Three Things Annoying This Drama Watcher

As an avid drama watcher it takes a lot for me to actually get up off the sofa and write a complaint , quite frankly I would much rather be sitting on said sofa and watching something interesting. But after noticing certain disturbing trends and tiresome stereotypes repeatedly thrown at me I thought; I had better put that remote down and wander over to my computer to see if anyone else is as bothered as me.

1. Love means never having to say you are sorry is a trite little phrase Pakistani dramas have taken to heart. Whether it is actual adultery such as in Sheher E Zaat or physical violence as in Ek tamanna lahasil our hero never apologizes  In fact both acts are flaunted with such nonchalance that after a while the viewer might be forgiven for thinking the heroine a bit annoying for creating such a fuss. Not once does Salman Anser apologize to Falak even though he asks for a patch up, worse still the dreadful Mohsin of Ek Tamana does not even acknowledge anything happened after beating his wife so badly she could barely walk. The recent drama AShk was another offender, after 22 episodes of willful mistakes by all the characters and open adultery by the hero not a single explanation was offered by any one. Wait; there was one apology from the heroine who was actually the least to blame because she was so young and stupid.

2. This leads to another stereotype being reinforced, that Men simply cannot help themselves. It infantalises men to the point that when temptation comes they give in to it by the next episode .Every time a man or for that matter woman does not ask for forgiveness it seems like a step towards justifying their bad behavior. Mohsin’s mother is not the cause of his violence; there are other ways to react. There is a reason people love Asher and dislike his metaphorical cousin Rohail, both are in bad situations but not only does one make honorable choices he actually accepts his part in the creating the problem .Yes, I understand not everyone behaves decently in real life but for goodness sake call a spade a spade. Bad behavior should be recognized as such not obscured by excuses.

3. If you watch any kind of drama these days you would be forgiven in thinking that greatest scourge of Pakistani society might be rich, spoiled elite class women. Selfish and self-absorbed, what are they thinking of, running NGOs instead of polishing their husband’s mansions? Socialite is such a dreadful word, what does it mean? Someone who goes to parties and shows off about some shoes she bought or the designer clothes she is wearing. Yes she may shout at her servants and bore everyone to death with her shallowness but so far I have yet to see one indicted for blowing up a bomb in a market place or ordering targeted killings. Could it be that there are slightly more serious problems and villains to target than her? Her habit of easily contradicting her husband and any other man in her vicinity is taken as a sign of arrogance, but change her silk suite to a cotton one and put her in a smaller house and suddenly what she says sounds reasonable. Funnily enough these horrible women like Farida Aunty always seem to produce wonderful sons that everyone wants to marry…and you know those wonderful hard working middle class mothers ,their sons can barely attract the girl’s attention…..puzzling…Or perhaps there needs to be more nuance to these two dimensional characters.

Being ever optimistic, let us look forward to better times, after all only a few years ago we saw the heroes of Qaid E tanhai and Meri Zaat Zara E Benishan actually apologised and tried to redeem themselves .There was even one positive role model of a liberal, educated woman: Dr. Zunaira in Yahan Pyar Nahin Hai this year. Let me know your views and feel free to disagree, another point of view is always welcome

Sadaf Haider

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  • Javeria

    I am in complete agreement. This trend is alarming and in stark contrast to the dramas of the 70s and 80s where despite of severe restrictions the female protagonist was potrayed as strong willed, capable and un apologetic about archaic and ridiculous value systems. I wish more people notice this serious issue instead of been brain washed and hood winked in the name of isolated and sometimes even odd interpretations of religion and muslim culture. Thanks for rendering this so well Sadaf.

  • Mona S

    Thanks for writing something that has been annoying me since I've starting watching plays religiously.

    Domestic abuse is a serious issue & it's shown in our plays as if its nothing.
    Adultery is a crime, but if the hero of the play does it he does not have to face any consequences.
    Rich, educated people are always bad & mean while poor people are always content & religious.

    I'm so glad that now a days Atleast there are some plays like ANC, ZGH & BA that have stories that are a little hatt-Kay

  • FatimaAwan

    Sadaf I agree with you on all accounts. i am glad someone decided to write about this! I hope someone out there is listening:)

    • Sadaf H

      Thanks Fatima . It had been really bugging me that it seems like Men do not need to apologise for anything in these dramas

  • Mrs Asim

    though I agree with u on most points ,but I was thinking that y its so? is our society changing so speedily ? as u can see the growing divorce rate in pakistan. or the reason is just that mostly dramas are based on digests n those stories are obviously diffrent from tv drama(Umera is an exception).Dramas of 70s and 80s were written by scholarly people.

  • samrah

    This is by far the most bluntly honest and entertaining read that I have come across………I couldn't agree more with your point of view………….Such stereotypical characters make me think that TV was better in my childhood: a couple of channels and only primetime programming……Very nice……Keep it up!!!!!

  • Anoushayy

    Goodness! This was totally on point. I had to stop watching few dramas that I was asked to watch. Just because of how annoying and stupid they got. I hope this would be taken as a motivation, and dramas would develop in a positive way somehow. Thanks once again! Bless you (: