As a Pakistani drama fan, a considerable amount of my time is spent watching Pakistani Dramas, discussing their ins and outs, highs and lows, and ups and downs with friends and other drama fans.
Before I reveal my top 5 drama choices, it would be interesting to compare a similar rating that I delivered some three months ago which is as follows:
Previous Drama Rating:
- Udaari: 5 stars
- Dillagi: 4 stars
- Besharam: 4 stars
- Man Mayal: 4 stars
- Bhai: 3 stars
Current Drama Rating:
- Udaari: 5 stars
- Besharam 5 stars
- Dumpukht Aatish e Ishq: 4 stars
- Aap ke liye: 3 stars
- Dillagi: 2 stars
On top of the list, still No. 1:
Theme: Child Abuse
Cast: Bushra Ansari, Ahsan Khan, Samiya Mumtaz, Urwa Hocane, Farhan Saeed
Network: HUM TV
Storyline: Udaari remains at number 1, a play which deals with the heavy subject matter of child molestation. The initial episodes also portray the struggle for attaining stardom, for a music artist hailing from a low socio-economic background. But gradually, the entire focus of the story shifts to the issue of child abuse. I must say that the director, writer and the actors have done great justice to the theme of this play. The drama maintains its pace, unfolding the sequence of events where the perpetrator of the heinous crime is shown playing havoc with the victim’s life. The scenario is very life-like yet also gives the audience a sense of hope and educates them in a beautiful way as to what needs to be done in such a case. Each and every actor seems a perfect fit for the role and has done justice to the character. Each episode ends with the audience left waiting for the next one, successfully maintaining interest and suspense in the plot.
The shining star of the play? Well Udaari is a star studded affair and it’s really difficult to say whether it’s Meera’s consistent accent and gradual progression, or little Zeebo’s fear-stricken facial expressions as a child and adult star, or Sajjo’s superb acting skills that need to be applauded! But the two actors that steal the show by far are Ahsan Khan as Imtiaz and Bushra Ansari as Sheedan. Bushra Ansari has overshadowed everyone in the first half of the play by her role adaption as a gypsy singer, acquiring a heavy accent and facial expressions to match, whilst the latter half of the play is clearly dominated by Ahsan Khan as Imtiaz. The success of the character can be judged by the instant repulsion felt by viewers the minute Imtiaz appears on screen.
Why should you watch this play? Despite the heavy subject matter, the pace and storyline of the play is such that it keeps the audience hooked till the end. It doesn’t drag per se as each episode offers some considerable shift in the plot. So go ahead folks and watch the play if you are not already an Udaari fan.
Udaari gets 5 stars
One step up from last time, Drama no. 2:
Theme: Love Story & Stereotypes
Cast: Saba Qamar, Zahid Ahmed, Atika Odho, Rehan Shaikh
Network: ARY Digital
Day & Time: Tuesday, 8pm PST
Storyline: This is the story of a girl who comes from a broken family, is a model by profession and a very independent person with strong moral values, and of a boy who is very ambitious to make a difference by entering into politics. It is the story of how their paths cross and how the plot thickens further as events unfold. The drama offers a realistic flavor without any unnecessary misunderstandings, confusion, twists and turns, or characters acting beyond the realm of stupidity which annoys the viewer. The relationship that develops between the lead roles (Saba Qamar & Zahid Ahmed), is portrayed in a natural and romantic manner. The drama leaves you waiting eagerly for the next episode.
The shining star of the play? Without a doubt, the shining star is no other than Saba Qamar as “Mishal the besharam Model,” playing her role effortlessly. Zahid Ahmed also fits into his character like a glove.
Why should you watch this play? This play is not only very relatable but also has a gripping script which has minimum gaps in the storyline. There are no unnecessary misunderstandings which is the biggest downer in dramas where the obvious gets ignored, there is a big question mark on the intelligence of the lead roles and the story is completely botched up – A very obvious example being Man Mayal.
Besharam gets 5 stars
Drama Number 3:
Dumpukht Aatish e Ishq
Theme: Love story in the backdrop of convention & jealousy
Cast: Noman Ijaz, Sonia Mishal, Saba Faisal
Day & Time: Wednesday, 8pm
Storyline: Please don’t get scared by the name, it may remind you of a dish but actually it is the story of a budding love relationship in the midst of rivalry between two households on the context of allegiance to the Pir of the village. There is also an underlying history of jealousy between the mothers of the lead couple, whereas the role of the Pir played by Noman Ijaz is shrouded in mystery and romance. He has a human side which unfolds in every episode along with the very strong character of his wife, the very elegant BiBi Sahiba, who is like a mentor to him. The lead love couple is acting very naturally and have succeeded in striking an on-screen chemistry.
The shining star of the play? All characters in this play are strong and because of good direction, are playing their part well. Nonetheless the shining stars are most certainly Noman Ijaz as the Pir Sahib, Asma Abbas as Kulchu’s mother and Saman Ansari as Bibi Sahiba.
Why should you watch this play? This drama depicts both sides of the mirror very beautifully. The characters are shown as powerful and resilient personalities in one instance, and at the same time, they are also shown breaking down, just like ordinary human beings. The director weaves the plot delicately, and takes us through the course of events that leads to one’s destiny, which one has little control over. Another interesting aspect of the play is the female strength that works discreetly behind closed curtains, yet, with full force.
DAI gets 4 stars
Drama Number 4:
Aap Ke Liye
Theme: The curse of Ego and how it affects relationships
Cast: Faisal Qureishi, Samina Peerzada, Wasim Abbass & Areej Fatima
Network: ARY Digital
Day & Time: Tuesday 9pm
Storyline: The greatest appeal of this play is the lead female role played by Areej Fatima as Wishma. She reminds us of Sana Murad from Ankahi. Wishma is confident, does not let emotions control her, is a fighter and a risk taker who works in the office of Shaheer. Shaheer is played by Faisal Qureishi, a very successful businessman who relies heavily on the judgement of his older sister. Shaheer’s elder sister is played by Samina Peerzada who is a manipulative and greedy person who tries to take exploit her brother’s trusting nature. The plot thickens when Wishma and Shaheer get married under unforeseen circumstances and now the fighter Wishma, comes face to face with the manipulative sister.
The shining star of the play? Faisal Qureishi and Samina Peerzada act with experience as always, but the most natural talent in this play is Areej Fatima playing the role of Wishma. She is funny, daring and smart, and her delivery is spot on. One enjoys her screen presence, infact she is very successful in managing to highlight other characters in the play that share screen time with her.
Why should you watch this play? The reason this play should be watched is because it has a lot of room for dramatic relief and gives you good reason to to sit back and enjoy a good laugh. The drama, confusion, intrigue and conspiracies are definitely scripted throughout the story, but along with all the drama, the mood of the play remains light and enjoyable.
Aap ke Liye gets 3 stars
Down 3 steps, Dillagi is now No. 5:
Theme: Love Story
Cast: Mehvish Hayat, Humayun Saeed, Saba Hameed
Network: ARY Digital
Day & Time: Saturday, 8pm PST
Storyline: A romantic love story between a land mafia guru who even performs his twisted tasks with principles, and a strong headed girl with a mind of her own. Mind you this drama slipped from number 2 to number 5 in my ranking over a period of two months because of weak direction. Though the storyline was not too bad, the chemistry between the lead couple was also strong and the dialogues were quite captivating, however poor direction and a lingering story line killed the plot of this potentially good script.
The shining star of the play? Though many would disagree but for me most certainly the shining star of this play was Saba Hameed playing the role of Zulaikhaan, Humayun Saeed’s mother. Even the most cheesy dialogues uttered by Mohid could not take away the limelight from Zuleikhaan. She is strong, charismatic and full of charm.
Why should you watch this play? If you want to pick up a few cheesy lines to impress someone do watch Dillagi and make sure to sit down with a paper and pen for best results. It can also prove to be a test of your patience since you will have to bear the erratic character of Anmol who should have been named Akhar instead of Anmol.
Dillagi gets 2 stars
Note to avid Drama Viewers: Please do note that Man Mayal has been chucked off from the list entirely, in fact if you want to take revenge from someone, recommend him to watch Man Mayal. Bhai also is not in the list anymore but that is because the play ended a while ago and also because Bhai too was a victim of poor direction and an unnecessarily complicated and elongated plot.
Mahwish Zaidi enjoys roaming aimlessly on the streets, reading poetry and watching Pakistani dramas. She has too many secret wishes to be able to state one. Mahwish holds an LLB from Punjab Law College, Pakistan, and believes that wealth, power and recognition should not be the driving force behind any action. Her list of volunteer work experience over the years is extensive: Citizens Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) , Juvenile Prison, Lahore, R.E.A.D etc. Currently, she is a volunteer guide with Friends of the Museums at Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore.