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Slow death of originality and HUM

I have said it before and I will say it again; are we not done with two sisters being jealous of each other? No matter how many pretty faces we put in, the story will remain to be the same. The drama sells but please find something new, because one more play where one sister is pissed off at the other one and I am going to pull my own eyeballs out. There are shows which promise something new and still remain loyal to the ideas of creativity and originality, but then there are some like ‘Mausam’ and ‘Meray Meharbaan’; which don’t even try in the thinnest to be different.
Mausam is our drama industry’s latest stint on sister rivalry, the only difference; this time they are cousins and not siblings. The story of this play is so cliché that I cannot even judge the performances of the actors involved, it is hysterical now that people can even predict the next line an actor is going to say and the expression an actor is going to have. When this scenario starts to happen; where even the tiniest emotion of an actor is so predictable, the producers and all the team needs to head back to drawing board and come up with something new from scratch. Well as for now; that is not going to happen and we have to stick around watching two women tussle with a rich blue eyed boy; and guess what it is the run of the mill story sweetheart Ahsan Khan. The acting capabilities of this actor have been debated in past for the longest as he juggled with two totally different hairdos in his recent play ‘Kabhi Kabhi’ and mood swings in ‘Mujhay Khuda Pay Yakeen Hai’ which by the way the way tested the audience more so than ever. The play and its premise if seen in isolation from its predecessors might impress, but then again we have had two rival siblings so much that ignoring the past stints is next to impossible. The drama holds a beautiful array of actors, and most of all it has Yumna Zaidi. I respect Yumna because she gained massive respect in my opinion because of her mind numbing and stellar performance in ‘Ullu Barai Farokht Nahi’. I know that such plays are not routine and don’t pay well, but I still believe Yumna has incredible capacity to impress out of all the actors in ‘Mausam’.

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Such plays do sell and many people do watch it, but I still believe that no matter how many times we try to do it; we shall never be able to make it any better. It has been done in so many forms, that now stories of sister rivalry is nothing more than a recipe of boredom and in near future; disaster. The problem is as the stories continue on the same premise; the characters have become far more polarized than ever before. This polarization has led to disconnect between the audience and the storytelling; whereas the previous plays in this premise allowed the audience to connect with the character; the current ones are taking their characters far from reality. Either it is Miss Very Good Two Shoes or Its Miss Cruela on the other end, or as little as I know, making your characters completely devoid of any humanity and frailty is not going to help. The story needs to be geyer than stark black and white, and perhaps the best example recently was when ‘Pyaray Afzal’ became our heartbeat. We loved him not because he was the hero; we loved him because he was a human above all. He did not play a messiah but he was a character which made some really bad decisions but along with everything there was a silver lining. I guess people who write shows like ‘Mausam’ need some writing and idea classes from Khalil Ur Rahman Qamar.

The other show which never ceases to impress me with lack of creativity is ‘Meray Meharbaan’. The most surprising thing to me is the fact that Ayeza Khan happens to be the lead. After her previous impression in ‘Pyaray Afzal’; I believed that she will be moving from strength to strength, but I was proved wrong when I saw ‘Meray Meharbaan’. It takes you a while to digest what is happening in the show. There is an aunty who is pure evil with a husband you pity and then there is another aunty who is like super good with a family which is like super pious. I just don’t buy this story, it is perhaps the biggest headache on air at the moment, and to make it worse it is on Hum TV. I don’t know why HUM thought it would be okay to have such show on the air. Hum has given us shows which we cannot forget, but believe me this is perhaps the most questionable choice after the calamity known as ‘Mujhay Khuda Pay Yakeen Hai’. The story is beyond predictable, the characters and their emotions are then again so typecast that you don’t end up feeling anything for them. Ayeza’s engagement so early on in the show was doomed and well there were no surprises.

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The reason I mentioned these two shows is that since the rebirth of Pakistani television; I envisioned that shows will become more compelling with the time being. They indeed have and we have numerous examples, but when shows like ‘Mausam’ and ‘Meray Meharbaan’ take the central position in the prime time slot, I doubt there is any genuine intention on part of the producer to keep on this spectacular revival of our television industry. Hum TV needs to give up its complacency and learn from its rivals. As Ary smashed with ‘Pyaray Afzal’, ATV inspired with ‘Marasim’, ‘Pechan’ and ‘Aun Zara’ and Urdu One impressed with ‘Meray Hum Dum Meray Dost and promises ‘Jackson Heights’; there is a strong competition ahead for HUM which became the juggernaut of revival of television in Pakistan. The first step; thinking of something new.