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19 Jan

10 easy steps to making a successful TV Drama

Remember Khuda Ki Basti, one of the greatest drama serials in history that was also introduced in the syllabi of drama academies all over the world, or Dhoop Kinarey, still considered one of the best TV serials that could even put Shonda Rhymes to shame. That was the golden age of television, not this bassi daal we have to eat every single day. TV dramas today, in simpler terms, are like Living with the Kardashians: standard, predictable and useless.

Before you all blaze up your pitch-forks and charge us with blasphemy against everything Fawad and Mahira Khan have worked excruciatingly hard for, let’s take a look at how standard and easy it is to make a TV drama these days. Join us, won’t you?



First impressions are your last ones so remember to keep it completely poetic and irrelevant. It has to be something that has no connection to your story or your theme, feel free to make whatever sense of it, let us know too. For a profound touch use some of these uber original keywords:

Dil, Aap, Pyar, Kissi, Piya, Ishq.

And for the poster, how about putting a “Nasreen, or a“Shagufta” type girl in the middle and a “Shakoor” and a “Yaqoob” looking boy on each side.



Picture yourself in the most morbid of situations, with the sky grey and gloomy. There is death and destruction all around you. The world and all its beauty slowly diminishes right in front of you and all that you hold dear is no more.

No, we’re not describing a zombie apocalypse. This is the theme of your OST.



Enter your main lead. Don’t worry about striking good looks or an ounce of personality. You need to look for a perpetual MAMA’s boy, whose world starts and ends with the approval of his mother. Sexy, isn’t it?



She’s vivacious, ambitious and wants to achieve everything for herself and her family. She will also give up all of those dreams to please her family and cook some round rotis because nothing will make her father prouder than a daughter who crushes her dreams to clean the kitchen.

She boasts of industrial strength patience, so feel free to put her through Chinese torture and she won’t even flinch; SSG commandos got nothing on this one, after all nothing is more disgraceful than a woman that stands up for herself.



Her world is crushed under the burden of unmarried daughters, so she’ll give them up to the first, most offensive, dowry obsessed group of people that walk into her home. Why? Because Zamana kya kahay ga!




Why is she a crazy, lying, self-absorbed, dramatic, narcissistic personality disorder sufferer? She has a son!

That is all she’s accomplished in her life, apart from nailing down a rich husband and she will make sure you don’t forget that. She is the main villain in the story so make her look extra scary.

She also sleeps upside down in her room and is allergic to garlic and mirrors.



Who is she? Why is she there? Does she have any dialogues? Nobody knows but hey! She’ll work in your drama for free and might even pick up some snacks on her way to the shoot.



Just because every super villain needs a minion. She’ll oil the stairs and kill the brakes. She’ll push her down the stairs or just scream at her for ratings. She will also eventually run away with a random boy to teach her family the valuable lesson of KARMA. She is your sister in law.



Think big and bold. What would Ekta Kapoor do? And then multiply that with a x100 level of irrationality. That is your plot twist. Do I hear shark attack?



No plot building or organic conclusion. Everything is haywire for 29 episodes but come that 30th episode it will all be sorted in the span of 13 minutes. Whether it is Murder, abduction, bankruptcy or even the Panama papers. Just, FIX IT!





Haider Maqsood

The author is our Haute Lahore Correspondent, who's a part time writer with a full time passion to stay candid and loud!