TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Meri Shehzadi – Episode I (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Meri Shehzadi Episode 1 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Qasim Ali Mureed and written by Zanjbeel Asim Shah. Meri Shehzadi is a story of a girl with a tragic past but is destined to become Royalty. Can she handle the responsibilities that come with it? Meri Shehzadi is an MD Productions and HUM TV Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Qasim Ali Mureed
  • Written by Zanjbeel Asim Shah
  • Produced by Momina Duraid 
  • Production by MD Productions

+ Note

The story of Meri Shehzadi is inspired by the real life story of the late Princess Diana from the United Kingdom. The show explores the expectations that corrupts the innocent and discourages empathy towards the common man.

 + Main Cast

  1. Urwa Hocane as Dania
  2. Ali Rehman as Shehroz
  3. Sabeen Farooq as Bisma
  4. Muazzam Ali Khan
  5. Sonia Mishal
  6. Najiba Faiz
  7. Atiqa Odho
  8. Shabbir Jan
  9. Nauman Maqsood
  10. Qavi Khan as Dania’s Nana
  11. Shamim Hilaly as Dania’s Nani

+ Plot

Raised by her loving Grandparents, Diana is born in a royal family who is destined for greatness in life. After meeting her future husband and entering the political monarchy of Pakistan, Diana must face the trials and tribulations that come along with the life of royalty.

+ High Points

i – The first episode of Meri Shehzadi is well written and a near perfect way to introduce the viewers to the world of Diana. The episode was smoothly paced, with each tibid of information communicated to the viewers with finesse and never did the exposition become overbearing. The credit should be given to Zanjbeel Asim Shah for her sharp writing and perhaps a perfect platform for this show to build upon.

ii – The performances from the main cast was one of the key elements for this first episode’s success. Urwa Hocane is arguably perfect casting to play the role of a wide eyed, innocent Diana who is suddenly forced into the world of politics and family drama mind games. Urwa’s dialogue delivery was gentle but never timid. She excellently displayed her character visually through her body language without going into long, unnecessary expositions. The rest of the cast was also exceptional in their respective supporting roles. Qavi Khan and Shamim Hilaly are also picture perfect casting as the Grandparents who brought up Diana and kept her away from the dirty politics of the family business. Ali Rehman as Shehroz was also a great choice as he is much better in playing the role of smarmy, devious life partner. For me, Ali Rehman was born to play the role of an antagonist and hopefully, this is the direction Meri Shehzadi will also follow.

iii – It should also be mentioned that showing Diana’s father in a bit of a sympathetic light was a marvelous choice by the writer of the show. How often do we see evil parents who abandoned their child to live their own selfish life. Yes, he is a flawed character but like Diana, he also suffered from the loss of his wife and had to learn to live again.

iv – The locations (particularly the bungalows) have a slight pre-partition look to them and it played a superb role in creating the atmosphere to the show. I also liked the wardrobe design for Diana as they conveyed her simplicity without dressing her up in a bland bedroom curtain. Its safe to say that the team behind the camera has done a good job in setting up the world in which Diana will have to survive.

+ Low Points

i – Even though I like the premise of the show, it does feel that Diana lacks any sort of motivations in life. Throughout the episode, we didn’t really get to understand the psyche behind Diana. Her personality was well communicated by the show but the characterization lacks inspirations or personal impulses. Apart from being a Princess, the real life Diana did humanitarian work on the side. Will our Diana also have similar motivations in life? Hard to say just from a single episode but the characters feel a bit too bland for my taste and lack qualities one expects from a well rounded character.

ii – Some people are evil for the sake of being evil. And that was part of the writing that I was not a particular fan of. With exception to Diana’s father, the rest of the family played cartoonish antics towards Diana and felt really flat in execution. It felt forced and unnecessary. There are good and evil people in this world but both also should share some human traits that could justify their emotions.

+ Overall

An episode with sharp writing and good performances, Meri Shehzadi will intrigue its viewers enough to follow Diana’s journey into the world of mischief and uncertainty.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Fraud – Episode XX (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Fraud Episode 20 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saqib Khan and written by Zanjabeel Asim. Fraud is a story of love, innocence and treachery as our protagonist is manipulated into marrying a forged personality. Fraud is an iDream Entertainment and ARY Digital Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saqib Khan
  • Written by Zanjabeel Asim
  • Produced by Abdullah Seja 
  • Production by iDream Entertainment

+ Note

Fraud is a case study of Pakistani families who always strive for betterment of their children. Obsession with wealth and power almost always ends up leading to unfavorable consequences. The director Saqib Khan is known for his numerous television projects and his upcoming cinematic film Ghabrana Nahi Hai (2022).

 + Main Cast

  1. Saba Qamar as Maya
  2. Ahsan Khan as Tabriaz
  3. Mikaal Zulfiqar as Shaan
  4. Rabia Kulsoom as Maila
  5. Adnan Samad Khan as Nael
  6. Mehmood Aslam as Nisar

+ Plot

Fraud is a story of Maya whose father wants her to marry into the richest family that he could find. But wealth does not equal character as she ends up marrying a wealthy man named Tabriaz who, through his trickery, makes life for Maya full of deceit and fraud.

+ High Points

i – What I appreciate about the past few episodes of Fraud is the amount of attention towards their main protagonist Maya (something that was severely lacking almost throughout the show). Forget Nael, Nisar or anyone else; Maya is the ultimate victim in the show. As viewers, we need to know what makes her tick, how does she recover from such huge setbacks in her private life. And it’s great to see Maya using her career to overcome her frustrations in life. She is investing in her passion and such female representation is so important (and shockingly missing) on Pakistani television. And it is also refreshing to see Maya standing up for herself when her parents (although meaning well for her) push her once again into hastily put together arranged marriages.

ii – Episode 20 had a lot of fantastic emotional moments, mainly the broken relationship between Nisar and his sister. Once again Mehmood Aslam is such a professional in these pivotal moments of the show. He knows so well how to handle the highs and lows of each scene without overstepping his boundaries from genuine to farce.

iii – Connecting to my previous point, the last scenes of the episode were emotionally hard to bear as Nisar outright refused to care for his sister’s well being. The sins of the son are being paid by the mother who has to carry the burden of guilt and remorse for the rest of her life. And as always, Nael is such a great, complex character who, without a doubt, deserves more screen time than most other characters in the show.

+ Low Points

i – I unfortunately feel that the whole subplot between Maya and Shaan is forced onto the script (which is ironic considering I praised it in my last review but this week, it definitely did not flow so well). If Maya and Shaan genuinely fell in love on their own due to their similar pasts, that really would have made a lot more sense to the overall plot of the show. But with this whole subplot of Shaan being incredibly (and quite exaggerated if you ask me) rude to Maya, prompting the mom to visit Maya’s parents in hand for her marriage… it all seems too forced and unnatural. Not every relationship needs to have drama to the max. Sometimes two people like each other, feel compatible and get married. The ultimate drama is already waiting for Maya when she finds out who she will be sharing the house with… (P.s: The character of Shaan is still the most annoying man-child I have ever witnessed on Pakistani television).

ii – It still is a bit puzzling to me why Shaan’s mother is dying to make Maya her daughter-in-law. Sure, she respects Maya’s work and would be able to maintain control over her once she is part of the family but… it still lacks conviction behind it. There are way too many girls in this world who could fill in the demands that Shaan’s mother has. All this does not make Maya any special because the mom is not in love with any of Maya’s character traits, just a body and mind she could have control over.

+ Overall

A good episode. All the emotional scenes worked and made the episode an entertaining watch.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Fraud – Episode XIX (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Fraud Episode 19 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saqib Khan and written by Zanjabeel Asim. Fraud is a story of love, innocence and treachery as our protagonist is manipulated into marrying a forged personality. Fraud is an iDream Entertainment and ARY Digital Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saqib Khan
  • Written by Zanjabeel Asim
  • Produced by Abdullah Seja 
  • Production by iDream Entertainment

+ Note

Fraud is a case study of Pakistani families who always strive for betterment of their children. Obsession with wealth and power almost always ends up leading to unfavorable consequences. The director Saqib Khan is known for his numerous television projects and his upcoming cinematic film Ghabrana Nahi Hai (2022).

 + Main Cast

  1. Saba Qamar as Maya
  2. Ahsan Khan as Tabriaz
  3. Mikaal Zulfiqar as Shaan
  4. Rabia Kulsoom as Maila
  5. Adnan Samad Khan as Nael
  6. Mehmood Aslam as Nisar

+ Plot

Fraud is a story of Maya whose father wants her to marry into the richest family that he could find. But wealth does not equal character as she ends up marrying a wealthy man named Tabriaz who, through his trickery, makes life for Maya full of deceit and fraud.

+ High Points

i – Episode 19 felt like yet another run on the mill episode but there were some positives to it; namely focusing on Maya and moving forward from her tragic past. As the main protagonist of the show, Maya certainly deserves a lot more attention and we are finally witnessing scenes upon scenes dedicated to her character growth. We actually now get to witness Maya’s work, pouring her sorrows into her career as a fashion designer, perhaps finally realizing that marriage is not compulsory to make one lead a happy life. Yes, Maya will ultimately relent and get married but it is refreshing to see a woman in a Pakistani drama obsess about something else other than a life partner.

ii – Worlds collide as we get to see Shaan and Maya subplots intersecting with one another. And credit goes to its script writing which found a very natural way to bring these two stories together; Shaan’s mother wants a daughter in law who will behave and not ask too many questions and Maya is already doing just that as her employee. Smart writing.

+ Low Points

i – Now that we are nearing the end of the series, the audience is now being introduced to Tabriaz’s real past. The idea is noteworthy but it seems a little too late for that. Nineteen episodes down the line, we do not need to be introducing new characters to the show and I’m not sure if this garners any sympathy from the audience. The script should have introduced Tabriaz’s past about four or five episodes ago where the viewers might have had the chance to digest and feel sympathetic towards Tabriaz (if he deserves any).

ii – Episode 19 did not feel eventful like the previous two weeks. The pacing was a bit lethargic and the setups never had much of a spark to them. For example, Shaan’s mother asks Maya what her thoughts are on settling down. Naturally, Maya avoided answering honestly which led Shaan’s mother to directly call Maya’s father about it. First of all, this seems highly irregular and a textbook example of invasion of privacy but worse, it never really led to anything interesting. Granted, the next episodes will make Maya forcefully change her mind (due to her father’s wish) but they could have tackled the exact same setup if Maya and Shaan got to fall in love on their own. Both are heartbroken, disillusioned from the rest of the world, they are two peas in a pod. That would have been perfect.

+ Overall

Episode 19 does its job but never gathered any momentum to make it an entertaining hour of television. 

Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Fraud – Episode XVIII (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Fraud Episode 18 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saqib Khan and written by Zanjabeel Asim. Fraud is a story of love, innocence and treachery as our protagonist is manipulated into marrying a forged personality. Fraud is an iDream Entertainment and ARY Digital Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saqib Khan
  • Written by Zanjabeel Asim
  • Produced by Abdullah Seja 
  • Production by iDream Entertainment

+ Note

Fraud is a case study of Pakistani families who always strive for betterment of their children. Obsession with wealth and power almost always ends up leading to unfavorable consequences. The director Saqib Khan is known for his numerous television projects and his upcoming cinematic film Ghabrana Nahi Hai (2022).

 + Main Cast

  1. Saba Qamar as Maya
  2. Ahsan Khan as Tabriaz
  3. Mikaal Zulfiqar as Shaan
  4. Rabia Kulsoom as Maila
  5. Adnan Samad Khan as Nael
  6. Mehmood Aslam as Nisar

+ Plot

Fraud is a story of Maya whose father wants her to marry into the richest family that he could find. But wealth does not equal character as she ends up marrying a wealthy man named Tabriaz who, through his trickery, makes life for Maya full of deceit and fraud.

+ High Points

i – Episode 18 devoted numerous scenes to their main protagonist of the show Maya and I am all for it. Since the first few episodes, Maya is incredibly underdeveloped but I am glad we got to see her excel in her professional life. Anything other than Maya being depressed about her love life. And this episode showed that Saba Qamar can handle the role quite well. Her passion and interest in her work and career was quite evident from her performance.

ii – Tabriaz and his antics grow more absurd and diabolical with each passing episode. But as cheesy as his methods of charm are, it is still nonetheless entertaining. But this unfortunately opens another box of problems which I will discuss in the low points section.

iii – This may seem out of the ordinary but combining the two parallel subplots of Tabriaz and Shaan has made the show much more coherent to watch. It ended up breathing some life into the Shaan’s side of the story which had been pretty much dead on arrival. I’m looking forward to the inevitable confrontation of Maya and Tabriaz and most certainly, all hell will break loose!

+ Low Points

i – While the episode was entertaining at times, it did certainly drag in a few places. Tabriaz was given way too many scenes with absolutely no explanation as to how he is financing his whole “project”. Remember that he is not part of the team anymore. How many people are working behind him and are getting paid? None of these questions are ever addressed and are conveniently swept under the carpet.

ii – What in the world was this scene about? Just another example of time wasting and bad screenwriting.

iii – None of the subplots that Shaan has been a part of, ever led to something bigger. Case in point, the new secretary. So he found out about her malicious plan. No repercussions? No blow out? Just a few seconds phone call scene? At least three episodes were dedicated to this subplot and… nothing to show for it. Subplots in Fraud have been pretty much a miss and more so as the show is creeping its way towards the finale.

+ Overall

A worthy episode but certain scenes dragging a tad bit too long destroyed the overall pacing.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Fraud – Episode XVII (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Fraud Episode 17 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saqib Khan and written by Zanjabeel Asim. Fraud is a story of love, innocence and treachery as our protagonist is manipulated into marrying a forged personality. Fraud is an iDream Entertainment and ARY Digital Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saqib Khan
  • Written by Zanjabeel Asim
  • Produced by Abdullah Seja 
  • Production by iDream Entertainment

+ Note

Fraud is a case study of Pakistani families who always strive for betterment of their children. Obsession with wealth and power almost always ends up leading to unfavorable consequences. The director Saqib Khan is known for his numerous television projects and his upcoming cinematic film Ghabrana Nahi Hai (2022).

 + Main Cast

  1. Saba Qamar as Maya
  2. Ahsan Khan as Tabriaz
  3. Mikaal Zulfiqar as Shaan
  4. Rabia Kulsoom as Maila
  5. Adnan Samad Khan as Nael
  6. Mehmood Aslam as Nisar

+ Plot

Fraud is a story of Maya whose father wants her to marry into the richest family that he could find. But wealth does not equal character as she ends up marrying a wealthy man named Tabriaz who, through his trickery, makes life for Maya full of deceit and fraud.

+ High Points

i – Episode 17 was a mixed bag but mostly entertaining. It’s high time that the show has finally connected all the three parallel plots together, bringing a much needed sense of cohesion to the main narrative of the show. Although there were no real surprises in the episode, it did (nonetheless) move all the three plots forward. I am somewhat intrigued where this is all heading.

ii – The redemption arc of Nisar sahib’s sister was genuinely a fantastic scene. The melodrama was well timed and executed, not to mention the great performances from Mehmood Aslam as Nisar. Its a real shame that the character of Nael has been almost non-existent ever since he left Maya at the altar because he has personality in spades compared to the other two male leads of the show.

iii – Tabriaz and his recent “project” will surely spell the end of him and his money making schemes. I find the narrative connection of Tabriaz and Shaan’s sister well written and makes perfect sense (considering the sister’s character and why she could only fall for guys who could lie their way to put a ring around her finger. In the past, I have criticized Fraud for a lot of terrible writing but this is a case where the writing truly excels in the whole narrative scheme of things.   

+ Low Points

i – I’m not sure if the show wants the audience to feel empathetic and sorry for Shaan’s ill fate in love or make fun of him (clearly, I have opted for the latter). Instead of sympathetic and loving, Shaan comes off as a whiny, overgrown manchild who can’t handle his personal life. It is an unfortunate conglomerate of bad screenwriting, direction and performance that truly makes Shaan the worst character on the show.

ii – The only reason the Nisar family was forced to move to Lahore is so that their narrative can finally connect with the Shaan family. And… this seems somewhat lazy writing. I really liked how the show connected Tabriaz with Shaan’s family as it felt more genuine and made perfect sense for the show. I guess we all have to wait for the inevitable confrontation of Maya and Tabriaz and hopefully, it will be as epic and melodramatic as it sounds!

+ Overall

Now that the “filler” episodes are in the past, Fraud seems somewhat interesting and fun to watch again. 

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Fraud – Episode XVI (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Fraud Episode 16 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saqib Khan and written by Zanjabeel Asim. Fraud is a story of love, innocence and treachery as our protagonist is manipulated into marrying a forged personality. Fraud is an iDream Entertainment and ARY Digital Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saqib Khan
  • Written by Zanjabeel Asim
  • Produced by Abdullah Seja 
  • Production by iDream Entertainment

+ Note

Fraud is a case study of Pakistani families who always strive for betterment of their children. Obsession with wealth and power almost always ends up leading to unfavorable consequences. The director Saqib Khan is known for his numerous television projects and his upcoming cinematic film Ghabrana Nahi Hai (2022).

 + Main Cast

  1. Saba Qamar as Maya
  2. Ahsan Khan as Tabriaz
  3. Mikaal Zulfiqar as Shaan
  4. Rabia Kulsoom as Maila
  5. Adnan Samad Khan as Nael
  6. Mehmood Aslam as Nisar

+ Plot

Fraud is a story of Maya whose father wants her to marry into the richest family that he could find. But wealth does not equal character as she ends up marrying a wealthy man named Tabriaz who, through his trickery, makes life for Maya full of deceit and fraud.

+ High Points

i – This week’s episode was undoubtedly an improvement from the previous five episodes. The narrative flowed flawlessly, never stagnated nor dragged on unnecessarily. There were some major developments in two of the three ongoing episodes and even though it was unintentionally comical at times, it was nonetheless very entertaining. The show has finally managed to bring in some life back into the plot and we finally are now going to witness a crossover between the two parallel stories.

ii – Speaking of intertwining the two stories, I genuinely like how they have managed to bring the two narratives together. Now, will they be able to make an engaging premise out of this? That still remains to be seen but push comes to shove, Ahsan Khan manages to carry the scenes almost single handedly. Granted, the script and dialogues were cheesy as hell but I can’t deny the entertainment factor that came along with it. 

iii –  I am glad that the show finally reveals the fact that the character of Shaan is nothing more than a grown up man child. Even though the show established earlier on to hate on his ex-wife, his character seems utterly clueless about what is happening around him. His mother, his sister and now his lover, they successfully mock him behind his back and he’s too naive to notice any of this. In short, Shaan has terrible judgment of character and this episode proves it.

+ Low Points

i – I may have enjoyed the episode but the dialogues were just too hard to digest. Especially during Tarbiaz (Sharjeel or whatever his name is) with his new pet project. And Naeema Butt’s stiff performance made the scenes even worse to watch.

ii – Unfortunately, I cannot care less about Maila and Talal’s relationship. The opening scene was not good and continued the trend of lackluster storyline. Luckily, the show picked up as soon as the storyline shifted towards Tabriaz and some rapid new developments in Shaan’s life. Maya and her father are not in the forefront of the plot anymore but rather relegated to the back burners of the plot. 

+ Overall

Finally, a welcome change in storyline for the show. 

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Fraud – Episode XV (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Fraud Episode 15 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saqib Khan and written by Zanjabeel Asim. Fraud is a story of love, innocence and treachery as our protagonist is manipulated into marrying a forged personality. Fraud is an iDream Entertainment and ARY Digital Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saqib Khan
  • Written by Zanjabeel Asim
  • Produced by Abdullah Seja 
  • Production by iDream Entertainment

+ Note

Fraud is a case study of Pakistani families who always strive for betterment of their children. Obsession with wealth and power almost always ends up leading to unfavorable consequences. The director Saqib Khan is known for his numerous television projects and his upcoming cinematic film Ghabrana Nahi Hai (2022).

 + Main Cast

  1. Saba Qamar as Maya
  2. Ahsan Khan as Tabriaz
  3. Mikaal Zulfiqar as Shaan
  4. Rabia Kulsoom as Maila
  5. Adnan Samad Khan as Nael
  6. Mehmood Aslam as Nisar

+ Plot

Fraud is a story of Maya whose father wants her to marry into the richest family that he could find. But wealth does not equal character as she ends up marrying a wealthy man named Tabriaz who, through his trickery, makes life for Maya full of deceit and fraud.

+ High Points

i – The best thing I can say about Episode 15 is that it wasn’t boring and was (admittedly) entertaining in a few places (whether intentional or not). And at least it’s nice to see the main cast still trying to give their best performances for the show.

+ Low Points

i – … they ruined the only good thing that was going for the show. The Tabriaz group of con artists have officially broken up (well, at least Tabriaz got kicked out) and I genuinely feel that this was way too early. The show should have let this play along for at least another con job as it is still a fresh and novel premise for Pak television. 

ii – This week’s source of drama in Maya’s life was that the mom wanted to keep her away from any wedding celebrations of her sister. Not only was this a ridiculous point of tension but seriously, who cares? The audience wants to see conflicts that have consequences to them. Thankfully this subplot was contained in a single episode and did not overstay its welcome. But that’s not all. Apparently Nisar is now forcefully retired from his job so… I guess that’s a problem now? Didn’t feel like it as the wedding went along as planned. Seems like this show is utterly desperate to make new conflicts and hurdles in order to keep the show interesting.

iii – This week continues Shaan and his new found love. Or in other words, the secretary is forcing her way into Shaan’s life by proclaiming that she will be the new step mother for his child (whether he likes it or not). And if that sounds ridiculous then you really need to hear the dialogues of the scenes mentioned above. The script is awful in every sense of the word (“A poor girl is always afraid of poverty”. What does that even mean??). I will be extremely surprised if this new secretary/ future wife doesn’t turn out to be a con artist herself as she will “fraud” her way into Shaan’s life and steal all of his monetary assets.

iv – In addition to the point mentioned above, the scene in the car was incredibly cringeworthy. But admittedly, I did laugh out loud.

+ Overall

Every week, it is becoming increasingly difficult to watch the show due to its massive decline in writing quality (ever since the big Fraud revelation to be precise). Seems like Fraud is proving itself to be a one trick pony.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Fraud – Episode XIV (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Fraud Episode 14 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saqib Khan and written by Zanjabeel Asim. Fraud is a story of love, innocence and treachery as our protagonist is manipulated into marrying a forged personality. Fraud is an iDream Entertainment and ARY Digital Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saqib Khan
  • Written by Zanjabeel Asim
  • Produced by Abdullah Seja 
  • Production by iDream Entertainment

+ Note

Fraud is a case study of Pakistani families who always strive for betterment of their children. Obsession with wealth and power almost always ends up leading to unfavorable consequences. The director Saqib Khan is known for his numerous television projects and his upcoming cinematic film Ghabrana Nahi Hai (2022).

 + Main Cast

  1. Saba Qamar as Maya
  2. Ahsan Khan as Tabriaz
  3. Mikaal Zulfiqar as Shaan
  4. Rabia Kulsoom as Maila
  5. Adnan Samad Khan as Nael
  6. Mehmood Aslam as Nisar

+ Plot

Fraud is a story of Maya whose father wants her to marry into the richest family that he could find. But wealth does not equal character as she ends up marrying a wealthy man named Tabriaz who, through his trickery, makes life for Maya full of deceit and fraud.

+ High Points

i – The only interesting storyline going on at the moment is the follow up con job of Tabriaz as the son of a wealthy landowner. But this time around, the audiences know fully well how they are manipulating the naive family of the bride into handing over all of their belongings. And honestly, that is entertaining to watch. Even the performances are mostly very believable and the production has done a great job in setting up the locations and costumes for this particular storyline. I’m curious to see how far Tabriaz and company will take this con job or will they finally be caught red handed.

ii – The “divorce” revelation scene was simple but actually brilliant writing as on one hand, the bride’s family now views the Tabriaz family as “open minded, pure hearted” people whereas her being a divorcee makes a lick of a difference to their ultimate plan of grab whatever you can and disappear.

+ Low Points

i – Unfortunately I cannot sing praises for the rest of the show as it has quickly become so mediocre and stale. The progression of the plot seems purposefully lethargic (in order to prolong the lifespan of the show) and the scenes have no urgency or depth to them. Maya is a supporting character in her own show who has absolutely nothing meaningful to do except to serve as a narrative prop for the characters around her (for example, being a vehicle for her sister to get married). The characters that did make a significant impact in the past like Nael are absent since past five weeks and Nisar seems to have outlived his usefulness to the plot of the show.

ii – A few reviews ago, I mentioned that Talal could be an interesting character if the show plays its cards right. Well, I was wrong. He is as generic and bland as any other “good guy” from any numerous Pak TV shows out there. If someone were to ask me what are the character traits of Talal, I will surely be dumbfounded. A plain piece of Cardboard has more character depth than him.

iii – Shaan is now setting his eyes on his new secretary. Sigh.. whatever. This subplot never (at any point) grew interesting, nor does this subplot fit into the world of Fraud. I don’t mind if a show has parallel storylines going on that only converge philosophically (films like Amores Perros (2000) is a perfect example) but they need to converge on some level. The acting, the backdrop, the writing; everything seems so out of place for this show. And quite frankly, Mikaal Zulfiqar is not talented enough to take the lead role of this storyline.

iv – And yes, the secretary interview scene was cringeworthy. After hearing her praises of her qualifications, she replies to her future boss with “Tell me something I don’t know”. Awful, pathetic writing.

+ Overall

The only thing that makes Fraud currently watchable is Tabriaz’s storyline. The rest of the show is utterly mediocre and forgettable.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Fraud – Episode XIII (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Fraud Episode 13 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saqib Khan and written by Zanjabeel Asim. Fraud is a story of love, innocence and treachery as our protagonist is manipulated into marrying a forged personality. Fraud is an iDream Entertainment and ARY Digital Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saqib Khan
  • Written by Zanjabeel Asim
  • Produced by Abdullah Seja 
  • Production by iDream Entertainment

+ Note

Fraud is a case study of Pakistani families who always strive for betterment of their children. Obsession with wealth and power almost always ends up leading to unfavorable consequences. The director Saqib Khan is known for his numerous television projects and his upcoming cinematic film Ghabrana Nahi Hai (2022).

 + Main Cast

  1. Saba Qamar as Maya
  2. Ahsan Khan as Tabriaz
  3. Mikaal Zulfiqar as Shaan
  4. Rabia Kulsoom as Maila
  5. Adnan Samad Khan as Nael
  6. Mehmood Aslam as Nisar

+ Plot

Fraud is a story of Maya whose father wants her to marry into the richest family that he could find. But wealth does not equal character as she ends up marrying a wealthy man named Tabriaz who, through his trickery, makes life for Maya full of deceit and fraud.

+ High Points

i – The show (at the moment) is blessed with a colorful cast with various storylines heading parallel to one another. Currently the show gives you the option to dive into whichever subplot that grabs your attention whether it’s the Maya chronicles, the Tabriaz con artist, Shaan’s single parent storyline or the Maila/ Talal romance. Now, are they all quality storylines? Of course not but the show at least gives you an option to make itself appealing to the viewer (with whichever storyline it may be).

ii – Due to the three main plots taking place in different parts of Pakistan, it is refreshing to see the visual difference between all these storylines. From the countryside to the middle-class urban bungalows to the fancy upper class mahals, we get to see each and every facet of the Pakistani landscape.

+ Low Points

i – The show seems mostly lost. Ever since the debacle of a wedding between Nael and Maya, Fraud is struggling to stay relevant in the eyes of its viewers. Currently the show is revolving around three to four separate plots in order to sustain the viewer’s attention. While it does sound good on paper, one must ask if it actually ties into one another. The Shaan storyline seems so distant and up till now, irrelevant to the main plot of the show… which seems to be currently hijacked by the Maila/ Talal romance. And speaking of romance…

ii – The romance between Maila and Talal is too far-fetched and ridiculous. Do we really have to see this shameful trope yet again where the girl says no to the guy straight upfront but then the guy has to persist/ harass her till she accepts him? Even if we ignore the precedent this sets for our society, it is completely absurd and lacks any sort of character development.

iii – Episode 13 just was lackluster in every sense of the word. It had no originality and was just completely devoted to the Maila/ Talal love story so we can get that out of the way as soon as possible. Where is the sense of excitement, powerful performances and setpieces that we were promised by the first five to eight episodes? Sadly, the fall for Fraud has been swift and deep into the depths of mediocrity. 

iv – Once again, Maya has become a common supporting character yet again in her own show. Fraud has nothing interesting for her to do. She’s either too busy being the crying shoulder for her father or pushing her sister into her own marriage. 

+ Overall

With each passing week, Fraud is becoming more and more mediocre and the three parallel storylines are not going to change that.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Fraud – Episode XI & XII (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Fraud Episode 11 & 12 (2022). The new TV series is directed by Saqib Khan and written by Zanjabeel Asim. Fraud is a story of love, innocence and treachery as our protagonist is manipulated into marrying a forged personality. Fraud is an iDream Entertainment and ARY Digital Production.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Saqib Khan
  • Written by Zanjabeel Asim
  • Produced by Abdullah Seja 
  • Production by iDream Entertainment

+ Note

Fraud is a case study of Pakistani families who always strive for betterment of their children. Obsession with wealth and power almost always ends up leading to unfavorable consequences. The director Saqib Khan is known for his numerous television projects and his upcoming cinematic film Ghabrana Nahi Hai (2022).

 + Main Cast

  1. Saba Qamar as Maya
  2. Ahsan Khan as Tabriaz
  3. Mikaal Zulfiqar as Shaan
  4. Rabia Kulsoom as Maila
  5. Adnan Samad Khan as Nael
  6. Mehmood Aslam as Nisar

+ Plot

Fraud is a story of Maya whose father wants her to marry into the richest family that he could find. But wealth does not equal character as she ends up marrying a wealthy man named Tabriaz who, through his trickery, makes life for Maya full of deceit and fraud.

+ High Points

i – These past few episodes have brought Fraud into a new narrative direction and a whole new cast of characters. As Tabriaz and company gears up for their next victim, Maya and family struggle to get back to normality as the Policeman falls for Maila. While not as enticing as the first five episodes, Fraud is settling down on a narrative path and evidently down the line, the paths of Maya and Tabriaz will cross once again. It’s at least intriguing to see how the show plays this “double narrative” (or even triple) between Maya’s family, Tabriaz’s new con job and Shaan’s post separation woes.

ii – The newly introduced Police Officer Talal could potentially be an interesting character, a stark contrast to Nael and Tabriaz if the show plays their cards right. What the show does right for me at the moment is its vast cast of characters with their own personalities and problems that could contribute well into the show’s narrative.

iii – A well thought out decision by the show runners to move the next setting to the rural areas of Pakistan. It brings a much needed visual change for the audience as well as a fresh frame of mind for them.

+ Low Points

i – Unfortunately it is becoming increasingly clear that Fraud’s big hurrah was indeed the Revelation of the ‘Fraud’ job done by Tabriaz (and company) and the Betrayal of Nael. Since then, the show is not as engaging as it used to be. Sure, there are a few subplots pushing the main narrative forward but nothing seems fresh as it once was. How many times will we see the Nisar family being betrayed or Maya contemplating her fate when it comes to men. The only way the show can work now is that they make Maya the center of attention. She can’t constantly stay in the shadows and complain about her life. With repetitive misfortunes, it very quickly turns into a farce and in the end, comical. I also can’t understand how the Nisar family is again so eager to get their Maya married off when they just suffered such public humiliation… twice.

ii – Speaking of humiliation, the Rishta scene in Episode 12 just did not work. So apparently Talal and Maila studied together and spent most of their academic time together. Talal just had a brief chat with the older sister Maya in the hospital waiting room and for some reason, the Nisar family thought that he was interested in her and not the girl he spent most of his time with? This really just felt like forced drama/ misunderstanding to prolong the life of the show and felt unnecessary.

iii – With reference to the scene above, Rabya Kalsoom as Maila felt as if she was trying too hard to make the scene work. It has now become a trait of her character that she starts lecturing everyone who she comes across, regardless of Age, class or situation. Also Talal apparently just walked into her room without ever knocking or permission… Seriously, who does that?

iv – The Shaan subplot still lacks any motivation for me to comment upon. Moving on.

+ Overall

An entertaining watch but the show already seems like a shadow of its former self.

Rate: out of 5 stars