Both these feelings are very much real! Ask fans.
Lux Style Awards are fondly known as many different names. The names are a bit too ‘fond’ to be shared with the audience at large. (Almost) Every year, the stage is set and a regular LSA follower goes through these three stages:
1. Critical Analysis Of The Nominations
This is the stage where you try and figure out which drama is Imran Ashraf nominated for or is it just goodwill at play because he is a genuinely nice person?
But that doesn’t matter, because Ahad Raza Mir has four nominations?! We bet he breathes in carbon dioxide and exhales oxygen, making it difficult for plants around him to survive. This year, the critical analysis started and ended on Mir’s FOUR nominations. Other atrocities were absolutely acknowledged in more or less this manner,
Speaking of Yumn…sshh Raaz-e-Ulfat was a dark patch – it happens – so let’s just focus on Mahjabeen.
2. Predictions Where ‘mine is better than yours’ Reigns Supreme
The stage where you try and convince the critics and anyone who would listen why the actor or actress you love should win. Other people’s likes and dislikes don’t matter. If you believe Abdullah’s stutter deserves an Oscar then what are Aina’s manic screams in front of him? Oh, they aren’t competing against each other. Oh, Aina isn’t even nominated? Whatever, Abdullah is still better than Aina.
And man Saad?? He was the perfect friend (umm, maybe not), perfect boyfriend, perfect batch mate (he saved couples from getting divorced, just saying), perfect son and he probably even has perfect kidneys! Why wouldn’t you vote for the perfectly perfect Saad? A character doesn’t necessarily need to have an arc or layers or nuances – he just needs to be loved and Saad, my dearies, was loved.
Moving on from predictions, the “we don’t care about the LSA” morning arrives. Honey, if you didn’t care you wouldn’t be tweeting about it…
3. The Night Where Some Win & Others Point Their Metaphoric Guns At Voters & Critics
The joyous night arrived this Saturday and man oh man was it boring.
Mahira Khan was the only star power and Lux made sure they squeezed every bit of stardom out of her. Thankfully, for us, and unfortunately, for her feet, she danced to I’ve-lost-count songs at small intervals to keep us, onlookers, entertained.
The second person to inject life in the lifeless night was the four- nominations-guy, Ahad Raza Mir. He and Bilal Abbas Khan made a grand entrance, but then Khan took his award and disappeared while Mir mingled the heck out of everybody before seating himself comfortably with his FOUR (in case you forget) nominations.
Let’s Discuss The Winners of LSA 2021!
We won’t speak about style because it was unspeakable and I’m no fashionista so it isn’t fair for me to judge. I’m no actor either but I will certainly judge the winners (and losers) of the drama category at the 20th Lux Style Awards.
Shall we begin?
LSA Best TV Writer went to Umera Ahmed for Alif
Before moving on to the winner, let’s discuss the nominees. Yeh Dil Mera, most of us agree, started off with a bang and ended with a, “Dang, what just happened there?” The characters had motive to act the way they acted and there was a proper backstory, but what could’ve been a game-changer turned out to be a frustrating ride because of the execution and editing flaws.
Raaz-e-Ulfat tried to portray struggles of a middle-class girl who has big dreams, but we soon found out her dream was just to hang out with Shehzad Sheikh’s character in his fancy car and fancy (absolutely inappropriate for shopping) suits.
Ehd-e-Wafa was fresh but the humour seemed forced and the three boys too good to be true. Yes, even my favourite Sheheryar and not-my-favourite Shark were one-dimensional characters. They were poor so that added a bit of a drama, but otherwise there was nothing outstanding about them. Mustafa Afridi did a good job in creating separate and equally engaging stories for each of the boys and didn’t stretch the plot, but that element of true friendship was missing. When you watch Rang De Basanti you can feel it that these guys can die for each other. Ehd-e-Wafa failed to evoke that trust in SSG’s friendship.
Pyaar Ke Sadqay – where do I begin. It was refreshing. Even though the plot was same old-same old. Poor quirky girl enters a rich traumatised boy’s life, who already has a dream girl in tow, sounds a bit too “been there, seen that”. What we hadn’t seen were the brilliant performances by Zaidi, Khan, and Gul-e-Rana. These three delivered out-of-the-box performances and, sorry to use clichés, but they hit it out of the park.
Bilal Abbas looked like a bhola badshah throughout and his performance was consistent and kept you engaged. It amazes me how he kept that stutter constant and simultaneously emoted brilliantly. Yumna Zaidi was so innocently funny that I often go back to her scenes on Instagram when I want a quick laugh. What didn’t sit well with me, was the premise set by Zanjabeel.
Were our protagonists mentally compromised? If not, then why did they behave like they were? If yes, then why would you marry them off?
I have seen people who might not be as clever as you and me, but it’s not funny. They take medicines and marriage is not on cards for because parents can’t compromise someone else’s life. The director and writer made the story palatable and quirky, and the audience loved it (LSA’s results prove it) but I was never able to watch the show properly because whenever realisation struck, it bothered me that I was enjoying performances that were actually caricatures of people with real issues.
Coming to the winner, Umera Ahmed won the award for Alif. Did she deserve to win? Amongst the competitors, for sure! Was this one of her most brilliant works? Not really. The plot was similar to Shehr-e-Zaat but definitely grander and convoluted.
When I read the novel, I was on my toes to know more about Husn-e-Jahan and how Momin and Momina are related. Then it ended abruptly.
I hoped Alif – the drama – will overcome that flaw and show us a proper journey for Momin and Momina and not be like bam, they meet again and bam, they fall in love and then bam, they’ll now meet in Rumi’s world. If we compare Alif with our recent shows, it was a gem. If we compare it with the likes of Daam, Meri Zaat Zara e Benishaan, and Dastaan then it needed a more engaging execution.
Yumna Zaidi won both the LSA critics’ choice and viewer’s choice for Pyar Ke Sadqay
Yumna won against Yumna from Raaz-e-Ulfat in the viewer’s choice category because she had a double nomination and that, I feel, is her biggest win.
Because poor Ahad Raza Mir couldn’t win against himself (and Danish Taimoor). Learn the trick Mir, one of your characters is supposed to be so meh that no one even votes for it. Then only can you afford a double nomination. Otherwise, the likes of you and Sajal Ali (remember 2018 LSA) will keep on suffering.
Does Yumna Zaidi deserve two awards? Why not? She’s an amazing performer and people now know her as Mahjabeen and that is any actor’s biggest win. She deserves these awards because critics and people loved her performance and not because she has many years of struggle behind her.
The audience, often confuses who’s deserving with who has struggled more? And that’s unfair.
Back in 2017, Saba Qamar won over Sajal Ali’s Sassi and Zubiya because she was mind-blowing as Qandeel. She lived that character.
We all know Pyaar Ke Sadqay was one of the most popular shows of 2020. Ehd-e-Wafa was popular too but its plot didn’t give anything to people to talk about. And looking at the results, talkabilty gets you awards – critics and popular both.
Also, you need to be entertaining in a laugh out loud way. PKS made you laugh (mostly), Alif and Yeh Dil Mera did the opposite; and results are in front of you.
Does this mean we judge the audience for wanting a breather? No. But it does remind me of Vidya Balan’s dialogue in Dirty Picture, “Entertainment, entertainment, entertainment” – that’s what sells.
This is probably what the audience thought this year while voting:
In the end, you cannot judge people for what they love. Critics and audience both loved Mahjabeen more, and rightly so, even though Hira Mani and Mawra Hocane gave their career-best performances in Kashf and Sabaat.
Speaking of the jury that decided on the critics’ award, it is interesting that last year they chose the strong and understated Hajra (Yumna Zaidi) over the unique and boisterous Chammi (Sajal Ali). This year, they chose the unique and hilarious Mahjabeen (Yumna Zaidi) over the subtle and strong Momina (Sajal Ali). The jury is almost the same, from what I know, then has the year-long COVID changed their preferences? Maybe. Or maybe they just consider Yumna Zaidi a much stronger actress than Sajal Ali? You be the judge.
Bilal Abbas won the LSA critic’s choice for Pyar Ke Sadqay
Aaj Abdullah ne Qasim ka badla le liya iss Asfandyar 2.0 se. Look at him sitting there expectantly with his FOUR nominations…yeah whatever Abdullah won! This might be going through the fans’ minds. Not Bilal’s because he isn’t petty. I hope so. Bilal as Abdullah was a character that an actor proudly adds to their portfolio. It only makes sense that the character has an award to its name.
Then comes Amaan with his plethora of shades. Farhat Ishtiaque and Aehsun Talish might not have gotten the drama itself right, but they definitely got their male lead right. He would calmly say, “basic manners hain na” and you’d want to step into the screen and slap him hard. In reply to a scathing taana he’d softly observe, “Tanz acha kar leti ho aur karte huay pyaari bhi lagti ho”, and the audience would wonder, “Isko romance soojh raha hai?” And then he’d go completely loony amidst candles and piano and you couldn’t help but yell, “Run Aina run!”
Such was Amaan’s impact.
Unfortunately, the drama he was in, failed to leave any. Which is why the critics probably added his name to the nominations but then soon realised their mistake and decided to ignore Mir for the rest of their lives.
The enigma that is Danish Taimoor’s victory in the LSA viewers’ choice category
Here we were discussing the merits and demerits of Abdullah, Amaan, and Qalb-e-Momin and in came Deewangi’s Sultan (I had to Google the name) swooping away the coveted LSA.
Everyone was stunned.
Fans were ready with their guns, but even they were stunned into silence for a few moments. No one knew what hit them. This makes me want to believe that there was no politics or rigging involved. If it was rigged, no one (including the presenter) would be THIS shocked.
This, again, takes us to the question: Did Danish Taimoor deserve this award?
The answer is simple. Nope. Nada. Nahi (in Shabnam style). Why do I say this? Is he not a good actor? He can act well when he wants. In fact, he mostly acts well and was one of the most promising actors from the lot back when HUM TV shot its drama serials in Bangkok. I remember senior actors being asked who do they think has the brightest future and they’d say a dude named Danish Taimoor. But that dude has done nothing but mint money. He doesn’t really care about the content he’s exposing our audiences to. He’s regularly seen kidnapping women in his drama serials and then
he commands them around like pets in his fake-deep voice.
So no, he doesn’t deserve to win. Our audience needs to re-evaluate their choices. And if they did vote for Sultan then why not Hiba Bukhari for best actress and Deewangi for best play?
It doesn’t add up. Unless….these Danish devotees were so selfish that they logged in, voted for King Danish, and logged out without paying heed to any other category. They might be of the mindset, “We see Danish, we click vote”.
Such a cult-like mindset isn’t odd because Taimoor does have a game show of his own where he gives ‘gifts’ to people…
Hamza Ali Abbasi also has a huge fan base despite leaving the industry. And let’s get one thing straight, it is the fans who vote. No one in my family was even aware about the Lux Style Awards and even when I told them, voting was out of the question. Coming back to Hamza. He might have left the industry but his work speaks for himself. His entire change of heart works in his favour.
Unfortunately, it couldn’t get him enough votes.
But can actual on-ground popularity get you votes?
Once on a visit to my relatives place I saw them huddled in front of the telly to watch the last episode of Deewangi. Such was the Deewangi. But these people don’t vote. They aren’t even aware of LSA until it airs on television.
Saad was popular. Every kid in my village knows about him and their favourite pass-time is to scream-sing Meray yaara teri yaariyaan. My mother adores him and his relationship with his mother and Dua. Then why didn’t Saad win? Because these people don’t vote and people like you and me genuinely gave a thought to his performance and concluded the romance sometimes got cringe and the humour was rarely funny, so no vote for Saad.
I wish I hadn’t been so hard on him. Sigh. We could’ve together beaten Sultan.
Also, Saad is, indeed, the same guy who stole Sheheryar, Shahzain and Shark’s limelight. The Sh’s had much nicer stories and dialogues and acting and the S just came in with his wardi and got more scenes?
Judge saab, where art thou?
It is human nature that you enjoy things in smaller doses. Ehd-e-Wafa turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Ahmed Ali Akbar (who is my personal favourite), Wahaj Ali, and Osman Khalid Butt. Since then the audience has decided that the ISPR, together with Mir and Momina Duraid, conspired against these poor civilians and now justice must be served by berating Ahad Raza Mir at every given opportunity for snatching their moonh ka nawala.
Ehd-e-Wafa won the LSA best TV serial award
Hmm, interesting. Most people voted for Mahjabeen in PKS as the best actress. Then they changed parties and instead of voting for Abdullah, they chose Danish Taimoor in Deewangi. Then, when it came to choosing the best play, they were like,
What is this ping-pong behaviour voters? Anyway, in all seriousness, it isn’t shocking that Ehd-e-Wafa won. It was a close call between PKS and EEW (what sort of an acronym is this).
I’m not considering Alif and Yeh Dil Mera because former was up against Meray Paas Tum Ho when it aired and a lot of people missed out on watching it. Audience can, and should, watch it on YouTube but the views suggest they haven’t gotten around it yet.
Yeh Dil Mera has massive views on YouTube and trended almost every week when it aired, but the sloppy editing, especially in the last episode, was the last nail in the coffin. During that time, people had already found comfort in Pyaar Ke Sadqay because it was an easier watch with fresh pairing and equally nice performances.
Yeh Dil Mera was all performances and nothing much. Even the pair wasn’t fresh.
We’re a nation obsessed with fresh pairs. Take Ishqiya, Ana, Do Bol, and Ishq Jalebi for example. These shows weren’t ground-breaking but they were loved because the leading lady and leading man had insane on-screen chemistry and there was no chance of them ever actually becoming a couple.
Sajal and Ahad had the misfortune of falling in love. This isn’t exciting for the average viewer who probably thinks like this:
“Inko tou ek doosre ki shaqal se nafrat honi chahiye. Kabhi ek saath nazar na ayen. Phir hum crave karein. Phir ye drama karein. Ah! What fun?”
What sort of a wild fantasy is this?
Question is: Don’t Ahad and Sajal have THAT chemistry anymore? They do. Otherwise you wouldn’t see viewers (who haven’t seen Yakeen Ka Safar) starting with Yeh Dil Mera and then ending up watching Aangan and Yakeen Ka Safar.
Is their chemistry enough to pull in an audience? It works for me at least.
All of the characters that they’ve done till now – Zubiya-Asfi, Chammi-Jameel, Aina-Amaan and Sara-Vishal – talk different and look completely different. It doesn’t bother me that the same actors are playing these completely different characters, but for some people who focus only on a ‘fresh pair’ and the ‘perks’ that come with it, it might be bothersome.
So, it is only sensible that a hit couple doesn’t work in four projects in a row.
But then why didn’t Yumlal win? It was the freshest pair with insanely cute chemistry. Bilal and Yumna also have years of struggle behind them unlike a certain someone with four nominations (kidding). Do you really think the audience didn’t vote for PKS? I’m guessing they did.
But then like Danish-devotees you have *cough*-devotees, who’d personally make it a point to vote for Ehd-e-Wafa. Just the show. And maybe Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. And Gulzar…because new guy, very talented and all. We treat our newbies well.
But god forbid they become popular! Nope, that doesn’t sit well with us.
Ehd-e-Wafa won the LSA for best OST or more like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan won it for the team
Now, we don’t know if people voted for Ehd-e-Wafa here or Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, but we do know is that most people can easily sing,
It’s a nice melodious feel-good track with sad undertones. I personally like it. But popular opinion, from what I’ve heard, is that Alif’s OST gives you goosebumps. I failed to get any, because I was expecting something sufi and soulful like Abida Parween’s ‘Yaar ko humne jabaja dekha’ and when I got the pop-rock Alif bass, I was like ye kya?
PKS also had a pretty strong OST and when I heard it’s a remake of a Sindhi song, the Sindhi in me went and looked for the original song. Sad to report, it was as annoying as the Urdu version. Or maybe the director’s over-usage made it unbearable?
No one will ever know.
Adnan Samad Khan won the LSA best emerging talent award for Ehd-e-Wafa
If you didn’t fall in love with Gulzar’s, “chair did this choon sir” or cry when he sang Attaullah Eesa Khailwi’s song for Saad in the last episode then you have no eye for talent. I always used to wonder if we can ever get an actor who’ll make me laugh like Dr Irfan does in Dhoop Kinarey and it might be too early to say this, but Gulzar did that in Ehd-e-Wafa. I watched the show for him. Adnan Samad Khan’s effortless comedy made its way to many hearts.
I do feel bad for Ameer Gilani, Dur-e-Fishan Saleem and Pehlaaj, but all these actors have proven that they’re here to stay and will hopefully win many awards in the future. Even if they don’t, it doesn’t really matter. Just up your PR game together with the performance and you’re good.
Ladies and gentleman, let’s pause.
Are you seeing the pattern here? Best popular play, OST and emerging talent went to Ehd-e-Wafa, but when it came to voting for Saad, audience had a change of heart.
I recently saw a comment targeted at Ahad Raza Mir and it read something like this, “Traitor! Indian fauji bana tha Indian film mein. Wapas ja udhar.”
If that’s the case, then we, as audience, need to up our tolerance.
While we’re at it, we also can’t complain that international platforms like Netflix don’t take Pakistani actors in their projects. If you don’t let your artists get exposure in other markets, you don’t deserve to demand the world to respect your artists enough to give them work.
Farooq Rind won the LSA best TV director award for Pyar Ke Sadqay
Rind had some tough competition from Saife Hassan, Haseeb Hassan and even Shahazad Kashmiri.
Alif and Sabaat were beautifully shot. But how Saife Hassan managed to shoot so many characters and their plots in 18 different cities deserved a special pat on the back.
Alif too was tricky to shoot and present on screen with the constant back and forth between the past and present. But I’ve always had a small complaint from Haseeb Hassan and that is his tendency to stretch scenes more than its necessary. I don’t mind the slow pace, but his projects often border toward boring and that, as a director, is your failure. I loved Diyar-e-Dil but I remember losing interest in a few episodes in the middle. With Alif, I never lost interest, but I do feel more people would’ve watched Alif if the direction was engaging.
As captains of the ship, Saife and Haseeb did brilliantly, but in the end Rind with his quirky style of direction won critics’ hearts.
Speaking of Rind’s expertise, I am his old fan. I remember falling in love with Sanjha and Jugnu. That reminds me, Jugnu’s entire plot was eerily similar to PKS. And Yumna Zaidi played a similar role in it like Mahjabeen. I remember it, because I was extremely excited to watch it and I continued with it till it lost its plot.
Does that mean Zaidi doesn’t deserve appreciation for nailing Mahjabeen?
Sajal Ali’s Zubiya was similar to Gul-e-Rana. Saba Qamar’s acting in Cheekh was similar to Besharam. Some of your characters click with the audience while some don’t. And Mahjabeen clicked big time.
The Aftermath Of LSA
The main opposition – or so it seemed because they’re a passionate lot – came from Sajal and Ahad’s fans. They felt, and rightly so, that Amaan and Momina deserved the critics’ awards and Bilal Abbas Khan and Yumna Zaidi could’ve easily won the viewers’ choice for Abdullah and Mahjabeen.
Now, you see, technically viewers’ choice is not in anyone’s hands. Imagine Bilal and Yumna not getting their due? How heart-breaking would that be? See how Danish Taimoor won? So if most critics loved Bilal and Yumna’s performance then you can’t do much about it.
Then should Sajal and Ahad’s fan not feel bad? They absolutely should. If you think of top five shows of 2020, what pops up in your mind? Alif, PKS, Ehd-e-Wafa, YDM, and Ghissi Pitti Mohabbat. Three of the five top shows had Ali and Mir in them – that speaks volumes about them as artists.
This year, I understand (sort of) where the critics came from, but last year when they failed to acknowledge Chammi’s brilliance!! That was a once in a lifetime performance by Sajal Ali and if that performance didn’t get her an award then I’m sure she can handle not winning for Momina.
Think of it as this, 2018 award shows were heaven for Ahad Raza Mir and Sajal Ali’s fans. They managed to get Mir the popular actor’s award (in both LSA and Hum awards) against the likes of Nauman Ejaz. Sajal Ali was still left empty-handed in LSA, but she won in all the categories she was nominated in at Hum Awards. Imagine what Yumna Zaidi and Ahmed Ali Akbar’s fans must be feeling at that time? Their Yeh Raha Dil might be a shoddy production but these two had amazing chemistry and Akbar has always delivered.
Suno Chanda gathered so many awards because it was riding a wave. Now, PKS won in all important categories at the LSA because Yumna and Bilal are riding the wave. If you’re a true lover of art, then enjoy all these new flavours while staying loyal to the ones you enjoy the most. Feeling bereft and venting is natural. Do it, but the moment you feel you’re ruining someone else’s victory, step back.
Let’s see who will ride the wave next year!