Random Thoughts Regarding Dramas

I am a drama fan to the core, I live and breathe dramas. I cannot even count how many dramas I am usually watching at a given time because I try to stay in touch with, if not watch regularly, most of the dramas that go on air. There were a few thoughts brewing in my mind which I would like to share with everyone. I would really like to hear what other people have to say about these things. They are just random thoughts coming from an average viewer, nothing that is coming from an expert or a critic. Since most of the people who visit drama sites are just as much into dramas as me so this could lead to an interesting discussion.

Are Friday Nights Fixed For Umera Ahmed’s Plays Only On Hum TV? If yes then what if Kankar doesn’t do as well as its predecessors? Shehr-e-Zaat despite of some weaknesses was a big hit. The script in particular was a winner; people looked forward to it every week and loved discussing it. I remember the number of comments that used to be there under the Shehr-e-Zaat thread. Same was the case with Zindagi Gulzar Hai as well, it had an enormous fan following and was a must watch play. When these two plays were on air most of the drama viewers were following these two plays on Friday nights and not any other. Kankar hasn’t exactly started off that strong and it did not receive the kind of applause and attention that Shehr-e-Zaat and Zindagi Gulzar Hai did. If the trend continues will Hum TV move Kankar to a weekday? It has done this before with other dramas that were not doing well. In fact channels do it all the time because the competition on the weekend is most tough and there is maximum viewer ship. People, who may not watch dramas all week, certainly watch it on the weekend. Not to mention the fact that people usually have very high hopes from a drama that airs on Hum TV on a weekend. What do you people think? Will Kankar manage to grip the audience the way its predecessors did? And if it doesn’t then will Hum TV move it to another day? If they do so, it may offend the writer. Momina Duraid and Sultana Siddiqui both are very fond of Umera Ahmed, so they won’t do anything that will upset her. Time will tell! A very important question also is that do people have better things to watch on other channels on a Friday night? I feel that had AunnZara been shifted to the Friday slot instead of Thursday, it could have proven to be a strong contender.

Why Can’t We Have More Plays Like Dastaan? I watched Dastaan recently and I must say that it made me think about things which most dramas do not delve into. It reminded me of the sacrifices that millions of Muslims made in order to get this country and also the idealism on the basis of which Pakistan was formed. We need more dramas like Dastaan that will make us think on those lines and promote patriotism. That has to be more important than highlighting marital problems over and over again.

Why Doesn’t Hum TV Air A & B Productions Serials? Yes, someone please enlighten me, what is the issue between these two? It is very obvious that Hum TV does not air dramas that are produced by this production house, although it is one of the biggest production houses in the country, producing maximum dramas. There are so many people who prefer to watch dramas on Hum TV. Also, Hum TV live is available online, so those people who are living abroad can watch it easily too. Hum TV has worked hard to make a name for itself, that is also another reason because of which people prefer Hum TV dramas. It will definitely benefit A & B productions if their dramas were to go on air on Hum TV. Would you like to see A & B Production’s serials on Hum TV? Please share your opinion.

Can We Please Have Family Dramas Back? I miss the good old PTV days of the 80s when dramas were a family affair. There were very few dramas that would go on air in a week back then because there was only one channel but watching dramas was a ritual for the entire family. The housewives finished their work before 8pm, the entire household had dinner by that time and even the kids’ bedtime was after they had watched the drama. Even a five year old could comfortably sit with his or her parents and siblings and watch the drama. That is not the case anymore. There is no play on air nowadays that one can watch with an older sibling even. It is impossible to watch these plays with children or even your parents sometimes.

Enough Of Married Couples And Their Problems! No matter what the central theme of the play is, the story will in some way revolve around a married couple. That is true for most of the dramas that are on air nowadays. Marriage is a very important social obligation and most of the women who watch dramas are housewives but I think we are getting an overdose of shadi shuda couples and their big and small issues in our dramas. First the problem is getting the girls married and after that the issue is the problems they face after marriage. We have had some wonderful dramas in the dramas like Tanhaiyaan, Aangan Tera and many other classics which managed to be hits without focusing on the issue of marriage.

Pakistani dramas have a great deal going for them but there is always room for improvement. Also, it would be even better if channels did not give preference to certain production houses and writers.

Fatima Awan

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  • hamnah

    I like all the points raised except the first one. 🙂 Yes, Kankar may be not that much attractive but honestly, if I do keep all my fondness for UA aside, the standard of UA's dramas compared to others is much higher. They are realistic & thought provoking so despite all my dislike for Hum now, I appreciate Hum's step of giving UA's dramas importance. The effect of Mira'at ul Uroos was completely spoiled by Geo

    • FatimaAwan

      Hamnah, I thought you may not agree with me on the first point;) Yes Umera Ahmed is a great writer but there are a few others who are equally good like Samira Fazal and Farhat Ishtiaq for instance, their dramas are very engaging too. Oh yes I completely lost interest in Mirat-ul-Uroos but the production values of Kankar aren’t impressive too, i wish it was produced by MD productions. Thank you so much for reading the article and for commenting, I always look forward to your feedback:)

      • Rashid Nazir Ali

        Ms Awan, you are right, not every drama of Umera is a master piece it basically depends a lot upon treatment given by director and producer, some of umera plays like amar bail, husna aur husan aara (both on tv one), miraat ul uroos (geo tv) and wajoode laraib (indus tv) and thora sa aasman (on ptv) were not up to mark when it comes to production value.

        A drama is a package bundled with story, acting, sets, clothing as per character demand, background music, direction, lights everything in short. But for above mentioned dramas of umera ahmed lacked in some aspects and as a result suffered. Its my observation that all hit plays of umera are from hum tv apart from doraha on geo tv, only Momina Duraid production has treated script of umera as per its demand rest have mostly failed to live up to the expectation. From hum there is a long list Mano Salwa, Ghost, Malal, Durre Shahwar, Maat, Qaide Tanhai, Shehre zaat, Zindagi Gulzar Hai and now Kankar. Kankar is slow paced and not a top notch so far still, its production value acting, background music, sets, getup of characters all are as per demand of story, the main thing hampering is its slow pace.

        • FatimaAwan

          Totally agree with you a drama is teamwork and everything has to be up-to-the-mark in order for it to be a hit. I definitely prefer MD productions to Six Sigma.

          • Rashid Nazir Ali

            yes MD productions, Six Sigma (Samina Humayun Saeed and Shahzad Nasib), 7th Sky (Humayun Saeed and Abdullah Kadwani) and Evernew (Sajjad Gull) have done justice with script of umera.Here is a list of dramas of umera produced by different production houses, hope the list is complete and not erronous

            1- Momina Duraid Productions
            for HUM TV
            a) Lahaasil
            b) Man o Salwaa
            c) Malaal
            d) Maat (co produced by amna nawaz khan)
            e) Ghost ( it was not original screenplay and was an adpated story)
            f) Zindagi Gulzaar Hai
            g) Kankar
            h) Shehre Zaat (Co producer Abdullah Kadwaani)

            2- 7th Sky (Humayun Saeed and Abdullah Kadwaani)
            For Geo TV
            a) Meri Zaat Zarra Benishan
            b) Doraha
            For ARY Digital
            a) Daam

            3- A&B Productions
            For HUM TV
            a) Qaid e Tanhai

            4- PTV
            a) Thora Sa Aasman

            5- Sakina Sammon
            For TV One
            a) Amar Bail
            For Indus TV
            a) Wajood e Laraib

            6- Evernew productions
            For Geo TV
            a) Uraan

            7- Aamir Khattak
            For TV One
            a) Husna aur Husan Aara

            8- Six Sigma (Samina Humayun Saeed and Shahzad Nasib)
            For Hum TV
            a) Durre Shahwar

        • Sci fi

          Meri Zaat Zara e Benishan from Geo TV

          • Rashid Nazir Ali

            yes MZZB was also a high quality production for GEO TV produced by 7th Sky

    • diskus

      UA is toooooooo preachy … for god sake let people make their own conclusions and learn their own lessons!!!

  • Rashid Nazir Ali

    Point 1: Friday for Umera Ahmed: List is incomplete, Maat another drama of umera ahmed was also onaired on friday, i think kankar wont be as much successfull like maat, shehare zaat and ZGH, but still it will keep onairing on friday
    Point 2: Dramas like dastaan: yes there should be more dramas like dastaan, based upon our historical events, like indpendance, wars , 1971 seperation of east pakistan, political turmoil, war on terror, balochistan situation. also there should be some dramas based upon stories happened in 50's 60's even 80's like they shown the 70's time in drama durre shehwar with quite perfection watching old gota-kinari and satan suits again was a pleasant experience
    Point 3: A&B Production on HUM: A&B production dramas have been onaired on HUM TV successfull examples are Qaide Tanhai and Main Abdul Qadir Hoon. But now A&B is merged with GEO TV productions and both have formed a joint production house, so perhaps that is why hum tv has stopped A&B productions
    Point 4: Family dramas: yes there is strong need of light family dramas like tanhaiyaan, dhoop kinaray, there is overdose of dramas based upon social issues, humsafar was somewhat near the family drama of PTV but more
    Point 5: Marital issues: yes there is need of something other than marriage issues, it is important thing and many of the current plays has rightly portrayed issues related to marriage, but some light comedy dramas like akbari asghari, aayegee baraat series, are also need of the hour

    • FatimaAwan

      Rashid Nazir, thank you so much for the detailed comment. Yes, of course I remember Maat too, thank you for adding it to the list. It has been a while since an A & B productions’ drama was aired on aired on Hum but not anymore. Yes, most of the A & B dramas go on air on Geo so that Hum TV that is why the second point. I remember there was a time when the plays from this production house were explains it! It is good to have someone on board who has the answer to all the questions:) Yes, I am all for light comedy dramas – AunnZara is going to be just. I just wish they hadn’t “re-launched” it; it started off well and should have been continued rather than airing the first episode again weeks later! I wrote an article on our dramas getting too serious. We definitely need some light hearted entertainment. Thank you once again for taking time out to read the articles and for commenting.

  • Rashid Nazir Ali

    I missed Daam on ARY which was also a hit and carries great production value.

  • Urva.M

    Assalamu-alaikum-warahmatullahe-wabarakatuhu! (plz start all of your articles with a salam — we are muslims afterall! :))
    Mashallah, the points you have put forward are very strong ones, and I agree with all of them. I just wanted to ask you a couple of things…
    Was Dastaan a really good drama? I mean, the message it delivered: was it a really important one? I am asking you because you've seen the drama so you could maybe guide me a little..(cuz I haven't seen the drama)
    And then, secondly, you said that Hum TV was available online. What do you mean by it? As in, does it have an exclusive website where all the current Hum Tv shows are uploaded, or did you mean Youtube? Because I live abroad (KSA and this channel doesn't come here, where I live) and my Mum is forever telling me to watch dramas that carry a message. I just recently discovered that Hum Tv has magnificent dramas and that all of them carry something decent. So, I was just curious.
    Jazakallah! Btw, I love your reviews! 🙂 🙂

    • FatimaAwan

      Waeliukum Asalam Urva, Thank you so much for reading the article and for sharing your point of view. Yes, Dastaan was a superb play. You must watch it, all the episodes are available on <a href="http://www.dramasonline.com,” target=”_blank”>www.dramasonline.com, just write Dastaan in the search category. Do watch it. You can google hum TV live, go to the first search result and you can watch hum TV live there. It is so good to have someone new on board, please keep reading and commenting.

  • Aisha

    On the point of AB productions' dramas not airing on Hum tv, there is news that Umera Ahmed and AB productions don't work together because AB for their drama Aks on Ary digital took the name Aks from one of Umera Ahmed's books titled Aks. This is one reason why Umera Ahmed is Hum tv's fav while AB is Geo and Ary's .

    • discuss

      but did Umera Ahmed Trademarked title Aks ?? lol

  • rushna

    i missed zindagi gulzar hai ; thora sa aasman -__ i love umera ahmad

  • fahad

    good article.yes that's what i think that why umera ahmad's plays are always aired on friday they could be on saturday or sundays.yes i agree we do need plays like daastan and one more thing which i would like to say that our drama makers should also make dramas on different topics like some suspense thrillers,mother and daughter relationship like behadd telefilm or mother and son relationship like maayeni,some horror themes etc.i remember i watched aaghosh drama on ptv in my childhood in which the mother lost all her sons because of her evil sister in laws and her husband's death and then she got all her sons back after 20 years that was a heart touching drama and we can also have dramas like sirat-e-mustaqeem.i also wonder why hum tv dont air a&b productions drama.anyways good article and thats what i like about your articles that you put yours and other viewer's thoughts in your article very well.

    • FatimaAwan

      Fahad, I agree with you we need new topics and new story-lines but the sort that we can watch with our family. There are a lot of plays on air right now that deal with different issues but the problem is that the issues are too bold, therefore they aren't exactly family dramas. Thank you so much Fahad for reading the articles/reviews and for your input, it is highly appreciated.

  • phoosra larka

    fatima can u plz plz tell me why Auun Zara is not airing on A plus?and if it is airing then on what day?

    • FatimaAwan

      They decided to re-launch the show, it will be airing from 20th June, Thursday. They will start with showing the first episode again.

      • diskus

        i wish they kept the time slot for saturday, i would have been able to catch it live … now it competes with silvatien … but i think silvatein be recorded and AunZara will be watched live, because it is soo lively

  • maliha

    You are so right, Fatima. Almost every drama has the same story line. Sisters/brothers fighting, Weddings, marriage problems, or saas/bahu relations. Why can't we have something new and something worthy? Dastaan is an excellent example of a brilliant script, lesson and story. But now, we just have the same story. Class differences is another form of a drama which is increasing and now it is becoming boring.
    No doubt that Umera Ahmad is a wonderful author, she just glues viewers to the tv screen. But yes, it just seems like fridays are becoming reserved for her plays. My hopes for Kankar aren't that high, to be honest, even though it has some great actors like Sanam Baloch, Shakeel, Behroze Sabzwari etc.
    Dramas like Humnasheen are definitely getting too out-of-hand and especially after the latest episode, we can't really watch it without sending kids out. In the old days, Tanhaiyan, Aangan Terha, Ankahi had suitable content and we could watch it without feeling uncomfortable.

  • Anwar.suhail

    Your "random thoughts" on pakistani drama to me seem very concrete and pertinent. Thanks for thought provoking article.
    Discussion on pakistani drama can go on and on . In fact it's good topic for a book… History of pakistani drama and its correlation to our social and political ethos.
    However coming to above points, I'll say that I strongly favour family drama and light entertaining serials, which always have been our strength.
    Yes I'm sick and tired of dramas on marital issues, manipulating in-laws and sibling rivalry. Can't understand writers obsession with this topic.
    There is enough literature, novels, short stories on partition of subcontinent and it's harrowing affect on individuals, families and society. But then again our drama houses are more interested in making quick bucks.
    Manto's, Bano n Qudsia, Ashfaq Ahmad, and now Samira Afzal's work can be the basis of good dramas.

  • Iftikhar Memon

    Dear Fatima, your reviews are always spot on and really fun to read. I don’t how, but you are always talking our minds.
    You are absolutely true that Umera Ahmed’s dramas have always captured the prime weekend slots on Hum TV. Even Durr-e-Shehwar was aired on a Saturday night and there probably may have been other plays written by Umera Ahmed earlier that were aired on these prime slots. The only different thing about Kankar is that it is not an MD Production or even their co-production. I don’t know if you have noticed this earlier, but Hum TV normally reserves the prime weekend slots primarily for their own MD Productions, as we currently see on the Saturday and Sunday 8:00 pm prime slot. Kankar apparently is not as engaging as most of the other Umera Ahmed plays have been, but considering the other plays currently running on Hum TV, this play may probably hold this slot till the end.
    To compete with Aunn Zara, Hum TV has placed Khoya Khoya Chand on the Thursday slot, which is also penned by Faiza Iftikhar and features Maya Ali as well. Due to its exotic locales and cast, it appears to be promising, but I doubt it can compete with a masterpiece like Aunn Zara.
    I may be wrong, but Qaid-e-Tanhai was probably the last A&B Production aired on Hum TV. I correctly remember that Asif Raza Mir and Baber Javed had appeared on Hum TV’s morning programme prior to the play going on air and had criticized Umera Ahmed for proceeding on Umrah without forwarding all the episodes to them. As Hum TV has a soft corner for Umera Ahmed, this may been the reason Hum TV kept A&B Productions away from their channel. Furthermore, you may have heard about the issue that raised when A&B Productions titled their play Aks, which was also the name of Umera Ahmed’s novel she was writing at that time. The play Aks was originally titled Tikoon, which they changed at the last moment.
    Our TV channels, production houses and directors should stay away from internal politics, but unfortunately they do not. Sarmad Sultan Khoosat did two plays for 7th Sky Entertainment, but now most of his acting and direction skills are restricted to A&B Productions.
    As for the central theme of plays revolving around married couples, I guess its simply the bandwagon effect. Nobody wants to take the risk of experimenting anything new or different.