Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Naraaz - Underrated Show!

I will admit it - lately, I have been anything but a Faisal Qureshi fan.  In fact, I think he's going through some kind of mid-life crisis or denial.  How else can you explain why a man who got through the best time, the absolute highs of his career playing Middle Aged characters is suddenly playing young guys going for rishtas and falling in love for the first time?  It's mind-boggling.  Since Bashar Momin, Adhoori Aurat and Maryam, I've more or less shuddered at his shows...and now add Mera Yaar Miladay and Bheegi Palkein into the mix. These are shows that simply required Faisal to sleepwalk through them,   HOWEVER, Naraaz changed that and provided a Faisal show worth watching.

I imagine when 2017 rolls around, Naraaz will be sitting pretty somewhere on my top 10 dramas of 2016 list.  Big words, but I'm sure they will ring true.  Naraaz, as a show, took us through so many life situations:  the loss of wealth and status, a rocky relationship, inability to conceive, illness, death, despair and poverty, adoption, marriage at an "old" age ("you're no spring chicken."), a court battle and finally.....well-deserved happiness.  

When Naraaz started out, I honestly expected something much different than what it ended up being.  In fact, I threw it into the "dull" category after episode 3 and only watched it out of a sense of obligation (a real problem that I have, let me tell you!).  But somewhere down the line, the story of an arrogant man and his family troubles turned into.....the Pakistani version of the Pursuit of Happyness?  I thought "Ok....lets see how well they can copy."  Then, yet again, the show was turned on its head and transformed into an incredibly compelling story of love, what you are willing to do for love, what you're willing to do for the betterment of a loved one and how a child gets caught up in the entire mess.

Azlan(Faisal Qureshi) and Fariha (Sara Khan) are a married couple with a son Azhar.  When Azlan's business fails, the family goes through hard times and are forced to move in with Fariha's parents, hurting Azlan's pride....and harming his once happy marriage.  Things go from bad to worse when Fariha falls ill.  This is the starting point of the show, but it only grows from strength to strength as it progresses. 

It has to be said that this show boasts of a great cast of unassuming but tremendously powerful performers.  Everyone contributes to the show.  Special mention has to be given to Fahad Ahmed and Muzna Ibrahim as Asad & Rida, a loving couple unable to have children.  Their characters are lovable, even in their worst moments thanks to their acting capabilities.  Faisal Qureshi is the STAR.  After a long time, he's been outstanding in a role (for me, I know many people loved Bashar Momin) and really just made it his own.  Javeria Abbasi and the actors playing Fariha's parents also provide great support.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this show as a stand-out drama that depicts the love between parent and child beautifully.  It also touches upon other important subjects: in our society, when a woman gets older and is no longer "in demand" regarding rishtas, does she lose the right to live life on her own terms?  When a woman is unable to give her husband a child, what sort of pressure does that (or her own guilt) place on the marriage?  

It also has to be said that I LOVED the way the last episode was shot - it was realistic and brought tears to my eyes to see the forgiveness in that room.

This was a great show and I looked forward to each episode (after episode 10 or so) each week.  I will definitely say this show is underrated and will give it two thumbs up.  Recommended!

Happy watching! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Good Shows, New Shows, Positivity, Oh My!

Yes, yes, I realize I'm generally a Negative Nancy when it comes to writing - so much so that I barely even write about the good shows!  There are actually a number of nice, good shows on air right now, so I really want to take a moment to write about them! Nothing but positivity in this post - and I'm so happy that there are no whining points on this fistful of shows!

Mann Mayal

Now we're talking!  With the latest turn of events with Manahil's husband turning on her (due to no fault of Salahuddin, at all) and Salahuddin's large inheritance, it will be so interesting to see where the story goes from here!  In a way, it's so ironic that Salahuddin needed to leave Manu and his world behind to actually become worthy of her (financially) - and now that he is, she belongs to someone else.  I'm now looking forward to Ayesha Khan's entry.  Also, am I the only one who finds the character of Manu entirely annoying? Yes, she's innocent, but she also makes wrong choices at an alarming pace.  Anyway, been loving this show since the beginning and the love continues.


Strong female characters - what a sight for sore eyes!  The women of Dillagi bow down to no one and take the reigns of their destiny into their own hands.  Whether it's Mehwish Hayat's character, refusing to give in to the desires of Mohib (Hamayun Saeed) and choosing instead to marry a random guy off the street (questionable choice) or Saba Hameed's character, advising women to take control of their husbands or leave them, this is the moment I've been waiting for on Pakistani television.  While these women are shrewd and calculating, they're confident and assured of what they want.  These are the roles young girls should be seeing.  I can only hope I don't have to eat my words later, but so far so great.  Special mention to the great job Hamayun Saeed is doing, making you hate and love Mohib all at the same time.  Also, Imran Ashraf is doing an impressive job in his role, making me smile with each appearance.  It would not be a stretch to say this is the best show on television right now.


Set in a Punjabi backdrop, Udaari takes you on a journey within the first episode.  Captivating, unique and poles apart from other shows, Udaari promises to give the audience something different.  The story centers around a family of maraasis (singers/dancers) in a small village.  In this profession for generations, Bushra Ansari's character is proud of her heritage while her daughter (Urwa) struggles to find a way out (due to her boyfriend's disdain).  We are also introduced to Samiya Mumtaz's character, a single mother who has lost her husband years ago.  Her husband's best friend (Ahsan Khan) has returned from Dubai and takes it upon himself to take care of his friend's family, setting tongues wagging.  On the other end, we're introduced to Farhan Saeed's character and his friends, rich kids with a band, trying out for a singing reality show.  How these stories intertwine will be interesting to see.

So far, not only has the cast impressed with just one episode, but the story is compelling and the production values are great.  I'm looking forward to watching this one each week.

Zara Yaad Kar

There is just something so refreshing about this show.  There's a quiet beauty in it, in the simplicity and realism of the story and the actions of the characters.  I love the way Haadi (Zahid Ahmed) loves Mahnoor and dotes on her, yet is willing to put her in her place when she disrespects him.  I love that Mahnoor (Sana Javed) is not a vamp, but her lack of loyalty is being revealed in such a way that even she is not aware of it. I love how Yumna Zaidi's character is so pure in her love that she is willing to simply be there for Haadi as a friend, asking for nothing more.  The characters are so well written so far, and rightly so, with Khalil Ur Rehman Qamar at the writing table.  

The political angle is interesting and I'm curious to see how that story will move forward.  I will say that the actress playing the "American" daughter has an annoying fake accent heavily accented with the Pakistani touch and her fake accent is not even American, but British.  Hmmm.  But I'm curious to see what role the "humsaaya" will play in all of this.  So far, pretty interesting.

Tum Kon Piya

Full of cliches and typical dialogues, Tum Kon Piya treads an already beaten path and doesn't offer anything new. However, the fresh pairing of Imran Abbas and Ayeza Khan is worth watching the show alone. That aside, I'm enjoying Hina Bayat's role as a meddling mother.  The show boasts of a great cast and creative team.  Im expecting great things to come from this show in the upcoming weeks. 

Mor Mahal also begins in a couple of weeks and I'm incredibly excited to see how it has turned out.  Going from only 1 good show to a handful, this is a good time for Pakistani drama viewers! 

Happy watching!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Thoughts on a few (unimpressive) shows....

These are just some straight opinions on a few shows.....

Maana Ka Gharaana

Maana Ka Gharana came to an end and did so in the most unimpressive way.  Instead of the entire family realizing on their own how grave their mistakes were in judging Khizer, Jahangir Sahab had to come and explain Khizer's genuineness.  Unbelievable. I needed to see this entire family grovel and apologize to Khizer. Also, Maana did not deserve him and he should've ended up with Laila.  A terrible show being completely erased from memory.....NOW.

Tere Mere Beech

Hmmmm....while the premise of this show is interesting, it's also ridiculous.  Hareem living in a stranger's house, trying to treat her servants like dirt?  Knowing that her family thinks she's dead and not calling to let them know she's ok?  She's honestly the worst character and it's hard to feel any sympathy for her.


I was really on board with this show until
The last episode.  Suddenly Pakeeza's husband divorces her and then they continue living together for the sake of their daughter with husband dearest now saying he will claim it never happened? What is this nonsense?  I have high hopes from this show in educating women on what they should NOT accept in a marriage, but now the show is somehow taking an annoying, cliched twist.  Let's see how it progresses from here...

Bheegi Palkein

I'm over it.  There is no redeeming this show at all, especially with Hassan now marrying Fari and throwing Bano into an asylum.  How does one marry someone he had such a deep distrust for?  And then turn on someone who has proved herself reliable over and over, a victim of bad in laws and circumstance?  I need it to come out that Fari was, in fact, the person responsible for her brother's death.  Also, Hassan has lost all appeal. I would much rather see Bano now with this sweet Doctor helping her.  That would even be realistic, but I don't expect much realism from this show anymore, so I'm assuming she'll end up with Hassan again, a man who doesn't deserve her.

Mera Yaar Miladay

The best thing about this show is the OST.  That's all.  Otherwise, I'm really struggling to continue watching this show.  It's actually painful.

That's all for now!  I will definitely be writing about some new shows in the next post!  Happy watching!!