Pakistani dramas have made colossal strides over the last decade, raising the bar for quality writing, innovation and realism.
No, we don’t mean the daytime soaps that are full of saas/bahu sazishes (mother-in-law/daughter-in-law scheming) but the prime-time offerings of our major channels.
Ever increasing internet access and the spread of social media have put any show just a click away. A sizable section of the Indian public and the worldwide subcontinental diaspora now make up a hitherto unheard of international audience.
So it made perfect business sense for Indian broadcasting giant Zee TV to take advantage of such a commercial opportunity and dedicate a channel called Zee Zindagi to their transmission. It was these same dramas that introduced not just India but anyone on the globe (who understands even a little Urdu) to our most famous exports Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan.
Unfortunately, political rhetoric seems to have reduced the torch of cross border friendship and goodwill to the kind of flickering diya Paro carried around for Devdas, so maybe it’s time to remind everyone why the diya was lit in the first place.
Now, this list was not easy to compile. Just being popular or “hit of the season” will not get your favorite drama on it. Firstly, a drama has to be incredibly well written: any repetitious dialogues, inconsistent characterizations, or lazy reliance on stereotypes or clichés would be an immediate disqualification.
The ones that did make it to the Top 10 have these things in common: repeat value, iconic characters, a coherent story from start to finish and a strong director.
However, the single most important common denominator was that they were all rock solid entertainment, the kind of show audiences were desperately waiting all week for.