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Which contemporary Pakistani dramas nicely walk between reality and fiction?
Pakistani television shows, much like Pakistani culture, seem to be shrouded in an air of mystery. From the clothes the characters wear to the regular depiction of female independence in a country, where disrespecting rights for women is always a persistent reality, what these television shows do is purely entertain; in fact, Pakistani dramas provide nothing much else. The plotlines of the serials always seem really far away from any connection to reality but in the very least, at least there is always an entertaining aspect to the stories. My picks for top Pakistani television shows in the contemporary age:
- Zindagi Gulzar Hai: starring Sanam Saeed and Fawad Khan, the television show charts the story of two young people with entirely different social standings; the female lead is from an impoverished background, whilst the male lead comes from an affluent family structure.
- Humsafar: the television show starring Mahira Khan and Fawad Khan in lead roles revolves around the challenges a married couple faces because the mother-in-law disapproves of the matrimonial union.
- Jackson Heights: in the show, six separate arcs revolve around the lives of Pakistanis residing in the United States and the struggles that they face in life.
Growing up in an age of legal dramas meant that Ally McBeal seemed to me the freshest alternative to both deep courtroom showdowns and experiencing the thrill of having good win over all that is bad in the world. McBeal is not your atypical lawyer and that is really what makes her such an amazing character. Ally is frivolous, feminine – in the sense that she has a lot of faith in the idea of one day being able to find ‘the one’, and also seriously stylish. I loved that about the show the most (more than anything else) because even though she is a great deal about the men in her life rather than her career, as ideally a female character in the 21st Century should be all about, at least Ally as a career woman doesn’t make fashion appear dull, a total turnoff and just far too masculine for comfort.
Family Guy: a show about a family of five and their dog. It all looks normal on the surface but as soon as you peel the layers off what you find is toilet humor and an environment where getting humiliated seems to be the most regular thing, ever. It’s ordinary-meets-funny and that’s what I have always found oddly compelling about the show. Its eccentricity doesn’t just spill over into a territory which is implausible – Family Guy, I find, wonderfully instead just simply takes the most ordinary of family episodes (and conversations) and turns it upside down for laughs.
A priestess, who meets tragedy because she had begun to trust a half-demon – there is more to Kikyo than meets the eye
Kikyo is a perplexing character in the anime Inuyasha. Much of Kikyo’s life, in my point of view, is cut really short because of the sudden love affair that Kikyo has with Inuyasha.
The love affair between Inuyasha and Kikyo is based on the fact that they have both had to lead very difficult lives in Japanese society – Inuyasha had spent much of his life completely alone, which must have been a rather hard existence. So, when he met Kikyo, the half-demon fell in love with her. The scenario was a little bit like the kind of love that happens upon first sight – perhaps because the young priestess, much like Inuyasha, also never got the opportunity to reveal herself to society.
Entrusted with the guarding of the Sacred Jewel, Kikyo actually led a pretty mesmerizing life before meeting Inuyasha. Part of the reason why the priestess was chosen to guard the jewel was for her pure character and whilst at her task, Kikyo had to always make sure that she was never found in a weak state in front of her enemies – this included both demons and men interested in using the jewel for their selfish gains.
Although, Kikyo completely abandoned the idea of strictly protecting the jewel when she met and fell in love with Inuyasha, even though their chance meeting was because he too was (in part) a demon, who wished to use the Sacred Jewel for his own greedy personal benefits, that isn’t one of the only sides to Kikyo character’s which perplexes. It is also unclear as to why Kikyo would even desire to reveal her true self in society, when she was given such an important task in life: to protect the jewel and make it pure.
The two challenging facets of Kikyo’s character sometimes defines who she is and it provides a window into her complexities as a woman. This is despite the fact that it was all probably borne because the priestess tragically didn’t really hold this particular outlook that the job that she had been entrusted with as a priestess was a lot more important than just being a woman who had fallen in love.