With Ramadan season in full-swing, it’s the Ramadan specific serial that are dominating our screens at the moment. Chupke Chupke, Tanaa Banaa and Ishq Jalebi are the talk of the town within Pakistani drama circles. And yet, other dramas have not stopped broadcasting their content (with a few exceptions). So if the comedy genre and light-hearted, mindless entertainment is not your cup of tea, here is a list of other shows on-air that are worth watching at the moment.
“Raqeeb Se” comes in strong at the number one position. Written by Bee Gul and directed by Kashif Nisar, this is a drama with a stellar cast of strong performers, including Noman Eijaz, Sania Saeed, Hadiqa Kiani, Iqra Aziz, Faryal Mehmood, Salman Shahid, Saba Faisal and others. And while the cast itself is something worth bragging about, the writing and direction do not let their talent down. Telling a story focused on human nature, human error and unrequited love, “Raqeeb Se” explores how different individuals react while all trapped in the same situation. “Raqeeb Se” is deep and can only be described as poetry in motion. This is a must-watch.
Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahi
“Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahi” is a drama that should be made mandatory viewing for all. Presented by the Kashf Foundation, written by Amna Mufti and directed by Kashif Nisar, “Dil Na Umeed Toh Nahi” is a social-issue based drama in the truest meaning of the label. Starring Yumna Zaidi, Wahaj Ali, Noman Eijaz, Yasra Rizvi, Samiya Mumtaz, Noor Ul Hassan, Omair Rana, Naveed Shahzad and others, this is a story that sheds light upon human trafficking, child domestic labor and the social constraints that surround women and hold them back in a patriarchal society. The drama is essentially flawless with dim lighting and low production values being the greatest complaints. This show has, unfortunately, been put on hold for the month of Ramadan (after episode 12), but will make its reappearance after Eid.
Raqs E Bismil
If one is to talk of tragic, intense love stories of yearning, “Raqs E Bismil” falls exactly into that category. Imran Ashraf and Sarah Khan take the lead as two star-crossed, ill-fated lovers kept apart due to their starkly different backgrounds with both actors shining in their respective roles, Imran Ashraf in particular stealing the show. This is a romance to root for – and yet, it’s such a difficult situation, one is kept on their toes, wondering how this pair will move past their problems. The supporting cast is equally wonderful, including Momin Saqib, Anoushay Abbasi, Mehmood Aslam, Nida Mumtaz, Zara Sheikh, Saleem Mairaj and others. Written by Hashim Nadeem and directed by Wajahat Rauf, “Raqs E Bismil” is a love story that touches the soul while also exploring the more judgmental aspects of society and the sacrificing nature of true love.
Khuda Aur Mohabbat 3
“Khuda Aur Mohabbat 3” needs no introduction, the third in a beloved series. Starring Feroze Khan, Iqra Aziz, Junaid Khan, Mirza Zain Baig and many others in a grand, star-studded cast with too many great names to mention, “Khuda Aur Mohabbat” has been directed by Syed Wajahat Hussain and written by Hashim Nadeem Khan. The storyline of “Khuda Aur Mohabbat” has some flaws and there are aspects that are not particularly impressive within the storyline, but despite that, the majestic sets, beautiful costumes, wonderful acting, meaningful dialogues and, of course, the brilliant OST that make this drama one to watch. This is a Pakistani drama on the level of a big Bollywood film in terms of appeal, a mass entertainer.
“Dunk” took off due to its unique storyline, the story of a false sexual harassment allegation, creating a storm on social media in particular. Since then, the story has taken several twists and turns before now finally coming back to the initial issue – retribution for the wrongly accused and his family. Starring Bilal Abbas Khan, Sana Javed, Azekah Daniel, Yasra Rizvi, Noman Eijaz, Shahood Alvi and others, the story has been written by Mohsin Ali and directed by Badar Mehmood. While “Dunk” hasn’t been particularly fast-paced in getting to the point, it’s the performances that have really kept the show going, specifically those of Sana Javed, Yasra Rizvi and Bilal Abbas Khan. The show is now set to race towards the climax.
Pehli Si Muhabbat
While “Pehli Si Muhabbat” was advertised as an intense love story, it has evolved into something much more, a tale of how the “honor” of men always seems to fall on women and is, ultimately, the cause of their destruction. While Pakistani society continues to evolve, the arguments against a woman choosing her own partner is one that still rings loud and true and, often, her love can become her “crime.” “Pehli Si Muhabbat” sheds light on this attitude, starring Sheheryar Munawar, Maya Ali, Hassan Shehryar Yasin, Shabir Jan, Saba Faisal, Saleem Mairaj, Uzma Hassan, Paras Masroor, Rabia Butt and others in important roles. While “Pehli Si Muhabbat” isn’t perfect, it does offer some great content along with stunning visuals.
Special mention to “Aulaad,” which shows exactly how children can fall astray and abandon their parents without necessarily meaning to, discussing how one can take their parents for granted and overlook all the sacrifices they’ve made for us. “Shehnaai” is another show which deserves a mention, a light-hearted, fun show which tackles the love story growing between two individuals forced together by their families.