How TV Drama Narratives Could Have Dragged Less with a Single, Decisive Plot Twist

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By Haddiqua Siddiqui

It is the year 2021; Ashar and Khirad are hanging out in their garden, sipping a cup of cardamom tea. Their daughter Hareem looks at them from afar. Hareem, who is now 13 years old, has not turned out as fine as she would otherwise have, had her parents not played the ye mausam aur ye doori game in 2012. They might have saved Hareem from dying of a hole in her heart but they cannot fill the vacuum that the uncalled for separation left on her mind. Hareem has severe trust issues at the tender age of 13. Also, blame her changing hormones but she gets into a quarrel with Khirad, asking her time and again why did she never call Ashar and tell her that she was pregnant with her?

That is not Hareem questioning Khirad, it is the die-hard Humsafar fan inside me that cannot help but wonder, how different and easy the ending would have been, had the writer, Farhat Ishtiaq, not dragged the narrative as much as she did in the drama.

This is just one of my many favourite Pakistani Dramas that has made me cry and forced me into feeling the pain of the protagonist but also made me cringe, wondering WHY CAN WE NOT LET THINGS FLOW NATURALLY?

Next up, there’s Ye Dil Mera on the list. I love the real-life couple Sajal Aly and Ahad Raza Mir and the drama started off promisingly, laden with suspense and mysterious nuances. But then, episode after episode, the story began to weaken – not because it was flawed but because it was burdened by multiple flashbacks that went on and on. Nargis Bua played by Naima Khan knew the family’s deep dark secret but refused to reveal it for ages and ages – until, finally, she did. By this time, Aina, played by Sajal, and Amanullah, played by Ahad, were married. A confused Aina was assailed by nightmares and was beginning to fear her husband.

 

This is when Nargis Bua decided to come clean and tell Aina about her murderous father. Had she done so earlier, we would have cheered and waited in anticipation for what the story would hold. But she took so long that we were already exhausted, jaded by all the flashbacks that we had to endure, and not so interested in watching a drama which may have had a great storyline but fell short because it was stretched on inordinately.

Remember Do Bol? Well, I do. I had issues with the whole premise of the drama that revolved around Nikkah k Dol Bol but that is a story for another day.

Coming back to the dragged plot twist, Gaiti Ara should have just screamed at the top of her lungs in front of the Nikkah Khua, telling him that she was getting forced into getting married to Affan Waheed’s character Badar. Oh, no, wait! All this would not have taken place had Sameer played by Haroon Shahid made use of technology by making a phone call. Gaiti should have gone back home, instead of waiting for him at the railway station. The waiting games turned out to be good for no one ever. Also, where are everyone’s mobile phones? On charging?

Fast forward to the present day, Dunk, the drama that took social media by storm due to its storyline now has many wringing their hands. I know that every drama plot has to navigate some very tense twists and turns but the pain suffered by the various characters is getting prolonged due to a simple problem: Haider, played by Bilal Abbas, chooses to live in pain, bear multiple accusations and up-turn the lives of his family simply because he refuses to reveal that Amal, played by Sana Javed, had falsely accused the professor of sexual harassment. Of course, we know that eventually (perhaps after 10 or more episodes) the truth will be revealed but should it come to light sooner rather than later, the story could be more impactful. The painful interludes where all the characters turn on the waterworks while Amal revels in her badlay ki aag can be exhausting after some time.

Let me know when and how the drama ends. For now, I cannot help but hum main teri dushman, dushman tu mera, main nagin, tu sapera in my head, thinking of all that is happening in the story.

What are your thoughts? Any drama that you feel was a complete drag after a few episodes?

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How TV Drama Narratives Could Have Dragged Less with a Single, Decisive Plot Twist