Preconceived Notions of Audiences of the Television Industry

Audiences of our Television industry have grown in the past decades. Pakistani shows are not only watched in Pakistan but by Pakistanis and other nationalities living all over the world. They have won everyone’s heart because of their quality story, beautiful direction and realistic acting. But as they became more popular many preconceived or stereotypical notions developed among the audiences. These notions are infectious and they spread among the audiences like wild fire. They change the mindset of many people who had not even thought about them before. Here are a few preconceived notions of our audiences:

Any novel based show is a must watch!

Audiences have become biased when it comes to watching shows. One of the top categories for watching a show is that it should be written by popular novelist like Umera Ahmed, Faiza Iftikhar, Farhat Ishtiaq, Razia Butt who have given us popular shows like Humsafar, Shehr e Zaat, Dastaan, Zindagi Gulzar Hai, Meri Zaat Zarre Benishan, Najia, Saiqa, Aik Nayee Cinderella, Haroon Toh Piya Teri and the list goes on. It is true that novel based dramas are good and people have high expectations from them but most of the time, the script of the drama is very different from the actual novel which disappoints the audiences and they complain about it. If only they would stop expecting from novel adopted dramas and give new writers a chance then the viewership of many other shows would increase.

Once a hit always a hit!

Another common belief among the audiences is that once an actor/director gives a hit, they are supposed to give hits all the time. It is normal for the expectations of the audiences to rise after a show becomes a hit but they need to understand that hits and misses are common in our industry. You cannot expect directors/actors to give one hit after the other. If some shows are brilliant, the others may not be able to match up to that standard. One of the examples would be of the popular director Sarmad Sultan Khoosat, the expectations from him rose to a very high level after his blockbuster show Humsafar, he was immensely praised for his work and was tagged as one of the best directors in the industry but as soon as people saw the show Ashk which was also directed by him, the tag went down the drain and apparently he was a huge disappointment! Another example would be of Haissam Hussain, audiences could not stop praising him for his brilliant direction in Dastaan but as soon as they saw Kuch Pyar Ka Pagalpan Bhi Tha, he was highly criticized for his work. The audiences need to understand that a show consists of many elements like story, screenplay, acting, direction and last but not the least good editing. All these factors combine together to make a good show and one person is not responsible for a show being a hit or a flop. To expect them to give one hit after the other only manages to pressurize them and they go as far as disowning their flop shows as with the case of Sarmat Khoosat who refuses to talk about any of his flop shows (especially Ashk).

The shows with the clichéd story lines are the worst!

Another preconceived notion of many audiences is that shows based on the concept of step-mothers, evil mother–in-laws and second marriages are just not worth their time. When they see the promos, the only thing that comes to their mind is ‘Oh God… not the same story again’ but the amusing part here is that the shows with such clichéd concepts are highest rated dramas. We get to hear a lot of criticism and complain from the audiences in the beginning but these are the people who eventually watch it too! This is what we call hypocrisy! The recently aired show Aik Tamanna Lahasil Si which was based on the concept of evil mother-in-law was one of the highest rated dramas during its airing time. Other examples include Mera Yaqeen and the currently popular show Daagh; both are based on the concept of second marriages. Audiences complain that the shows are too depressing for their taste, but they are the ones who watch it and increase the ratings. The reason why we get to see the same concepts over and over again is because it is liked and watched by the masses.

Oh it’s a Momina Duraid Production; I will watch it for sure!

Another common practice among the audiences is to judge shows by their production houses. I agree that Momina Duraid, A & B productions and Humayun Saeed production houses are the best production houses in our industry but they are not the only production houses. These three production houses rule the industry with an iron fist and people prefer to see shows from these production houses only. The reason why they attracted so many viewers is because of the quality of shows they offered. However, new production houses with good quality shows are emerging to compete with these popular banners. One of the emerging production houses is Natak Entertainment, Producers of the show Ghaao which is currently airing on Geo TV. This production house definitely has a future!

A big NO for any other channel except Hum TV, ARY and Geo TV

Another preconceived notion of our audiences is that quality dramas are only offered by these three channels. If someone had asked me this question a few years ago, I would have agreed wholeheartedly but now many other channels have emerged who have much to offer to the audiences. The new emerging channels are Aplus and Express entertainment. Aplus is offering quality dramas such as Barf and Koyla Hogai Main while express is offering shows like Talkhiyaan, Tishnagi and Sirat e Mustaqeem. Even PTV has improved a lot in past few years and is offering quality shows, but few people watch it as they have created a mindset of their own. All we need to do is change our mindset! Gone are the days when these three channels ruled the Television industry…

Mariam Shafiq.

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  • Mona

    Very nice article Marium. I agree with you.

    • Mariam Shafiq

      Thankyou. Its good to know that you agree. 🙂

  • Sumbal

    hmmm interesting article!!! agreed