“Tanaa Banaa” is a show that’s winning hearts with its lead pairing of Daniyal Zafar and Alizeh Shah, supported by a wonderful cast including Javeria Abbasi, Komal Rizvi, Ismat Zaidi, Hassan Noman, Aamir Qureshi and others. The story has been written by Hassaan Imam and directed by Saife Hassan. “Tanaa Banaa” explores the life of newlyweds and the challenges they face as opposites.
Episode 8 focuses entirely on the kitchen politics that arise after marriage, namely the expectation that Zoya (Alizeh Shah) will take over the household duties and help Fauzia (Javeria Abbasi) with the cooking. Fauzia is upset and turns her anger towards Zeb Un Nisa (Komal Rizvi), blaming her for arranging this marriage and bringing a daughter-in-law like herself into the house. One would like to say that Fauzia is the only antagonist in the story here, but honestly, she isn’t. In this day and age, what sort of family is unable to understand a young woman’s desire to pursue her higher education? In a household where there’s a daughter like Zeb Un Nisa, a working woman who refuses to do housework, this should be something this family is well-equipped to understand. And yet, with the exception of Zeb Un Nisa and Sajjad (Hassan Noman), who are also barely supportive and more defensive, no one is really able to understand that Zoya is not the “bad guy.”
This isn’t lost on Zoya, who blasts Zain (Daniyal Zafar) for not being upfront with his family from the beginning. She’s absolutely right in that regard, that he signed a document with clear terms and conditions on it and if he couldn’t be honest about it with his family, he shouldn’t have signed it. He is, in fact, making her look bad in front of his entire family. That being said, Zoya is also highly immature and doesn’t recognize that while living in a joint family household, one must at least show care for others. Would it have hurt her to help fry an egg or care for her husband after his hand was burnt? Still, Zoya is good at heart and she demonstrates this at the dining table later when she serves Fauzia and Daadi, along with the other family, winning back their affection.
The pull for “Tanaa Banaa” isn’t necessarily the story, because the writing could use some work, sometimes falling into cliches and moments where one thinks “That doesn’t make sense.” It’s a cute story with some very attractive lead actors and this is what brings the audience back for each episode. Saife Hassan’s direction keeps the show fresh and light. This is a show that one would call “cute and fun,” not necessarily meaningful – and yet, it is great to see how certain subjects like the respect a “ghar damaad” should receive (he has left his family to care for his wife’s, something usually expected of a woman) and the importance of a woman’s education are being tackled. We don’t generally get storylines like this, so it’s a welcome effort.