Watching a drama like “Yunhi” is bittersweet, because the overall feel of the show is rather pleasant and inviting. The setup is cute, the atmosphere homely and the writing nostalgic. There’s also the matter of the excellent cast, including Maya Ali, Bilal Ashraf, Behroze Sabzwari, Deepak Perwan, Uzma Beg and others. Aside from this, the fact that the story has been written by Samira Fazal and directed by Ehtashamuddin is a huge crowd puller. Unfortunately, despite all these plus points, there is something severely lacking in terms of the female lead character and a root-worthy love story.
In episode 5, Kim (Maya Ali) foolishly sits on a bike with two strange men, believing them to be tour guides….working at night…right after she spotted them harassing a young woman. Kim proves herself to be incredibly dim in this moment, but unfortunately, this isn’t her at her worst. After being saved by Dawood (Bilal Ashraf), who is admittedly acting like an overprotective stalker, Kim does not show an iota of remorse. In fact, she openly disrespects every member of the family she is staying with, continues to insult Dawood and cannot respect the customs of the country she is visiting. There’s a lot wrong with Kim. It continues after Daniyal takes her out for shopping. The two are held up in an attempted robbery and Kim kicks the gun out of the robber’s hand and saves the day. A woman who happily hops onto the bike of a harasser at night suddenly decides to be street smart….when a gun is involved. This doesn’t make much sense any way it’s twisted. But again, this isn’t Kim’s biggest blunder. Kim also states confidently after finding a picture of Dawood with a girl that “according to her research,” men like this usually have 3-4 wives. Men like what? Kim has not spent any time with Dawood and is purely judging him, calling him a terrorist and now making assumptions on his romantic life based on his wearing shalwar kameez at the airport. That is the extent of what she knows about him. Who wrote this character? Kim, as a character, is actually the sore point in what could otherwise be a great show. Bilal Ashraf is very likable in his role as Dawood and, quite honestly, Maya Ali is doing her best with a really terrible character.
The highlight of the show continues to be the portions centered on the family and, particularly, the scenes with Naveed (Deepak Perwani). At present, we are looking forward to a love story between Iqbal and Naveed – and we can only hope that however they move forward, it’s a properly fleshed out storyline and love story. Overall, “Yunhi” has the old school charm going for it along with some good dialogues and an intriguing storyline. Unfortunately, everything remotely connected to the Kim character is irritating – and with over fifty percent of the show focused on her character, that’s a large portion of the drama. “Yunhi,” despite doing well with ratings, has failed to win over a large section of the audience with flawed writing – American Pakistanis.