THE WEEK THAT WAS

Ishq Hai | ARY, Tuesdays 8.00pm

In what seems to be an undeclared competition to romanticise the worst kind of masculinity, Feroz Khan and Faysal Quraishi step aside as Danish Taimoor tries his luck, as yet another obsessed lover. Shahzeb (Danish Taimoor) and Isra (Minal Khan) are in love but, when their families reject the match, Isra bows to her parents’ wishes and prepares to marry another man. However, Shahzeb foils everyone’s plans by kidnapping the reluctant girl and blackmailing her into a nikaah by putting a gun to his head. Apart from Shahzeb’s obviously disturbed behaviour, there are a lot of loopholes and forced elements in the plot — such as Isra’s Canada-returned fiancé falling in love after a couple of meetings, and forcing her into marriage. Like all such “masala entertainers” a level of fantasy and suspension of disbelief is required to get on board with the story. Taimoor is a good actor and key to this serial’s success; the intensity and self-belief he brings to his character seems to be what the masses crave. Khan is left with little to do except virtue signal and faint.

Raqse Bismil | Hum TV, Fridays 8.00pm

This drama ended on a beautiful note of pure, honest romance, as Musa (Imran Ashraf Awan) and Zohra (Sarah Khan) were finally united, prompting excited fans into making it a top trend on Twitter. Phenomenal screen chemistry between the leads and powerful, emotive performances have been the key to this show’s success. Putting aside a few episodes that dragged, director Wajahat Rauf created some magic by deftly combining action and emotion in the right proportions.

What To Watch Out For

Harjai (Hercai) | TV One, Mon-Sun 7.00-8.00pm

When it was first released, this Turkish Dizi gained a worldwide fan following. Set in rural Turkey, where age-old traditions are still maintained, this serial tells a story of generational revenge and deceit. This serial will resonate with Pakistani audiences who are very familiar with the burden of ‘honour’ that women are forced to carry in conservative cultures.

Published in Dawn, ICON, July 18th, 2021

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