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Dramas Review

Tere Bina – Bucketful of Cliches!

I am a bit odd. Well, to rephrase that – my choices in dramas can be a bit odd. There may be dramas on air that everyone is raving about but for some reason I do not watch even one episode. Then there are some which are not so popular but I genuinely like. And again, there are those which are cringe-cringe and (did I say cringe?!) cringe worthy and I have no idea why but I watch them right down to the last episode. For example, the drama on Geo a while ago, Ye Chahatein Ye Shiddatein. I would never recommend it to anyone and there is nothing good I can say about it – yet I watched it each week, ha!

One such drama that happens to fall in this third category is being aired by Geo nowadays – Tere Bina. Written by Saqlain Abbas, directed by Syed Ali Raza Usama and produced by Aijaz Aslam, Tere Bina airs every Tuesday at 8pm PST on Geo TV. For those of you who have read my reviews/articles, you are used to my references of cooking and even if I tried to skip the reference here, I just could not resist this one time. Tere Bina is an example of a chef throwing in all the right ingredients and masalas – onions, ginger, salt, spices – all there and he/she envisions a korma because they’ve done it all right, but what you end up with is a very average chicken curry and that too lacking something. The team of Tere Bina seems to have skimmed through all the dramas on air recently and picked out common factors thinking that would make this a super hit – but fell quite short, in my opinion. Let me explain. In no particular order.

‘Mein mar jaoon ga, meri mohabbat nahin maray gi’.
No, I don’t think that actual dialogue was uttered in this drama. Not sure if that is an actual dialogue uttered ever but hey, the underlying meaning is the same. Romeo and Juliet, Laila Majnu all take a backseat – this couple’s love reaches new heights. While I get love stories do boast of passionate love, the dialogues in this one lacked conviction. When Umair (Sami Khan) tells Pakeezah (Neelum Munir) nobody will ever love her as much as he can and each time he grasps her hand with the – wait for it – ‘yeh haath chornay kay leeyay nahin thaama’ line, man, the romantic in me does not stand up and jump, rather hides its head in the ground like an ostrich!

The heart attack
Because let’s face it, the link with the heart (quite literally) in a love story has only deepened with time. Except the one whose heart lands him/her in the hospital is not the one involved in the earth shattering love in the first place. Sigh. When Pakeezah ran away and her father clasped his chest – face palm, face palm, face palm!

Coincidences galore
Eavesdropping was my go to coincidence. The must have in a drama. Tere Bina introduced me to a plethora of many unique ones. Pakeezah has second thoughts about leaving and rushes back home but alas, her brother has come back and closed the gate. She has no choice but to elope. Shame. Ha! Pakeezah goes to the hospital and is sitting with someone else’s child on her lap so does not notice nor is seen when her family walks past her. Maa, baap, bhai all sat in the same car – do not realize it is Pakeezah in the passenger seat. Brother out looking for Pakeezah chances upon Umair to ask for directions. Pakeezah off to the mazaar where her mother and brother are present too and they do not run into each other. Hell, at this rate I want to put on my own thinking cap and throw in some for good measure. What are the odds those will happen too?!

Signature move & signature dialogue
When the movie Dilwale Dulhaniya Lejayengay came out, we were all gushing over the line Shahrukh Khan uttered many a time. Then there are the one liners that make us shake our heads like Jeena’s ‘meray tau maa baap bhi nahin’ or Erum’s mother in law in Faltu Larki with her ‘aap jayen yahaan se’. Tere Bina has the ‘yeh haath mein nay chornay kay leeyay nahin thaama’ line followed by Pakeezah’s speech on being his wife and how she is near yet so far,etc. Then a simple ‘sunno’ or ‘psst’ or tap on the shoulder I am sure would do the same job that Umair’s sudden yanking Pakeezah’s arm to catch her attention does. And I will say yanking for she seemed to almost fall down the stairs in one of those scenes! Within seven episodes, I have seen and heard both of the above a couple of times – I am sure there are more instances to come!

The emotional blackmail into second shaadi to save khaandan ki izzat
The age old, ‘once they’re married all will be well’ or marry the desperate cousin or else I will never be able to face my brother/sister again. Uggh. The actual wedding has not happened yet but Umair has agreed and the wedding functions have begun.

The bittersweet ‘sajaoon husband’s second wife apnay haathon se’
So nobody knows Pakeezah is Umair’s wife. Umair is marrying another woman. Second wife to be’s make up arrangements are messed up last minute and who is asked and agrees, with pathar on her heart to dress up her husband’s second wife. Why Pakeezah of course! Dramatic much!

Baji Sherlock
Because there is always someone who is curious. Oh so curious. And has a lot of spare time on their hands and sleuthing skills in abundance. In this case, Umair’s aunt who finds something fishy about Pakeezah’s presence in the first place and is constantly up and down the stairs trying to catch them out.

Sughar bahu
I have moved quite a lot since I got married and it takes me some time at least to get my bearings. In an empty house. Pakeezah however not only manages to figure out whose room is where, where all the ingredients in the kitchen are and rolls up her sleeves to have a scrumptious breakfast ready – when she is a guest in the house herself! Her in laws love her yet do not know who she is. Ah, the cruelty, uggh!

Filmy touch
The dance at Pakeezah’s mehndi, the a bit too-close-for-comfort close ups each time Umair yanks Pakeezah’s arm, Pakeezah running her hand over Umair’s bed. I mean, not to be a killjoy but even though I am all for music and intense emotions portrayed between the lead couple – something about the way these aspects are dealt in this drama failed to make the impression I feel they head out to make.

But ek baat hai. When Pakeezah fainted upon hearing that Umair is getting married, I thought oh man. Khuskhabri – but it did not happen! I was actually disappointed – I had thought I was on top of the predictability game here but oh well.

So even though it feels like I have torn apart the drama, can I just mention here that I am still watching it? I was watching it on and off and then watched three episodes together and all these thoughts just ran through my mind and I could not help but pen them down. It’s as if someone picked up a handbook and planned the drama according to it. Cliché upon Cliché! I actually began watching it because the first couple of episodes were quite fast paced and I thought it was a drama about how life is after the couple gets married. Their life. The two of them. Not the second wife and the emotional blackmail, etc. Humayun Ashraf plays Umair’s brother and I feel has a fairly pivotal role to play so I am mildly curious to see what that may be. If Umair goes ahead with the second marriage and Pakeezah spends a few more episodes just weeping them away, I suppose I will stop watching. But for now having it play in the background on TV while I am surfing the net – works for me. There is one thing I can not get enough of though and that is the OST. It is addictive and I have been trying to find a version minus the drama scenes. The acting is nothing to really write home about.


Dramas Review

Zun Mureed Episode 1 & 2 Review – Well-Executed

Writer: Amna Mufti
Director: Ahmed Kamran
Produced by: Moomal Entertainment
Schedule: Every Friday at 8pm on HUM

The first two episodes of Zun Mureed laid down solid foundations for whatever is going to happen in the upcoming weeks. The introduction to the characters was detailed as well as clear and both these episodes were fast paced. In both these episodes, the writer and the director’s approach was focused and all the scenes were well-put-together. Although I had my reservations about Nadia Khan since her performance in Aisi Hei Tanhai leaves a lot to be desired but so far her acting has been up to the mark. Omair Rana, Hina Bayat, Shamim Hilali, Aisha Gul, Kashif Mehmood and Khalid Anum always perform well therefore it didn’t come as a surprise at all that they fit perfectly in the roles assigned to them. The performances were natural, the direction was on point and the editing was perfect. I have to admit that the only reason I tuned into this show was because it promised to cover the issue of domestic abuse from a legal perspective and also because it has been written by Amna Mufti which guarantees that the script will be well-researched and meaningful.

The first scene of the opening episode was one of my favorite scenes from both these episodes since it covered a great deal. This scene showed how Tabbasum (Nadia Khan) was struggling alone while her husband Sajjad (Omair Rana) and Bi Jaan’s (Shamim Hilali) son focused entirely on the cricket match. This scene clearly suggested that Bi Jaan was Tabbasum’s responsibility alone although Mariam Apa (Hina Bayat), Bi Jaan’s daughter, claimed to love her mother more than anyone else but there were a lot of times when she wasn’t half as patient as Tabbasum with her mother. The thing I liked about the characters the most was that they were nuanced, while Tabbasum was shown as someone who had a good heart and was dedicated but there were plenty of times when she was shown struggling with her situation. The scenes covering her character were realistic and showed how difficult it was for her to cope with everything yet she didn’t complain because she felt it was her duty to work and to look after the house. Also, while there were times when it seemed like Sajjad couldn’t care less how Tabbasum was coping there were also plenty of scenes in which he acknowledged and appreciated her efforts. The reference to Tabbasum’s share in her late parents assets however suggested that Sajjad is the kind of man who wouldn’t mind living off his wife’s money.

Bi Jaan is an educated woman yet she has a typical mindset. Even after everything Tabbasum did for Bi Jaan, she didn’t get any acknowledgement, something which was shown creatively through the scene in which Bi Jaan writes Mariam and Sajjad’s name alone. Also, just like any other controlling mother in law, Bi Jaan cannot see her son spending quality time with his wife and terms him as zun mureed, even though her own son in law was shown doing exactly what his wife expected from him.

The first episode in particular also showed how Fari, Tabbasum’s sister, was treated by her bhabhi and how things were in their brother’s (Khalid Mehmood) house. The news about Women Protection Bill got different kind of reactions from both these houses and Tabbasum in particular kept on asserting that such laws were made for violent men in low income households. She couldn’t imagine at this point that her husband would some day turn into such a man.

Overall, these two episodes were engaging and executed flawlessly. Although these episodes didn’t have anything brand new to offer but they weren’t clichéd either. I felt an instant connection with all the characters because of the way they were introduced. The script has the kind of clarity that doesn’t leave any questions in your mind and the director has given this script the right kind of treatment.

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Dramas Review

Pukaar Episode 5 Review – Tragic!

Ohkay so, this episode of Pukaar was quite depressing which means the emotions were conveyed perfectly. This entire drama week for me was so heavy, first Aairah’s husband died in Khudgarz, then Tabeer’s husband died in Tabeer & now Samra’s husband died in Pukaar, tauba, talk about monotony, anyways!

Well, Fahad couldn’t win the battle for his life & passed away. The news of his death was obviously tragic & shook every single person associated with him. Samra lost the love of her life, Tashfeen & her husband lost their only son. Samra’s parents obviously couldn’t see their only child suffering that too when she deems herself guilty.

The moment Fahad’s father saw Samra, he made sure to remind her that it was because of her that Fahad didn’t go to the village & now he was fighting for his life. Well, he passed away & first half of the episode was covered in the flashbacks. Samra’s father did try to make a point that because Sultan got Fahad involved in the politics, he directed undue attention towards his son, but then again, why would Sultan pay heed to what Samra’s father said because he was too busy holding Samra responsible for everything!

Well, looks like Fahad’s Daadi is going to take revenge from Samra because Fahad’s family unanimously thinks that Samra is the reason why Fahad died, therefore they will make sure to torture her because other than that, they had no reason to keep Samra at their house as it was way too evident that they weren’t sympathizing with Samra to begin with!

Samra’s parents tried their best to take her with them but Samra wanted to be left alone in Fahad’s house. Poor thing doesn’t know what she will be faced with!

Well, honestly speaking, I wish everyone’s makeup apart from Yumna had been a bit realistic because all the characters; Daadi, Tashfeen & Zamani looked too glamorous to be mourning the death of a family member. I must say Zamani is quite annoying, obviously she is doing what usually servants do to stay in the good books of their masters but then again, the actress playing her role & her overall get up is such an eyesore. I wish we get to see less of her in the upcoming episodes which seems highly unlikely but still we can hope for the best. Yumna Zaidi was spot on with her acting & she succeeded in conveying Samra’s pain. I must say the OST is really nice & it helped in conveying the overall sadness that everyone was going through after losing Fahad. Anyways, please share your thoughts about this episode of Pukaar.

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Dramas Review

Aangan Episode 18 Review – Hilarious!

Ohkay so, like I always say, what an amazing episode of Aangan. Seriously, Kudos to Faiza Iftikhar & the entire team for painting such a realistic & perfect picture of a typical desi wedding which is full of so many hiccups & people who come with their own agendas. I just don’t remember watching a Pakistani drama in such a long time which made me laugh so much & to be honest, Aangan happens to be one such drama that makes me happy. What a perfect entertainment!

So, Zoya Aqdas wedding was in full bloom with the Mehandi function. Shafiq actually came to attend the wedding & surprise everyone but then again, Abba Jee gave him a cold shoulder. Shafiq turned out to be a typical overseas returned desi who completely forgot growing up in this very environment because now he saw the entire wedding & the trouble of arranging it as a nuisance. Shafiq’s constant reminders of ‘mai isi liye Pakistan nahi ata’ were so funny. In stead of using this time to reconnect with his family & curbing his differences with Abba Jee’s, Shafiq continued to play the victim as if he didn’t hurt Abba Jee & he was being wrong in not treating Shafiq with the affection that he was entitled to!

So, Allaudin once again found a reason to be upset about, which was his matching Kurta with Abba Jee. Allaudin just can not come to terms with the fact that he is one of the elders of the family, that he is way too older than Aqdas, the chota damaad of the family & that is why he was keen on wearing that Green Kurta which the youngsters were wearing. I am sure if they had given him the Green Kurta, he would’ve complained that he was being put on the same pedestal as the bachas of the family, lol. Aalu & his issues!

Well, Faseeha came with her Jethani & Nand & they proved that they were those typical aunties who are avoided by every single person of the family because they find problem with every little thing & create issues over tissues. As if bickering with each other wasn’t enough that they started dragging the girls who were singing songs & also raised question over Zaitoon, Anila & Zoya’s age.

Well, Abba Jee’s cousin & childhood friend Bilqees made an apperance too. It seems Abba Jee has a soft corner for Billo that is why he not only made sure to invite her but also went out of his way to make her feel at home by taking care of her comfort. I loved the late night session that Abba Jee & Bilqees had, it was like Billo was the part of Abba Jee’s childhood that wasn’t lost. The way they both recalled old days & all the activities that they used to do was so cute but something that was even better was Zaitoon’s restlessness because she was clearly & rationally jealous. Bilqees’s fight with Aqdas’s aunts was also so very funny, it was like she knew how they had to be responded whereas everyone else on Zoya’s side apart from Anila was being mindful of the fact that they were larki walay so they had to tolerate everything. ‘Kissay di assi Majj churai hai’ has to be my favorite dialogue of this drama so far, lol!!!!

I loved this episode just so much. It is so amazing how watching this wedding takes you down the memory lane & makes you think about the things you might have seen or heard while attending your family weddings too. The way Anila reminded Rubina that she was wearing an old dress was also something that often turns out to be a conversation starter at desi weddings where everyone keenly remembers everyone else’s formal dresses.

I think I now desperately want to see a change in the equation that Zahid & Rubina share, something more, something new, something different please. Oh well, who would’ve thought that Sajjad will tackle Allaudin so intelligently, he just knew that Allu was trying to get some scoop on personal family matter therefore he told him to arrange someone who could take care of dholki, something that would distract him at least for the moment. Asim & Sajjad’s reactions were priceless when they knew they had taken care of Allu the best way possible, lol. I must say, I felt some sort of pity when Anila kept on lying to Allaudin to boost his ego & he immediately agreed to be at the wedding on time because Anila said what he wanted to hear. Allaudin is someone who just wants to be the center of attention, he likes to be praised even for the things he doesn’t do & since this is what Anila did, he seemed happy to be taking a part in Zoya’s wedding.

I must say, the way Faiza Iftikhar has etched out all these characters is amazing. Everyone has a unique but relatable personality & to keep them true to themselves till this stage of the drama is commendable. From Abba Jee to Shaina, every single one of them contributes & makes this drama complete. The way all these actors deliver the dialogues with so much of ease & effortlessness goes to show how they have owned these characters & are literally living them. I must say all the ladies looked so lovely with those beautiful dresses & heavy jewellery. Can’t wait to see more. Please share your thoughts about this hilarious episode of Aangan.

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Dramas Review

Tabeer Episode 3 – Review!

Ohkay so, this episode of Tabeer, though dramatic was really nice. Even though the story has been quite simple & predictable but it does look like the side characters are going to add that much needed flavour in this drama.

So, Tabeer found out about Yasir & her life turned upside down. Tabeer was someone who couldn’t even see Yasir down with a mere fever so for her to endure the painful news of Yasir’s passing was beyond imagination.

Fawad’s mother continued to spew venom against Yasir because she is so self-centered to think beyond herself & even for once show consideration about someone else. Fawad was also deeply affected by Yasir’s demise that is why he not only went to attend the funeral, but also tried to help his family financially.

Yasir’s first cousin Ajju happens to be quite a manipulative person that is why he lied to Fawad & also kept half of the amount he gave for the rituals. I actually thought Ajju’s brother would be a decebt person but even he kept half of the remaining amount as well. I don’t know why but I found that scene emotionally very disturbing when Yasir’s grandmother accepted that measly amount with so much of gratitude, my heart broke for her because while she was mourning the death of her grandson, she had no idea that there were vultures around her who were literally taking advantage of Yasir even after his death!

Ajju & his brother are obviously irresponsible beings who don’t really know how to fend for themselves, therefore they came up with a plan that they’d start living at Yasir’s house, which means they will create more issues for Tabeer & Daadi.

On the other hand, Zarnish contacted Sana, a heart-broken depressed soul who obviously has been rejected by Fawad that is why I think Zarnish contacted her to speak to her. I think Zarnish will request Sana to take care of Fawad after she is no more but then that place will be taken by Tabeer & Sana will be left heart broken once again.

This episode of Tabeer was definitely good. The preview suggested that the trials in the life of Tabeer are far from being over. With Daadi’s demise, Tabeer will be left all alone & not sure how she will be able to deal with Ajju & his family. Looking forward to the next episode. Please share your thoughts.


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