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5 Jun

What happened to the 24-episode long Pakistani drama?

Pakistani dramas

Amid all the disastrous issues surrounding the world, it looks like Pakistani dramas have also decided to torture us. Channel heads, producers or directors (whosoever is responsible) have taken away the very thing we loved them for: the short and precise storylines. One of the many reasons why Pakistanis shifted from watching Indian soap operas to local plays was realistic plot lines with limited episodes like 22 or maximum 24. However, it looks like these dramas have also fallen into the trap of increasing the episodes to milk it down to the very last penny.

These shows are written for a limited number of episodes, and when they’re dragged on for a long time, it’s pretty obvious that the makers fail in filling the gap successfully. Take the most recent example of Yeh Dil Mera; a drama with a good storyline and a great cast got stretched too far beyond redemption and we, as fans, are helpless. The director, Aehsun Talish, clarified that the show was always supposed to be 33 episodes long. So our question is, if it was always planned, why did they have to fill episodes with random conversations between Farhana khala and Bua jee when those scenes add absolutely nothing to the development of the story?

 

Natty Khala played by Natasha Hussain

Farhana khala played by Natasha Hussain

 

Another show that dragged and lost its entire audience in the process was Ruswai. The drama started with a promising context. We were hooked for the first five episodes and then had to suffer through household dramatics for months until the show ended after 29 episodes.

We all know that a drama can still be successful with a short run that ends within 22-24 episodes. Meray Paas Tum Ho, one of the most-watched shows in the country that had everyone hooked to their TV screens, only had 23 episodes. It went out so strong that people even rushed to cinemas to watch its finale.

 

Adnan Siddiqui, Ayeza Khan and Humayun Saeed in Meray Paas Tum Ho

 

Previously, other really promising dramas including Alif and Ehd-e-Wafa, ended within a limited time period where the story was kept intact. However, some dramas seemed to have not gotten the memo! All shows these days have a long and stretched timeline with usually a ruined plot. Thora Sa Haq (30+ episodes), Jo Tu Chahey (42+ ep), Naqab Zan (37 ep), and Munafiq (60 ep!) and the list goes on. This redundancy has forced us to stop watching a drama before it reaches its long-due conclusion.

 

Saboor Aly and Ali Abbas in Naqab Zan

 

We believe that Pakistani dramas don’t need to resort to such tactics to make money. It has been proven time and again that a good drama only needs to deliver the message as concisely and crisply as possible. Humsafar, Zindagi Gulzar Hai and so many dramas made their mark within a limited time. And if money is the deciding factor then the makers should try declaring them soaps to audiences’ relief. There is no need to torture the audiences for 30+ weeks just to see a story end.

 

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Eman Lakhany