TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay – Episode XX (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay Episode 20 (2021). The new TV series is written by Umera Ahmed and directed by Farooq Rind. Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is a Momina Duraid Production and currently airs on HUM TV.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Farooq Rind
  • Written by Umer Ahmed
  • Produced by Nina Kashif & Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay marks 5 years since Mahira Khan appeared in a TV drama and as was the case before, this drama was also originally a novel by Umera Ahmed where the childhood and upbringing play an important part in the main plot of the show. The show deals with dark topics such as drug addiction and its impact on a child’s upbringing. 

The show also focuses once again on a love triangle between three cousins who shared a childhood together; Mehreen, Mashal and Aswad. Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is essentially a case study of internal flaws and unspoken guilts that makes us human and how we learn to cope up in a less than ideal society.

 + Main Cast

  1. Mahira Khan as Mehreen Mansoor
  2. Kubra Khan as Mashal Tahir
  3. Usman Mukhtar as Aswad Ayub
  4. Omair Rana as Mansoor
  5. Zainab Qayyum as Shagufta
  6. Haroon Shahid
  7. Laila Wasti
  8. Huma Nawab as Saliha
  9. Kaif Ghaznavi
  10. Shamim Hilali as Aswad’s Grandmother
  11. Khalid Malik

+ Plot

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is a story of three cousins; Mehreen, Mashal and Aswad. Their lives have coincided with each other since childhood. While Mashal and Aswad grew up in a stable, loving household, Mehreen had to live through the mistakes of her father for being a drug addict and financially unstable. As they grow older, it is obvious that they all share an unbroken bond between each other that will only culminate with certain unforeseeable events.

+ High Points

i – Although nothing integral happens throughout this week’s episode, the performances still made it worth it to sit through. And that has always been the saving grace of this show.

+ Low Points

i –  As mentioned above, (apart from one dialogue from Mehreen) this week had absolutely nothing new to offer. It is yet again retread of previous events and revelations, childhood scenes that (at this stage of the show) add nothing to the narrative. Episode 20 was nothing much than a filler, gearing up to the grand finale (perhaps next week?).

ii – It still boggles the mind how incompitent the police investigation was in the case of Mashal’s murder. Firstly, the “two sets of Tea” that night was never brought up in the investigation, neither the fact that their pet dog mysteriously also got poisoned that night nor the fact that Mashal had the keys to Mehreen’s room and worst of all, Mehreen’s room was not even thoroughly searched by the police. Otherwise, they would have found Mehreen’s daily diary. It is obvious that her diary would not serve as substantial evidence but at the very least, could have served as pieces to the grand puzzle of who murdered Mashal or was it inevertedly her own doing. This major inconsistency in the storytelling is too big of a plothole to be ignored!

iii – Unless Mashal had malicious intentions that night, it is unfathomable why Mashal that night would like to make amends with Mehreen. Even her dialogue delivery sounded sarcastic and not genuine (or maybe Kubra Khan is just not that good of an actress). The revelation from Mehreen that “Mashal wanted to save her” does not add up to the performances during the confrontation scene. And it seems highly unlikely that Mashal (in a second’s thought) would be ready to let go of her grudge towards Mehreen just because she thinks that they are “even” now. Another example of bad, inconsistent writing by Umera Ahmed.

iv – Apparently, the showrunners have promised a major revelation in the final episode of the show and one can only expect a conclusion which would make no sense in the grand scheme of things. The narrative has for the most part been completely inconsistent with the plot, each character has acted at times ‘out of character’ in order to compensate for the plot to move forward. And where is Saffan in all of this? Will he be the main antagonist at the end of the show or has he been pushed off the cliff, never to be mentioned again? Since its premiere, Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay has struggled maintaining coherent storytelling and progressive characterizations. And unfortunately, I do not have high hopes that the show will conclude in a way that will answer all the inconsistencies of the plot.

+ Overall

Episode 20 was yet again another filler week to prolong the inevitable finale of the show. Apart from a single, vital dialogue by Mehreen, this episode had nothing new to offer to its viewers.

 Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Parizaad – Episode XXII (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Parizaad Episode 22 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Shehzad Kashmiri and written by Hashim Nadeem. Parizaad is a Momina Duraid Production.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Shehzad Kashmiri
  • Written by Hashim Nadeem
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Parizaad is based on a novel by Hashim Nadeem and is a case study of a protagonist who cannot seem to find his place in a world where illicit behaviour and exploitation is rewarded over truth and kindness. The show explores the lower middle class societal problems of Pakistan and how a wallflower like Parizaad is never appreciated by our society. 

The director of the show Shehzad Kashmiri is a well respected cinematographer who then moved towards directing TV shows. He also directed a feature length film Bin Roye in 2015 which earned him a nomination for Best Film Director at 15th Lux Style Awards.

 + Main Cast

  1. Noman Ejaz
  2. Ahmed Ali Akbar
  3. Syed Muhammad Ahmed
  4. Urwa Hussain
  5. Ushna Shah
  6. Yumna Zaidi
  7. Saboor Ali
  8. Mashal Khan
  9. Tipu Shah
  10. Kiran Tabeer

+ Plot

Born in a world of neglect and hurt, Parizaad is an innocent soul that differs from everyone. He is kind, thoughtful and a gentle soul who due to his nature and appearance, does not fit the societal norms of Pakistani culture. Will the devious modern society engulf Parizaad into its darkness or will he remain a beacon of hope and all that is good in Life?

+ High Points

i – Episode 22 was brilliantly paced and well structured throughout its hour runtime. The emotions were not so hamfisted as the previous episode and one got a sense of the emotional connection Parizaad has with Annie. As usual, Ahmed Ali Akbar’s performance is impeccable. From his poverty stricken days to the multi millionaire transformation, Parizaad’s body language has changed radically. No longer his shoulders fall, the hesitation in his voice is absent and is not his defining character trait. The six years in prison and the adoption of Behroze’s wealth has brought a new perspective in his life.

ii – This week’s episode had some great dialogue! From the scene with the absent minded bodyguard to the confrontation with Naheed, episode 22 had some outstanding writing to it. For the most part, the writer Hashim Nadeem has been excellent and an unsung hero of the show.

iii – As mentioned, the confrontation of Parizaad with his first love Naheed was the true highlight of the episode. As a reviewer, I could truly appreciate how Parizaad did not just merely refuse advances of Naheed but instead, confessed his inner thoughts onto her. In a typical Parizaad fashion, he painstakingly explained his past love for her and perhaps still, the feelings have not completely left him. Under the facade of wealth, power and success, there still hides the Parizaad that we’ve all grown to love and appreciate. But even if Naheed’s remorse was genuine, would he have still refused her due to her marital status? Perhaps but the doubt will always remain somewhere deep down in his psyche.

+ Low Points

i – These are perhaps just minor nitpicks but the confrontation between Parizaad and Naheed went on a tad bit too long. Just a slight reduction of dialogues from Parizaad’s side would have benefited the pacing of the scene. Also some inventive camera work would have made the scene much more visually interesting instead of the typical shot/ reaction shot composition.

+ Overall

Episode 22 serves as an essential building block as Parizaad steadily reaches its grand finale.

Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay – Episode XIX (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay Episode 19 (2021). The new TV series is written by Umera Ahmed and directed by Farooq Rind. Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is a Momina Duraid Production and currently airs on HUM TV.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Farooq Rind
  • Written by Umer Ahmed
  • Produced by Nina Kashif & Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay marks 5 years since Mahira Khan appeared in a TV drama and as was the case before, this drama was also originally a novel by Umera Ahmed where the childhood and upbringing play an important part in the main plot of the show. The show deals with dark topics such as drug addiction and its impact on a child’s upbringing. 

The show also focuses once again on a love triangle between three cousins who shared a childhood together; Mehreen, Mashal and Aswad. Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is essentially a case study of internal flaws and unspoken guilts that makes us human and how we learn to cope up in a less than ideal society.

 + Main Cast

  1. Mahira Khan as Mehreen Mansoor
  2. Kubra Khan as Mashal Tahir
  3. Usman Mukhtar as Aswad Ayub
  4. Omair Rana as Mansoor
  5. Zainab Qayyum as Shagufta
  6. Haroon Shahid
  7. Laila Wasti
  8. Huma Nawab as Saliha
  9. Kaif Ghaznavi
  10. Shamim Hilali as Aswad’s Grandmother
  11. Khalid Malik

+ Plot

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is a story of three cousins; Mehreen, Mashal and Aswad. Their lives have coincided with each other since childhood. While Mashal and Aswad grew up in a stable, loving household, Mehreen had to live through the mistakes of her father for being a drug addict and financially unstable. As they grow older, it is obvious that they all share an unbroken bond between each other that will only culminate with certain unforeseeable events.

Spoilers Alert!! If you would like to avoid it, please skip to the Overall section:

+ High Points

i – Finally, the epic conclusion is coming to a close. Shabo accidentally killed Mashal (who wanted to murder her own cousin instead). Even though the conclusion and the motivations make absolutely no sense, the performances have been mostly stellar throughout the show. With exception to Usman Mukhtar as Aswad, everyone else played their respective roles well and with some level of finesse. 

+ Low Points

i –  Episode 19 simply continued on where the last episode left off. The revelation of the incident is further elaborated on with Shabo’s confession as to why she ended up mixing the “energy pills” in Mashal’s tea instead. As per my last review, I already explained how most of this conclusion makes absolutely no sense. The death of their dog (who was not even mentioned or seen in any episodes prior to the death of Mashal) was left uninvestigated by the police nor the fact that Shabo was never really interrogated about her role that night as well. Also the fact that Mehreen could’ve easily mentioned (or did mention) to the police that Mashal and her had in fact, two sets of tea that particular evening. So who made the second round of tea? Why, Shabo of course! Then why was she never properly interrogated? Why is the case now dropped without any conclusive evidence?

And also, good God, why did Mashal trust her servant to mix the “energy pills” in the right cup? Did a thought not cross her mind that she is depending her whole life on Shabo? And time and time again, Mashal had criticized Shabo for being clumsy and not competent enough. Why would she trust her with her life on this “special” occasion? Why didn’t she made her mix the pills right in front of her just for safekeeping?

 Every aspect of this revelation feels unearned as the set up was poorly conducted for a satisfying payoff. And the worst part is that as a viewer, its hard to feel sympathy for any of these characters because they are either too evil or too dumb to garner any affection from the audience.

ii – Aswad still continues to be the most bewildering character in TV history. Due to lies from Mashal, he was (for some idiotic reason) fully convinced that Mehreen is capable of committing murder just because she has some sort of cousin rivalry going on. But what lacks is a substantial reasoning to do so. In Aswad’s mind, what was the crucial reason that Mehreen decided to murder her own cousin? Because of mere jealousy? Unfortunately there is no conclusive reason but due to the fact that the script dictated it, Aswad was supposed to hate Mehreen now, accuse her of murder for no substantial reason. The plot of Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay always felt half-baked. The series of events mostly make no sense but only exist to further the plot. Aswad is by far, the worst character in all of this nonsense.

iii – The great cliffhanger of the episode was that Mehreen now finally wants a divorce from Aswad. And…. is that a surprise for anyone? The woman was on the brink of suicide and had a massive nervous breakdown (mostly cause of him)! Of course she would want a divorce now! And if they still ended up being together in the next episode, I would be extremely displeased with the show’s conclusion.

+ Overall

As Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is finally reaching its conclusion, its safe to say that the promise and talent that this show had in the beginning did not pay off and has been a convoluted mess.

 Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Parizaad – Episode XXI (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Parizaad Episode 21 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Shehzad Kashmiri and written by Hashim Nadeem. Parizaad is a Momina Duraid Production.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Shehzad Kashmiri
  • Written by Hashim Nadeem
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Parizaad is based on a novel by Hashim Nadeem and is a case study of a protagonist who cannot seem to find his place in a world where illicit behaviour and exploitation is rewarded over truth and kindness. The show explores the lower middle class societal problems of Pakistan and how a wallflower like Parizaad is never appreciated by our society. 

The director of the show Shehzad Kashmiri is a well respected cinematographer who then moved towards directing TV shows. He also directed a feature length film Bin Roye in 2015 which earned him a nomination for Best Film Director at 15th Lux Style Awards.

 + Main Cast

  1. Noman Ejaz
  2. Ahmed Ali Akbar
  3. Syed Muhammad Ahmed
  4. Urwa Hussain
  5. Ushna Shah
  6. Yumna Zaidi
  7. Saboor Ali
  8. Mashal Khan
  9. Tipu Shah
  10. Kiran Tabeer

+ Plot

Born in a world of neglect and hurt, Parizaad is an innocent soul that differs from everyone. He is kind, thoughtful and a gentle soul who due to his nature and appearance, does not fit the societal norms of Pakistani culture. Will the devious modern society engulf Parizaad into its darkness or will he remain a beacon of hope and all that is good in Life?

+ High Points

i – The revisit to Naheed’s story is excellent and I’m eagerly interested how this will all play out. It is rather true to the character but unfortunate at the same time that wealth does change perceptions of many individuals throughout the world. Naheed’s attraction to Parizaad is far from being coincidental and it is important to note what kind of world Parizaad left behind in order to enter his journey to the path of success.

ii – Although the execution was incredibly half-hearted (more on that later), the mirror scene was a clever way of depicting Parizaad’s insecurities that hinder his way of finding true happiness. Time and time again, he has been betrayed, taken advantage of and left for dead but the uniqueness of Parizaad is that he still persevered and never compromised on his morals.

iii – What was also commendable for Episode 21 was the ‘pocket story’ technique. For the most part, the whole episode focused on the Parizaad/ Annie story and it worked on most levels. The concept of a blind girl falling in love with a man who is not considered “physically attractive” due to his dark skin (a theme from Othello which the show touched upon many episodes ago) is a classic angle of storytelling. If looks are the first aspect that a person falls in love with, Annie had the privilege to fall with Parizaad’s character and poetry instead. 

+ Low Points

i – On some occasions, this episode was a bit of a letdown. The thematic elements that were visited ended up being cliched and on the nose. Yes, we know what an empathic person Parizaad is but do we really need to witness each and every good deed that he does (like the shoe shiner kid scene)? Thankfully we did get to peek into Parizaad’s more insecure side (his lack of self confidence when it comes to being loved) but Parizaad works best when the themes visited are subtle but to the point. 

ii – Although Annie has definitely some interesting characteristics, the way she has been written came off less charming but more on the annoyance side. Her ‘fangirl’ attitude over Parizaad’s poetry makes sense to the current storyline but have to admit, the scenes did slightly go overboard and I ended up feeling annoyed by her constant questioning and calling on odd times of the day rather than feeling sympathetic for her love. And also, just because she is a fan of his poetry, doesn’t necessarily mean that Parizaad will instantly fall head over heels for her. Some character development scenes were desperately required in order to make this romance believable. 

iii – There were a lot of unfortunate technical/ production errors throughout the episode. The lack of atmospheric sound is extremely jarring in exterior locations where we can visually see thousands of citizens on the streets but no sound can be heard. Obviously, the sound editor only enables sound when it is being picked up by the collar microphones of the actors. Secondly, the mirror scene with Parizaad was awkwardly executed since for some odd reason, the reflection of Parizaad was facing the camera rather than himself outside the mirror (check the mirror pic above). Why is reflection breaking the fourth wall and addressing us rather than himself in front of the mirror? Such moments really took me out of the show for some seconds and all these errors could have been easily fixed with just a small amount of effort.

iv – When it comes to priorities, what is up with Parizaad’s advisor/ personal secretary? Midway through the episode, he enters the room and explains to his boss Parizaad how he has made things well with his wife again and only after a few minutes of discussion, does he mention the urgent news that his rivals are ganging up on him and his life might be in danger…. Why is he still employed?

+ Overall

While the episode was truly focused and compact this time around, some writing inconsistencies and technical errors manage to hinder the enjoyment level this episode could have had.

Rate:out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay – Episode XVIII (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay Episode 18 (2021). The new TV series is written by Umera Ahmed and directed by Farooq Rind. Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is a Momina Duraid Production and currently airs on HUM TV.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Farooq Rind
  • Written by Umer Ahmed
  • Produced by Nina Kashif & Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay marks 5 years since Mahira Khan appeared in a TV drama and as was the case before, this drama was also originally a novel by Umera Ahmed where the childhood and upbringing play an important part in the main plot of the show. The show deals with dark topics such as drug addiction and its impact on a child’s upbringing. 

The show also focuses once again on a love triangle between three cousins who shared a childhood together; Mehreen, Mashal and Aswad. Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is essentially a case study of internal flaws and unspoken guilts that makes us human and how we learn to cope up in a less than ideal society.

 + Main Cast

  1. Mahira Khan as Mehreen Mansoor
  2. Kubra Khan as Mashal Tahir
  3. Usman Mukhtar as Aswad Ayub
  4. Omair Rana as Mansoor
  5. Zainab Qayyum as Shagufta
  6. Haroon Shahid
  7. Laila Wasti
  8. Huma Nawab as Saliha
  9. Kaif Ghaznavi
  10. Shamim Hilali as Aswad’s Grandmother
  11. Khalid Malik

+ Plot

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is a story of three cousins; Mehreen, Mashal and Aswad. Their lives have coincided with each other since childhood. While Mashal and Aswad grew up in a stable, loving household, Mehreen had to live through the mistakes of her father for being a drug addict and financially unstable. As they grow older, it is obvious that they all share an unbroken bond between each other that will only culminate with certain unforeseeable events.

+ High Points

i – The opening scene of Episode 18, leading up to the climax of Mehreen’s vision of her late father was well executed. The longing of Mehreen for her father has always been one of key elements of the show and thematically, it made perfect sense why he might be the sole reason that could encourage Mehreen to go on living. The set piece was also performed excellently by the actors and is always a constant reminder that with a good script, these actors can potentially knock it out of the park. 

+ Low Points

i –  Finally, Episode 18 had some significant plot revelations. Revelations that made absolutely no sense. (Sigh) Where do we even begin? The unnecessary dumping of the food segment, the tea which was made twice in one night, the fact that the police had no clue that Mashal had the keys to Mehreen’s room and worst of all, Mashal blatantly commanding Shabo to dump unhealthy amount of sleeping pills in Mehreen’s cup and thus, making her an accomplice to a murder for no apparent reason! The plot is unnecessarily convoluted and is dragging the whole show to one of the most unsatisfying conclusions to a show in recent history.

ii – Oh my dear Aswad, the man who planned this whole time that he will psychologically torutre Mehreen for the alleged murder of Mashal and now that Mehreen ends up with a nervous breakdown, he truly realizes how horrible of a person he has been. But wait, there’s more! He now also found out that Mashal had lied to him about Mehreen this entire time like… how she secretly smokes (gasp!), how she has a boyfriend (oh my!) but fret no more, cause all of this and more were just lies, all lies. Which means Mehreen has always been the non-smoking, God’s perfect maiden that Aswad envisioned in head. So are we supposed to feel sorry for this misogynist? Since the beginning of this show, Aswad had been by far one of the worst characteristics that one could have for a male protagonist of a TV show. For him, Mehreen is only worthy of him if she was a non-smoker and is strictly only madly in love with him. Are we sure if he’s actually not the antagonist of the show? Cause that’s a twist which would make perfect sense.

iii – Just this whole depiction of mental torture and suicide from the show leaves a bad taste at the end. I do not believe in condemning such themes in TV shows but they should be done responsibly, not sensationalized and dramatized to a point that it just feels exploitative. It is not enjoyable (nor educational for that matter) to see our female protagonist getting man handled, psychological tortured to the brink of suicide. Why is this being used for prime time TV entertainment purposes? The writing tackling such serious issues is not up to the standards that it should be. Depression and suicide are unfortunately very prevalent in our Pakistani society and should be addressed in the most mature way possible. To say that Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay does not do these themes justice is an understatement.

iv – Apparently Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is now reaching its conclusion and yet, the viewers are still left scratching their heads with what it all means. Why did this show have filler episodes which added absolutely nothing to the overall plot. Since the death of Mashal around ep 8-10 till ep 18, there was next to zero plot development. The producers might have prolonged this show’s life to 20 episodes but in the process, left it completely lifeless with viewers each week complaining about the negative thematic elements of the show.

+ Overall

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is finally reaching its conclusion and unfortunately, the only satisfaction we, the viewers will get is when the final curtain will drop.

 Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Parizaad – Episode XX (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Parizaad Episode 20 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Shehzad Kashmiri and written by Hashim Nadeem. Parizaad is a Momina Duraid Production.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Shehzad Kashmiri
  • Written by Hashim Nadeem
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Parizaad is based on a novel by Hashim Nadeem and is a case study of a protagonist who cannot seem to find his place in a world where illicit behaviour and exploitation is rewarded over truth and kindness. The show explores the lower middle class societal problems of Pakistan and how a wallflower like Parizaad is never appreciated by our society. 

The director of the show Shehzad Kashmiri is a well respected cinematographer who then moved towards directing TV shows. He also directed a feature length film Bin Roye in 2015 which earned him a nomination for Best Film Director at 15th Lux Style Awards.

 + Main Cast

  1. Noman Ejaz
  2. Ahmed Ali Akbar
  3. Syed Muhammad Ahmed
  4. Urwa Hussain
  5. Ushna Shah
  6. Yumna Zaidi
  7. Saboor Ali
  8. Mashal Khan
  9. Tipu Shah
  10. Kiran Tabeer

+ Plot

Born in a world of neglect and hurt, Parizaad is an innocent soul that differs from everyone. He is kind, thoughtful and a gentle soul who due to his nature and appearance, does not fit the societal norms of Pakistani culture. Will the devious modern society engulf Parizaad into its darkness or will he remain a beacon of hope and all that is good in Life?

+ High Points

i – When it comes to setting up new characters and their individual storylines, Episode 20 certainly delivered. From the return of Majid (his neighborhood ‘friend’) to the Radio girl who is in love with Parizaad’s poetry, the level of detail in its writing makes it certain that they feel as real and authentic as possible. As Parizaad gets used to his recent success, he indulges heavily into his past life and tries to help those in need. What has also always been consistent with the show’s quality is the level of detailed characteristic that our protagonist has. For example, Parizaad could have had a straightforward reunion with his ex-mechanic boss but by playing along with the accusation of fraud workmanship, he got his friend all fired up only to be pleasantly surprised in return. A minor detail but such level of attention does work well in the long run, making Parizaad’s world more vibrant and colorful in character.

Whether the show will be able to maintain its audience’s attention span still remains to be seen but for now, Parizaad’s plot still seamlessly flows as it has in the past. 

ii – The return of Majid (who was barely explored in the earlier episodes) has managed to create an interesting dynamic to the story. As predicted, his selfish intentions have not changed since he was first introduced and envy is on his mind when it comes to Parizaad’s sudden path of success. The performance of Ahmed Taha Ghani as Majid also elevates this storyline and brings out the tension and jealousy seeped deep beneath his psyche. Will Parizaad’s unconditional act of kindness towards Majid be ultimately his downfall? 

iii – It’s good to see that Episode 20 finally also sheds light towards the ‘business’ side of affairs. The conflict of interest between the two ‘bosses’ and their territories is a common affair that could easily end in warfare between the two factions. Its intriguing to see how this will play out in the coming weeks.

iv – The cliffhanger to Episode 20 is a rather interesting one. Once again, this could be yet another repercussion to Parizaad’s unbridled honesty and faith in humanity. When someone pleads for ‘help’, Parizaad has a hard time refusing. And in this case, it will most certainly end up against him in the end. Its a certain disaster in the making.

+ Low Points

i – While the writing has brought in new scenarios and storylines to the show, ‘Business entrepreneur’ Parizaad is admittedly not as interesting as ‘down on his luck’ Parizaad. Historically, the journey has always been more interesting than the destination and the show runners are doing a good job in maintaining the level of interest as before. But the show needs a story that can shake the very foundations of Parizaad’s venture as an entrepreneur. A reality check that could land him in serious trouble, a reminder that regardless of social class, empathy is considered a weakness in our society. And judging from this week’s episode, this is perhaps the path that the show will end up taking. 

ii – The introduction of the ‘Radio girl’ seems rather unnecessary to the main plot of the show. Her fangirl moments towards Parizaad does not develop much into an essential side plot and can’t see how this could add to the overall experience of the show. Parizaad has already had three/ four women in his life, adding another one does not seem ‘essential’ and feels rather arbitrary to the show.

+ Overall

Parizaad continues to hold steady with its quality writing and promises new conflicts in the upcoming weeks of television.

 Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay – Episode XVII (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay Episode 17 (2021). The new TV series is written by Umera Ahmed and directed by Farooq Rind. Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is a Momina Duraid Production and currently airs on HUM TV.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Farooq Rind
  • Written by Umer Ahmed
  • Produced by Nina Kashif & Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay marks 5 years since Mahira Khan appeared in a TV drama and as was the case before, this drama was also originally a novel by Umera Ahmed where the childhood and upbringing play an important part in the main plot of the show. The show deals with dark topics such as drug addiction and its impact on a child’s upbringing. 

The show also focuses once again on a love triangle between three cousins who shared a childhood together; Mehreen, Mashal and Aswad. Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is essentially a case study of internal flaws and unspoken guilts that makes us human and how we learn to cope up in a less than ideal society.

 + Main Cast

  1. Mahira Khan as Mehreen Mansoor
  2. Kubra Khan as Mashal Tahir
  3. Usman Mukhtar as Aswad Ayub
  4. Omair Rana as Mansoor
  5. Zainab Qayyum as Shagufta
  6. Haroon Shahid
  7. Laila Wasti
  8. Huma Nawab as Saliha
  9. Kaif Ghaznavi
  10. Shamim Hilali as Aswad’s Grandmother
  11. Khalid Malik

+ Plot

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is a story of three cousins; Mehreen, Mashal and Aswad. Their lives have coincided with each other since childhood. While Mashal and Aswad grew up in a stable, loving household, Mehreen had to live through the mistakes of her father for being a drug addict and financially unstable. As they grow older, it is obvious that they all share an unbroken bond between each other that will only culminate with certain unforeseeable events.

+ High Points

i – Its clearly obvious that the main cast of Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay are trying their level best to make this show an exciting watch. Even though the script is devoid of any creativity and the plot refuses to move on, I have to give the cast all the credit they deserve for reading out those repetitive, awful dialogue for every single episode with little to no reward.

+ Low Points

i –  The episode starts off with Aswad shouting at Mehreen, demanding her to explain how much she hated Mashal. Oh boy… this show does not understand the meaning of the word ‘tiresome’. Seventeen episodes in and Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay feels creatively bankrupt since the past five weeks. The plot is stagnated between Aswad’s non-existent revenge, Mehreen’s visions of Mashal and for some reason, Saffan who has nothing better to do but be involved in this complete mess. As I watch an episode each and every week, I truly ask myself what this show is trying to accomplish. As a diligent viewer, who am I supposed to root for? This whole facade of a tragedy is now becoming a parody of itself. Episode 17 was once again nothing more than crude characterizations, shouting contests and endless self-pity sequences. And frankly put, I don’t believe any brilliant conclusion could justify the torture that the show is making us sit through.

ii – So we finally got our answer. Why was Mehreen reluctant to sign those divorce papers even though Aswad has been nothing short of a terrible spouse. Its because she loves him! Yes, the same Aswad who is convinced that his wife poisoned her cousin, the same man who has been manhandling and humiliating his wife publicly without any repercussions. What a great representation of an on screen relationship, a perfect composite of the word “Stockholm Syndrome”. This is just so forced and ridiculous that its unfathomable to even comprehend all of this with an open mind. Sadly, Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay finally proves itself to be yet another poster child for glorifying abusive relationships. Not even from the story standpoint, does this make any sense. It’s a reason that a writer comes up with when they have no other intelligent storytelling to fall back to. The Mashal murder mystery has become so convoluted at this point that the show refuses progress even an inch out of its place. Its the lamest and most illogical reasoning to this whole fiasco.

iii – Speaking of abusive relationships, the whole physical and mental torturing of the maid Shabo was an incredibly distasteful scene, almost made me shut off my television set. It’s not a complaint of being ‘unrealistic’, far from it. Its all that the show promotes; abusive relationships, mental and physical torturing the people close to you and worst of all, none of these actions have had any repercussions to them. Its 40 minutes of non-stop debasement of characters on screen each and every week. And if that is what some enjoy in their TV dramas then they really need to seek help.

iv – The restaurant scene was just hilariously bad! Coincidentally, all main cast members of the show dine in the same restaurant. Aswad and his “friend”, Mehreen and her mother in law and Saffan and his newly wedded wife (or fiance, not sure). Of all the millions of people that live in Pakistan, they all ended up in a random place together! Talk about lazy writing by Umera Ahmed. And Aswad gets frustrated because… Mehreen is having lunch in a restaurant and she bumped into Saffan and his fiance/ wife? Is the show trying to find random reasons for the story to have conflict? Which leads me to my next point argument…

v – What is Aswad’s problem? Is he just jealous of Saffan because Mehreen (apparently) likes him? But now that he is getting married to someone else, that still does not satisfy our dear Aswad. He is too busy acting like a manchild in every single episode to realise what his actual motivations in the show are. He hates Mehreen because allegedly, she killed Mashal and seeks revenge. And thus, Aswad ended up marrying Mehreen so he could torture her day and night and also keep her away from the clutches of Saffen. But at the same time, he demands Mehreen as to why she doesn’t sign the divorce papers? But if she does, he thinks that she will end up in the arms of Saffan which is why he refuses to sign the divorce papers..? What kind of nonsense characterization is that? Aswad is, by far, one of the worst main cast characters I’ve ever come across on Pakistani TV. And why does Mehreen still “love” him? This is a mystery perhaps best remains unsolved.

+ Overall

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay failed to improve even a single aspect of its plot structure and arguably, episode 17 has only made it worse. Not worth a watch, folks!

 Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Parizaad – Episode XIX (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Parizaad Episode 19 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Shehzad Kashmiri and written by Hashim Nadeem. Parizaad is a Momina Duraid Production.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Shehzad Kashmiri
  • Written by Hashim Nadeem
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Parizaad is based on a novel by Hashim Nadeem and is a case study of a protagonist who cannot seem to find his place in a world where illicit behaviour and exploitation is rewarded over truth and kindness. The show explores the lower middle class societal problems of Pakistan and how a wallflower like Parizaad is never appreciated by our society. 

The director of the show Shehzad Kashmiri is a well respected cinematographer who then moved towards directing TV shows. He also directed a feature length film Bin Roye in 2015 which earned him a nomination for Best Film Director at 15th Lux Style Awards.

 + Main Cast

  1. Noman Ejaz
  2. Ahmed Ali Akbar
  3. Syed Muhammad Ahmed
  4. Urwa Hussain
  5. Ushna Shah
  6. Yumna Zaidi
  7. Saboor Ali
  8. Mashal Khan
  9. Tipu Shah
  10. Kiran Tabeer

+ Plot

Born in a world of neglect and hurt, Parizaad is an innocent soul that differs from everyone. He is kind, thoughtful and a gentle soul who due to his nature and appearance, does not fit the societal norms of Pakistani culture. Will the devious modern society engulf Parizaad into its darkness or will he remain a beacon of hope and all that is good in Life?

+ High Points

i – Episode 19 was indeed a filler episode. And I don’t mean it in a negative way at all. There were some heartfelt, character building moments accompanied by calm reminiscence of the past. This week was Parizaad’s journey into his past life, the life and experiences that made him who he is today. And after the breakneck speed of the dramatic events of Behroze Karim’s story, an episode where the audience just gets to spend some time with the main cast on screen is sufficient enough.

ii – The relationship between Parizaad and his sister has consistently been one of the best parts of the show. It is extremely rare in Pakistan TV to see a well written on screen relationship which is not a romantic one. Ahmed Ali Akbar and Kiran Tabeer have such fantastic chemistry together which works even through mere physical gestures and dialogueless scenes. It would certainly not be an exaggeration that Parizaad’s ambition to succeed in Life has solely been his elder sister’s encouragement to never compromise your sense of morality for the society but rather make the society change around his good deeds.

iii – On a minor note, I did enjoy Parizaad’s revisit to the Antique store. And with all the wealth in his pockets, Parizaad could still not attain the antique piano that he so much desired. Perhaps some things in life are better left unattainable. One could even claim that the writer Hashim Nadeem is unmistakably influenced by the writings of Paulo Coelho.

+ Low Points

i – While it was nice to see Parizaad revisit his past events, it did become mid way through the episode a bit tiresome. Did he have to visit and financially help out each and every person that he ever came across? At those moments, it did feel as if the writer was spreading the “good will” of Parizaad a little too thick on the canvas. I’m hoping that the next episode will finally move on to Parizaad’s next chapter in Life.

+ Overall

Not much to say as this week’s episode was all about Parizaad’s journey into his past events but was still nonetheless satisfying to watch.

 Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay – Episode XVI (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay Episode 16 (2021). The new TV series is written by Umera Ahmed and directed by Farooq Rind. Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is a Momina Duraid Production and currently airs on HUM TV.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Farooq Rind
  • Written by Umer Ahmed
  • Produced by Nina Kashif & Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay marks 5 years since Mahira Khan appeared in a TV drama and as was the case before, this drama was also originally a novel by Umera Ahmed where the childhood and upbringing play an important part in the main plot of the show. The show deals with dark topics such as drug addiction and its impact on a child’s upbringing. 

The show also focuses once again on a love triangle between three cousins who shared a childhood together; Mehreen, Mashal and Aswad. Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is essentially a case study of internal flaws and unspoken guilts that makes us human and how we learn to cope up in a less than ideal society.

 + Main Cast

  1. Mahira Khan as Mehreen Mansoor
  2. Kubra Khan as Mashal Tahir
  3. Usman Mukhtar as Aswad Ayub
  4. Omair Rana as Mansoor
  5. Zainab Qayyum as Shagufta
  6. Haroon Shahid
  7. Laila Wasti
  8. Huma Nawab as Saliha
  9. Kaif Ghaznavi
  10. Shamim Hilali as Aswad’s Grandmother
  11. Khalid Malik

+ Plot

Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay is a story of three cousins; Mehreen, Mashal and Aswad. Their lives have coincided with each other since childhood. While Mashal and Aswad grew up in a stable, loving household, Mehreen had to live through the mistakes of her father for being a drug addict and financially unstable. As they grow older, it is obvious that they all share an unbroken bond between each other that will only culminate with certain unforeseeable events.

+ High Points

i – With all the chaos that surrounds Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay, the performances of the leading cast is the only salvageable factor left of the show. Even with its massive flaws, the actors still manage to make the fictional scenario believable with their acting chops.

+ Low Points

i –  I have to be honest, it is becoming increasingly difficult to sit through each and every week for this show. Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay has lost all its curiosity factor and has almost nothing to offer to its viewers. Every week, each episode now revolves around Mehreen’s visions of Mashal (which have become tiresome by this point), the continuing saga of whether Aswad will divorce Mehreen or not and the anguish of Mashal’s death on her parents. I really don’t mind if the show is opting for a darker path in conveying the storyline but at least follow a clear path of storyline. 

Since the past five / six weeks, no story progression has occurred. The conflict of Aswad and Mehreen is farcical at this stage of the show and it is becoming increasingly clear that the writer Umera Ahmed has no real clue which direction her characters should follow. As of now, they are all stuck in Purgatory, continuing mental torture each and every week with no real storyline behind it.   

ii – What really grinds my gears is the unnecessary conflict in Pakistani dramas. This mental anguish could all be resolved if Mehreen just signs the divorce papers. Even if her husband does not accept it (which he did in this episode), Mehreen’s Mother in Law is on her side, so why is this point being unnecessarily dragged on through countless episodes? 

iii – And once again, I have to forcefully ask myself; why did Aswad want to marry Mehreen in the first place? What was his revenge plan? What did he accomplish? This is all so ridiculous and nonsensical to the main plot and was a massive waste of time for the audience to sit through.

iv – Since Episode 1, the visual presentation of the show has always been a contingent of criticism. The ‘over-lit look’ of each scene directly contradicts the tone of what the show is going for. The story conveys dark, gloom and melancholy but the visuals represent a commercial for a new sunflower cooking oil.

+ Overall

Each week, Hum Kahan Ke Sachay Thay seems to be falling apart. The storyline has dried up, the characters are now directionless in their private limbo and quite frankly, if not for the performances, the show has nothing interesting left to offer to its viewers.

 Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Parizaad – Episode XVIII (2021)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Parizaad Episode 18 (2021). The new TV series is directed by Shehzad Kashmiri and written by Hashim Nadeem. Parizaad is a Momina Duraid Production.

(Note: If you’ve already read the review of the previous episode, you can skip directly ahead to the High points section).

+ Crew

  • Directed by Shehzad Kashmiri
  • Written by Hashim Nadeem
  • Produced by Momina Duraid Productions

+ Note

Parizaad is based on a novel by Hashim Nadeem and is a case study of a protagonist who cannot seem to find his place in a world where illicit behaviour and exploitation is rewarded over truth and kindness. The show explores the lower middle class societal problems of Pakistan and how a wallflower like Parizaad is never appreciated by our society. 

The director of the show Shehzad Kashmiri is a well respected cinematographer who then moved towards directing TV shows. He also directed a feature length film Bin Roye in 2015 which earned him a nomination for Best Film Director at 15th Lux Style Awards.

 + Main Cast

  1. Noman Ejaz
  2. Ahmed Ali Akbar
  3. Syed Muhammad Ahmed
  4. Urwa Hussain
  5. Ushna Shah
  6. Yumna Zaidi
  7. Saboor Ali
  8. Mashal Khan
  9. Tipu Shah
  10. Kiran Tabeer

+ Plot

Born in a world of neglect and hurt, Parizaad is an innocent soul that differs from everyone. He is kind, thoughtful and a gentle soul who due to his nature and appearance, does not fit the societal norms of Pakistani culture. Will the devious modern society engulf Parizaad into its darkness or will he remain a beacon of hope and all that is good in Life?

+ High Points

i – There is not much to be said about the episode as there were no incredible revelations or major character development. This week’s Parizaad was arguably just an introspection towards all the previous events that have led up to Parizaad’s position of absolute power,  Episode 18 had a clear distinction between its first and second half of the episode. The first focused on Parizaad still filling in the big shoes that Behroze Karim left for him, a lifestyle perhaps he might never be suited for but the second half focused more on his homesickness; an opportunity to finally break away from all this “get money, get power” life and reunite briefly with his past life. The reunion with his family, his brothers and most importantly, his loving sister was undoubtedly the highlight of the episode. 

Spoilers Alert!! If you would like to avoid it, please skip to the Overall section:

ii – The return of Lubna was also an interesting throwback to Parizaad’s life when he was not in the position of power. Although I do admit it is fun to see the high society’s shock/ realization of Parizaad’s success, I do hope they do something more with Lubna and not just a brief cameo. 

iii – If the family reunion with the brothers and their respective wives could be summed up in a sentence; Money talks! The sudden embracement of his brothers and sister in laws was very predictable and a grim retrospective of the world we live in. The only family member who stood by Parizaad thick or thin was his sister and the final shot of the episode where Parizaad embraces his sister was emotional and heartfelt. 

+ Low Points

i – Admittedly, the “master don” part of Parizaad’s life doesn’t seem all that engaging. The barrage of important meetings, the rebuttal of Parizaad towards his opponents… It unfortunately felt uninteresting and didn’t create enough drama and tension as the rest of the show did throughout its 18 episodes. Perhaps the audience needs something more than just “Look at Parizaad, now he is the talk of the town!”. But let’s see in the coming weeks how the writer tackles this scenario further. 

+ Overall

No massive plot development this week but episode 18 still continues to show why Parizaad is one of the most relatable and down to earth shows on Television.

Rate: out of 5 stars