THE WEEK THAT WAS
Zaalim Istanbul | Urdu1, Sat-Sun 9.00pm
For those who can’t get enough Turkish fare during the week, Zaalim Istanbul (Ruthless City) is the new weekend offering on Urdu1. This 2019-20 series is about the physically-challenged Nadeem (Berker Guven) who lives with his wealthy businessman uncle Agha Karachay (Fikret Kuskan) who adores him, but Nadeem’s health is deteriorating. Agha wants Nadeem to get married so that he always has someone to look after him. Throw in Agha’s irresponsible son Jan (Ozan Dolunay), carefree daughter Raima (Simay Barlas), and his beautiful and evil wife Shahnaz (Mine Tugay), who hates Nadeem because he knows a secret from her past. Shahnaz messes up Nadeem’s meds because she doesn’t want him to get well. When a small family moves into Agha’s mansion, Nadeem’s life changes. From here begins a story of deceit, greed, love and a struggle for existence. Apparently, the pandemic halted the production of ZI and, when it resumed, the series lost its director, head screenwriter and oomph. Not too much eye candy here but some dangerously spicy secrets make for an engaging story.
Youn Tau Hai Pyaar Bohat | Hum TV, Tuesdays 8.00pm
Popular screen couple Hira Mani (Aima) and Affan Khan (Zain) appear as leads in their third serial together which has a somewhat different story by Aliya Bukhari. Aima studies law and is the breadwinner of her middle class family. Her father Mohsin (Javed Sheikh) married a younger woman Roohi (Nadia Hussain) and has a daughter Sonia (Sabeena Syed) who listens to loud music that the parents squabble about. Aima is seeing her cousin Zain but she is not too thrilled about his aspirations to become a singer, as Zain sings in a restaurant and earns a pittance. The funny bit is that Zain sings in a few scenes but there is no song, just background music. Let’s hope the beautiful OST by Jibran Raheel will become Zain’s song at some point in time.
What To Watch Out For
Shehnai | ARY, Thursdays 9.00pm
How four characters can make a wedding happen and unhappen is only because writer Radain Shah and director Ahmed Bhatti have endless astounding twists and turns up their sleeves. After being royally dumped by his ex Samreen (Maham Amir), revelations come about for Meerab (Affan Khan), who has finally opened his eyes to reality. Realising that he really loves Bakht (Ramsha Khan), he stumbles upon Bakht’s devious uncle Kafayat (Salim Mairaj at his comic best) concocting a plan with Hunain (Hammad Shoaib) — Bakht’s ex — to swindle some money from Bakht. Bakht foolishly falls for Hunain and Kafayat’s game plan, and honours them with a fat cheque. When Meerab tells her the reality, she remains adamant that Meerab is a liar who kept things from her in the past such as hiding from her that he knew Hunain didn’t want to marry her. This one is actually good to binge watch on YouTube because one episode a week leaves you unsatiated.
Published in Dawn, ICON, June 20th, 2021