It’s a truth universally acknowledged that we are our own worst critics. It is constructive to provide criticism to the entertainment industry which carries the responsibility of showing the true face of our society, create relatable stories, leave moral lessons, and sometimes keep things light just for pure entertainment. On the contrary, it is just as necessary to give credits where they are due, provide praises when things have been done right, and let the others know of our winners, just as proudly as we display our worsts.
Pakistani drama industry, for a long time, has been plagued by cries, tears, and woes of women in almost every other series. However, every once in a while, the intellects come together and create a masterpiece.
In this write-up, we are going to list down these winner dramas that you need to watch to appreciate the talent in the industry and just have a good time binging through the weekend.
Alpha, Bravo, Charlie (1998)
Few dramas have lived up to the level of this masterpiece, and we’re talking 1998. This drama proves that hard work, genius, and talent is never limited by the technology of the era. Written by Shoaib Mansoor and Zia-ur-Rehman and directed by Mansoor as well, this drama was launched as a sequel to the miniseries Sunehry Din (Golden Days). Little did anyone know that this drama will become one of the highest-rated dramas of all times in Pakistan. With the solid cast that included Qasim Khan, Abdullah Mehmood, Faraz Inam, Shahnaz Khwaja, and many other talented artists.
The coming-of-age drama followed the lives of three boys Faraz, Kashif, and Gulsher, immature and young and going through all the ordeals every young person goes through, that is, until they joined the army, befriended each other and learned things that only people ready to forfeit their lives for the county could. The drama is a glorious mix of entertainment, laughter, cries, and meaningful lessons. Another thing that stood out in this drama was the character of the leading lady. Let’s just say, she was a lady boss, totally unconventional at the time yet extremely cool. If you’re in-between dramas or a youngster who has yet to delve into their drama industry, then we suggest you start here. The only downside to it is that PTV hasn’t released the series in good HD quality, so you’ll have to brave the low quality. But once you get past that, you’ll find yourself binge-watching the series in the dead of the night. Get comfortable with your high-quality headphones, and your trusted laptop before getting lost in the magic.
Another classic oldie and yet just as entertaining and addictive to this day as it was back then. Written by the legendary Haseena Moin and once again directed by Shoaib Mansoor alongside Mohsin Ali, this drama has some of the most renowned actors as its cast namely Shehnaz Shekh, Jamshed Ansari, Shakeel, Javed Sheikh, Saleem Nasir, Qazi Wajid, Behroze Sabzwari, Badar Khalil, and others. In addition to the amazing storyline – which is about a middle-class family girl Sana, with a very lively personality full of wishful thinking, clumsy and troublemaker yet at the same time, well aware of her responsibilities and the duty she feels towards her family – this drama has factors that some of the highest budgeted dramas in Pakistan today, lack. First off, acting. The brilliance of emotions, and expressions, and the subtle and tiny facial manifestations are so real, so genuine that you’ll forget that these are not real emotions but just acting. Other things that deserve a shout out in this drama are the dialogues and the delivery. The smooth precision and flow with which pure Urdu dialogues are delivered will feel satisfactory in ways you can’t imagine. There’s no insertion of English words in a sentence, and you are just allowed to appreciate the beauty that is the Urdu Language.
Almost all the Pakistani kids have probably heard this from their parents, or grandparents about how shops used to close early and the streets would be all but empty when this drama would be airing. Talk about the fame of this cult favorite classic.
Another 90s masterpiece was Marvi, while not as famous as the previous two, Marvi still holds its own in the competitive world of Pakistani drama industry. Written by Noor-ul-Huda Shah and directed by Sultana Shah, and a cast with the likes of Ghazal Siddiqui, Mahnoor Baloch, Badar Khalil, Hassam Qazi, Noor Muhammad Lashari and more
The drama takes us into Marvi’s life, a village girl who travels to the city to pursue higher education. The drama dips its toes into the poison that plagues Pakistan, feudalism and why standing up to such evil is necessary. The reason why Marvi is third on this list is that in addition to being a great drama, it was also first of its kind. Such eye-opening dramas that talk about social stigma and taboo topics are a rarity now and were even rarer back then. Marvi was like a breath of fresh air that touched a topic and exposed the feudal mindset that to this day, has made many lives miserable.
Kis Ki Ayegi Barat Series (2009-2012)
Most people think that Pakistani dramas are all about miseries revolving around certain lives, especially the life of women, and they wouldn’t be wrong. That must be the reason why the Kis Ki Ayegi Barat series was such a comic relief. It wasn’t all-out comedy though, it too touched on topics that are very real, and problems that are more than a nuance.
While all four seasons of this series were addictive, the second one, Dolly ki Ayegi Barat undoubtedly took the lead. Perhaps it was the chemistry between Nabeel and Dolly, or perhaps it was the sizzling sensation Saima Chaudhry (Bushra Ansari) brought to this one. Whatever it is, the drama overall is super entertaining, and you’ll eventually find yourself attached to the characters, holding your breath for the next turn their lives would take, and whether the right people would end up getting married, or would it be a match made in hell. However, certain topics don’t exactly make this drama kid-friendly, girls can still plan a day-in, and enjoy the marathon. Oh, and if you do this very often, make sure to invest in a high-end popcorn machine, to enjoy every moment of it.
Dastan is a period drama based on a novel by Razia Butt called Bano. It’s the kind of drama every Pakistani needs to watch if they want to understand the horrors that were the partition. Screenplay written by Samira Fazal and directed by Haissam Hussain, this drama outdid itself in every way possible. Like Marvi, Dastan is the first of its kind, and any other drama that came after couldn’t hit the bar this one raised.
Many things made Dastan the magnum opus it is. First off, the cast consists of the actors that very much deserved Oscar for the kind of performance they delivered. Sanam Baloch for one blew all of our minds off with her heart-wrenching acting. This drama wouldn’t be half as successful as it is, if not for the brilliant talent Sanam Baloch bought to this one. Saba Qamar is another gem that Pakistani drama industry has been blessed with, and she too pulled us into this drama with her originality. Ahsan Khan became his character with fineness and Fawad Khan did what he does best, made us fall in love with him. Veteran actors such as Samina Peerzada and Saba Hameed too brought strength to the solid acting troupe.
Now the story that Razia Butt weaved was very much based on real-life stories, and that fact made it even rawer. Let us warn you though, this drama didn’t pull any punches and if you are in for a light, entertaining watch, stay far away. However, if you want a high-class drama based on real-life events that will keep you awake, and make you feel a lot closer to your country and countrymen then this drama is for you. The story starts as most stories do, introducing us to our main characters, and their happy lives. While the political turmoil in the subcontinent continues, it hasn’t affected everyone’s lives to that extent. Bano is our main lady, a girl enjoying her brother’s wedding, and feeling the intensity of her first real love. However, her innocence, her future, and everything are snatched from right under her nose when the partition is announced. Bano goes through the worst experiences of her life and takes us right along with her, its seems like life keeps dealing her a bad hand, and yet her hopes never diminish because no matter what happens, she still sees a light at the end of the tunnel, that light for her is Pakistan. We suggest watching it in high quality and make sure your speaker system is on point when your family is your binge partners.
Mein Abdul Qadir Hoon (2011)
Pakistani drama very rarely focuses on the life struggles of a young man, hence this drama stood right out from the very beginning when it weaved a coming of age story, of a young boy named Abdul Qadir Khan. Written by Sarwat Nazir and produced by Baber Javed, this drama made Fahad Mustafa what he is today. The supporting cast with Alishba Yusuf, Aamina Sheikh, Sana Askari, Saba Hameed, and Faysal Qureshi was just as enigmatic.
This drama also had a spiritual element to it, something drama these days hardly ever touch. All in all, it’s an addictive drama with a genius story, and you’ll find yourself watching episodes after episodes, without ever realizing that you have reached the end. Make sure to grab on some fluffy pillows, and just lie back and enjoy!
Diyar-e-Dil is the kind of drama that has a fairytale-like aspect to it, or perhaps it is just the setting of the drama that makes it appear that way because the story of this drama is as realistic as it can get. Either way, this drama gets a 10/10 on acting, story, setting, and the OST. The story is pushed into motion when a northern boy from a very strong family-oriented clan, led by a patriarch (Agha Jaan) falls in love with a city girl and has to go against the decisions of his grudge-holding father, break the age-old cultures of his family, and had to forfeit his rights to the inheritance all for the sake of love. As a result, his younger brother had to step up and sacrifice his wishes to keep his father’s “pride”.
What ensues is regret, hatred, and fear down the generations between the families of two brothers, that is, until unforeseen circumstances push them all together. The situation forces them to accept their differences, get rid of their pride, remove their prejudices, and perhaps even get close once again, with love. The character development in the drama that fast-forwarded to several years was brilliant. Farhat Ishtiaq did justice to all her characters by giving each of them a chance to explain their own story, and allowing us to learn that in real life, people aren’t black and white, but mysteriously grey.
If you are a Netflix and chill kind of person, who is far too deep into western, Turkish, and even Korean dramas then we strongly suggest you try your own. It will only surprise you to find out that while we may fall behind in many areas, dramas aren’t one of them. Choose your dramas wisely and you’ll truly find yourself looking forward to weekends, or even getting back home after a long day to relax and enjoy your favorite drama series. If there’s anything you need, allow yourself to be lazy once in a while, and order from Farosh.pk.