I was initially enticed to watch Pakistani dramas in my late teens. My first was Khuda Aur Mohabbat (God and Love) which was a real treat. It was a very intense drama tackling issues of love and religion. I realized I had found a new hobby and started watching even more.
For the introvert who’d rather watch dramas – I say Pakistani ones are a great choice because they are realistic. Hell, even extroverts will weep over them.
Even now I can recall that 80% of our conversations were about Lee Min Ho’s (K-drama actor) recent dramas. We’d indulge in long fantastical conversations about our favorite heroes and heroines and it really helped us bond. True teen spirit…
But Pakistani dramas were unique for me. Being from the country, I learnt a lot about my own culture and heritage to the point where I became confident in the cultural nuances.
They were a delight for me to watch so here it is…
iTHINK magazine brings to you a list of Pakistani dramas that introverts will adore.
P.S This list will contain major spoilers!
1. Humsafar: Companion – the iconic drama
Original air date: 24 September 2011
My rating: 5/5
Cast: Fawad Khan, Mahira Khan, Naveen Waqar, Atiqa Odho
This iconic romance drama stands the test of time. A timeless love story entwined with tragic events.
The story revolves around the hasty marriage of Asher Hussain and Khirad – both who are strangers to one another at first, but a twist of fate leads them to become married. Things start to turn tense however when the mother-in-law is bent on destroying their relationship (a common theme across Pakistani dramas).
Not only has this drama become a household name in Pakistan it is on Netflix with subtitles too so more accessible to an international audience too. It has given the actors a lot of fame and for good reason.
The actors have great chemistry, the dialogues are memorable and the plot is easy to follow through for anyone. It’s worth a binge if you have the time. Hands down no regrets.
2. Baaghi: باغی : Rebel – timeless story of betrayal
Original air date: 27 July 2017
My rating: 4/5
Cast: Sabha Qamar, Ali Kazmi
This drama won the Lux Style Award for Best TV Play. Starring Sabah Qamar as the vivacious Fauzia Batool this is a biographical drama that tells the story of the controversial public figure Qandeel Baloch.
The main storyline revolves around her unconventional dreams and aspirations of becoming someone bigger than her humble origins may ever allow. She is adamant to succeed whatever the cost.
A compelling tale about female empowerment and the poverty which drives many in Pakistan to extreme lengths. It is about loyalty; betrayal and the visuals/screenplay/OST are all so captivating. A definite must watch is you’re looking for a gripping plot alongside something meaningful.
3. Darr Khudda Say: Fear God – a story of sacrifice
Air time: Every Tuesday at 8pm on Geo TV
My rating : 4/5 (plot is a little slow to unfold)
Cast: Imran Abbas, Sana Javed, Kiran Haq, Ali Tariq Ansari, Qavi Khan
This drama which is currently on air has a lot of positives. The story-line is somewhat typical – the main characters are a male and female lead who are two very different people (personally and social class wise).
Playing on this theme of social class, the writer has presented a vivid depiction of tough scenarios that Afreen (the female lead) faces. She has to support her family by working, deal with selfish siblings and her untactful but handsome boss who keeps trying to flirt with her.
The drama is about to get more interesting as it’s on episode 13 but the twists keep growing. Sir Shahvais (male lead) is definitely the evil villain of the drama.
But I think the writer has given a voice to Afreen as she is someone who is very self-sufficient and fearless. Two very admirable traits in a lead.
This drama deals with a lot of topical social issues of gender and especially the patriarchy women find themselves battling daily.
Watch the teaser here!
4. Maat: Defeat – a melancholic tale
My rating: 3/5
Cast: Saba Qamar, Aamina Sheikh, Adnan Siddiqui, Asad Malik
This drama for me was very poignant and sad. It is essentially about fate and defeat in the face of life’s events. Two sisters who are have different mindsets, deal with life differently and are given different things. One steals the others love and the other, too nice to object resigns herself to the defeat.
But what happens when the ego is so high and can’t see the damage it’s done. Do people ever learn from their toxic behaviors and more importantly are some people (even blood) worth forgiving after their relentless abuse? All these questions the drama deals with.
A melodrama which tackles with love, deception and all the vices of human nature. Truly gripping indeed. Note: lower rating is due to the plot pace and other minor issues.
5. Shehr- e- Zaat: City of Oneself – lessons to learn
Original air date: 29 June 2012
My rating: 5/5 (apart from some long winded scenes involving side characters)
Cast: Mahira Khan, Mikaal Zulfiqar, Mohib Mirza, Sameena Peerzada
My absolute favorite. This drama really did change my perspective on life, religion and the deception we can give ourselves. A very intense spiritual journey through which the writer tells the audience to be weary of yourself.
The message is as sweet yet deep as is the character’s great display and array of emotions. Especially Mahira Khan’s character of Falak who goes through extensive character development. She is lied to and finds out who she is and through this encounters her own journey inwards towards what she was missing: God.
A real creative yet compelling story that is shown very realistically. Falak can sometimes become a caricature for many people who are too greedy or consumed with the vanities to see life’s deeper objective purpose.
With scenes from graveyards and the chilling OST this drama will teach you as well as entertain. Best of both I say…especially as I like to watch things that are true to life and teach me things. Still now I find myself revisiting the famous scenes of Falak’s flashbacks and realizations.
One thing to take from this drama: never base happiness on the temporary whether that be wealth or a person. And that altruism can bring contentment.
6. Dastaan: The Tale – a mesmerizing drama
Original air date: 26 June 2010
My rating: 5/5
Cast: Fawad Khan, Sanam Baloch, Mehreen Raheel, Samina Peerzada, Saba Qamar
Based on the novel ‘Bano’ by Razia Butt
Not only does this drama have an excellent cast (the chemistry between the leads is great), it is a truly stunning depiction of events to the lead up of Pakistan’s creation.
It shows us Pakistan and India prior to the partition and delves into the political landscape prior to the separation and the way people lived their lives. Until a great massacre happens.
It is simple yet touching with moments of joy and real sacrifice. It’s plot twists will leave you gasping and I couldn’t stop till I knew everything about the lives of the characters.
It is about perseverance in the face of true adversity and the result will shock you…A drama about moral choices that sticks with you well after.
With some very emotional scenes brace yourselves, this is for those with a strong threshold for violence and pain.
7. Yaqeen Ka Safar: The Journey of Faith
My rating: 5/5
Cast: Sajal Aly, Ahad Raza Mir, Hira Mani, Shaz Khan
This drama grapples with serious social issues such as rape and the repercussions for the victims. It also shows the criminal justice system and how the rich can ply the system to their advantage.
The simple girl Noori has a ghastly encounter with the son of a rich landlord which starts the chain of a series of unfortunate events. But all is not bleak. Fate has a surprise and one day she meets Asfandyar.
She begins to trust and live again. It’s one of those dramas you re-watch just because it is such a joy to see the characters develop into fully fledged adults making the right decisions by the end. What’s more the leads are now engaged in real life!
Watch the OST here!
Pakistan’s media industry has so much to offer. And for me it was always a journey to watch each of these dramas.
In a world where mass media is pervasive, it is important to pay homage to all cultural heritages and TV is one of those mediums which can capture domestic social life well. It’s a realistic depiction of Pakistani society as it is now and it’s taught me a lot about certain issues.
For the introvert who’d rather watch dramas – I say Pakistani ones are a great choice because they are realistic. Hell even extroverts will weep over them.
For more Pakistani drama reviews and information visit Reviewit.pk
As always thanks for reading!
Hey guys, it’s Umra – a recent English grad and a fan of positive psychology. I love holistic healthcare, meditation and all things natural. When I’m not writing I’m probably cooking, exercising or enjoying time with my family or friends which I love to bits.
Image respects to - Hum TV, Gulf News, Patakha TV, Veryfilmi.com