Today our drama industry is flourishing.All sorts of subjects are being filmed and new comers are also getting chances.Thus,it is golden period for our industry which is a positive sign by all means.Just like every other era,certain actors and actresses are very popular.They are youth icons and people follow them blindly.Their dressing,their activities and projects are a point of discussion among their fans so much so that uttering a word against them lands in your trouble.
Among today’s actors who have assumed iconic status in the hearts and minds of people,mega star Fawad Afzal Khan is the top of the list.He’s followed like crazy by countless fans and uttering even an unfavorable word against him would make you punching bag for these fans.Similarly, Mahira Khan, Saba Qamar,Amina Sheikh,Mikal Zulfiqar,Ashan Khan, Sanam Baloch etc are other popular stars who command tremendous fan following also.All of them are marvelous and versatile actors who have proven their worth time and again.
But the question is that do their star power overtake the subjects or themes tackled by the projects they feature in.For instance,Fawad Afzal Khan appeared in Geo’s Ashk. Everyone agreed that it was an apology of a script but still audiences watched for the sheer star power of Fawad. Had it not been Fawad,the serial wouldn’t have got the ads or following it got. Similarly,Jo Chalay To Jan se guzar gaye was an average drama at best and because of Saba Qamar’s and Noman Ijaz’s presence many people followed it.
On the flip side,absence of suitable actors led to certain dramas not getting the required popularity/ratings. Mata-e-Jaan hai tu and zard mausam are prime examples of it where the casting was criticized constantly along with changes made in the original story lines.Therefore, popular actors can make ordinary/bad stories work and unpopular actors cannot work good stories workable.We as audience need to think now whether we appreciate good stories or just like to see our popular and loved actors.As long as we continue to go for actors,makers would continue to cast them as their recipe for success rather than strong story line.And yes I am ready for all those who’d say that this phenomenon is common across the world and not unique to Pakistani TV Industry.Still,we need to think and mature as audiences.