TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Fraud Last Episode (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 – So Fraud has finally wrapped up. All the loose ends neatly tied together, all the pieces of the puzzle in place. The women of Fraud finally have their sweet revenge over their ex-fraudulent husband, Tabriz (or Sharjeel or whatever he wanted to call himself these days). All is well. Honestly, all the positives I had from the show were fairly long gone by the end of it. Each episode tried to prolong the life of the show, squeezing and stretching each storyline to their limits. The conclusion that we all waited for finally came but was unfortunately dead on arrival due to the number of months that led to the finale.

But here lies a massive positive from me for Fraud; the show had a fantastic premise. The first several weeks of the show had some impeccable writing and a unique, eerie atmosphere. The movie set/ blurred reality sequence will forever be one the most brilliant scenes ever written for Pakistani television. The main cast had some fantastic scenes to display their wide range of performances, particularly Mehmood Aslam and Adnan Samad Khan. Regardless of how late the final curtain was pulled, Fraud will always be remembered to have a unique, uncharted storyline that addressed real life incidents that unfortunately occur on a semi-daily basis in Pakistan. And just for that, Fraud was well and truly ahead of the shows produced at the time in Pakistan.

ii – The earlier episodes of Fraud would not have been great, if it were not for its main cast of characters. Although reluctant at first, I did finally warm up to Tabriaz’s character once they started focusing on his back story, further developing the reasoning behind his heinous actions. Nael was yet another character I felt could have easily been a stand in as the main protagonist of the show. The rejection and the ultimate revenge he pulled off against Nisar sahib was a memorable episode for me and the scenes of it lingered on in my head weeks after the episode first aired on television.

+ Low Points

i –  Well, now that all the good stuff is out of the way, it’s time to address the bad. The (well and truly) bad of the show. Fraud should not have ever been 35 episodes long! According to the content of the script, it should have lasted no more than 15 episodes but given the reasoning of making the show financially viable, it went on and on, dragging each storyline to its bitter end. After the 30th episode, the show reached a point of no return. All the good will the show created from its earlier episodes was long gone and most of the viewers like myself betrayed for all the time that we invested into it. Ending before its time but on a high note is infinitely more praiseworthy than tedious, long stretches of any beloved show.

ii – There were some major inconsistencies throughout the show’s lifespan. Why did all the bad luck happen to knock on Nisar sahib’s doorstep? Why did Maya not immediately contact the police or her parents once she found out that Tabriaz had adopted yet another alias? How did the murder of Maila’s husband play any role in the story of Fraud? The list could endlessly go on but I digress. 

iii – Shaan is truly one of the worst written characters that I have ever come across on Pak TV. Each week, he whined and complained how his wife betrayed him and took his frustration out on people around him. Throughout the show’s lifespan, Shaan acted like a perpetual man child who complained to the world when things didn’t go his way. Writing 101; if you want a character to be liked by the audience, you should deliver hints of sympathetic character traits and even though Fraud tried, it failed miserably. But all of this might possibly have been avoided if Mikaal Zulfiqar’s performance made up for the shortcomings of the writing. Unfortunately it did not.

iv –  Characters acted dumb and elusive because the script required it. Nisar sahib and his family were constantly made a fool of time and time again till it became highly unrealistic and phony. Nael betrayed and embarrassed the family on the highest stage imaginable but still, he was not only forgiven by the end but managed to marry the younger sister instead!? Poor Shaan was blinded (by his own stupidity I suppose) that he could not look past the facade of his step mother and sister’s ulterior motives. Maya did not meet her sister in law’s husband Tabriaz till several episodes later. So is the show trying to tell us that Maya saw no pictures, no wedding videos of her sister-in-law?? All of this was Fraud’s writing was at its worst.

+ Overall

Judging from its fantastic premise, Fraud brought such high promises with itself but ended on a complete whimper. From one of the most creative shows on television to a show that most of its viewers likely stopped watching halfway through. A truly valuable lesson why TV shows should have tightly written scripts and always end on a high note.

Overall Series Rating: out of 5 stars

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