Sunday, December 13, 2015

Gul E Rana

I have, once again, been on an extended vacation due to the holiday season, so I fell behind on new shows. I just spend 5 hours straight catching up on 6 episodes of Gul E Rana.

What. A. Prize.

Since the end of Diyar E Dil, I have more or less lost interest in the majority of dramas on air due to lack of originality. But with this show, I'm impressed. The lead actors share great chemistry, which instantly takes the show to great heights. Despite having a simple, not so complicated storyline with the usual spat of meddling relatives, the treatment of this show is so refreshing!  The negative characters are such cartoons that you laugh rather than getting irritated. 

After a long time, we're presented with a good out-and-out love story onPakistani  television.  The story is simple yet there's a lot going on. Gul E Rana (Sajal Ali) and her mother & sister move in with her Taaya after her father dies - her father was estranged from his family, but his brother loved him and takes full responsibility for his family. Adeel (Feroze Khan), Taaya Jaan's son, helps run his father's business and is in-demand with the ladies, especially with the daughters of his two Phupos The story focuses on the relationship between Adeel and Gul E Rana.

The show has great supporting characters - one would expect the incessant meddling from the Phupos and cousins to grate on your nerves, but the show is so well-written and these characters are just hilarious, especially Zafri and even Gulab Khan.

After 6 episodes, I'm eagerly waiting to see where the story goes from here! If you aren't already watching, pick this one up! It comes highly recommended from my end.

Happy watching! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


If you're caught up on this show, episode 13 just aired and real drama has finally started to unfold.  If you aren't watching - you aren't missing much, but Zahid Ahmed's role makes this worth it. If the lack of Fawad Khan and Fahad Mustafa is being felt on television, Zahid Ahmed's acting abilities are fast making him a favorite (though he may not be as good looking).  Essentially, the show revolves around a married couple (Saba Qamar and Mekaal), a tragedy (Saba being raped), the result of that rape (baby Sangat) and the repentance of a rapist (Zahid).

My problem with Pakistani dramas these days is that in an effort to provide new stories, logic and realism is going out the window.  The A-listers of television are moving to films and we are left with some legitimately half-baked writing and content.

When Saba's character is raped, her mother almost instantly creates a sort and a cover up that would make anyone cringe.  This gave Saba zero time to even process what happened to her before jumping into a web of lies and deceit. I understand that it was "for her marriage," but it was a terrible idea and a terrible premise for the story to move forward, especially considering Saba wanted to tell her husband.  But again, as it had to be different from Mora Piya (Aamna sheikh & Adeel), it's been written this way.

In what world do psychiatrists give marriage advice and encourage their patients to deceive their husbands!? Week after week, these scenes are becoming increasingly bizarre and hard to digest.

The highlight of this show is the character of Shahvez (Zahid Ahmed), trying to come to terms with the gunaah he has committed and somehow trying to find forgiveness for something that can't be forgiven. Zahid Ahmed's acting is amazing.

The show has picked up pace now with the partial truth coming out (about the rape) to Adnan (Mekaal) and Mekaal is doing a great job portraying Adnan's turmoil, as is Saba.

It will be interesting to see where the story goes from here, as the truth as to who the rapist (and Sangat's father) is has yet to be revealed.  Is it terrible that I do hope for a happy ending for Shahvez with his neighbor? 

Happy watching! 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Tum Mere Paas Raho

I I've been watching this show as a loyal viewer since it began, as I love both Bushra Ansari and Zahid Ahmed.  But this show has one huge flaw - I don't understand the point.

The show initially showed an insecure Bushra Ansari, possessive of her son Taabish (Zahid), scared of abandonment and even a foreshadowing of psychological issues.  She instantly perceived his girlfriend Mariam to be conniving and ready to steal her son, so she had him enhaged to a girl of his choice, Zoya. 

Surprise! Taabish actually likes his fiancĂ©e! Some insecurity arises there. But shortly after, Taabish's biological mother is revealed - his "Chachi."  At this point, I thought "Wow, this show is going to be great!"

Wrong.  This show has literally spiraled into ten different, classless directions.  Taabish blames Zoya for his troubles (while she deserves a prize for dealing with psychos like him and his mother), so he's now attempting to start things up with Mariam again, who proves that completing a fellowship in the US doesn't mean she's smart - she's dumb as hell, refusing to get married because of Taabish, a man who mistreated her so badly. There's a lot of "ew" going on there.

But wait - it doesn't stop there. Taabish's biological brother is in love with Zoya and befriends her, telling her to confide in him in the hopes that she'll leave Taabish for him. Bring on even more "ew."

On the other end, "chachi" has been abandoned by her two sons (one back with Bushra Ansari, the other just plain nalaayak and essentially a druggie) and her daughter is now running the household. Nice throw-in of feminism. 

The problem is, I just don't understand the focus of this show. First it was inter-family adoption. Then it turned to affairs. Now I have no idea where it's headed. 

But the real issue with the show lies in that there aren't any characters you root for, barring Zoya - but she's about to get sucked into a skeezy trap with her brother in law too. Taabish is the "hero" and legitimately a terrible human being without any sense. His transformation from being a great, loving son to a horrible person was gradual enough, but one fails to understand what Mariam is still holding on to? This is not the same man she left behind. It makes Marian a horrible person too. Adnan (brother in law) is icky and honestly the worst kind of brother-son anyone could ask for. Bushra Ansari's character is a terror who is clearly mentally ill and unable to think of anyone but herself. 

It's a show full of bad people and you can't stop watching simply because you need to know if the director thinks they are normal people and deserve happy endings in the end or is this show written like this on purpose where these terrible people will have karma come and bite them in the behind? That's what I'm waiting to see!

Happy watching!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

More Endings - I Aplogize

It seems like all I do these days is write about shows ending.  That is definitely not my intention, but shows always end up wrapping up around the same general time.  So I DO apologize.  Hopefully this will be my last post for a while having to do solely with endings.  On that note, let's get started.

Diyar E Dil

There is legitimately nothing I could say about this show that would come across as negative.  I loved it from beginning to middle to end.  Yes, Farah and Ruhi's characters became blatantly annoying for a long while, but putting myself in their place, I could even understand their emotions and thoughts.

If there's even one criticism I could pull from this show, it's that the character of Moiz didn't have to end up the way he did.  How did a boy go from respecting and loving his Phupo and being on really good terms with his cousin to suddenly being a crook, potential rapist and potential murderer?  If anything, the story would've been even more compelling if Farah chose Wali simply because she realized she was wrong, how good of a guy he was, that she loved him and, hey, they were already married!  Both guys could've been good guys and the story would've been even better.

That aside, I think Diyar-E-Dil was a beautiful show, one of its kind these days and came as a breath of fresh air.  Every actor played their part beautifully from Ali Rehman, Mekaal, Sanam, Hareem, Maya Ali, Behroze Sabzwari and, of course, Osmaan Khalid Butt, who was the star of the show.  Beautiful writing, great characters, amazing cinematography, the pace was natural and flowed well - honestly, I was thoroughly satisfied with this show.

I only wish they had shown Wali and Farah's wedding.  Other than that, a modern masterpiece!


I don't understand how a show that started off with such promise ended in a way that didn't even make sense.

When the show started, it depicted a highly immature Haniya and a "beparwah" Hamza who didn't understand how to treat and give importance to his young and ziddi (yet sweet) wife.  Haniya continued to be influenced negatively by her mother and Hamza continued to be a jerk of royal sorts, completely blind to what his negligence was doing to his marriage.  By the time he realized it, it was simply too late and Haniya had, more or less, flat-out lost and and become bitter, resentful and hateful.  Both Hamza and Haniya married "more suitable" partners and moved on in life, sharing only one common link - their daughter Iman.

While otherwise I thought the show had potential and moments of brilliance, the show faltered most in the last episodes.  We see Aaliyah make all the right efforts to win over Hamza and Iman....but we never see Hamza repent for his completely poor behavior towards Aaliyah or acknowledge how spoiled Iman was.  In the end, a grotesque picture is painted of Haniya, the vamp and villainous woman.  She's a bad mother who left her daughter - forget Hamza's part in that.  We are supposed to also turn a blind eye to Hamza's mistreatment of BOTH his wives.  We are presented with a docile and obedient Aaliyah, but just because she's willing to be treated like dirt does not mean the show should've ended with only a negative picture of Haniya being painted.  Hamza should've apologized to both Haniya AND Aaliyah for his role in the entire mess.  But no - instead, we're faced with the usual male chauvenist image women....the docile and demure girl is "good" and finally wins over her husband by being obedient and patient.  The wife who wasn't obedient and patient (and, given, downright terrible at the end of their marriage) is a horrible human being by nature and Hamza had no part in that at all (please read the sarcasm. PLEASE).  I was really disgusted by Adnan Siddiqui's character in this show, because the writers simply did not acknowledge his severe character flaws and his own part in the downfall of his first marriage AND his bad behavior towards Aaliyah (who he did NOT DESERVE).

That aside, I did love the final scene between Haniya and her mother where she blames her for not convincing her to work on her marriage with Hamza the way she did with her second marriage.  This scene was hard-hitting.

Karb had a lot of promise, but ultimately ended up being a show that will be remembered for its beautiful OST more than the show itself.

Zinda Dargour

Oh my goodness.  Where do I start on this show?  There were just so many things wrong with this as a whole.

Let's talk about the basic premise:  Three burglars burst into Ailiyah's house the day before her mehndi, knock the girls out and the whole world believes they have been raped.

Interesting premise.  Sure.  But it could've easily been solved with a trip to the hospital to get some tests done and clear the confusion once and for all.  Instead, the girls scream from the rooftops and nothing happened, their families are as scared and ashamed as they would be if their daughters were raped (which is messed up in itself, as if it's their fault) and everyone looks at these girls with suspicion.  Okay....let's tackle the two main stories one at a time.

Ailiyah's marriage is called off (because you know, "Who knows what happened in that room?").  Ailiyah goes into depression, recovers and falls in love with her therapist, Mustafa, after the whole mess.  He, however, sees her as just a patient and nothing more.  On the other hand, Mustafa's brother Shayaan is in love with Ailiyah and wants to marry her.  Ailiyah tries to bully everyone around her into letting her marriage to Mustafa happen, including Mustafa himself.  It's very difficult to like a girl who doesn't GET that just because she's in love with a man doesn't mean he's in love with her.  It's literally ridiculous to watch.  Then we have sir Shayaan, who is literally borderline psycho.  He acts like a stalker, messes up Ailiyah's rishtas and even says "Who will marry her when I tell everyone she's been raped?"  What a class act.  However, after being rejected by Mustafa, Ailiyah decides to marry Shayaan....and her parents agree.  NICE.  And Shayaan magically reforms into the nicest guy after marriage.  How convenient!  The disgusting way Ailiyah fawns over Mustafa after her marriage to Shayaan is gag-worthy and makes you want to literally slap her across the face repeatedly.  That's all I have to say on that front.  The role of Mustafa wasn't worthy of Nauman Ejaz's talent, just needed to throw that in there as well.

Coming to Soniya's marriage, the entire thing was ridiculous.  Her husband married her KNOWING everything and randomly allowed his evil mother (who was perfectly NORMAL before their wedding) to brainwash him into hating Soniya and believing she was raped as well.  How one flip-flops so terribly, I will never understand.  And he doesn't simply flip-flop - he becomes downright villainous!  No one deserves a husband like this man, one who pretends to be a good person but is seriously spineless and a total jerk.  The ending of this love story was so completely unsatisfying, because not only does Soniya get a divorce for no fault of her own, but her husband also never finds out how WRONG he was and his EVIL MOTHER never realizes what a fool she's been.  What a complete shame.

I also want to say that the weakest point of this whole show was that we never find out what exactly those burglars were after!  They didn't take any money, jewelry, etc.  They didn't rape the WHAT were they doing there?!  That point never gets clarified and that's what makes this show completely pointless.

This show was a complete and utter failure.  It never happened.  I've blocked it out starting....NOW.


What was the point of this show?  Can someone just explain it to me?  I don't understand the point.  Sajal is abandoned by Sheharyar when he decides to marry Iman instead.  Then when Iman can't have a kid, he's bullied (by Iman herself) into marrying Sajal TOO.  Sajal is really sweet, logical and understanding.....until she gets married.  Then she turns into an insane witch.  Sajal gets pregnant and doesn't want Iman anywhere near the baby.  Iman takes off.  Sheharyar more or less kicks Sajal out of his house for being rude to Iman.  Sajal has the baby and DIES, conveniently leaving her daughter for Sheharyar and Iman to raise.

WOW.  HOW CONVENIENT!  The solution to two wives and one unable to have a kid?  Kill the 2nd (EVIL) one off as soon as she gives birth!  How logical!  How realistic!  UGH.

Also, can we take a moment to talk about the completely useless, warped side-story with Adnan Jaffar and his son Shanaam?  Iman WAS actually so skeezy and said all sorts of strange things to him, making him feel awkward and as though she was interested in marrying him and being Shanaam's mother (We all HEARD it).  Yet, when he confronts her about it and suggests it, she turns in anger and spouts "Main sirf apne shauhar se mohabbat karti hoon."  What on earth?  Then....what was with those pitiful dialogues in earlier episodes?

This show was pointless, moral-less and void of any sense.  That's all I can say.  Faisal Qureshi has been on a roll with terrible shows in recent times and this one wasn't any better.

Mere Dard Ki Tujhe Kya Khabbar

I don't actually want to write anything about this show.  I had to literally force myself to watch the last episode, simply to see how Zara could behave any more stupid than she already has.  And of course, she was just as stupid in the last episode as she has been throughout the show.

My hate-hate relationship with this show started almost immediately.  The image of Zara emerging from the guest room, being accused of having an affair with her brother's friend, Zara holding her head, acting like she had a hangover and couldn't remember anything because she was too was just all too much to handle and I can't get the sheer stupidity of it out of my head.  Zara....the girl was sleepy and went to the guest room to sleep.  Did she not realize that there was someone else on the bed with her?  How sleepy do you have to be?  And even if that did happen, instead of holding her head and stumbling down the stairs like she was on something, why didn't she just say "Bhabi sent me upstairs because _____ and I went and slept on the bed.  There was no one there when I woke up, so I'm not sure what you're talking about."  That should've been the end of it.  Also, for a family that's so HUGE on the "badnaami" Zara brought upon them, they had NO PROBLEM SHRIEKING about the entire incident for anyone and everyone near the shaadi ka ghar to listen!  They brought badnaami on themselves!

OK anyways, Saad was not a bad guy in any of this.  It was not his fault.  If anything, he escaped in the middle of the night, thinking he was doing her a favor.  He didn't realize her family was crazy.  So Zara's hatred towards Saad?  Completely annoying and made Zara seem like an ungrateful waste of space, considering he saved her from a bad situation.  If anything, she should hate her mother and brother for forcing her into a marriage with Azfar.

Coming back to that, Azfar and his mother were the most irritating story in the entire show.  Loud, obnoxious and unnecessary.  Much like this entire show.

Happy ending.  Yay.  GOOD RIDDANCE.

Abandoned Shows

I also watched "Kaisay Tumse Yeh Kahoon" until episode 5 and gave it up, due to complete boredom and two really pitiful male leads.  I'm not sure how this drama sounded good even on paper.

Another show I gave up just two weeks ago is "Tumhare Siva."  When the show started, it seemed so promising, interesting and touched upon an interesting subject - divorcing for medical reasons and then remarrying your spouse.  Seemed interesting and I wondered what would be the conflict.  Well, I found out.  The show quickly turned into YET ANOTHER "dusri biwi" subject.  I'm over that nonsense, therefore I'm over this show.

Alright, now hopefully my next few blog posts will be about existing shows!  Haha.  Until then, happy watching!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Yeh Mera Deewanapan Hai

Yes, I realize I haven't written in a LONG time. There are actually several reasons for this:

1) I'm watching my usual load of dramas, but only LIKE....2.  Dramas are unusually terrible these days.

2) I have a baby and she's highly attention seeking.

3) It seems like with the effort to make quality films, all our popular television faces have up and left for greener pastures, leaving television with the likes of Sumbal Iqbal and Sania Shamshad types....and don't get me started on the actors. 

But I apologize for the delay! A lot of shows have ended as well, namely Diyar E Dil, but I didn't want to constantly focus on ending shows, so let's talk about a real gem on air right now.

There's no other way to describe this show but underrated.  Airing on A Plus and starring Junaid Khan in a leading role, the show on paper didn't seem like a winner - but was I wrong and how! From the first episode onwards, this show has been nothing short of a winner. I'm not sure how it's faring in ratings, but as a viewer, I sincerely think this show is great! 2 nights a week almost doesn't seem like enough!

The show boasts of an ensemble cast, including Saima, Javed Sheikh, Irsa Ghazal, Sundas Tariq, Anoushay Abbasi and, of course, Junaid Khan.  Everyone plays their role incredibly.

The show tells a tale of a young boy, Jahangir, who feels trapped in his life, constantly witnessing his mother being mistreated by his father and his family. Almost as a form of escapism, Jahangir falls for the much older, but beautiful Mehtab, a nurse in his father's practice.  The show follows Jahangir's love and his familial troubles.

The episodes featuring Jahangir as a teenager are both endearing and painfully stifling, only because the going-ons are so intense. But post-leap, the show has taken a great turn and has made the drama even more enjoyable.  I'm eager to see more interaction between Junaid, Sundas and Anoushay's characters, while still holding out hope for Mehtab's fate.

The camera work and production values for this show also deserve special mention - the show is a visual treat to watch.

After so long, it's nice to see Junaid in a role of substance. It's so refreshing to see Junaid in a role different from his usual "I'm a jerk" roles. Jahangir is poles apart from Junaid's usual black and only black roles. While Jahangir has turned slightly negative post-leap, this role actually has heavy shades of grey and the viewer actually understands where Jahangir is coming from. Props to Junaid Khan for that.

This is a show I would highly recommend. It's meaningful, yet entertaining and tells a fascinating story that has lots of scope to play out in the upcoming episodes.  If you aren't already war thing, this is me telling you that you're missing out!

Happy watching!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Let's Talk About Endings

Alright, since my last post (which I admit was AGES ago), several shows that I watch have come to an end - in fact, most of them, as I now find myself picking up numerous new ones in order to have something to watch!  Haha.

As it's been a while since my last post and it's also been a while since some of these shows ended, I am going to keep this post short and sweet, giving my opinion on the shows as a whole, rather than reviewing the final episodes in detail.

So let's get started!


This ended a long while ago, but I feel it never got the acknowledgement from me that it deserved.  Alvida was not intelligent drama.  It was not a critical masterpiece.  It was not brilliance on television.  What it was, however, is the stuff entertainment is made of.  This show brought a refreshing change to the Pakistani drama scene (especially in the last year) - something thoroughly entertaining that had the audiences waiting to see what would happen next.  Imran Abbas, Sanam Jung, Sara Khan and Zahid Ahmed knew what they were doing when they signed this show.  Each actor was given scope to show their talent.  Even an actress like Sara Khan, who generally plays very "dull" roles, was able to shine as Pareesa.  Zahid Ahmed was brilliant as Rameez and proved that his role as the playful guy in Mehram was only the beginning.  The show went through so many shifts in 20 episodes, I almost forgot the initial track with Uroosa (Naveen Waqar).

If there were any flaws in this show, they are the following:

1)  What happened to Pareesa?  I wanted to see what ultimately happened to her, especially considering she was left with nothing and had to come back into the same family.

2)  I wish Rameez was shown getting caught and it wasn't simply verbally said.  It seemed to easy and quick of a wrap-up in that regard.

Otherwise, this show was great from beginning to end.  Kudos to the entire team for a highly entertaining, fast-paced show that kept me interested throughout.  This show comes highly recommended from my end.

Ishq Parast 

It's hard to put my thoughts towards this show into words.  The p.remise for this show was great - it was "Dhadkan" (Bollywood) all over again:  Passionate lover, incredibly sweet husband, torn wife.......but then somewhere, somehow, the show just lost it.  And the sad part is, I can pin-point exactly where this show went wrong.  But let's get back to that in a moment.

The show was ultimately about the bond of sibling relationships, specifically the relationship between Zohaib and Arsala.  Zohaib pampered Arsala and raised her as his own daughter.  It was nice to see Arsala's growth from a spoiled, brash girl to a mature, sensible wife fighting for what (she thinks) is right.  However, the problem I have with the ending is that Arsala's growth could've ended there.  She never did anything wrong. She didn't know any better.  She thought she was doing the right thing by defending her husband and was completely unaware of how devious, scheming and disgusting Hamza truly was.  So was it really necessary for Arsala to die?  Yes, she wanted to end Hamza's existence, but her explanation that she couldn't face Zohaib and Duaa really did not sit well with me.

How would Zohaib be able to live with Duaa happily after all of this?  Essentially, this is actually ALL Duaa's fault.  And now I'm coming back to where the show lost the plot.  This entire situation could've been avoided.  How?  Well, it's simple. Zohaib already knew about Duaa's past and was supportive of her.  So why exactly was Duaa unable to approach Zohaib and tell him "Hey, this guy who is sending a rishta for Arsala?  Well, he's my ex-boyfriend and he's trying to make my life hell."  This was the easy solution to everything in the show.  Yes, I understand that there would be no storyline left had she done that, but that's the fault of the writers.  There should've been more effort put in there to create a feasible problem.  Now Duaa, ultimately, looks like a really bad person because in her fight to prove how pure her Ishq was, she destroyed an entire family.

So that ultimately sums up my feelings towards Ishq Parast.....a show that started off great, but was lacking as the story moved forward.  I loved all the performances though, especially Jibran, Armeena and Areej Fatima's.

Overall, the show was good, but was let down by a disappointing ending.

Aye Zindagi

This is going to be quick.  Nimra and Nimra's entire family was made up of insane, kookoo people who had no idea how to maintain family relationships or how to forgive little things.  Why did Ami need to hold such a huge grudge against Taimur?  Why did Samra have to fall prey to her in-laws over and over again, despite having moments of intelligence and realizing what they were about?  Why would she get Nimra engaged to Adeel after protesting so much against it?  Why was Nimra's father so anti-Taimur from the get-go?  Why was Nimra such a basket case that she was ready to jump from one bad marriage to the next just in an attempt to stick it to Taimur?

And ultimately.....she LIKED TAIMUR?  What on earth?  This ending made no sense, this show made no sense and the personalities of the characters on this show made no sense.  Taimur was the only character who I managed to garner any sympathy for (because I just love Affan)....and to an extent, I felt sympathy for the Hassan character, if only because of his miserable state at the end. Also, it was nice to see that the Alina character was a good, realistic character from beginning to end.  She was not a vamp, but had real emotions that any girl could relate to.  Sundas Tariq should take a bow.

Overall, this was a show with a good concept that was ruined by illogical behaviors and overly emotional characters, the worst of which was was Nimra....and Sidra Batool's performance did not make it any better.  Sidra Batool is quickly taking the place of Sonia Hussain (who has won me over since Nikkah) as my least favorite actress.

Tumsay Mil Ke

Initially, this show grated on my nerves - a lot.  But after Zillay's nervous breakdown, it was definitely nice to see the entire family getting along (minus Hamayun).  It was especially nice to see "Amma" finally accepting Zillay as a daughter and realizing the error of her ways.  It was great seeing everyone supporting Zillay and helping her regroup.

Now the negatives:  everything else.  Yes, Hamayun realized his role in the whole mess.  But that doesn't let Mahira off the hook.  She did ALL of this.  Human nature does not allow us to forgive people who do truly terrible things - and Mahira tore an entire family apart.  She used Asad, destroyed Zillay, played with Hamayun's life and killed Asad's unborn child!  This is the worst of the worst.  There is actually zero redemption here for Mahira in the real world.

But of course, we're not in the real world, we're in Pakistani drama la-la land where the writer and director had no idea how to gracefully end the show, so, as usual, they threw it all together shoddily.  Zillay forgives Mahira but has a hard time forgiving Hamayun (What?!).  Regardless, they did have a happy ending and that was nice.  Hamayun tells Asad he should give Mahira another chance.  Mahira tells Asad he should give her another chance.  Zillay tells Asad to give Mahira another chance (this was possibly the worst).  EVERYONE tells Asad he should give Mahira another chance.  WHY?  WHYYYYY????  Let's be reasonable here!!!  No.  Just no.  The fact that Asad did forgive Mahira made matters all the worse, because Mahira did not deserve a happy ending.

And was the ending hinting at Hamayun, Zillay, Asad and Mahira all living in one house again?  That would be terrible.  Anyway, this show was definitely not something I'd recommend to anyone.  At all.


There's so much to say about this show, but it can't be deemed a review.  It can only be a rant.  I don't have the time or energy to waste on this show, so here are my 3 basic thoughts about the show.

1)  Muneeb trusted Maira so much and knew how twisted his relatives were (Natasha and Nageen), yet still became a stereotypically ridiculous male chauvinist drama character for 3-4 episodes....and then just as easily, reverted back to his understanding ways.  What on earth?

2)  Let's focus on Natasha and Waheed.  Waheed proved himself to be the world's most skeeziest, slimiest jerk on the face of the planet who not only tried to cheat on his wife, but also tried to blackmail Natasha's parents repeatedly.  And Natasha, who is depicted as such a strong, modern girl forgives him?  That's nonsense!

3)  And finally, let's talk about the nastiest man on this show who is, for some reason, projected as a nice, compassionate, great man:  Ahmed Ali.  This man basically has a wife and a kid, but is not financially set.  His boss tells him that if he marries his daughter (who is carrying an illegitimate child belonging to God knows who) and claims the child as his own, he will give him all the money he wants and he will be set for life......but with a catch!  He can't ever see his previous family ever again.  Instead of leaving his wife with some sort of closure, he just ups and abandons his pregnant wife and that's it!  He never THOUGHT of correcting things, but just happened to stumble across his family when Maira married Muneeb - pure chance!  However, he's a saint, because he stepped in and "saved Nageen's honor."  Also, can someone explain to me why Nageen was behaving as if this was all new information?  Was she not aware that Natasha was someone else's child?  That's not even humanly possible, so what on earth was that about?  Maira's mother (whose name has escaped me at the moment) happily accepts Ahmed again after he left her alone to raise their daughter and fend for herself for years.  Why?  And the sad part about the entire thing is that Ahmed Ali's feeble attempts at apologizing to Maira's mother were non-existent.  His apology was more like "Yeah, I was gone, my mistake, but now I'm back, so let's be a happy family!"  And regardless of WHY he married Nageen, he DID marry her of his own free will - so why did he feel he didn't owe her an apology JUST because Maira's mom was his first wife and he wasn't "cheating" (yes, yes you were, because you were doing it dishonestly)?  He owed every person in this scenario an apology and deserved to live his life miserably!  He did NOT deserve that hug from his two daughters at the end, declaring their love for their amazing Baba and he did NOT deserve to have both his wives.

No.  This show was an insult to women, in all honesty.  Women have a choice in this day and age to make decisions for themselves and that decision CAN include leaving scummy husbands.  Why don't writers understand this?


If I ever made a list of bad dramas of epic proportions, this would be right on top.  The only character in this entire drama that I was able to sympathize with was Afroze.  That's it.  Everyone else was disgusting, cheap and really, behaved unlike any human being I know.  Sameer and Momal were terrible, but the worst of the worst was Imaad, who thought he was a good person, but in fact was torture to even watch.  And the ending?  Wow.  What?  All I was left with was a feeling of "What was the POINT?  Back to square one!"

Don't do this to yourself.  Just don't do this to yourself.  I can't believe four talented actors and Momina Duraid were involved in this.

Dil Ka Kya Rung Karoon

I don't want to talk about this show for longer than a paragraph.  A show that started off being about a girl marrying her devar, their relationship growing and their sacrifices in life ended up being a murky game of love musical chairs - who wants to get with who? - and THEN somehow ended up being a tug of war between a biological father and adoptive parents.  I feel like the writer had no idea what he wanted to do with this show and just kept changing his/her mind (I don't know who the writer was) repeatedly through the course of writing.  It didn't make any sense.  Also, why was Dr. Sahab ultimately the one who lost everything, including his daughter?  WHY?

I don't know.  UGH.  This show.....I'm erasing it from my memory.

Mera Naam Yousef Hai

It's been too long to write a good, solid review for this show.  I will simply say this:  What started off a slow, slightly underwhelming drama grew into one of the most beautiful love stories on air in the last year.  If I fell in love with Sadqay Tumhare this year, I fell equally in love with the simplicity of Mera Naam Yousef Hai.  Imran Abbas as Yousef was perfect.  Imran has been off the drama scene for a while, but with this show and Alvida (and possibly Aitraz), he's now back on the map as one of the best actors in our industry.  Maya Ali's character Zubeidaa started off as silly and confused, but her depth grew more with each passing episode.  The supporting cast was all great and each actor added something to the show.  Special mention to Khalil Ur Rehman for getting the dialogues so right (as usual), because the dialogues were what made this story and held it together.  This is what good love stories are made of.  Mera Naam Yousef Hai comes highly recommended from me.

I also dropped Muqaddas, Kitna Satatay Ho and Juggnoo entirely from my list of shows, as they failed to hold my interest at all.

Alright, that's the end of this post.  Haha.  I apologize for how badly I have been slacking, but now that I'm finally caught up, I'll make a conscious effort to write regularly!

Happy watching!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Shows End, Shows Begin: Dusri Biwi, Zidd, Dil Nahi Manta, Aik Pal, Shert, Maryam, Jugnu and Karb.....

I'm having a hard time keeping up with writing these days, so I've just accepted defeat and will relegate myself to the fact that I can probably only write one blog post a week.  Haha.  So due to that, here comes one large conjoined blog post!

Several shows ended over the past week.  While I felt "Goya" deserved its own post, these other shows did not.  Therefore, I'm just going to chit-chat about these shows in general and what went wrong - because believe me, they ALL went wrong.

Let's start with the most hyped up dud, Dusri Biwi.

What a show.  What. A. Show.  Oh and by the way, if you didn't pick up on my written sarcasm, I don't blame you - but please realize that it is sarcasm.

This show started off on such an interesting note.  A man who unintentionally puts himself into an unwanted situation - two wives.  But wait.....his actions were not so unintentional.  Why was he so involved in Farah's life from the get-go?  Why did he start lying to his wife so early on?  Why was he talking to Farah so late into the night.  What?  The entire premise of the show washed away right there.  Then the show went for a wash-out.

If this show actually showed anything, it proved that having two wives is not an ideal situation.  It's hard work, it's emotionally frustrating for both wives and the children get caught in the middle.  It's also a financial burden.  Good - the show worked there.  Unfortunately, I'm not really sure that's what they wanted us to be left with thinking about.

The show was wrapped up so ridiculously.  "HEY!  Let's happy!"  The end!  What on earth?  Why did Aashi suddenly acknowledge that she was in the wrong?  Why was she wrong?  She wasn't.  Why couldn't we have seen a more realistic ending, as we saw in Shukk, with Aashi getting her self-respect and leaving as a sane woman on her own terms?  What was this ending that we were spoon fed?  Hassan lives happily with his two wives and two kids, yay!  No.

That's all.  This was a terrible show.

Next, we come to another great show gone horribly demented.  Yup, you guessed it:  Zid.

A Momina Duraid production.  A good cast.  A very promising storyline.  A very strong 5-6 initial episodes.  And suddenly......what happened?  Everything went wrong.

The entire Zee character was incredibly annoying.  The loss of Rukhi and Uncle's characters was haunting and left a void in the show, because hey, let's face it - they were really the only good part of the show.  Ahsan Khan was given the short end of the stick - when he was actually given scenes (which wasn't too often), he was simply required to play the "nice and patient husband."  He wasn't given much to work with.  Instead, we were forced to endure scene after scene filled with Zee and Saman's irritating banter and "Friendship" (dost ho to aisay).

Not only was Saman the most irritating lead character to come on screen in recent years (something hard to achieve), she didn't make any sense.  The show is called "Zid."  Saman says she lost everything to her "zid" in the end - kis baat ki zid?  Zid for WHAT?  Who knows - the audience never found out.  Omer never found out.  Hell, even Saman probably didn't know in the end.  ABSOLUTE NONSENSE.

Don't even get me started on the writer's (Be Gull, did you really write this??) concept of divorce.  Signing papers does NOT make you divorced.  Why on earth did this show end the way it did?  It wasn't even logical.  Saman could've easily opened her MOUTH and said "Hey, I don't want this" and it would've been a "problem solved" sort of situation.  Instead, we see her shocked and miserable over her life.

Anyways, moral of the story:  Zid was a terrible show.  I'm erasing it from memory right.....NOW.

Here's another prize:  Dil Nahi Manta

What I have learned from the two-wives storyline in dramas recently is this:  The only way to wrap-up a drama with two wives is to either have them randomly accept happiness in living all together OR......kill one of them off.

Dil Nahi Manta chose to go with the latter choice.  But who should we kill off?  Maybe the wife that Huzaifa doesn't love, Suhaina?  No.  That would be too logical.  Let's kill off the love of his life, Shanzay.  Shanzay spent the last days of her life totally neglected by her good-for-nothing, head-up-his-own-butt husband and died only right after giving birth to his child.  #winningattruelove.

So what could possibly happen?  Suhaina steps in and cares for Huzaifa & Shanzay's child and gradually wins a place back in Huzaifa's heart.  Awwww.  No, not really.

What I was actually hoping to see from this show, something which would've actually made this show different, was to see Suhaina find happiness elsewhere.  We saw Suhaina at her worst. We then saw Suhaina repent for her actions and realize that her behavior with Huzaifa and Shanzay was wrong.  So WHY couldn't we have seen a strong woman realize that Huzaifa was poison for her personality?  Why couldn't we see her say "Hey, I don't NEED this marriage?"  Why couldn't we see her ask Huzaifa for a divorce?  Why couldn't we see Huzaifa WILLINGLY giving her that divorce?  Why couldn't we see Suhaina end up with her boss, caring for his child and seeing them happy together?  Why?  WHY?  WHYYYYY?!?!?!?!

Why do Pakistani shows have to run this treaded path of nonsense?  Pakistan is a country where women are (very) slowly shedding these cultural norms that hold them back - like staying in a marriage where you've done wrong and are not respected.  Why can't we show that in dramas?

Nope.  This show was complete garbage.

And last but not least, ahhhhhh.....Aik Pal......

Get ready for another hit serial.  High words coming from such a terrible show.

I think I ranted on this show enough in my "Shows I'm currently watching" blog post, so I'll keep this short and sweet.

I don't like when situations are forced.  Mussab and Bareera were meant to be because Mussab "loved" her in college (after only seeing her and speaking to her a few times), so let's make her husband a total douche and let's kill off his incredible wife.  OKAY!

No.  I would've preferred this show if Bareera and Mussab had very little interaction in the initial episodes, Mussab did NOT like her in any way other than a classmate and they were both living their lives without thinking about each other.  It would've made for a more natural show if Bareera, after her marital problems, came to Noor Fatima (as she did) and learned under her (as she did) and THEN got to know her, after which Noor Fatima decided she would be good for Mussab (after she became religious).  This would've made the story much better, more believable and more digestable.

Not every show needs to be a fairytale - oh poor Mussab finally got his love, despite the fact that he had such a great wife.  I didn't like that.  The show would've been MORE realistic had they shown that Bareera and Mussab came together through circumstances and grew to like each other then.

Anyway, surprise surprise - I did not like this show either.  Hahaha.  I'm slowly coming to realize that any show with Sumbal Iqbal in it is generally not very good.  Roag was probably one of the few.

MOVING ON, let's discuss some new shows.

Let's begin with one show that has me on the fence currently - Shert.

My initial reaction:  Why is SHART misspelled?

My next reaction?  Why are Ayesha and Jibran's characters both so equally annoying?

Next?  How funny that Ayesha once played Nida Khan's mother and now they're playing peers.

After watching two episodes, I felt the show was trying too hard.  Jibran and Ayesha as a young couple without became hard to digest, especially in the flashbacks showing them in college!  The casting is very odd, as Danish and Nida look young, while Jibran and Ayesha look more like "Bhaiyya-Bhabi" to them rather than classmates.

Throw the "shart" waali storyline into the mix and the show becomes even more awkward.  Ayesha and Nida's characters happily trying to one-up each other in the task of trying to seduce Danish (who is Nida's husband).  The ew factor is really high.

The saving grace for this show came in episode 3 where Danish's character actually comes to know of the bet.  Where the storyline will go from here, I don't know, but it's an interesting twist knowing the pawn is in on the game.  The show is not impressive as yet, but I think it's too early to judge.

Moving on to a show I had high expectations from....Maryam.

Welcome to the world of Ekta Kapoor.  A world where stepmothers play nice to their stepson's face and plot evilishly behind their back.  A place where stepsons are doting sons to said evil stepmother.  A world where stepbrothers have evil intentions and brood wearing gold chains and black silk robes (what the hell?) in dark rooms.  A world where girls fall for a guy and don't care one bit about the crazy family the guy lives with.  A world where fathers give their daughters into a family that accuse said daughter of stealing the first time they meet her.


Yeah, that's all.  Faisal Qureshi, Mawra Hoccane and Uzma Gilani were definitely all smoking something when they signed this show.

I declare that I am no longer watching this show, because if I wanted to watch an Indian drama, I'd Indian drama.  So you will no longer see any posts about Maryam from me.

Let's talk about our next show:  Jugnu.

Yumna Zaidi is an actress that Hum TV loves to push on their viewers, despite her lacking lead-actress appeal.  Hence she is generally given side-roles.  This time, Yumna is in the lead.  Interesting.  I am not a fan personally, though she's given good performances in Ullu Baraaye and Mausam.  On the other end, we have Zahid Hamid who, despite being a newcomer, has signed very good roles so far (Mehram, Alvida) and despite being only two shows old simply screams "quality."  So from the get-go, I had mixed feelings about the show.

SURPRISE.  Yumna is refreshing, comical and very cute in her lead role as Jugnu.  The entire behind-the-scenes team deserves props for visually making this show "cutesy" from the get-go.  Jugnu's world is adorable, crazy and the viewer actually has no idea where the show is headed in the long-run.

What I do know is that so far, I'm a fan.  This one is worth watching, if only because it's so different from everything else on TV right now.

And last, but NOT least, Karb.

When Armeena Rana Khan debuted in Shab-E-Arzoo Ka Aalam, I thought she was a pretty face with less-than-average acting talent.  But as her career progresses, she's improving more and more as an actress and has become more than just a pretty face.  Now I actually look forward to shows with her in them.

Coming to the show itself, it's only been one episode, but I'm already really enjoying the show.  It has a very simple story (so far) and natural acting from the cast.  Armeena and Adnan are doing a good, cute job in their roles.

One complaint:  After seeing Adnan Siddiqui in mature roles, are we really back to seeing him as a "young" guy?  It seems like he's just graduated college and is job hunting after the death of his father.....strange casting and it almost makes it hard to take him seriously.  It's a small complaint though.

So far, the show gets a thumbs up from my end!

That's all for now!  Happy watching!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Goya - The Final Episode

It's strange how things work sometimes - how is it possible that a show with incredible writing, direction and a great cast somehow withered down to a completely dismal show with loose ends all over the place?

Goya is a show that I fell in love with from the moment it started.  My love affair with the show continued for the majority of its run......and then Mohini got sick.  Omer got a 2nd wife.  Mohini got an attitude.  Omer got a case of annoying.  And the show lost the plot completely.

Coming straight to the last episode, I can't even bother to review it.  Why?  Well, really, it was essentially about Mohini's final goodbyes.  She shared emotional scene after emotional scene with almost every character on the show, including an emotional conversation with Zara and Nomi.  That was the final episode.  Everything about this episode left me as an audience member screaming just one thing:  WHY?

It did not make sense.  A show that had a world of promise and, for the most part, delivered on that promise did NOT need to resort to this storyline at all.  It made me wonder whether the show was only half-shot and after looking at the ratings, the director decided to throw the entire script out the window and add the formula for a dusri biwi and a dying love just to garner ratings - which clearly worked against the show anyway!

The show had so much to offer and I was left completely dismayed at how many loose ends the viewers were left with:

  • Why was Senior Hashmi completely missing from the scene?  Did he resolve his issues with Omer?  Did he resolve his issues with his wife and accept his upcoming child?  Did his daughter decide to stay and find acceptance from him in his life?  WHAT HAPPENED?!?!?!?
  • Coming to Zebunissa and whether Senior Hashmi accepted her, we didn't get any sort of fullfilment here at all.  Not only was Senior Hashmi not shown, the most we got from that household was a sweet scene between Zara & Zebunissa with Zebunissa finally confiding in Zara and telling her what had unfolded while packing.  That's all.
  • What happened with the mystery of Adnan?  Or was that never supposed to be a mystery?  Then what was the point of that entire story arc exactly?  He was just supposed to be a friend who helped Omer temporarily and then overdosed and died?  That didn't make any sense whatsoever and it's ludicrous that a talented actor like Gohar Rasheed would be wasted in a role that essentially had no meaning at all.  It's made all the worse when the viewer expected that details about his death would come to light to clear the misunderstanding between Senior & Junior Hashmi.  Ridiculous!
  • Adnan & Zara were in a relationship?  This was one detail that was revealed in an earlier episode that actually struck me as a random add-in.  If that had been the case, why was Adnan so infatuated with Aasma?  Or did the writers think we forgot that little detail?  Again, it seems like the show wasn't completely shot when it went on air and the show was being completed by an ENTIRELY different writer!
  • Do Zara and Omer eventually live happily as husband and wife?  Omer technically ignored Zara and didn't care about her.  In the end, even she accepted her "zarbardasti" into his and Mohini's lives.......but with Mohini out of the picture, now what?  
These questions and more left a bitter taste in my mouth.  I have rarely seen a show that refuses to acknowledge all the story arcs it has left unfinished and proceeds to end with a dying lead character closing her eyes and BAM!  The end.  What on earth?  I have yet to understand WHY Mohini had to get cancer.  I don't understand WHY she had to die.  I don't understand the point of it.  If it had added to the story by somehow bringing Junior & Senior Hashmi together, I would've understood slightly - but no!  Mohini's character did not ask Omer to forgive, she did not reunite him with loved ones.....she didn't really do anything in the end other than thank him for making her life happy.  HMMMMM.

Needless to say, I am unable to rate this drama the way I would've liked.  For 2/3 of the show, Goya was a beautiful, well-written, intriguing story with complex characters and relationships.  The relationship with Senior Hashmi and Omer, the beautiful love story between Omer and Mohini, the hilarious relationship with all of Omer's friends, their girlfriends, you name it.....these were realistic characters with shades of grey.  Not one character was written as a black or white character.  Each had depth.  This is what made it hard for me to fathom how this show went so wrong.

Kudos to all the actors involved.  Regardless of how haywire the show went in the end, they all gave incredible performances, especially Osmaan Khalid Butt, Sana Javed, Usmaan Peerzada, Farah Shah, Gohar Rasheed and Hira Tareen.  

Rating-wise, I would give this show a rating of 9/10 for the first 2/3 of its episode bank.  For the last 1/3, I'd give it a rating of 5/10.  I would be inclined to give it lower than 5/10, but the brilliant performances brought it up to a 5.  

On an average, I'd say the show deserves a final rating of 7/10.  It is disappointing that a brilliant show faltered so badly, but I would still include it on the list of great shows for 2015, because it had an outstanding start and middle.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Sadqay Tumhare : What a Finale!

It's rare that I watch the last episode of a drama twice in a row.  Such was the effect the finale of Sadqay Tumhare had on me.  Why?  Well, to be honest, it was because I initially couldn't make sense of the ending OR of my feelings towards it!

I apologize for throwing Bollywood in here, but when the movie "Rockstar" released, I watched it in theaters.  After walking out of the theater, I couldn't answer when asked what I thought about the movie.  I wasn't sure.  However, as the days progressed, with each day, I found the movie more amazing as new aspects of the movie struck me.  I couldn't put into words what I felt after watching the movie, because at the time, I felt nothing.  But new emotions hit me over and over again over the days following the viewing.

Such is how I feel about the Sadqay Tumhare finale.  After the first viewing, I was confused and was left thinking "What?  That's it?  What the hell was the point of that show exactly?  What am I supposed to take away from all of this?!"  The confusion led me to watch the episode again immediately, after which an odd feeling of beauty and bewilderment hit me.

And now here I am, trying to put into words yet again what I felt about the finale, which is somehow becoming more and more incredible as time passes.

As the episode began, we witnessed Inayat's grief at how her mistakes in the past were now coming to haunt (and destroy) her son's future.  I found myself crying with her as Khalil tried to console her, telling her that he would forget Shano eventually, a lie that neither Inayat nor the audience could believe.  Unable to handle the grief, Inayat passed away shortly after, unable to look Khalil in the eye and see the pain she felt she was responsible for.

Humaira and Shano discussed Humaira's actions and Shano, being the ever-loving friend and ever-trusting lover, told Humaira that she did not mind her falling in love with Khalil, nor could she ever suspect Khalil of betrayal.  She states that he proved that he's not his father's son.  In that moment, I thought "Well, he proved he's Abdur Rahman's son.  A stand-up guy, loyal to the end."

In the forthcoming scenes, we were given "jhatka after jhatka,"  presented in the form of Khalil's interview, many years later after he has achieved success in life.

We find out that Khalil got married.  We find out that years later, Shano also got married.  And then we get the biggest jhatka......a few years after her marriage, Shano died.

Khalil went to her janaaza, but did not make it in time, unable to see Shano's face one last time.  And of course, Shano's cause of death was her forever broken heart, suffering in her distance from Khalil.  Rasheeda ultimately lost her lover, her husband (still alive, but not quite) and her daughter, leaving her the ultimate loser in the whole situation.  In the last scene, we see Khalil meeting Shano's son, who she named Khurram - the name Khalil wanted to name his and Shano's son.  "Kh se Khurram, Re se Rukhsana aur Meem se Mohabbat.".....and the end.

There are several thoughts I have looming in my head after this finale.

  • Tahira Imam as Inayat deserves immense credit for her breakdown scene after leaving Rasheeda's home, realizing that the past does ultimately affect the future.  Her acting was incredible.
  • "Mohabbat ki tasneem ho gayi, kabar ban gayi" says Khalil when describing his feelings after hearing of Shano's marriage - but what hypocrisy (as aptly pointed out by the reporter), as he had gotten married as well 6 years earlier than she did.  Was this to show the male dominant society mind-set?  Khalil could move on despite his declarations of love, but Shano was supposed to wait forever....for something she knew would never happen?
  • What made Shano's demise even more painful and the news of her death equally as sudden to the audience as it was for Khalil was that our final glimpse of Shano in the "present" was in her scene with Humaira.  After that, we witness everything from Khalil's point of view.  This decision by the director was highly effective, making the viewer miss Mahira's presence before even realizing Shano's outcome.
  • A scene that really struck me was when Khalil was leaving Shano's home and Amin (Shano's father) stops him and says "Mujhe maaf karna."  What a heart-breaking thought that Shano sacrificed her love and happiness entirely for her father.....and he outlived her.  That's a pain that no parent should have to live through, outliving their children.
  • Rasheeda was ultimately the one who was left empty-handed.  Her selfish behavior towards everyone around her, drowning in spite and revenge, left her with nothing.  She lost her lover, she lost her husband's respect and she destroyed her daughter.
In closing, I think what most irked me about this last episode and also left me in complete awe at its ironic beauty is that the ending was realistic.  This was something that would happen in REAL LIFE.  Why that can sometimes be hard to digest when watching a show, I don't know, but I just don't think that's what was expected from the ending of this show.  Now thinking back, when it was told that Sadqay Tumhare was based on a true story, I now completely believe it.

"Khurram.  Kh se Khalil, Re se Rukhsana aur Meem se Mohabbat."

What started off as a beautiful love story turned into a family drama, lost the plot somewhere in the middle and somehow, with the last episode, managed to make a huge impact, cementing its place as a drama to be remembered in 2015.  The show wasn't perfect, but it definitely was beautiful and, ultimately, deep.  A huge round of applause for the entire cast and crew of Sadqay Tumhare.