Jackson Heights – Episode 09!

Ohkay so, after 9 episodes, I now get it. Jackson Height’s is just a story of a few people & their daily routines because apart from that we haven’t gotten anything so as to connect to our characters & relate to them like we would’ve liked to. By saying this I am by no means belittling the efforts that the entire cast & crew has put in to make this project but seems like this script lacked the wow factor to begin with.

In order to watch this drama you need to know that you’re just going to encounter what the characters in their daily lives are facing because apart from that, there’s no detailing & no depth in the script at all. I believe those who have a busy schedule do always get some time off in a day where they sit back & reminisce about different journeys that they have made & what brought them to this point in their lives, so I wish that if we had been shown that sort of a detailing & background of each & every character, it would’ve helped us a lot in relating to them & understand their feelings a bit better. We get it, it’s a story of desis living in America & almost all the desis can agree to it that it’s a very realistic portrayal of how tough the life is for them in the US & for that I give full points to the team but other than that, I think there isn’t much left. To be honest, discussing Jackson Heights is like discussing a daily routine of a few people & the happenings that they’re experiencing & ta-da, you’re done.

So, seems like everyone in Jamshed’s family knew that he was interested in Asma & just like how it should’ve been, they all seemed pretty ohkay with the fact that Nadir took his spot & got engaged to Asma. I actually think Jamshed’s mamu was right that if he had stayed back in Pakistan, he would’ve done something for himself because Jamshed has only been a burden on people around him. It was good to see that Nadir & Asma took a moment to clarify things that might haunt them in the future & that mutual link was Jamshed. Asma clearly looked heartbroken but she manages to grab all the sympathies because she has been in such a tough position where she knew that letting go of Jamshed was the only option left & I can’t emphasize enough that genuinely Asma is the only character I actually feel for because Rida Isafahani has done her bit extremely well. She really makes us all feel her pain & distress.

Finally, Jamshed has come out of his preconceived notions of America (which he has been trying to from the last few episodes) & he has understood that his struggle has begun and that’s why he settled for a $6/hour job. As much as I think it’s good to see him taking the first step, his approach seems really immature where he tries to rationalize his illegal actions. It’s like Jamshed would love to work in America even if he becomes illegal but he wouldn’t settle for a government job in Pakistan without having to worry about all these never-ending & dodgy immigration procedures.

I so wish they hadn’t given so much coverage to Iman’s dance classes & also I so wish they hadn’t spoken about Islamic School in such a stern way as if it was something highly unappreciable. I agree with Salma’s notion that Islam needs to be practiced to be preached but then where on one hand she seemed quite reluctant on the mention of Islamic school, on the other she was being overly supportive of the dance class to a point where she resorted to lie to her husband so that Iman could enjoy what she likes & that puts it in a wrong perspective altogether. I so wish they hadn’t done that.

Not sure about others but I am getting tired of Cathy’s indifference towards her husband Imran. Like I said, we don’t know what lead them to this point to clearly understand what Cathy’s issues are. Imran Bhatti has been a very considerate person, who takes care of people around him so it’s like a done deal that he took care of Cathy & her kids too, so what made them both grow out of this relation where Cathy has no time for her husband & there’s isn’t much of a relationship left anyways? She clearly seems ticked off with her husband’s desi-ness but then wasn’t she aware of what desi men are like when she decided to get married to him & after that I don’t think Imran has given any reason to her to be so mad at him all the time so yes, what’s her issue? Any background story please?

Sikandar’s character (not the actor) failed to leave a mark. Obviously, he likes to be in control of the situation around him & he thinks people should treat him as an incharge of their lives without expecting anything from him in return. Sikandar himself has done nothing to earn the respect of his wife & his daughter but then again, I hope his story does get some coverage where we find out more about his character & his relation to Salma. As much as I want to feel for Salma, I can’t bring myself to it because she never complains & we haven’t found out what she’s feeling or what she thinks of the circumstances she’s facing. Yes, she does talk every now & then to Aliya but ends up defending her husband’s family, so you really don’t know what she’s going through. Mostly the topics that Salma speaks on revolve around her MIL or Iman but what she feels is untold & the big question is, what does she feel about her husband being a felon? Isn’t she scared, doesn’t she want to walk out of this marriage? Salma seems awkwardly comfortable in this relation whereas clearly there’s nothing left between her & Sikandar, so this makes her character kind of lifeless I’d say. All we know about her is that she works at a parlour & takes care of Iman who happens to be Sikandar’s daughter but other than that, no light has been shed on her emotions, which I think is definitely important to feel for a character.

Jamshed & Michelle’s meetings were done nicely however I found Michelle’s reactions a bit odd. She’s someone who knows the art of snubbing yet she was becoming speechless & uncomfortable in front of Jamshed. We’ve seen the way she easily ignored Rizwan’s proposal so I believe a bunch of flowers couldn’t have moved her the way it was shown. Once again, we know nothing about her past & we know nothing about her feelings as well. All I’ve ‘heard’ about Michelle is that she’s a divorcee & is anti-social, but what she feels, how hurt is she, what makes her sad, what makes her happy, all such details are clearly missing, not from her character but from all the characters except that of Asma & Jamshed’s because he often voices out his disappointments & this is what it makes me hard to connect to most of the characters of this drama.

I think 9 episodes are enough to develop the nature of all the characters but here it’s like we’re seeing such characters that’re living the life without actually living it; because they’re emotionless, feeling-less & because of this I also feel there’s some sort of a chemistry missing between them all too except Bhatti & Salma of course. Share your say please & feel free to disagree!

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.