Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dusri Bivi - A Change in Thoughts

If I wrote positively about Zidd in my last post, then of course you can expect that this post will be a "bashing" post.

Unfortunately, my feelings about Pakistani dramas these days is that it's becoming increasingly difficult for writers/production houses/directors to maintain the quality of their product.  If a show like "Firaaq" started off on a fascinating note with great performances, it fell flat on its face and took the typical "two women, one man" route in the last few episodes and completed its run as a pitiful show.  Likewise with other big-budget shows like "Laa" and "Tum Meray Hi Rehna."  These days, even a great quality show like "Digest Writer" is repeating the same happenings and occurrences in the last few episodes and has become repetitive.

That's why shows like "Zidd," "Goyaa," "Jackson Heights" and "Sadqay Tumharay" receive so much praise from me - regardless of whether the pace is slow or fast, the content is solid.  You know where the show is headed.  You understand the characters.  You appreciate the concrete writing.  These shows are quality shows.

With such an intro, now we come to Dusri Bivi, specifically.

This show started with grandeur.  It came with expectations.  A big-budget show starring Fahad Mustafa and reportedly touching upon the concept of two wives in a way that the audience would be able to sympathize with all the involved parties - it sounded like a show that could be greatly successful.

Unfortunately, the show has failed to meet those expectations entirely.  The biggest problem?  Well, let's just say that the promise of making all 3 parties relatable is where the show suffers the most.

We have Hassan (Fahad) and Aashi (Hareem), a beautiful married couple together in a beautiful, happy marriage with their adorable daughter that they both dote on.  Suddenly, for no reason at all, Hassan becomes overly invested in Farah's life (Maha Warsi) and gets caught up in her problems to the point of having to marry her.  BUT.....did he really have to marry her?  No.  Not in my eyes.  If anything, Hassan progressively threw himself more and more into Farah's life in a very "Maan na maan, main tera mehmaan" sort of way.  The lack of decency was oozing from the situation as soon as Hassan began hiding the situation from Aashi.

Now at present, Aashi has suffered a miscarriage due to her stress and high blood pressure (also caused by Hassan's distance and neglect).  On the other end, Farah is also pregnant and looming/lurking all around Hassan in an effort to "protect" him, which causes Aashi's brother and Bhabi to discover Hassan's secret (of his 2nd marriage).  Rather than be apologetic and sincere, Hassan turns around and throws his second marriage in Bhai and Bhabi's face and tells them that if Aashi finds out and is unhappy, that will be on their heads.  TORTURE.  If there's a moment where I could say Hassan's character literally became unlikable, I would say this was the moment.  How men like this are able to take their mistakes and throw them on others is something that is almost unbelievable in a situation like this.

In the current episodes, we are now seeing Hassan trying to balance his two wives.  What makes this all the more irritating is that two women who should be mildly confident and independent are becoming more and more dependent on Hassan.  Farah is unable to lock her front door, so she gets robbed.  This is a woman who was fighting to build her career - and now suddenly she's a housewife, pregnant within a month of marriage and needy to the point of no return.  On the other end, we have Aashi who is becoming increasingly needier - high blood pressure, depression from a miscarriage, stress from Hassan not being around....and then we're treated to a scene where Aashi is suddenly unable to handle her daughter having a fever?  Why does a good mother need her husband to be there in order to take care of a sick child?

The situations being created in this drama are not only making Hassan unlikble, they are making his wives equally as unlikable.  If anyone in this show is looking GOOD, it's the characters of Bhai and Bhabi, who are the voices of logic and truth, the characters that react the way anyone would in reality.

It's unfortunate that a show that started off so well has sunk to this level within 9 episodes!  I am holding out hope that this show could possibly pick up and somehow mend itself in future episodes - but I'm not hoping too high.

Happy watching!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Zidd - Something Different

After a lengthy hiatus and catch-up period, I figured it would be best (and easiest) to jump right back in with a brand new show.  Fortunately, that new show is "Zidd" and what a show it is!

I have long since given up on having expectations from Ahsan Khan shows and "Ladoon Mein Palli" really managed to break Maya Ali's track record - plus her last venture with Ahsan Khan was a complete, dismal failure and disappointment (Meri Zindagi Hai Tu).  So that being said, my expectations from Zidd were incredibly low.  Actually, even claiming to have expectations would be a sheer and utter lie, as I almost didn't bother watching the show at all.

Am I glad I did!  Zidd has ended up being an intriguing, fresh and refreshingly different show with a new concept (well, as new as concepts can be as far as TV goes).

Up until now, Zidd tells the story of a stubborn, selfish and self-obsessed character, Saman (Maya Ali).  Despite having logical parents and a level-headed brother (Hamayun Ashraf), Saman is, by Pakistani society standards, completely spoiled, egotistical and lacking in basic sense.  In her own eyes, she simply believes that she's honest and wants to live life on her own terms.  Saman breaks off several engagements, the last of the engagements being only days before the wedding.  This leaves her family disheartened and infuriated, not understanding what will happen to her and her life.

Enter Omer (Ahsan Khan), a Pakistani boy from the USA.  He comes from a good family and Saman's family instantly agrees to the rishta, not giving Saman any choice in the matter this time.  The nikkah is conducted in a rushed, hurried manner with Saman's family trying their best to not allow Omer & Saman to spend any time together before the wedding in the fear that Saman will, yet again, open her mouth and ruin the relationship.  The marriage is carried out, though not without its share of glitches and hiccups.

However, on the wedding night, Saman is forthcoming with Omer and tells him that she agreed to the marriage only because she wanted to escape to the USA and live life on her own terms and admittedly tells Omer that she used him, also telling him about her previous broken engagements.  Omer, in turn, gives Saman a huge shock:  This is his second marriage and her own family was well-aware of this fact.  He expresses his displeasure at being kept in the dark about her previous engagements and also informs Saman that she does not have the right to demand a divorce, according to their nikkah papers, so she should come to terms with their marriage and learn to accept him.

This starts off Saman & Omer's marriage on a rather awkward note, leaving Saman feeling lost, as she feels betrayed not only by Omer, but by her own family for not trusting her with the news of Omer's previous marriage.

Omer and Saman move to the USA, where Saman does her best to adjust to life in a new place, though not necessarily adjusting to life with her new husband.  While Omer does his best to accept Saman as his wife, Saman does not make life easy for him, constantly throwing accusations at him regarding his previous marriage.

This is what we've seen up until episode 5 and so far, the show doesn't seem to be losing pace.  What happens later on, only time will tell.  But so far, not only is the storyline interesting, the acting is great!  Maya Ali is not generally a favorite, but she's doing a really good job of portraying Saman as the brat she is intended to be.  Ahsan Khan is enacting the role of Omer in such a way that the audience is left confused - is he a good guy?  Is he not a good guy?  Is he as straightforward and clean-hearted as it seems?  Or does something else lurk behind those innocent expressions?  I hope Ahsan is playing this role like this on purpose, because it's making Omer seem like a very layered, intense character.  The supporting cast is all really good so far as well, especially Hamayun Ashraf.

This show comes highly recommended from my end!  I'm genuinely enjoying it and it's on par with shows like Goya, Sadqay Tumharay and Jackson Heights, though an entirely different type of show.  So far, 2015 is off to a great start regarding Pakistani shows!

Happy watching!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Trying to Play Catch-Up!

This is just a message to my readers, who are probably wondering why I'm slacking off on writing so incredibly.  After the Peshawar attacks, I simply wasn't in the mood to write and then a week later, I left on vacation for over two weeks, so I have literally just gotten back to "reality."  And that also means that I'm 3 weeks behind on every single show that I was watching.  So far, I've had a chance to play catch-up on Goya, Jackson Heights, Daraar, Aik Pal and a couple of others, but there are many shows still hanging in the lurch.  As SOON as I manage to catch up (which I'm trying to do in record time), I will begin writing again!  So watch out for a new blog post within the next week.  =)  Thanks for your patience!

Happy new year and I hope everyone had a great vacation!

Happy watching!