“Badnaseeb” is a Pakistani drama that arrived quietly without much fanfare due to its varied (yet very talented) cast. A daily show on Hum TV, “Badnaseeb” highlights how sons are favored over girls in some sections of society. While this is something Pakistanis are well-aware of, “Badnaseeb” depicts an extreme (yet certainly realistic) version of events. Starring Kamran Jilani, Samina Ahmed, Anoushay Rania, Khushi Maheen, Falak Shahzad, Sharmeen Ali and Afraz Rasool in prominent roles, the story has been written by Jahanzaib Qamar and directed by Haseeb Ali.
In the first two episodes, we are introduced to Saeed (Kamran Jilani) and his mother (Samina Ahmed). While his mother is a loving grandmother to his three children, she is particularly protective of Duaa (ANoushay Rania) and Sila (Khushi Maheen) as Saeed not only neglects them in favor of Shani (Falak Shahzad), but also treats them as a burden. Due to her father’s heartless behavior, Duaa begins to act out against Shani. It’s interesting to see how Saeed’s behavior has turned his own children against one another. Still, their grandmother does her best to cover up for the girls. Azmat (Sharmeen Ali), the girls’ Khala, and her husband Farmaan (Afraz Rasool) care deeply for the girls, but maintain their distance due to crude allegations placed on Farmaan by Saeed in the past. Still, Azmat hopes to bring Duaa home as her daughter-in-law one day. But will Saeed ever allow this?
The story reminds one of the 2020 ARY drama “Bikhray Moti,” a wonderfully underrated show that focused on child abuse and the importance of love in a child’s life in order for them to grow. Much like “Bikhray Moti,” “Badnaseeb” seems to focus on the horrors children, specifically young girls, can face when deprived of a father’s love and protection. While Kamran Jilani is always a dependable actor and the child actors are naturals as well, it’s Samina Ahmed and Sharmeen Ali who make the greatest impact in the first two episodes, portraying the anguish of a grandmother and aunt as they watch their loved ones neglected and mistreated. It’s not clear in which direction the story will move, but Duaa’s future seems to be full of problems, particularly with her father’s business partner making eyes at her (which is disgusting in itself as she’s a child). If “Badnaseeb” manages to maintain this pace, this is a show with promise.