Reach for the Light


Pakistani Drama Serials: Review and Reflection

Dramas are source of entertainment, time killing, learning and providing fashion trends for the society. In this post we are trying to give a critical review of Pakistani Drama Serials.  In period of 1980 to 1990, when only PTV was presenting Pakistani Drama Serials, they were at the peak of fame but as the private channels started presenting drama,  from 2000 to 2010, the quality of the Pakistani drama  goes toward lower level of perfection because it is not following the modern elements of drama which are introduced with the arrival of technological advancement.

PTV programs were based on personal growth and lifelong learning. Impressive programming for children and neutral content were produced in Pakistani Drama Serials. Pakistan television drama was truly identified for its contents and dialogues.

Pakistan television drama has lost its olden viewer ship but PTV drama serial ‘Un-Kahi’, ‘Tanhaeyaan’, ‘Aanch’, ‘Dhuwaan’, ‘Bandhan’, ‘Alpha Bravo Charlie’, ‘Sonahray Din’ and recently ‘Ana’ and ‘Castle’ are best dramas produced by PTV. Cable television with more than 80 channels and too much advertisement on PTV are the reasons for the lessened viewer ship of Pakistan television drama.

Although Pakistani Drama Serials try to present women issues and characters in a positive way, but most of the times they go in the wrong direction and generally at the end women are not shown as empowered rather again there are the men in the family who decide about their fate.  Drama serial ‘Duppata’ Sahira Kazmi serial ‘Zaib-Unnisa’ Bushra Rehman’s serial ‘Piyas’, Jameel Malik’s serial ‘Musaftain’, ‘Ghar Ek Nagar’ by Fatima Suriya Bajjia, Mussarat Kalawanchi’s serial ‘Raigzaar’, drama serial ‘Aanch’, ‘Aroosa’, ‘Kasak’, ‘Hawa Ke Beti’, ‘Neely Hath’, ‘Aasmaan’, ‘Jungle’, ‘Deewarein’, ‘Kiran Kahani’, ‘Uncle Urfi’, ‘Dhund’, ‘Ajnabi’, ‘Afshan’, ‘Ana’, ‘Zeenat’, ‘Dhoop Kinary’, ‘An Kahi’, ‘Zeenat’, ‘Tanhaiyan’ and ‘Parchaiyan’ etc. have tried to present women’s issues in a positive manner but I must say they have not been able to create anything positive in the end. Dramas can promote a positive and empowered character of women and they can create examples for the society.

Globalization is a phenomenon which is structured with the modernization and a boom in technological advancements. The emergence of localization or globalization in modern world had affected the culture of Pakistan as the dress codes are changing in Pakistan.

This localization has affected our way of living, life style, language, the way of socialization. Pakistani private channels present dramas that are following foreign dressing style and culture as well. Pakistan television drama plays a dynamic role and participates in giving awareness to audience about certain issues through its contents.

Pakistan television drama enhances the level of violence in society against women. It is of verbal, physical, psychological and symbolic. As much the violence is portrayed in drama, the greater is the negative notion that is used for resolution of problems.

Separated women’s are pitied by society. Infertility of women lowers their status in their husband home. Women are unaware about the legal procedure of second marriage and legal issues of ‘nikahanamma’. Girls are not sent for higher education because of coeducation. TV has changed teachers teaching styles and governments governance. Geo is presenting the faded picture of our culture.

Private production has changed the theme of stories, dressing and picturization. Private production also gives chances to new talent. Technically, they have introduced positive effects but financially strong people have been benefited.

As for the role of men very few dramas present a man in a positive role. Men are shown as proud, vulgar, authoritative, and listening to others and acting on their advice. It seems in dramas that all the men have lost the capacity to think and analyze the situation with their own mind.

They are generally shown as authoritative and do not want to argue or discuss the issues in hand. This kind of portrayal of men is promoting the negative image not only for men but also for women. What role models our children will have after watching these dramas.

I want to raise some questions for the society in general:

  1. Is it true that all men in the society are negative thinkers and they want to create problems for their mothers, sisters and wives;
  2. Are we trying to promote polygamy or advocating for extra marital relationships;
  3. Does everyone really think that women are inferior and they can only survive in this world if they obey their husbands unconditionally;
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