Jackson Heights – (AT)LAST Episode! ;)

The day must’ve been a bit sad for Pakistani Cricket supporters but I am so glad that mine ended at a good note because Jackson Heights ended tonight. Well, to be honest I am happy that this drama has had a decent ending & Mehreen Jabbar actually managed to finish it off nicely.

Frankly speaking, I do feel that this drama had a lot of potential because of such an amazing star cast & such a credible director but somehow the script was very weak & what ruined everything was the channel’s demand of stretching it till 27 episodes. When Jackson Heights began we all thought we finally found something different to watch because a lot of Pakistanis residing abroad could relate to it but since then, alongside the drama, our wait began too where all the viewers kept on waiting for the story to actually kick-start & pick a momentum but it just didn’t happen. It was too obvious that a lot of episodes were more like fillers & didn’t offer much. I remember the director telling us personally that after the 8th episode the story will shift into the second phase & the drama will become interesting but to be honest, it never happened because the pace & the story seemed one dimensional & sadly it has ended that way too. The team has worked really hard despite a limited budget & I am not taking that away from the team but I feel the writer & the channel people are solely to be blamed for not doing justice to this drama. Now when I have invested 27 weeks in this drama (probably the longest after Shukk) I think it’s pretty obvious that the story was not meant for these many episodes. I can’t imagine what a great & happening drama it would’ve been IF it had been wrapped up within 16 – 18 episodes but sadly the craving for ratings ruined it & it actually frustrates me that why do the channels these days ONLY think about themselves & not about the viewers? Zaroori hai ke aik drama ko chewing gum ki tarhaan kheeeeennnnnchhhhhhhna ke end mai aa ke toot jaye aur dustbin main phenkna paray?

Well, I have always liked one character & that is Bhatti because probably he was the only vocal guy in this whole drama. I liked him for the fact that he always spoke his heart & mind out which actually made us feel for him & we all related to him more than any other character because the rest came across as lifeless & emotionless robots who were just living a mechanical life without giving voice to their emotions whereas Bhatti seemed like a genuine human being who was dealing with a lot of issues in his life & because of that we all could understand him, we all could feel his struggles, we all wished for him to be happy & to be honest I think Bhatti’s was the only character that the writer himself had a ‘clear’ idea about. It was too obvious that Bhatti’s character was the main reason behind writing the story of Jackson Heights & the rest were just used as fillers to make the drama a bit more happening because I just didn’t see this much clarity in any other character as much I saw in Bhatti’s. I remember when the first episode came out we all got an idea about how generous & bighearted Bhatti was & that thing prevailed till the end because his character started off with definite & clean idea but to be honest, as much as I haven’t been able to connect to the rest of the characters, I still feel I don’t know any of them because their characters didn’t give us ‘anything’ as a base to form our opinion about them in the initial episodes. I feel that’s the exact & important time for every character to make a mark in order to make the viewers form a connection with them & I think the writer should’ve worked on etching out the characters properly because I remember even when we were halfway through the drama, I still didn’t understand what did Jamshed actually want? What thoughts were going through Salma’s mind & what did Michelle want out of her life? Even now when the drama has ended I am still clueless about WHY & HOW Salma was so comfortably numb with Sikandar by her side? Why didn’t she show a sign of distress in his presence at all? Why did she trust him so much & never questioned him even after he gave her a lot of reasons to doubt him? I remember speaking about a mystery in Michelle’s character that I wanted to see unravelling but sorry, that curiosity turned into a big question of disbelief & disappointment that is still unanswered. How could Michelle change so quickly & WHAT actually made her fall for Jamshed? After Bhatti, we can say we have a little more idea about Jamshed that he was an opportunist as he led a very unfulfilling life so now when he got the opportunity he wanted to make the most of it but Michelle? Seriously what was she thinking?

Anyways, after Bhatti, the only character that I liked was of Naani but too bad she didn’t have much to offer except a few phone calls every now & then. I felt for Bhatti actually during his phone conversation with Salma. Yes, it was kind of mean of her to not call Bhatti on her own & she actually had to be reminded by Aliya to do that. May be Salma was ashamed for what Bhatti had done for her because by then she had learned the truth about Bhatti paying the gamblers off so courtesy always overtakes hesitance but in Salma’s case it didn’t happen until Aliya knocked some sense into her.

Acha, now that we’re through this drama, can someone please tell me ke Rizwan ka kya role tha is drama mai siwaye different jagahon ki coffee peenay ke aur different jagahon ke khanay try karne ke? Probably he was only introduced into the drama to keep the Indo-Pak rivalry going on – lol, because apart from that I saw nothing in his character, absolutely nothing & what made his character a bit more bland & boring was Adnan Jaffer’s stiffness to be honest. I have always commended him for his acting but here, he just didn’t seem comfortable in his skin & it seemed that as much as he tried he couldn’t give his 100% when it came to acting but then may be it has to do with the childish dialogues that were written for him!?! Perhaps!

Another wasted couple of this drama & century was of Imran’s Bhai & Bhabhi. They proved the proverb that I use a lot which says ‘once a vulture always a vulture’ but then wasn’t the writer himself tired of making all these characters so so so one-dimensional? The good ones were toooooooo good & the bad ones were tooooooo bad, like he could’ve shown some hints of positivity in the negative people too just to show that they were humans & not only vultures? To be honest, in this episode I actually wished that apart from some taunts, Bhatti had actually smacked his brother & had wiped that meesni look off his face but sadly, Bhatti gave him what he wanted, so it was a win win situation for the meesna couple.

The whole Imaan-Salma scene was done well & was actually very touching. Finally, after losing a plot for a few episodes Imaan came back to her senses & decided to be rational about it because she had a life of her own planned for her so she decided to break Salma free from all the obligations she inflicted upon her. I am glad Imaan restored my faith in humanity because I had actually lost it due to Urdu1’s mean approach in stretching Jackson Heights. Last but actually the least, what happened with Michelle, Rizwan & Jamshed just didn’t excite me & left me unbothered about them. Michelle ko aur time chahiye, Rizwan to waisay hi suited booted faarigh admi hain aur Jamshed acha wala bacha ban gaya, ta-da!!!

Anyways, I am glad that this drama has ended. I think Mehreen Jabbar did well on her part & did as much as she could to tackle this script nicely but the whole blame for sure goes onto Vasay Chaudhry & to be honest I’d suggest Mehreen Jabbar to go on a marathon the next time an opportunity of working with Vasay pops up in front of her. The acting was effortless as usual which is always a perk when watching a drama directed by Mehreen Jabbar, that’s her style & it was pretty evident. I think no other actor could’ve done justice to Bhatti’s role & Nauman Ejaz fitted into his character seamlessly. Marina Khan & Nilofer Abbasi were disappointing to say the least. I am glad Adeel Hussain tried something different this time & he did well in a negative role too. Amina Sheikh; she was good when it came to her acting but her styling…the less said the better, I mean 27 weeks of surviving a side braid, she must be commended for her consistency. Meher Jaffery was good as Aliya & she should thank her stars for getting to play a role of an only mentally stable & sane girl in this drama where every other female was turned into a senseless headless chicken & oh this reminds me of Cathy & in my opinion she was ohkay too. The girl playing the role of Imaan was good & so was Ali Kazmi….hmmm aur kaun reh gaya? Ohhhh!!! Adnan Jaffer hahaha!!! Aisi achi Urdu bolne walay Indian to meinne India mai bhi nahi dekhe, I think I’ll definitely take some Urdu classes from him because apart from his profound Urdu vocabulary & immaculate accent, he didn’t offer much & oh yes, the guy who played the role of Bhatti’s friend Javed did better than Adnan Jaffer because he had some meaningful scenes & good dialogues to his credit.

I for sure think that there was no need of adding so many characters in this drama because the writer obviously couldn’t do justice to each one of them. I really thought that their paths will cross & their stories will be interlinked but that didn’t happen. It’s like the writer had two boxes so he threw Bhatti, Salma, Sikandar in one & Jamshed, Rizwan & Michelle in the other. Jamshed & Bhatti obviously climbed the walls of those boxes once in a while because they were related. Another thing that the writer actually disappointed us all with was how he made all the female characters stupid & all the male characters sane & brainy. I really feel he degraded & underestimated the women in this drama by making them seem absolutely clueless & directionless in their lives & the way he showed their dependency on men in general, which I wasn’t expecting from a refined person like him!

Anyways, I am glad that the drama ended nicely, too bad that apart from a handful of episodes, the drama on the whole couldn’t leave a mark but I must say this drama gave a considerable amount of recognition & limelight to a lot of footpaths & coffee shops of NYC for sure, which is a good thing. ;) In the end, I thank all you awesome readers who stood by my side & gave me a much needed support while I was reviewing Jackson Heights, phew!!! Share your thoughts bhaiyon aur behnon! :) 

Keep Supporting,
Zahra Mirza.

Zahra Mirza

Zahra Mirza got associated with Reviewit.pk in 2012. After moving to Australia, Pakistani content was a way of staying connected to the roots, language & Pakistani culture because it felt home. Eight years ago, review writing began as a hobby but has now turned into a passion.