THE WEEK THAT WAS
Wehshi | Hum TV, Mon-Tues 9.00pm
What might seem like an ordinary story of family politics and rivalry has been turned into compelling viewing with well-sketched characters and a detailed mapping of their motivations. Sobia (Komal Mir) was once Asif’s (Khushhal Khan) hope, the light that would lead him out of the dark pain and anger of his past, but her betrayal will once more sink him into a sea of resentment and despair.
Sobia is not the villain but she is the antagonist. Her ambition and cold ability to choose Asif’s privileged stepbrother Amir was a little abrupt, but not a surprise after her treatment of her childhood friend Tahir (Kumail Anam). Her clear indictment of Asif’s mother Muneera’s (Nadia Khan) neglect of Asif shatters the older woman’s convenient excuses; but will that absolve Sobia?
Excellent performances from Komal Mir, Khushhal Khan and Nadia Khan make this a must-watch every week. This story seems to be heading towards more heartbreak and tragedy, as the teasers show Asif unable to move on. Will writer Shumaila Zaidi’s script stay true to the original Razia Butt novel it is based on, or will it surprise us with a more positive message of maturity and forgiveness?
Farq | Geo TV, Mon-Tues 8.00pm
When a drama becomes a hit, channels put aside innovation to milk the successful formula, ad nauseam, without respecting the nuance and context of the original. So far, Farq looks like a knock-off of the hit serial Fitoor and the latest fad of the maalik (boss) marrying the driver’s daughter.
Kamal (Faysal Quraishi) is a wealthy widower with a grown-up daughter Ayzal (Saba Shah), who is persuaded to search for a wife to manage his household. His friend’s sister Faiza (Javaria Abbasi) is an educated woman from a good family and near his age; this reasonableness of course, automatically disqualifies her. To maintain the hero’s image of saintliness, Ayzal is shown rejecting a perfectly appropriate candidate as fake. Meanwhile, Kamal’s ambitious driver plots to get his young daughter Irsa married to the ageing businessman.
Irsa (Sehar Khan) is a victim of her abusive father’s drunken rages and longs for freedom and the luxuries she sees from afar. From the teasers, Irsa will marry Kamal and Ayzal’s resentment, combined with a manipulative boyfriend in the form of Adeel Chaudhry, will lead to a path of infidelity. The stale plot is an even bigger disappointment when we learn the writer is Imran Nazir, whose past scripts have often impressed us.
Fraud | ARY, Saturdays 8.00pm
In a rare show of courage, Maya (Saba Qamar) tells her mother-in-law (Asma Abbas) and Tooba (Naima Butt) the truth about Tabraiz (Ahsan Khan) being a wedding scammer. Tabraiz is out, but a clever, desperate man like him will find a way back.
The best part of this serial has been the sweet chemistry between Maya and Shaan (Mikaal Zulfikar), but now the relationship they had been building is on shaky ground. Meanwhile, the widowed Maila (Rabya Kulsoom) is sinking deeper into depression and, just as in every other drama, the only solution the writer has to offer is that she unthinkingly jumps straight into another relationship with her sister’s “almost” ex-husband. With so many breakups, divorces and weddings, this serial seems to be a walking advertisement for staying single.
What To Watch Out For
Aik Thi Laila | Express, Coming soon
Exciting teasers for the new serial Aik Thi Laila are out and show us this is a fun mystery with a good dose of comedy, and with a very authentic slice of life taken from the city of Lahore. Who is Laila and why is the police looking for her?
Published in Dawn, ICON, November 27th, 2022