TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Fraud Episode 25 (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 – Even though Tabriaz’s parents do not play a major part in the storyline, they still bring some sense of humanity to Tabriaz’s character. Perhaps a subtle explanation why Tabriaz ended up being the way that he is. It is indeed a clever way to shed some light into a character’s background without having an hour long exposition behind it.

+ Low Points

i – Episode 25 was pretty uneventful. Undoubtedly a filler episode for the show to complete its quota. We had Tabriaz’s fake court case failure which cemented his place in the Shaan family and speaking of Shaan, we had the (once again) forced marriage of Maya. And none of these storylines were even remotely interesting. There was no real storyline development and weaknesses of the writing of Fraud just became more apparent than ever. With a couple of good episodes beforehand, the show has unfortunately shifted back into its ‘zombie’ mode where the episode feels devoid of any sense of originality.

ii – How is it still possible that Maya and Tabriaz have not crossed paths!? This is beyond ridiculous now. They are both part of the same family now, living in the same city and perhaps the same location. The show is milking this catastrophe for all its worth but by now, the event seems more farcical than anything. Whenever Maya is at home, coincidentally Tabriaz is distracted with something else. A couple of episodes back, Maya was slightly suspicious of Tooba’s husband so why isn’t she eager to meet him? Did she not even look at her sister in law’s wedding pictures?? How is any of this logical!?

iii – Speaking of being devoid of logic, why did Maya agree to marry (yet again) under less than ideal pretenses? Is Nisar Sahib and his family greedy for punishment? Do they not realize by now that this could all end very badly for them once again? How did Maya even agree to this? As the show nears its final episode, the storyline makes less and less sense. Fraud started off with such fireworks and is now ending with such farcical storytelling. 

+ Overall

A filler episode which was devoid of any logical storytelling.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Meri Shehzadi Episode 5 (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, Dania 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, Dania must face the trials and tribulations that come along with the life of royalty.

+ High Points

i – Most of the Episode revolved around Sheroz and his secret first wife Cam. While not the most engaging of episodes, it did explore the complexities of being married to a man of a higher stature. Sonia Mishal did a wonderful job in playing the neglected wife who is always casted in the shadows away from the public eye. The scenes between the two devolve from the blame game to career ending threats. Although not perfect, I do appreciate how the show managed to play along this storyline with a certain sense of maturity.

ii – While the whole episode was dominated by the Cam storyline, it never felt lethargic in its pacing and was accompanied by some engaging dialogues and good performances all around. Ali Rehman and Sonia Mishal had good chemistry and played well off one another. I really wouldn’t mind if Cam makes a return in some future episodes.

+ Low Points

i – Dania was a mere spectator in her own show. That was arguably the biggest flaw of this episode. Why is the show not from Dania’s perspective? That could be a very interesting way to engage the audience through the eyes of a newly wedded “princess” of the Sheroz family. Throughout the episode, Dania is left perplexed and feeling sorry for herself. “Why is she here? Does my husband love her more?”. There was little to no attention given to Dania and how this political world of lies and deception plays an effect on her. There is so much potential in this storyline but very little is being utilized in the end.

ii – The post production effects of the ‘video chat’ scene were truly awful. The “video” seemed obviously shoved into the cellphone frame in editing and it looks as fake as it should. Was it so hard to have a video call between the two characters? Regardless of the video quality, it would have looked much more authentic than this! And also, who holds a phone in a landscape position to video chat with someone?

iii – It seems like Meri Shehzadi is laying way too thick on the “Princess Diana” references. There are constant conversations on how she will become the new “Princess/ Shehzadi” and he should have been running the “kingdom”. It all sounded so ridiculous because no politician talks like that.

+ Overall

Even with the lack of our main protagonist, the episode was engaging enough for its entire runtime.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Fraud Episode 24 (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 24 started off timid but ended on a high note. There was some high level of drama throughout its runtime but in terms of quality, the episode was a complete mixed bag. The Shaan/ Maya storyline moved along nicely but some character’s decision making (which I will elaborate in the low points section) is questionable to say the least. But overall, it was a somewhat entertaining hour of television.

ii – The fake assault on Tabriaz by unknown “goons” was a perfect setup/ alibi by Tabriaz to find his way into Shaan’s home and ultimately, his wealth. Although it’s a temporary solution, it was nonetheless smart writing by Zanjabeel Asim. Fraud may have its own set of mishaps, poor writing etc but when it comes to Tabriaz and his hustle towards the good life, the writing and performances have been excellent and undoubtedly carries the whole show forward. 

iii – And now for the crème de la crème of the episode; the confrontation between the mother in law and Tabriaz. Living on lies and deception her whole life, Asma Abbas as the mother in law plays the devil’s game as she recognizes Tabriaz for who he really is; a con artist. This was a fantastic and memorable scene from the episode and opened a whole new scenario of opportunity for the show. A strong ending to a somewhat mediocre episode.

+ Low Points

i – With all due respect, is Nisar sahib really that short sighted? Will he once again roll the dice on his daughter’s fate by agreeing to hide Maya’s past from her future husband? Did he learn absolutely nothing from his two life shattering experiences? Yes, he is desperate to see his daughter have a new home but no, this cannot be. Unless Nisar sahib has completely lost his marbles, this makes no sense. 

ii – The conclusion to the episode was great but one line of dialogue left me a bit perplexed. After the whole conversation of the mother in law understanding Tabriaz’s true motives, she ends up asking him “How is the situation moving along with the legal case regarding his family’s house?”. Was that supposed to be a sarcastic question? If not then how in the world can she still believe all the hogwash? 

+ Overall

A mixed bag of lethargic moments, accompanied by great storyline opportunities, Fraud still has some flair up its sleeves.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Meri Shehzadi Episode 4 (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, Dania 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, Dania must face the trials and tribulations that come along with the life of royalty.

+ High Points

i – Four episodes in and the show already seems incredibly repetitive. But with that said, it was good to see Dania finally realize that it is the life that she has to deal with now. After constantly being threatened and insulted by her In-Laws, Dania finally realized that in order to maintain her individuality, she has to play the game. This means that she will have to behave as a royalty should and for the time being, leave her old past self behind.

ii – The death scene of Sheroz’s father was well executed. With the use of music, visuals and lack of dialogue; the scene was very effective and memorable. A great reminder to all the other Pakistani shows that less is always more.

+ Low Points

i – The episode felt very repetitive and not easy to sit through. The whole theme of the episode was if Dania would be allowed to meet her grandparents or forever be imprisoned by her in-laws. The writing was not clever enough to pull this episode off as each scene went far too long with characters portrayed as real life caricatures of themselves. It is unfortunate that Meri Shehzadi is going for the obvious, low hanging fruits with no real character studies or believability behind it. The in-laws are evil for the sake of being evil, there is no depth or justification behind it. A great villain is only a memorable one when you could understand (or relate) to their thought process.

ii – The depth that the characters in Meri Shehzadi have is no thicker than a cardboard box. Their primal instincts have divided them into the good/ evil categories. As a viewer, you are blatantly forced by the show to like and dislike the characters they want you to. Obviously, we are supposed to sympathize with Dania and her journey into the life of a “princess” but at least leave some scenes for viewers to interpret for themselves and not spoon feed us who we are supposed to love or hate. 

iii – Amongst all of the characters that are living in the Sheroz political family, there should be at least one character that could sympathize with Dania. This would be the perfect window to opportunity for Dania to not completely lose herself in this environment. On the other hand, this also creates diversity in the story and someone that the audience could root for. So far, that has not been the case for Meri Shehzadi. Apparently everyone in the family is evil whose main concern is solely the political stature of the family. Also, the reasoning behind Dania (of all women out there) being chosen as the one to produce offspring of the Shehroz family is still not convincing enough for me.

+ Overall

Episode 4 felt very repetitive at times including dialogues and scenes which really made this into a mediocre experience of television.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Fraud Episode 23 (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 plot thickens further. I like the way the show is building tension (and eventual collision) between the two parallel storylines of Maya and Tabriaz. Building a connection through props like the gold bracelet I feel is clever writing. Now the seed has been planted in Maya’s mind, the payoff will eventually follow soon.

ii – Although I was not interested in exploring Tabriaz’s background in the beginning, the show has somewhat warmed me up to it a lot more now. The broken, desperate relationship that Tabriaz has with his parents speaks a lot about his actions as an adult. At times, it is undeniably sad how he keeps justifying his actions by repeatedly reminding himself that it is for the good of the future for his parents when in truth, it is solely for himself. The dialogue back and forth between Tabriaz and his mother was also a powerful and telling one as she seems utterly perplexed what lies and misdemeanors has he involved himself into.

iii – This was one of the few episodes where Ahsan Khan seems impressive with his performance. My theory is that Ahsan Khan plays the part of a “desperate” man more convincingly than a suave, swindling one. There were numerous scenes where his performance shined through and held the scenes up on their own.

+ Low Points

i – It still makes no sense to me why the destruction of Maila’s life was necessary for the plot to continue. Not only that but they doubled down on last week’s farce with Talaal’s mother as to how she forcefully rejected Maila from her family for the “good” of “her” future. What kind of twisted logic is this? The Nisar family had already suffered enough, so why turn it into a complete farce? 

ii – Any scene now involving Maila seems very tedious and unnecessary to me. First, the audience had to go through the healing process of Maya and now it’s her sister. What is the point of all this? These scenes only dragged the episode and brought nothing new to the table.

+ Overall

A much needed improvement from the previous week, Fraud is now heading once again into the right direction but with somewhat questionable events.

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Meri Shehzadi – Episode II & III (2022)

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Meri Shehzadi Episode 2 & 3 (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, Dania 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, Dania must face the trials and tribulations that come along with the life of royalty.

+ High Points

i – Episodes 2 and 3 brought a new era in Dania’s life and with that, comes misery. Dania is now forcefully thrusted upon the life of Politics and backstabbing. Her ‘wide-eyed’ vision of the world and humanity does not work with Sheroz’s family and their household. Meri Shehzadi is a study of a young woman who has to now live a ‘fish out of water’ life which means for her to shed all of her empathetic attitude and mold into whatever Sheroz’s family wants her to become. It’s a simple story but so far, has been effective to say the least. And both episodes have had an incredibly natural progression with the plot of the show. 

ii – Urwa Hocane as Dania might have been the perfect role for her as her physical appearance certainly conveys the naive, tenderheartedness just from her visage. For Dania to be trapped inside the palace of lies and mistrust is a great visual representation of the show. Accompanied by the cool yet dastardly performance from Ali Rehman as Shehroz brings a lot of possible opportunities for friction and melodrama between the two opposite sides of the coin.

iii – I do have to admit, the role of Grandparents play a vital supporting role for Dania in the show. Where there is dark, there shall also be a contrast of light on the other end of the crossroad. Qavi Khan and Shamim Hilaly provide quite possibly the best performances of the show. It may not seem much but they play a pivotal role for our main protagonist, making valuable sense as to why Dania is such a kind hearted person in the first place. Nobody was born this way, it is her upbringing that makes all the difference in the world.

+ Low Points

i – Meri Shehzadi needs subtlety to elevate the show’s quality of writing and unfortunately, that has not been the case. The show is strictly divided into ‘Good guys’ and ‘Bad Guys’; Dania’s grandparents: Good, Sheroz’s family: Evil. And that is just not good writing. Admittedly, the first episode seemed somewhat promising in providing complexity in these characters. For example, Dania’s father still has kindness hidden behind that political exterior of his which creates great intrigue for the viewer to keep watching the show, hoping that one day, he will redeem himself for the sake of his daughter. Episodes 2 and 3 unfortunately went into the opposite route; Shehroz’s family provides no subtlety in their performances as we are supposed to hate them because they are very mean to our protagonist. Let’s make the antagonists a bit more grounded and realistic and I hope the show can rectify this problem in the next coming weeks.

ii – There is obviously a fine line between empathetic, kindhearted and naive. And judging from the two episodes, Dania comes more off as delusional than anything. Her ‘pure heart’ makes her spend thousands of rupees on the poor, the troubled. Her Grandpa did not have change so she decided to give the big rupee bill instead. It’s crystal clear what the show is going for but it makes Dania look too naive instead as she does not understand how the real world works. Dania should visit the slums, look out for the unfortunate ones but should not come off as naive towards the ills of humanity. The viewer needs to feel proud and sympathetic towards Dania, not pity her that she is getting ripped off by someone’s ‘needy’ act.

iii – But there is another problem with Dania’s story. It is her background. So the story goes that Dania is all of a sudden, being forced to live a life of a royalty and a celebrity which is great but the problem is that Dania comes from a very wealthy family herself. Look at her Grandparent’s house, the clothes she wears and so on; there is no massive contrast between the environment she was in before to where she is now. Yes, being a wife of a politician goes a long way but visually for us, her previous background plays a spoil sport in this scenario. But I guess that cannot be changed now but a genuine problem I feel with the show’s premise.

+ Overall

Not a bad outing but the cliches of Good versus Evil need to be avoided in order to make the show standout from the rest.

Rate: out of 5 stars

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Fraud Episode 22 (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 – It’s somewhat satisfying to see Tabriaz squirm in desperation as he has to lie a million ways to reach his destination aka marry a rich girl and live a life of luxury. 

+ Low Points

i – This week’s episode was an unfortunate exploitation of the viewer’s sentiments towards tragic events in life. And no work of fiction should ever take advantage of their audience’s personal dark events. But Fraud did the exact same thing without restraints in this episode. They milked every amount of despair, hopelessness that they could from Maila’s tragedy. Filled with long, mourning scenes that went a lot longer than they should have, the show used every cheap tactic available in order to make the viewers shed some tears along the way. Regardless if the scenes were realistic enough or not, it was all in poor taste with no real thought process behind it. Did the Nisar family really need YET ANOTHER tragic episode in their lives? Yes, Nisar was, in the beginning, greedy towards a financially secure future for his daughter Maya but geez… this really takes the cake!

What purpose can Talaal’s death serve to the plot of the show? The endless number of tragedies are becoming a tad bit ridiculous now.  All this could have been conveyed in a classy, silent manner through silent scenes, accompanied by a touch of music in the background but apparently, the showrunners do not know the meaning of the word subtlety!

ii – And accompanying this barrage of overtly melodramatic scenes, comes a complete senseless one. Apparently Talaal’s mother threw a fit towards her daughter in law Maila, proclaiming her to be the indirect murderer of her son. Later on, it was revealed to be all a work! Why you may ask? Because that was (apparently) the only way she could have forced Maila to move on with her life, not worrying the fact that accusing her of murder might force her to commit suicide instead. What kind of logic is this show using here? That sometimes false guilt and accusations can motivate you in life? And to top it all off, the sisters of Talaal praise their mother for such a brilliant stroke of genius! Such a generous heart she has… logic died a thousand deaths in this week’s episode people! 

iii – This show has yet again gone back to its desperation roots. Trying its hardest to make their viewers feel something. But as the show’s name suggests, it is all but farce. The overreliance on death and deeply emotional scenes suggests instead the lack of creativity the writer has for this show to continue.

+ Overall

An emotionally exploitative episode which strongly suggests that Fraud lacks originality to garner emotional response from its viewers. 

Rate: out of 5 stars 

TV series

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

A review on Pakistani drama TV series, Fraud Episode 21 (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 episode had numerous highs and lows, mainly in the sense of drama and storytelling. The first half was dedicated to Shaan, his family and of course Tabriaz weaseling his way into their wealth and stature. The second half was dedicated to Maila and her family. Both subplots complimented each other well and had a natural flow to its storytelling. 

ii – The scenes involving Shaan and his family were very well crafted. The dialogue was sharply written accompanied by engaging drama between Shaan and his devious step mother and sister. Sooner or later, he will unravel the truth hidden behind the motivations of his immediate family. The episode also shed some light towards Tabriaz and the marriage of his sister. The level of intrigue of the viewers will certainly peak once Tabriaz passes the test and he is invited to their family. 

iii – The carjacking scene and the critical gunshot wound was wonderfully displayed by the show. The scene was intense and as someone who has been carjacked, it all felt very real. The critical condition of Talaal has created a new tragic reality for the Nisar family and I am curious where the show will go from here. Also, Rabia Kulsoom’s performance was wonderful.

+ Low Points

i – Although the carjacking scene and the storytelling leading up to it was brilliantly executed, it also felt extremely exploitative how much this show was milking the tragic situation. Also, I do not believe that any relative of the patient is allowed to physically interact with the patient during the first 24 hours. The dark, dramatic lighting, the melodramatic atmosphere took me as a viewer far away from the realistic carjacking scene which preceded it. Fraud needs to make up its mind if it wants to follow realism or cliche melodrama, you can’t have both. In addition, I hope this scene has a sense of purpose for the overall plot and not used as a shock factor for the episode.

ii – So… whatever happened to Nisar’s sister? Is she still alive? I thought she was in a critical condition in the last episode but no mention this week. And also, whatever happened to Tabriaz’s “gang of mischiefs”? Will they ever return in the finale of the show?

+ Overall

An episode full of dramatic twists and turns, Fraud is slowly returning back to its entertaining roots. 

Rate: out of 5 stars 

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, Dania 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, Dania 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 Dania. The episode was smoothly paced, with each tibit 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 Dania 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 Dania 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 Dania’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 Dania, 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 Dania 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 Dania will have to survive.

+ Low Points

i – Even though I like the premise of the show, it does feel that Dania lacks any sort of motivations in life. Throughout the episode, we didn’t really get to understand the psyche behind Dania. 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 Dania 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 Dania’s father, the rest of the family played cartoonish antics towards Dania 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 Dania’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