After a year, the reigning queen of dramas Saba Qamar is back, this time with ‘Cheekh.’ She’s affirmed it’s her hardest role to date, and it took an emotional toll on her even more so than ‘Baaghi’ did. While at first glance, the episode was at most mediocre, with the usual trope of a montage of character introduction in subtle filmy ways, the build-up and the shocking ending gave hope.
Hania stars as Daneen, an intrepid and unapologetic young girl who dictates her own life – a progessive character that serves as a breath of fresh air amidst the usual girls we’re inclined to hone in our serials. Her on-screen love interest is played by the dashing Shehzad Sheikh (Areesh) – but it’s not the usual love story trope we’re so used to experiencing. Shehzad is fantastic at emoting such softness as Areesh, and his compatibility with Daneen has been portrayed magnificently by director Shahzad Kashmiri – it’s never overtly done, and there is a strong sense of realism dappled on their estranged love story. I won’t give much more away so as not to spoil ‘Anaa,’ but I promise you their kahaani is simply magnificent.
3. Do Bol
Our current obsession, ‘Do Bol’ stars Affan Waheed and Hira Mani in a beautiful, aching story written by Sarwat Nazir. Affan really does prove he is hero material and it’s a relief to see Hira shine as the lead female protagonist (finally). The premise of the drama is marriage, and the positive side to it (unlike the suppressive nature we are so inclined to see about the topic in most serials).
Despite receiving tremendous backlash over not being on YouTube (the ultimate biggest source of audience ratings for Pakistani dramas), ‘Aangan’ has managed to remain on the top of the watchlist of many drama aficionados. With a sturdy ensemble cast (and the return of Ahad Raza Mir and Sajal Aly on-screen), the pre-partition drama is nothing short of a timeless film – a saga that has been dipped in cinematic magic.
5. Kaisa Hai Naseeban
This drama just wrapped up a few days ago, but it blares a transcending moral that will continue to have new viewers zealously watching it; #STOPMARITALABUSE is plastered on all the teasers, and without giving too much away, the drama divulges the terrifying truth about rushing into shaadi without thinking and being a silent sufferer of an abusive husband. Ramsha Khan and Muneeb Butt dig a fantastic depth with their chemistry, and the drama never slows down.
It’s always a thrill to see a real-life couple star together on-screen; Aiman Khan and Muneeb Butt sizzle in this tantalizing drama about a poor girl who ends up living in a house where the landlord subjects her to abuse. The serial has been lauded for bringing forth another taboo in society on how we treat our impoverished classes. Slave culture (still a harrowing norm) is what drives ‘Baandi’ to the top of our watchlist.
7. Ranjha Ranjha Kardi
The show has received controversy for its take on mental health, however, it has been commended for its ardent and honest attempt and shedding light on how we just don’t take the concept seriously. Mental health is all too often swept under the rug, and the show really does a fabulous job of trying to bring forth the awaami perspective that will definitely boil your blood. Imran Ashraf raises the bar once again as Bhola, and Iqra Aziz affirms our theory that she is one of the finest actors we have in the game.
Another touching show about a brooding romance between different classes, ‘Aatish’ is about an orphan (Hina Altaf) who is abandoned by her mother; she ends up being a housemaid in one of her mother’s employers (Azra Mansoor) and is treated godawfully. The son of the house (Azfar Rehman) returns from abroad and falls in love with her…the rest, well, watch to find out!
Which drama are you watching?