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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!

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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

Pukaar Last Episode Review – A Happy Ending!

Awww the last episode of Pukaar was sweet & I liked the way everything was addressed. I am glad that despite the extremely slow pace & the over dosage of flashbacks, Pukaar got a complete ending where all the things were given a proper closure without leaving a room for anything to be covered!

One of the best things of this episode was an end that Zamani met. She was made to pay for what she did – better late than never! Sultan & Tashfeen mourned the loss of their son Fahad & did realize that he never wanted to become a part of this political system that Sultan was running in his hometown. It did end up being the reason why Fahad died & both Sultan & Tashfeen knew that. It wasn’t surprising that Tashfeen showed up for a couple of seconds in this last episode because her role wasn’t important – just like her character. I also feel that Jia Ali was wasted in this drama & failed to leave a mark despite trying really hard.

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Sultan assured Samra that Qasim belonged to her. This was his way of apologizing to her for all that she went through in his house where he just couldn’t protect her from the atrocities thrown her way. Rehan Sheikh did the best he could with this one dimensional character of Sultan but then that’s expected from an actor of his calibre.

It turned out that Laali Ma was basically aik bezti ki maar but having said that, it is worth mentioning that in a very brief conversation it was nicely elaborated how young widows in feudel setting are usually treated, where their urge to get settled again is suppressed & they are expected to become the torch bearer of family’s dignity. I also liked how Laali Ma admitted that she could not tolerate a girl who questioned her every step of the way, who was basically a newly wed – something which does tend to make ladies like Laali Ma envy their newly married daughters in law. Everything that Laali did was basically a reflection of her jealousy against Samra & then a chain reaction of everything that she herself endured when she got widowed, but it was good that she admitted & apologized for everything but I wish Samra had insulted her earlier so that this drama could’ve ended earlier too!

Finally, Samra overcame the guilt that she felt right from the beginning of her relationship with Sarang. Samra continuously labelled it as a betrayal against Fahad but then, even though dramatic, the entire scene was nicely done where Fahad communicates with her & talks her out of getting divorced. Even though they made it dramatic but it still had a touch of reality to it that those departed do tend to guide their loved ones through dreams!

Finally, Samra said it. I liked that they just didn’t end the drama by showing that Samra chose not to get divorced, in fact she worded her feelings & was the first one to admit that she was in love with Sarang. Obviously, he gave her plenty of reasons to fall in love with him & I am glad she did. Their chemistry was amazing & it was nice to see how comfortable Yumna Zaidi & Zahid Ahmed looked with each other on-screen.

Even though the story of this drama was predictable right from the beginning, there was something that kept the viewers coming back to it. I honestly believe that 16-18 episodes were enough for a story like Pukaar because the content wasn’t new. The unnecessary usage of flashbacks & extremely slow pace did at times made this drama a task to tune to but I will let it slide considering all’s well when it ends well. For me, the best thing about this drama was Sarang’s character. It was nice to see a positive soul with a positive outlook on life in the middle of so much of negativity. Zahid Ahmed did the best he could but I so wish he hadn’t just sat on the makeup chair without an input allowing the so-called MUA’s do their own thing because they well & truly messed his look with unnecessary amount of makeup which did affect his character’s personality – thanks to a well-written, well-conceived character & even better acting that Zahid Ahmed was able to save himself as well as Sarang. Yumna Zaidi did really well in terms of acting but now when the drama has ended, I don’t feel any connection with Samra’s character & I am happy at the happy ending only for Sarang’s sake. Anyways, please share your thoughts!

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Dramas Review

Meri Gurya Episodes 3 & 4 Review – Highs and Lows!

These two episodes gave further insight into the personalities of all the central characters and their relationships with each other. It was just as disturbing as the first two episodes because it was shown in detail how a paedophile’s mind works. Dabeer’s scenes were the most frightening element of these two episodes. Mohsin Abbas Haider has once again nailed a character which isn’t easy to translate on screen. However, I must say that because lately we have seen a few really good dramas which highlighted the mindset of such sick people you can’t help but compare this drama with Udaari in particular and Dabeer’s character with that of Imtiaz. While Imtiaz was a more clever person who knew how to manipulate others and his personality characteristics definitely fit in more with the general profile of such criminals, there are certain aspects of Dabeer’s personality which are difficult to understand. It was shown that Dabeer always liked playing with dolls and still owned dolls, I am wondering how does this aspect of his personality fit in the whole picture and why is it considered “not normal” for a little boy to play with dolls. I feel that it would have made more sense if he kept these dolls to allure little girls as opposed to showing that because he played with girls as a child there was something wrong with him since he was little. I could be wrong but that is the impression I got from this scene.

Overall however the writer has intelligently conveyed how such people get all the details they need and the fact that this is someone who is really close to the family also hits home. In these two episodes, Dabeer made up his mind that Abida was going to be his next victim and he did whatever he could to get all the information he needed to execute his evil plan. All his interactions with Abida were terribly frightening and when Abida went missing I found myself hoping that she was still alive. I am glad that the writer didn’t rush things and I also hope that Abida is somehow saved in the upcoming episodes too. In these four episodes, Abida has been introduced as a sweet girl who unlike her sisters goes to a madrassah because the education there is for free. Although, she is the third girl her grandmother never wanted and wished she was a boy but she is also the one who is relatively closer to her since she doesn’t go to school and isn’t “liberal” like her sisters. The child actress playing Abida’s role has played her part really well. Sania Saeed’s acting as usual has been effortless and effective. She is convincing and likeable as a mother who does whatever she can for her daughters under the given circumstances. Safeena’s character is likeable but Sonya Hussyn’s hairdo and overall outlook isn’t up to the mark. This character could have been far more impressive had it been translated on screen differently. Having said that, it isn’t difficult connecting to the kind of relationship Safeena and Abida share and the genuine concern Safeena has not just for Abida but for everyone else too. Big Bang should give up this hairstyle for good, it didn’t look good on Saboor in Meeras and it doesn’t suit Sonya either. The production house is coming up with better stories but the supporting actors and the overall feel of their plays needs a makeover.

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Although Safeena wanted Dabeer to divorce her whenever he could but now she has realized that she can fulfill her dream while being married to him therefore she has decided to make this relationship work. Dabeer’s withdrawn attitude around her made perfect sense. He was constantly planning his next step and thinking about all the information he had gathered so far. Safeena could tell that there was something wrong with him but she could never even imagine that the person who she thinks needs help, actually needs to be put behind bars. Dabeer mentioned that Jahan Ara’s father used to teach him Quran and he said so in a meaningful manner. I am wondering if he went through a traumatic experience in the past!

In this episode the viewers saw that Abida’s phupo Jahan Ara will ultimately end up “assisting” Dabeer without knowing it. Shehnaz’s close relationship with her daughters has been well established in these four episodes therefore it will be heart-wrenching watching her suffer in the upcoming episodes. The preview of the next two episodes was confusing and it was difficult to tell whether or not Dabeer will be able to execute his evil plan, which is definitely better than knowing exactly what will happen next! So far, Meri Gurya has been a decent watch and I am waiting to see how the story moves forward in the upcoming episodes. The way this drama shows that a murderer and rapist could be a seemingly harmless neighbor is yet another reminder that parents should not trust anyone with their children. Although, Udaari and Muqabil both gave the same message but I do feel that these things should be shown on television repeatedly since there are times when parents tend to overlook such aspects.

How many of you watched these latest episodes of Meri Gurya? Do share your thoughts about it.

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Dramas Review

Ishq Tamasha Episode 18 Review-Revenge Begins!

This episode has started Mehrab’s revenge spree against Rushna and one more thing it has established is YES! RUSHNA IS SUPER EVIL. Rushna got to know about Arham’s death in the very start and has no reaction to it. She was still indulged in her chocolate covered dreams. Mehrab has also become a constant confusion now. Not letting Rushna’s mother bring breakfast is his idea of taking revenge for his brother’ death? He didn’t even confide in his Phupho who has also suffered an immense loss. Her decision to leave Mehrab was the sanest scene in the whole episode.

Mirha bechari kya kare? Thanda paani pi maray! Yes, Mirha’s situation just reminded me of this nursery rhyme. She just started dreaming about her saviour (kidnapper) Mehrab and all her dreams were shattered in a second. Mehrab’s scheme of sending her back is also non-sensical. Pressurizing your wife to send Mirha back is not going to get Mirha her reputation. And Mirha was s settled in Mehrab’s house. Parr ye bhi Rushna le gayi!

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Rushna is a mature girl who knows how to scheme, trap boys and insult anyone. So, she must behave like that too. Her whole behaviour after reaching Mehrab’s house was like that of a child. She had no interest left in Mehrab who was her dream prince. All she wanted was to redecorate and wander around the house. Most annoyingly, she did not even ask Mehrab that why his family does not know about their marriage? And why there are no preparations for a Walima. Rushna is still not miserable. She is still scheming and being a jerk. Hopefully, in the next few episodes, we could see her regretting her attitude.

The whole Palwasha episode is super-weird. The girl is a very good actress indeed but she is too young to get scoldings for Gajras and have affairs with her cousin who is too grown up for her I must add. Aqeela really needs to take a hold of her daughters. They are literally messing up the balance everywhere. And it is high time that Wahaj starts taking practical decisions instead of lounging around and throwing unnecessary sarcasm!

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Dramas Review

Main Khayal Hoon Kisi Aur Ka Episode 3 Review-Whateven!

This drama started like a high-speed roller coaster and deteriorated at the speed of the lightning. In just three episodes, the makers have forgotten what they were trying to go for. It started as a love triangle where two brothers fell for a single girl. Then we saw the scenario of adoption come into play. The adopted boy sacrificed his love for the sake of his mother’s satisfaction.

Dania is the worst I would say. First, you went blaming only Zaryab for the whole ordeal. She didn’t even try to take matters into her own hand. Then she is seen blaming Armaan. Armaan at least stuck with what he was going for. He divorced the girl and doesn’t want anything to do with her. But now the bechari Dania wants to keep living with a man who has divorced her. What kind of culture or mentality is being promoted here? Even if they wanted to show Dania as a bechari, they could have shown her ordeals after the divorce. But she is living with her ex-husband, making parathas for him. Like WHAT EVEN???

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Zaryab and Armaan’s encounters are too childish to bear too. When you have already openly said woh tumhari biwi hai, then at least complete the conversation. And Armaan, a guy who divorced a girl in a second and has no regards for the society is waiting to talk openly about it with his brother. Why is he not cleaning up the mess? He didn’t ask Dania when he was divorcing her. So, why is he waiting for her approval to announce it?

The mother’s character is also so poorly etched out. She is trying to make Dania behave as Armaan’s mother or nanny rather than a life partner. At the same time, she is concerned about Zaryab’s marriage. If you loved Armaan so much and you knew he is such a sensitive soul, why you married him off to his brother’s girlfriend in the first place?

Moreover, the performances are so bad throughout this episode. Alamdaar needs serious work on his dialogue delivery as well as his expressions. Even Hareem seemed lost in all her scenes. The lack of depth has literally destroyed this drama in only the third episode.

Yes, many would say I have come harsher on it but they are showing a girl who wants to live with her ex-husband which is ridiculous!

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