2018 has given us a lot of great stuff on celluloid along with a hefty share of the strange and unwatchable too. While dramas like Aakhri Station were revolutionary, bringing to light women-centric issues as well as mental health, we also had the usual myriad of damsel in distresses and evil women that drama makers (and apparently viewers) seem to love.
Here are our picks for best and worst serials from this year, a few of which are still on-going, in no particular order:
Ranjha Ranjha Kardi – Best
Written by Faiza Iftikhar and directed by Kashif Nisar, this play stars Iqra Aziz, Imran Ashraf, Syed Jibran and Noor ul Hassan Rizvi. You can’t miss this one. It’s probably one of the best plays to have come out on TV ever. There’s no exaggeration. So far, in ten episodes or less, there’s enough reason to believe that there hasn’t been a false note in the writing, direction or the performances. Binge-watch. Now.
Ghar Titli Ka Par – Worst
Female jealousies, scheming women, nasty women – stereotypes are in abundance in this play, which does not serve any purpose except provide bubblegum for your eyes and brains. It had a very soap opera quality that made it do well with the audiences, but kind of had the same problem as Dil Mom ka Diya: harmful stereotypes peddled as complex stories.
Dar Si Jati Hai Sila – Best
Written by Bee Gul and directed by Kashif Nisar, this play dealt with the subject of sexual, physical and emotional abuse occurring within families. Starring Yumna Zaidi, Noman Ijaz, Sakina Sammo and Saleem Sheikh, the drama is set in a joint family where a young girl named Sila is abused by her ‘adopted’ uncle and spends years fearing him and everything else. It’s one intense play that is definitely one of the best ones this year.
Dil Mom ka Diya – Worst
What can one say about a drama that embodies the worst stereotypes about women, dresses it up to look good and tells you that if you are married against your will just learn to ‘make the best’ out of it. The play embodied some super harmful stereotypes about women, marriage, parenting and relationships. Hard pass.
Aangan – Best
The play was a hilariously real take on a typical Punjabi family. It was written by Faiza Iftikhar and directed by Qasim Mureed. Notable performances by Irsa Ghazal and Paras Masroor made it a treat to watch.
Khudparast – Worst
Empowered girl is evil. Need we say more on why this premise should just stop existing?
Aakhri Station – Best
This seven episode miniseries was directed by Sarmad Khoosat and written by Amna Mufti. The drama encompassed the stories of various women going through difficulties in their lives and learning to rise above them. The focus on mental health plus women-centric issues made this serial a clear winner.
Deedan – Worst
The accents, the storyline, the over-the-top stereotyping is all a pain. It has some good messages against the harmful honor culture but other than that and Sanam Saeed’s gorgeous looks, there’s little to like in the play.
Baandi – Best
Baandi is written by Asma Nabeel and directed by Ahmad Kamran. It powerfully exposes how various people exploit wealth, religion and the poor to serve their own selfish purposes. This is a must watch.
Main Khayal Hoon Kisi Aur ka – Worst
A lot of potentially great actors have been wasted in the play and a lot of undeserving actors have been cast here. Let’s just leave it at that.
Khudgharz – Best
Starring Mansha Pasha, Aaminah Sheikh, Ghulam Muhiyuddin, Sami Khan and Syed Jibran, this play was written by Rida Bilal and directed by Yasir Nawaz. The plot spoke of the many layers in the human psyche, such as sibling rivalry, mental health and family dynamics, without vilifying women or restricting men to horrible or pathetic beings.
Meri Guriya- A play about sexual abuse starring Mohsin Abbas Haider as a predator.
Aisi Hai Tanhai- A play that spoke of harmful pressures in society.
Ghughi- A period play based on Amrita Preetam’s novel Pinjar.
Suno Chanda- A drama that was a romantic comedy and definitely a breath of fresh air from the roti dhoti aurat!
Lashkara- A tale of inner Lahore, jealousies and how some of these jealousies result in an acid attack.
Baba Jani- A family drama about a young woman and her stepfather.