Well everybody has been talking about it, and if you don’t know what I am talking about then maybe you were living under a rock. Turkish TV dramas are all the rage these days, wanna-be teenagers, unsatisfied housewives and even seemingly religious but no less horny uncles are watching those. The phenomenon isn’t that old a newly launched TV channel just dubbed some Turkish TV soaps in Urdu to probably break the clutter on TV and clutter did it break. People were following the imagery to the T, all the men bleached their facial hair and put on blue contact lenses to resemble the Behlul, women on the other hand tried to copy the Bhetar’s skimpy outfits or even her mother Mrs. Firdous for that matter who was tres chic.
But somehow it didn’t bid well with our indigenous TV actors and the lemonade stands that they have been putting up. They started this seemingly stupid protests citing these moves would constrict the local TV industry. And I exclaim why it wouldn’t! During the last two weeks of airing the aforementioned saucy show Ishq-e-Mamnu, the TV ratings rose so high that they swept over like tsunami.So now every other channel has got themselves a exotic looking foreign language TV show dubbed. Easy to deduce that probably nobody wants the insipid local content anymore and the so called TV artists are in hot waters.
Having said that all of these actors should be rather stepping up their game. One of the reasons why these Turkish soaps are doing so well is that you guys relatively suck for the lack of better words. These shows are doing good not because they are pretty hot but only because like our Lollywood industry you have failed to instill a sense of excitement in us. Even though I love my Pakistani TV drama but I guess we have stretched the helpless, homebound shy woman and rich bad boy story lines too much. If StarPlus TV shows had quintessential pimped out wardrobes and never ending storylines, in Pakistan we always have stories of women/children suffering in grim circumstances being abused one or another by someone who is rich and oblivious/apathetic. In my life of 2.5 decades I have yet to see a drama which is glamorous,larger than life and somehow exotic. Even my own life seems all french Chateau-esque semi-royal compared to those seemingly dimly sets. Pakistani audience needs a bit of spice on their TV, we can’t rely on Altaf Bhai to sing us Parde men rehne do every week. We need our peri peri sauce, all the skin and affairs the whole shabang.
So I propose Turkish dramas shouldn’t be stopped, economics teaches us the protectionism leads to inefficient and un-competitive market players. Besides a little cleavage here , a little bare leg there or even shirtless male leads didn’t hurt anybody. Let’s see how the shows on other TV channels do and lets see how Urdu 1 differentiates itself from others over time!