There are some dramas that are entertaining during their run , but are ultimately forgettable. There are others that don't know how to wrap up, so are entirely let down by their final episode. And then there are dramas with writing, direction and acting of sheer brilliance with truly relatable characters that may seem slow in the build up, but end so beautifully that they resonate deep within your heart.. Jackson Heights falls into the last category.
While initially, the show seemed to have many characters and storylines, it was, in the end, the story of a Mamoon and Bhanja (uncle and nephew), their family relationships and interactions with those connected to their lives.
It's rare that a drama manages to create the kind of emotion I felt for the characters in this drama. Pehchaan, Talkhiyan and Pyaare Afzal being the last.
These characters were not just on screen personas - they were real people, people I can imagine living on the streets of NYC (only an hour away from me). Out there, there's a genuine Bhatti, lovable, homesick and hardworking for the sake of his family. There must be a Jamshedpur, chasing the American dream, no matter how much scheming and plotting is required. There's a Salma, a woman trapped in her abusive marriage for the sake of her child. There's a Michelle, a headstrong, confident woman living life her own way only to be caught in a whirlwind romance (finally) by the wrong man. There's a Rizwan, hopelessly in love with a woman who won't accept him, forever sidelined into the dreaded "friendzone" (who can't relate to that?). There's a Sikandar, someone who has made too many mistakes and, after reforming, finds that forgiveness does not equate to forgetting OR happily ever after. And finally, somewhere, there's an Ammi who yearns for her loved ones and spends her life waiting for their return.
These characters were real, living, breathing people and that's a sign of incredible writing. Kudos to Vasay' Chaudhary and Mehreen Jabbar for their hard work and commitment to creating a quality show.
I don't want to discuss the episode in detail, as I think "spoilering" a show this beautiful for anyone who hasn't seen it would be a travesty. What I will say is the following:
Jamshed: The American Dream pursued to no avail, even with intentions gone completely haywire. It's strange, because while Jamshed was a "negative" character, was he really? He was made so out of circumstances. He came to the U.S. To escape his Mamoon and Maami, who were terrible to him and to create a life where he could bring his Naani and provide for her. He reached the Usa only to realize Bhatti's poor circumstances and was pushed to drastic measures to avoid going back to Pakistan.. It was refreshing to see his outcome and to see that despite going down the "ghalat raasta" initially, he did eventually move in a positive direction.
Bhatti: Our lovable Bhatti Sahab, a man with a heart of gold, working hard in a land he doesn't consider his own for the sake of providing for his family back home. But at what cost? And was it worth it at the end? That's the basic message in Bhatti's story: In the end, is living in America worth what you leave behind at home? Isn't it possible to have a good, comfortable, successful life back home, that too, surrounded by your loved ones? It was so easy to root for Bhatti, because his story is one that we know to be true. His character was very well-written and at no point did we feel that he was a character - he was a living, breathing person and we felt for him.
Salma: A mothers love knows no bounds - even if the child isn't one you gave birth to. Salma raised Iman and accepted her as her own. So how can she escape a terrible marriage without leaving behind her child? Salma's predicament was one that many abused women face - what about the children? Fortunately for Salma, her end was not as dire as most marriages like this would've been. Nonetheless, it painted a clear picture that despite living in the USA, the Pakistani woman still can fall victim to the Pakistani backward mentality.
Sikandar: It was hard not to feel bad for Sikandar in the end. While essentially, Sikandar was your stereotypical entitled good-for-nothing who thought himself a prince with a dash of an abusive nature, he was let down by his family, friends and himself in a big way and realized the error in his ways at a high cost. It was endearing to see Sikandar realize Salma's worth and also realize how badly he'd treated her over the years. More than anything, it was great to see him realize how he'd let his daughter down and that it was time to mend himself and all the relationships he'd destroyed.
Michelle: While I'm not sure I agreed with Michelle's decision in the end, it was nice to see that Michelle, that strong, self-confident woman, did not resort to the "I need a man in my life" mentality. She needed time to sort her life out and she realized that, taking steps to give herself time and distance, while still leaving certain doors open. Kudos to Marina Khan for taking such a great role and playing it so beautifully.
Rizwan: The perfect man - patient, understanding, a good friend, and still human enough to give the "I told you so" lecture (albeit in a gentle way). Rizwan was the guy Michelle should have gone for, but didn't. Rizwan was our typical "friend zoned" guy, the guy who any sensible woman would jump for - but unfortunately, the heart isn't sensible. I genuinely loved this role and how Adnan Jaffar played it.
On the whole, Jackson Heights was an incredible ride, the ride of life, taking us into the world of "Jackson Heights" in a realistic and natural way. Applause for the entire cast of Jackson Heights and for the entire team behind-the-scenes. Thank you for giving us such an amazing show after so long.
This show is a must-watch if you haven't seen it. My Friday nights are already empty without it.