My 2 cents on Turkish drama debate

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!


31 responses to “My 2 cents on Turkish drama debate

  1. Pingback: My 2 cents on Turkish drama debate « Dig women·

  2. I totally agree – there is a whole demographic who was dying for some glamour and international feel in the tv scene and we got it with Ishq e Memnu…I also watch local dramas but even I am tired of seeing the same faces. A change was needed and Urdu One did a tremendous job with bringing forth that change. Although I now feel Geo and Express will dub a million Turkish/Latin dramas and kill the charm.

    And I agree about the local dramas and their lack of flavour. Even Humsafar was the same old sob story with a glossed over look and pretty faces.

    • I hope they bring shows from other places too like Lebanon, Italy or Brazil even. Their actresses are hot and plots so dramatic they put Indians to shame.

  3. No harm in airing Turkish soaps if they are getting high ratings. People want change. As far as local media industry is concerned they are also earning by voice over so no point in crying. They have already made billions by type casting, dramatizing digest stories etc. Time to invest in genuine TV Drama writers like Noor ul Huda Shah, Bajia, Hasina Moin etc to bring audience back to Pakistani Drama. You cant attract audience only with glamour.

  4. ok first thing first . it seems u will stay my fav blogger for some time 🙂 fantastic piece. Ishq e memnu was amazing, made it really big and we loved it . (No i m not the horny uncle, but yeaaah I and Bihter will make a great couple . lol ). and what i feel is either our audience is just as unpredictable as we are in our cricket and politics. We made kyunki saas bhi kabhi bahu a huge hit .. yes we did . , we made humsafar roaring success .(God knows why!) and we are absolutely not watching a fantastic coke kahani, which is so refreshingly done and Tanhayyan 2 is treated as a flop too. (sad!). I think I knw what i have to do in my MBA Final year project . Pakistani janta bhala dekhna kya chahti hai .. and oh let me guess all new behlul serials will generate zero interest ! more confusion for Tv networks !

  5. I’ve never watched one of these dramas, but from the trailers I’ve seen and the craze people are showing over them, it seems that they are offering the much needed novelty to Drama. Pakistani dramas have become very stereotypical in their stories, which has become tiring for the viewers as well. After all, one watches TV for entertainment and the Turkish dramas are offering exactly that at the moment to the viewers who seem craved for something different and glamorous.

  6. I for one support Turkish dramas as a useful counterpoint to the culture of Burkas, Beards and Barbarism that has been imported into Pakistan from elsewhere. They show that you can be modern, liberal and muslim at the same time.

    But please, dub them better next time

    • Hahaha true that they bring a good counter narrative to our screens. And yes we should get better voice artists that fit the person being shown on the screen.

  7. The censorship of the Turkish dramas shown on Urdu 1 is hilarious! Cleavage and legs blurred out as if theyll cause the apocalypse.

  8. I say competition is a good thing. As Pak viewers are now exposed to the quality of Turkish and international content, the expectancy for Pak productions has also risen to a premium standards.

    All this whining by Faisal Qureshi and co. is basically an admission that they can’t beat the competition, so they have to ban it. Sad that these so-called ‘artists’ have to resort to this

  9. I agree with you. Turkish dubbed dramas were a good change, their quality is spectacular…The story line, suspense, direction everything is great

    Kisses and intimate scenes are okay to be censored…but the cleavage,,,I mean seriously!? There isn’t even much in the turkish serials, it is very awkward.. blurring the cleavage etc makes us concentrate and gain attention more on it and we wouldn’t do it if there wasn’t any blur, and it feels very awkward when watching with family and also as children ask why is that blurry and it is an awkward situation!. If there is plenty which is very very rare ( sometime in Spanish drama but never in turkish), then it is acceptable because it can be objectionable considering the modesty of our country, but We don’t even notice it, but by censoring those parts, they gain more attention! The dramas are not vulgar (the definition of vulgarity is something else), but by blurring those parts: you are highlighting that there was something vulgar! Already they censor all the explicit romantic scenes and that is enough and makes the drama decent. There is v. little in Fatmagul, if there is plenty cleavage, that is something else, but blurring the part when the woman bends, or simply when her collar hangs, blurring then is very awkward, esp with Mukaddas, and also with others like when fatmagul just bent and her collar hung a little, and it was blurred…that is wrong..its not intentional ‘vulgarity’!

    People have charged the dramas of being vulgar because they just can’t compete and are jealous. They are so selfish, they are just thinking about themselves that the actors and producers’ careers will finish and actually they won’t because there are separate audiences that like Pakistani content or turkish content. In fact, the turkish dramas have revived the career of radio artists, voice artists whose careers had been suppressed by the television artists! translators have got increased opportunities as well. The Turkish dramas are more of benefit. I don’t think some bold dressing or a glass of champagne can corrupt us…is our faith so weak that it can be diverted by such things that shouldn’t even be noticed!

  10. There is absolutely no harm in airing foreign drama ( not just Turkish) on Pakistani channels. If these dramas are a turning up to be a threat to our local drama then, I my opinion, its really a positive sign because in real we are actually facing competition and we just have compete not to sit in a side and point fingers that ” ITS A FOREIGN INVASION” . i mean that so childish. When are we going to learn how to compete? . People around the world really want to learn each others culture and that what global village is all about. If local channels are airing foreign dramas then why don’t our drama industry starts to work on dramas that our good enough to be aired abroad. Everybody’s culture is their competitive edge, others using it to promote themselves but we are not. So what you think should actually be done ? ban their dramas in our country or start being competitive enough?

    • Hello Komal,
      How are you doing?
      Thanks for you comment. I agree we should up our game and be more competitive. It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

  11. Indians dramas are just dumb, atleast turkish dramas make some sense and we can relate them with our culture(not exactly but better than indian soaps, I mean how many women do we see in lahore wearing sares and returning back after a plastic surgery), thats just so funny. Personally I liked minahil & khalil more than ishq-e-memnu

    • Well I might disagree with relatablity part cuz I dont see such liberated women in Pakistan either wearing gowns and pants. Anyhow I agree with the dumb part.

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