THE WEEK THAT WAS

Prem Gali | ARY, Mondays 8.00pm

Way too much interference, possessiveness and insecurity from their respective in-laws has finally created a rift between the newly-married couple Joya (Sohai Ali Abro) and Hamza (Farhan Saeed). When Hamza suggests that they go live on their own, Joya disagrees, since living with her family was something Hamza had agreed to before the wedding. Doing her own bit of spying on Hamza, Joya’s mum Shireen (Saba Parvez) finds out that it is her ex-husband and Joya’s father (Javed Sheikh) who has given Hamza a cushy job to help the young couple out in his own way. Enraged for her own twisted reasons, Shireen warns Joya’s father to stay away from her life. Peppered with writer Faiza’s Iftikhar’s sharp wit, the best track is the hint of romance between Musarrat (Uzma Hassan), Joya’s melancholic aunt, and Hamza’s quirky uncle Luqman (Farhat Abdullah).

Mehrposh | Geo TV, Fridays 8.00pm

It doesn’t quite matter why Mehru’s (Ayeza Khan) younger sister Ayat (Zainab Shabbir) had to die to move and shake things up for Mehru and Shahjehan (Danish Taimoor). Or that the serial dragged on a bit with insipid ‘thought scenes’. Because it all built up to a final episode that stuck it at the landing in every possible way. From the intense scene between Shahjehan and Mehru, when she is dressed as a bride, to the cliff-hanger scene between husband-to-be Rashid (Affan Khan) and Mehru, when he quizzes her about Shahjehan, and from the emotional scene where Rashid hands Mehru over to Shahjehan, to Mehru’s mum Nusrat’s (Sania Saeed) heartfelt payoff of Rashid’s big decision. Ayeza Khan, Danish Taimoor, Sania Saeed and Affan Khan were outstanding in offbeat roles that allowed them to explore their talent.

What To Watch Out For

Raqs-i-Bismil | Hum TV, Fridays 8.00 pm

A story around gaddi-nasheens [hereditary shrine caretakers] and dancing girls is no novelty in our plays, such as Dewaar-i-Shab and Zebaish, which were aired not so long ago and both flopped. RB seems a little more potent, however, because of its treatment and cast, which includes Sarah Khan and Imran Ashraf as leads and in interesting characters. The gaddi-nasheen, bearded and conservative Moosa (Imran Ashraf) has fallen in love at first sight with the heavily kohled, green-eyed, dancing girl Zohra (Sarah Khan), who is an abaya-clad and gloved student by day, and a dancing girl by night. When Moosa relentlessly pursues her to tell her he wants to marry her (without so much as knowing her name) because his desire is to marry someone whom no man has ever set eyes on, she calls him to a party to show him what her avatar by night is. Super-bold of Zohra but Moosa is shell-shocked. However, looks like Moosa is at the point of no return, and so the fun begins. g — Fouzia Nasir Ahmad

Published in Dawn, ICON, January 17th, 2021

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