The promos of “Tere Bin” and the initial episodes got Pakistani drama fans excited with its unique love to hate story. However, as the show is about to air its eight episode, it has become quite apparent that the show has been inspired by the Star Plus Indian serial format with a hot-headed, independent-minded female lead and an arrogant, toxic male lead who turns soft coming together. The story has been written by Nooran Makhdoom and directed by Siraj Ul Haq, starring Yumna Zaidi, Wahaj Ali, Bushra Ansari, Sohail Sameer, Sabeena Farooq, Hira Soomro, Farhan Ali Agha, Fazila Qazi and others in prominent roles.
The story follows Meerub (Yumna Zaidi), a confidident, independent, modern girl raised with love and trust by her doting parents, though always disturbed by the shadow cast by her father’s “close family friends,” who step in to dictate her dos and don’ts. She is shocked when it’s revealed that not only is Anwar (Sohail Sameer) her real father, adopted by the parents who raised her, but she’s also expected to marry her arrogant, controlling cousin Murtasim (Wahaj Ali). Literally abandoned by her parents at Anwar’s house, Meerub feels like an orphan and agrees to marry Murtasim.
The best character on the show is Meerub, who is confident, self-assured and determined despite everything her family has put her through. There is so much that is illogical about Meerub’s upbringing, particularly that her parents would not tell her the truth considering they were always expected to “give her back.” Her marriage was arranged to Murtasim as a baby, so why wouldn’t they have prepared her mentally for this drastic shift? The way these “loving” parents raised Meerub and then left her at the slaughterhouse is possibly the most ridiculous, cruel thing they could have done…..so did they ever really love her? While the writers would have us believe that, it does not come across that way. Yet Meerub’s self-respect and the way she picks herself up and dusts herself off is commendable. She’s a character we can connect with and root for. Despite the show’s over-the-top nature, Meerub herself is mostly well-written.
And while Wahaj Ali’s stoic yet soft, rigid yet surprisingly sweet performance of Murtasim is making us go weak in the knees, it’s hard to forget that he’s literally a character written in a fip-floppy manner. His words go against his character’s actions, his actions go against his words. Murtasim is introduced as this arrogant young man who will not bend against anyone – and yet gives in to his mother’s order to marry Meerub in an instant when he (apparently) loved someone else. After slapping Meerub for absolutely no reason whatsoever, he states that he has never slapped a woman before – so why now? Murtasim is an attractive character only because Wahaj Ali is attractive. Otherwise, this isn’t a character worthy of Wahaj’s talent or caliber. As of right now, Murtasim does not make sense as a character – and yet, can we do anything but enjoy watching him with the way Wahaj Ali is performing?
The treatment of “Tere Bin” has already gone into long, delayed slow motion scenes (Haya’s ridiculous mehndi dance being the most atrocious one) with reaction shots that go on endlessly. It’s a disappointment to see a great team like this being given a finished product anything less than excellent. The writing and the way the show has been presented is letting them all down, to be honest. This should be a masterpiece, but instead, it’s a guilty pleasure watch. And of course, that’s fine, because guilty pleasure viewing is thoroughly entertaining. However “guilty pleasure watch” is not something one would associate with Wahaj Ali and Yumna Zaidi, who stand for quality.