very similar to Rumaisa (Mohabbat Subh Ka Sitara Hai) unfortunately, but despite that and fortunately for the audience, "Aiman" has a little more spunk than Rumaisa did.  Let's hope we get to see more character development in the upcoming weeks.  Adnan Siddiqui seems perfect for his role and shares good chemistry with Sanam already.  Junaid Khan and Hareem Farooq are doing well in their respective roles as Mazhar and Sajeela.  It looks like Hareem's character has a rather negative past as we're moving into the episodes.  Let's see how this plays out.  But for now, I am loving this show and would highly recommend it!

After the first episode, I can imagine many things becoming annoying about this show.  The episode started off on a great note - we instantly got insight into the life of the Zorwar's, a married couple living in the USA (Sarwat and Adnan).  Adnan is a Pakistani Muslim while we're left to assume Sarwat is playing an Indian Christian OR Hindu (not sure which just yet).  Adnan's character does not believe his family, namely his Beejee, will ever accept his marriage, so not only has he not told them about the marriage, he also has not visited home in 4 years!  On the other end, we see Hayaa (Mawra Hocane), Adnan's cousin who is living with Beejee (Saba Hameed), her Aapa (Hina Bayat) and Bhai (Behroze Sabzwari).  At home, the family is plotting to get Hayaa married as she fights the notion as she's not yet ready for marriage.  At the end of the episode, Beejee falls ill and Adnan's character takes off for Pakistan.

I say annoyingness is to come only because I think we can all see the foreshadowing for what will come to play out.  Adnan's character will marry Hayaa and bring her to the US, keeping his first wife a secret.....which will be a rude shock to both Sarwat AND Hayaa.

After watching the first episode, this show has the potential to either be really great or really irritating, depending entirely on the direction and performances.  Let's see!!!

Alright, that's it for now.  I'm watching several other shows, but not all of them are interesting other than these two and Pyaray Afzal, Mere Meherbaan.  I am hating Bashar Momin!  Will have to do an update blog soon.  

Happy watching!