Green Entertainment launched with the promise of providing unique, innovative entertainment that veered away from saas-bahu, toxic dramas. Fortunately, with all of their new launches, they have upheld that promise, each show different from the next. “College Gate” is a youth oriented show that, like the title states, is a college-based show focusing on the struggles of students during their formative years. The show stars a number of new names, alongside some more familiar ones, including Zarar Khan, Khaqan Shahnawaz, Mamia Shah, Natalia, Shuja Asad, Noman Kahout, Asad Chaudhry, Arsalan Khan, Mashal Khan, Saba Hameed, Usman Peerzada, Javed Sheikh, Nadia Khan, Arjumand Rahim and others. The story has been written by Ateeq Inayat and Ali Sikandar while directed by Fahim Burney.
From the on-set, “College Gate” gives off a fresh feel with a youthful cast. The story revolves around a group of first year college students embarking upon this new journey with their individual backgrounds and interests. How do their dreams merge with societal norms and parental pressure? This is the focus of “College Gate.” There are several characters here including the musically inclined Wahaj (Zarar Khan) with a stern father who expects Wahaj to become a CSS officer. There’s Usman (Khaqan Shahnawaz), who comes from a traditional “Desi” family who constantly finds himself in trouble. There’s Sam, who is money-minded and works with her father as his support. There’s Bilal and it’s implied that he’s hooked on narcotics due to his mother’s neglect – though that neglect is yet to be seen. There’s also Maham (Mamia Shah), a character who wears a hijab and struggles to find friendship due to her decision.
There are a lot of interesting topics touched upon within this show, specifically related to parental pressure to follow the tried and tested path. Whether it’s living up to the family name or following in the footsteps of other family members, it’s often expectations which the youth finds themselves burdened by. Unfortunately, these topics are touched upon in a mindless way, focusing on half-baked humor more than anything else. There are scenes of Bilal’s mother urging him to get dressed for college while Bilal looks at her in shock, as if he doesn’t realize he’s expected to go, followed by scenes of Ms. Zara (Mashal Khan) talking about her “new teaching methods” which never really come into play at all? There’s an attempt to make strong points here, but those attempts are not geared towards the general audience. Rather, this show appears to be geared towards its targeted audience – generation Z – and it has, in fact, hit its mark. The show is a success in terms of TRPs (coming in at second place this week) and in terms of views on YouTube. While this may not be a show for everyone, there are storylines surrounding older characters (Usman Peerzada, Saba Hameed, Mashal Khan, Daniyal Afzal), which could interest an older crowd while younger viewers are drawn to the younger storylines, making this a good show to watch with the family. At times, it’s important to recognize that while a show may not connect with a particular group of viewers, that does not mean it’s a bad show and it’s clear that “College Gate” has already found success.