Let me start this article by sharing a personal story. In the 80s, my relatives living abroad visited Pakistan regularly during summer vacations. One of the mandatory things on their checklist was to purchase video cassettes of classic Pakistani dramas. To name just a few were ‘Dhoop Kinare’, ‘Tanhaiyaan’, ‘Ankahi’, ‘Waris’, ‘Aangan Terha’, ‘Alif Noon’, ‘Aik Mohabbat Sau Afsanay’, ‘Kiran Kahani’. The sole purpose was to savor the brilliance of these shows abroad. This was the aura of Pakistan Television, the golden era where playwrights like Ashfaq Ahmed, Haseena Moin, Bano Khudsia, Amjad Islam Amjad weaved magic with their wands. The early 2000s saw the adamant of a plethora of TV channels. It became the starting point of dramas losing their Midas touch. Having said that, dramas like ‘Mere Humsafar’, ‘Daastan’, ‘Zindagi Gulzar Hai’, ‘Diyar e Dil’, ‘Daam’, ‘Doraha’, ‘Yakeen Ka Safar’ were registered as modern-day classics.
Today content has taken a backseat, all we see is a rat race of getting the highest TRPs, top trending on social media and maximum views on YouTube. To achieve the above the channels knowingly destroy the creative process, needlessly drag the narratives, at times change it midway, etc. One such drama is the recently concluded ‘Tere Bin’ that went on to become the most successful Pakistani drama to date. It shattered records left right and center, the lead charatcers Murtasim Khan (Wahaj Ali) and Meerab (Yumna Zaidi) trended weekly, it got 3+ billion lifetime views on YouTube, and a galore of memes, tweets and controversies dominated social media for six months. (You can Google to know more) One question that triggers our mind is, does ‘Tere Bin’ qualifies to be categorized as the best drama. Most importantly does it deserve to get renewed for a season 2? Let’s Analyze
A Toxic Tale
Over the years, 7th Sky Entertainment prefers showcasing fantasy over reality. And ‘Tere Bin’ was no different. The characters were dolled up 24/7, the lavish mounting and budgeting transported viewers in a world with more gloss and less substance. The criticism about Meerab’s character that came across as a mixture of confused and headstrong along with problematic messaging surfaced on social media at regular intervals. Haya (Sabeena Farooq) seemed to be an amalgamation of Ekta Kapoor’s silly vamps Komolika, Ramola, Pallavi etc. At one point, viewers were like ‘Enough is enough’. How can a person be so toxic?
The Saving Grace
‘Tere Bin’ would have been an average fair without the presence of Wahaj Ali and Yumna Zaidi. The project turned out to be a game changer for the former. It made him enter the world of superstardom. Ditto for Zaidi, no other actress could have pulled off Meerab like she did. Their chemistry was the only saving grace of the show. The halal intimacy between them was depicted so aesthetically, the date sequence, the close dance, and the talking with eyes were too hot to handle.
Command Prompt Error
‘Tere Bin’ came down crashing after episode 46 and 47. The best example to describe it is a batsman who’s in a hurry to score a century gets dismissed by making a silly mistake. What in the world was the writer thinking of adding a needless track of marital rape. This blunder not just disappointed local and international fans but further pushed the drama into the deep end. Despite executing CTRL+ Z (undo) command, the makers couldn’t handle the massive uproar. Even the eleventh hour U-turn in the narrative and a happy end didn’t help ‘Tere Bin’ to recover fully.
Adding more to the horror is the announcement of ‘Tere Bin Season 2’. Do we deserve another six months of 2.0 toxicity? With the emergence of new channels, it’s high time for 7th Sky Entertainment to make a 360 degree change in its strategy. As they say, quality of content can never succeed viewership.