THE WEEK THAT WAS

Pardes | ARY, Monday 8.00pm

Even though the storyline of a young man (Sarmad Khoosat as Ahsan) being pressurised primarily by his greedy mother (Bushra Ansari) to leave saintly wife (Shaista Lodhi as Zuby) and kid (Dur-e-Fishan Saleem as Aimen) behind to work abroad is not a new one, there are three reasons to watch Pardes. The writer Sarwat Nazir has a knack for tackling lower-middle class issues, Marina Khan is the director, and the cast — that includes Affan Waheed, Jeenan Hussain, Gohar Rasheed, Sana Javed’s sister Hina Javed and Atiqa Odho — is intriguing. The slow and miserable build-up to the premise was unnecessarily spread out over double-launch episodes. Ahsan is the sole breadwinner of his family and content with his simple life and wife, but his younger jobless, careless brother Asim (Gohar Rasheed) panders to his new wife Noshi’s (Shermeen Ali) nakhras. After the Baraat series, which Marina co-directed with Nadeem Baig, all eyes are on Khan’s first solo directorial.

Khuda Aur Mohabbat | Geo TV Fridays 8.00pm

Movie-like art direction and creative camerawork adds oomph to this tragic tale of love and remorse. After Feedi’s (Feroze Khan) apparent death, Mahi (Iqra Aziz) is guilt-ridden for having driven him to throw himself on the railway tracks after her disregard for his feelings. Reluctantly, she partakes in the wedding festivities at her ancestral haveli in Bahawalpur, and finally gets married to the handsome Taimoor Shah (Mirza Zain Baig) with perpetual thoughts of Feedi in her head. Taimoor’s elder brother, Sikandar (Junaid Khan), is besotted with courtesan-style singing girl Romana (Tooba Siddiqui), which seems to be the more entertaining track. Interesting how our storylines still have a touch of the ’70s’ Anjuman!

What To Watch Out For

Aakhir Kab Tak | Hum TV Sunday 8.00pm

Working after seven years with director Syed Ali Raza Osama, whom she made her debut with in Bashar Momin (2015), Ushna Shah plays the lead Noor, a strong college-going girl who is her younger sister Fajar’s (Srha Asghar) strength and voice. Fajar is timid, anxiety-ridden and nervous because of her tyrannical father (Shahood Alvi) being violent with her mother Safia (Javeria Abbasi). At the tuition centre, Fajar has caught the eye of the slimy teacher Zafar (Azfar Rehman) who preys on girls who will keep mum about him harassing them, by making their videos and blackmailing them. A strong antagonist often leads the story and Azfar Rehman is a delight to watch. Tyrannical fathers, domestic abuse and stammering kids we have seen before, but how the kids from such families get preyed upon is a new angle and an intriguing one.

Published in Dawn, ICON, May 30th, 2021

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