Pakistan’s Television Industry Needs To Up Its Game

by Asif Ali
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Our television industry believed it was safe. Can you see it going down in flames? Do you feel that they need to get the show on the ground? In the last 10 to 15 years this television industry has shown exponential growth. Apparently, they have lost the touch. It seems like they are down for the count. Are they out of prolific ideas? Have they forgotten how to instill spice in the TV shows? This drama industry has been a query for ages.

The Pakistani cinema industry is another chapter. TV actors performing in the cinema industry is the first flaw. We don’t pay to see the same faces on the big screen. It’s not about being a nit-picker but let’s call spade a spade, cinema needs someone with the degree and practice of acting. Acting is the art of communicating and instilling positivity into the people sitting on the other side of the screen. It’s not just about being humorous, it’s beyond that. People should leave the cinema saying it was a good show, yeah, I have learned something useful, yes, the ideas they presented were amazing. In short, they buy what you tried to present. People don’t want to misspend on something which is already on the TV.

Heard about the power of media? This medium (television) is a mean to bring positive monumental amendments in human lives. At some point it did. It has the power to portray a positive aspect into a negative one and a negative aspect into a positive one, creating prodigious influence with sugar-coating every facet of the world. This medium is not utilized to generate something valuable. Let’s not beat around the bush! Its main purpose is to disseminate recognition, understanding, and conscience about the issues of the world in a positive way.

Let’s shed light on the dramas that are just bog-standard. Almost every drama has the same storyline with the same actors. Television has raised writing to a new low level. Dramas that don’t end up changing or bringing a new perspective on life are dreary thus not living up to the hype. Most accentuated storyline circles around affairs, breakups, marriages, divorces, and family politics. According to our media, we are left with only these issues in our lives. These are the issues, but there are other problems that need a hearing, which seems a pie in the sky. Why writers and producers don’t wrap their heads around history, child abuse, poverty, lack of education, gender discrimination, climate change and unemployment.

Now, most of you would say that these issues are discussed on the news channel. Ever heard about the POWER OF AN ACTOR. They empower, inspire and motivate the salt of the earth. Now, these are very sensitive issues (climate change, child abuse, etc.) and need to be addressed positively in a way that offers solutions to the problems and changes the perspective of people towards them.

Here’s a food for thought! Sometimes your friends, family or relatives talk about their problems all the time with you which makes you upset. They just suck the juice of life out of you by crying over spilled milk. You love them but you just don’t want to be around someone who broods and whine all the time. It’s a rule of thumb; happiness allures happiness and sadness allures sadness.

So, why this media is spending millions on producing content that is not worth a hill of beans, bringing the worst out of people, making them more upset than they already are, leaving them in agony, depression, and tears. The show should leave you with something that makes you question your life, motivates you to do something and inspires you to improve yourself and society.

The race to produce quantity has utterly ruined quality. Content is going out of the frying pan into the fire day by day. Humans are three-dimensional, they are about positivity, negativity and reality. Presenting your content in a way that represents reality, asking people to take life with a grain of salt, showing humor as the solution to overcome difficulties is an art. Life is not a bowl of cherries, nobody said that it’s going to be easy and to make people understand that how to deal positively with life takes great content.
Our TV industry is not short of talent. We have beauty with brains. Question is that were they successful in making themselves your role model? Were they able to build an audience who trusts them blindly and from whom they get inspired?

Actors are full of beans but the strategy to cut corners is resulting in a massive downfall of dramas. It seems actors do everything at the drop of hat. Being pretty or having good looks is not enough to get admiration and respect. You act and we know you have put up a fake show. But when you work hard on your acting skills, we buy it. A good actor can bring the best out of the worst script but a bad actor sabotages everything. Cutting the mustard is not sufficient if people are not buying what you are trying to sell. It takes hard work and ethics.
Injecting sensible, reasonable and appropriate content by remaining in the framework is the meat and potatoes of dramas. The following trend is salient to keep people engaged with the world. New topics are needed to stir the conscience.

Most of us watch English TV series. They are designed for every age and gender. It’s not about comparing them to our Pakistani Dramas. It would be comparing apples to oranges. Our big brains are stuck to deliver only marital issues and showing violence. The reason of mentioning English TV series is to get ideas from them and to display them by remaining with the rules of the framework.

One of the biggest blockbuster TV shows BREAKING BAD delivers a message for the people riding a gravy train that they will end up with nothing. So, the series revolves around hurdles of life, how to overcome those hurdles, the peril of shortcuts and a message that it would cost an arm and a leg to take shortcuts in life. There are billions of other English TV series that just leave you with amazement. You binge-watch these series. WHY? They are producing what you want, they are showing you the realities in a positive way, they are offering solutions to the problems and above all, they are injecting positivity in your minds. Again, it’s not to promote their culture. There is nothing bigger than saving the culture. The aim is to take their positive points, add those to your content and present it within a rational framework.

Why are we not adopting this approach? Is it the budget? Is it the better production facilities and resources? In the end, audience goes with the trend. No one likes a museum piece. Of course, we were producing dramas for eternity like dhoop kinaray, alpha bravo charlie, tanhaiyan, teen bata teen and many more. They were immensely surpassing. That era of Pakistani drama history reminisces as the golden era.

This TV industry is so infectious and we are not endeavoring to create which is rare. Marriages, affairs, breakups, family politics, violence against women is a recurring in every drama. Bringing up themes that are 90% delusional. Portraying characters in a negative way. There is already too much hatred in the world. Why enhance abhorrence which is already there? Are we out of intriguing and viable ideas that brings out the positive energy?

It’s always darkest before the dawn. This industry is retrievable and all they need is to think outside the box. Actors are in a dire need of incessant hard work. Pakistani TV industry can be the backbone of our amelioration as a society. A unique style of presentation and a realistic theme is needed for showcasing the talent in Pakistan. People are getting acting degrees from abroad; we just need to polish them a bit and instill these exuberant and fresh talents in our industry and last but not least content should deliver reverence, gratitude, and compassion that will lead to a positive environment.

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