It’s difficult to keep up with daily dramas, particularly in Ramadan when our focus is intended to be elsewhere. While Hum TV and Geo have generally put out one drama each during Ramadan, this year we have two shows from each channel. Have we simply been given too much content this time around? Wouldn’t it be a better effort for each channel to have one solid show each to encourage (healthy) competition? Instead, four shows have left many viewers struggling to decide which one to watch – and criticizing something about each one. Airing daily, let’s discuss the first episodes of each drama and rank the shows based on entertainment value so far.
1) Tere Aany Se (Har Pal Geo)
While other shows have been more heavily promoted, “Tere Aany Se” has been highly awaited due to the successful Komal Meer-Muneeb Butt pairing, reunited again after “Qalandar” (were these two shot simultaneously?). Written by Samra Bukhari, the show is directed by Zeeshan Ahmed. Aside from the leads, the show also stars the incredible Salman Shahid, along with Shamim Hilaly, Mehmood Aslam, Saleem Mairaj, Zainab Qayyum, Sidra Niazi, Hira Soomro and other talented actors. The first episode does not disappoint, presenting a fun, entertaining canvas. Introduction episodes are usually tedious, however, this one is engaging with strong characters and meaningful moments amongst the general comedic storyline. This is an opposites attract love story that is bound to entertain. The downside? It certainly does have its loud moments, which need to be toned down. Also, “Tere Aany Se” does insist on inserting its token Pukhtun character in the form of the house help, played by young Sami Khan. This is an eye sore in an otherwise entertaining show, not only continuing to push stereotypes, but also using a young child actor to do so. This is a negative point in the show. So far, “Tere Aany Se” is a winner.
2) Fairy Tale (Hum TV)
“Fairy Tale” is a show focused on providing fresh entertainment with a younger cast. Starring Seher Khan, Hamza Sohail, Adnan Raza Mir, Aena Khan, Saleem Sheikh, Ali Safina and Salma Hassan in central roles, the story has been written by Sarah Majeed and directed by Ali Hassan. The first episode is refreshingly different in the quick, 5-minute introduction style, not wasting too much time on long character sketches. Rather, the show jumps into the storyline right away, though at times the dialogues can be quite repetitive. By the end of the episode, we are more than aware that Pasha (Saleem Sheikh) sending Sam (Adnan Raza Mir) to University in Canada has financially ruined the family thanks to Umeed’s (Sehar Khan) dialogues. Still, the story is fun, the episode an entertaining one which will put a smile on your face. The introduction of Farjad (Hamza Sohail) only furthers the interest factor and we can’t wait to see Umeed and Farjad come face-to-face. This has great promise if it maintains the same quality throughout.
3) Heer Da Hero (Har Pal Geo)
Written by Amar Khan herself and directed by Saima Waseem, “Heer Da Hero” reunites the successful “Dum Mastam” pairing of Imran Ashraf and Amar Khan. Heer (Amar Khan) and Hero (Imran Ashraf) come from opposing political families, the Jutts and the Butts. The first episode is enjoyable specifically due to Kashif Mehmood, Wasim Abbas and Usman Peerzada’s performances, which are laugh-out-loud funny. Amar Khan is initially over-the-top with her performance, but brings out the laughs by the second half of the episode. Imran Ashraf’s character isn’t as well-developed in episode one, but his hairstyle definitely stands out. Overall, this show has a lot of promise regarding entertainment value, but does have a slightly “loud” feel to it, which can honestly be said about both shows on Geo this year.
4) Chand Tara (Hum TV)
Fresh off the tail of “Kaala Doriya,” this Ramadan show is written and directed by the same Saima Akram Chaudhry and Danish Nawaz team. To be fair, Saima Akram Chaudhry shows generally spend a lot of time establishing characters and family dynamics within the first two to three episodes and pick up greatly afterwards. That being said, the first episode of “Chand Tara” does not impress. This is a love story between Chand (Danish Taimoor) and Tara (Ayeza Khan), an engineer and doctor from very different family backgrounds. Getting their families to agree to their marriage forms the crux of the storyline. While Ayeza Khan and Danish Taimoor are endearing and funny in their roles, the episode as a whole fails to click. This is particularly true of the family scenes, which are trying too hard to be funny. That being said, it’s expected that upcoming episodes will pick up in a great way. This could even wind up being at the top of the list by next week?
Quite honestly, one can already envision the rankings of these shows changing after the first week. We will continue discussing these Ramadan dramas on a weekly basis and re-evaluating the rankings. As of right now, “Tere Aany Se” appears to be the most entertaining show based on characters, the stellar supporting cast and overall pacing.