Monday has seen the introduction of two new shows, one being Hum TV’s “Mushk” and the other being ARY’s “Prem Gali.” While we’ll save “Mushk” for another day and discussion, let’s tackle “Prem Gali” today. “Prem Gali” has a lot of things going for it at the on-set. First, it brings back the “Aangan” team, having been written by Faiza Iftikhar, who is known for writing strong characters, and directed by Qasim Ali Mureed. Second, the show has been produced by Hamayun Saeed and Shahzad Nasib, producers who usually put their weight behind quality shows. And last, of course, it boasts of a stellar cast, including Farhan Saeed, Sohai Ali Abro, Saba Hameed, Qavi Khan, Anoushay Abbasi, Waseem Abbas, Shamim Hilaly, Farah Shah, Uzma Hassan and many more. So how did the first episode fare?
The first episode doesn’t take off with an outstanding story. Rather, what stands out about the show is the simplicity and a style of presentation that almost gives the viewer a “throwback” feel. As made evident through the title of the show, “Prem Gali” is about the love story between Hamza (Farhan Saeed) and Joya (Sohai Ali Abro). But once viewers are introduced to their family members, it’s clear that this love story will have plenty of roadblocks. Joya comes from a family of divorced women and, to put it simply, her mother (Saba Hameed) hates men. On the other end, Hamza comes from a woman-less family, living with his father and Chacha. While Joya and Hamza don’t hit it off immediately, they are attracted to one another and love has already started taking shape between the two. Unfortunately (and hilariously), viewers get a preview of what’s in store when a stranger asks Joya for directions and her mother flies into a rage, beating both Joya and the stranger for flirting.
Playing Joya’s elder, divorced aunt, Uzma Hassan stands out in the first episode with her over-the-top character and hilarious one-liners. The character may be a “tragic” character in theory, miserable with her life and divorce, but Uzma Hassan plays her in a light-hearted way, reminiscent of her character in “Aangan.” Farhan Saeed and Sohai Ali Abro were last seen together 6 years ago in Hum TV’s “De Ijaazat Jo Tu.” While the show itself wasn’t anything to rave about, Farhan and Sohai shared a sweet sort of chemistry. That chemistry is evident in “Prem Gali” as well, their scenes bringing a smile to the viewer’s face in the first episode itself. Farhan Saeed is, simply put, “hero material.” He plays this sort of loud romantic hero very well and it’s difficult to take one’s eyes off of him when he’s on screen. It’s always great to see actors like Shamim Hilaly and Qavi Khan.
It has only been one episode, but so far, this show promises to deliver something worth watching. During a time of social isolation, anxiety, uncertainty and high stress, shows like “Prem Gali” are a welcome relief for viewers who simply want to turn their brains off and enjoy themselves.