List of social ‘issue based dramas’ released in 2020 and why they failed

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  • 2020 gave way to many social-based Pakistani dramas like Damsa, Ruswai, and Ghalati.
  • Most of these social-based dramas failed to garner major popularity and viewership because they featured poor execution or became too commercial.
  • All these dramas did end up starting the right conversations and broke the cycle of purely entertainment based dramas.

2020 gave way to many social issue based Pakistani dramas like Damsa, Ruswai, and Ghalati.

The Pakistani drama industry is mostly filled with dramas made purely for the sake of entertainment. However, every year a few good dramas surfacethis is a highlighted textthis is a highlighted text that play their part in putting the tool of media to fair use. The producers and directors of these dramas break free from the race of ratings and intend to address particular social issues.

These few projects promise to create awareness and focus on society’s issues. However, at times, they become too commercial or feature poor execution because the creators do not approach the subject with clarity and vision.

Here is the list of social issue-based dramas released in 2020 shared originally by Pakistan’s reputed entertainment blog Reviewit.pk:

1. Dar Khuda Se

Writer: Sarwat Nazeer

Channel: Geo Entertainment

Cast: Imran Abbas, Sana Javed, Kiran Haq, Saleem Mairaj, Maryam Mirza, and others.

The drama revolved around the subject of workplace harassment. Dar Khuda Se told the story of Afreen, who is harassed by her boss Shahvaiz. Initially, it attracted a significant percentage of the Pakistani audience. However, people failed to keep up with the series because it got too long.

2. Damsa

Writer: Asma Nabeel

Channel: ARY Digital

Cast: Nadia Jamil, Shahood Alvi, Moomal Sheikh, Emaan Khan, and others.

The drama addressed the themes of child abduction, human trafficking, and begging. Damsa raised some crucial questions by shedding light on some sensitive subjects. It told the story of little Damsa, who had been kidnapped, and her mother, Areeja, who did everything a mother could do to rescue her child. Although very well written, the drama failed to do well in terms of viewership and popularity because people considered it very severe and grim.

3. Ghalati

Writer: Asma Sayani

Channel: ARY Digital

Cast: Hira Mani, Affan Waheed, Saba Hameed, Sana Askari, Anoushay Ashraf, Faris Shafi, Meherbano, and others.

The drama serial sensitively dealt with the issue of divorce and women empowerment. Ghalati told Zaira and Saad’s story, a newlywed couple who have a rocky relationship because of finances and familial pressures. Eventually, Saad divorces Zaira privately but rejects that he did so in public, making Zaira the culprit. This drama serial was, in its real sense, a stepping stone for something bigger and better.

4. Ruswai

Writer: Naila Ansari

Channel: ARY Digital

Main Cast: Sana Javed, Mikaal Zulfiqar, Seemi Raheel, Syed Mohmmad Ahmed, Irsa Ghazal, Usman Peerzada, Osama Tahir, Minna Tariq.

The serial talked about the tradition of watta-satta, rape, and the internal struggle of the rape victim. Ruswai told the story of a rape survivor who fought the unrealistic expectations of family members and struggled for herself till the end. This drama tackled the issues precisely and garnered a great deal of attention and love from the public.

5. Bikhray Moti

Writer: Edison Idrees Masih

Channel: ARY Digital

Main Cast: Yasir Nawaz, Neelam Muneer, Wahaj Ali, Nausheen Shah, Samina Ahmed, Waseem Abbas, Rashid Farooqui, Mukhtar Shehzad, Fareeda Shabir, Tasneem Ansari, Damisha Wali, Anas Yaseen, Hazik Wali.

The drama series focused on many different aspects of child abuse while highlighting child marriages and child labor themes. Bikhray Moti addressed many important issues; however, it failed to keep the viewers hooked because the script lacked appeal, characters were etched out poorly, and the drama’s pace was too slow. Regardless, the story was a step in the right direction as it raised many important questions.

6. Saraab

Writer: Edison Idrees Masih

Channel: HUM

Main Cast: Sami Khan, Sonya Hussain, Aurangzeb Laghari, Farida Shabbir, Ghana Ali, Nazish Jehangir, Sajid Shah.

The drama talked about mental health issues – Schizophrenia. Saraab told the story of a young Schizophrenic female who is misunderstood by her family. However, the drama struggled to showcase a must-watch factor because the script lacked clarity, characters were (at times) bland, and the family politics impacted the seriousness of the issue being addressed.

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