THE WEEK THAT WAS

Shajar-i-Mamnu | Urdu1, Mon-Fri 9.00pm

Break-ups, make-ups and a looming divorce in the backdrop of Aliya’s (Sevval Sam) relentless plotting and planning keeps the viewers hooked for five weeknights. Aliya’s ex-husband Halit (Talal Bulut) is swiftly falling into her trap, as she gains more and more space in his office and his life. Halit’s present wife Yilzid (Eda Ece) is bracing for her divorce, which she has brought upon herself because of her stupidity, sparing Aliya the trouble to create a break-up between Halit and Yilzid. Yilzid’s more sensible sister Zainab (Sevda Erginci) is finally now engaged to handsome business magnate and her ex-boss Alihan (Onur Tuna). Halit’s driver and Yilzid’s ex-husband Kemal (Sarp Can Koroglu), becoming a mysterious millionaire overnight, was probably the first unbelievably implausible move in an otherwise entertaining and engaging story. The glamorous wardrobe and make-up that the female characters flaunt from breakfast to dinner are a visual treat, but one does wonder if this is StarPlus-type content for the Turks!

Fitoor | Geo TV, Thursdays 8.00pm

Even though newlywed wife Dilnasheen (Hiba Bokhari) treats him like a dead rat, older-rich man Haider (Faysal Quraishi) is being the nicest husband ever, to patiently give her time to get settled in an arranged marriage. Meanwhile, Haider’s first love Mehmal (Kiran Haq) has left her errant husband Ansab (Tipu Sharif) to come and live in Haider’s house. Oddly enough, wearing silky sequined saris with matching capes for breakfast, she seems to have some wicked plans behind her distressed and helpless façade. When Mehmal tells Haider how he melts her heart, Haider trumps her by asking her why she has suddenly developed feelings for him, right after he got married to Dilnasheen. This love triangle can be quite intriguing but Kiran Haq’s wardrobe, which seems to consist of red carpet rejects, doesn’t let us take her plight seriously.

What To Watch Out For

Shehnai | ARY, Thursdays 8.00pm

If you thought that Shehnai was going to be another domestic saga around a wedding, you’re probably not that wrong, but writer Radain Shah has brought a fresh twist to her new rom-com. After the success of Ghissi Piti Mohabbat, director Ahmed Bhatti seems all set for a double whammy with Shehnai, which has a movie-type wedding ambience. Stuck in an arranged situation, Affan Khan as Meerab and Ramsha Khan as Bakht are about to get engaged, but Bakht makes a bold move, only to discover that she is not the only one uninterested in the arranged option. Affan Khan is on a roll after Do Bol, while Ramsha’s doing what she does best, playing the headstrong beauty with brains, although it’s sad to see a talented actor being typecast. The huge cast is star-studded as there is Bakht’s huge extended family and Meerab’s slightly smaller family, so there are conniving phuppos, dorky uncles, loyal besties and quirky domestic staff. Salim Mairaj and Salma Hassan as husband Rafiq and wife Tooba are most entertaining in this well-crafted serial with an upbeat OST you will boogie to.

Published in Dawn, ICON, March 28th, 2021

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