New dramas release almost every other week with each channel offering a variety of shows for viewers. Those who enjoy watching a show in one go can have a hard time wading through the many titles to find a solid show to watch. Here are ten great shows from the last 2 years that are worthy of binge-watching.
1. Yakeen Ka Safar
It would not be a stretch to call “Yakeen Ka Safar” a modern-day classic, one to be remembered amongst the greats years down the line. Written by Farhat Ishtiaq, the story tells a tale of two families. While Zubia (Sajal Aly) comes from a well-off background, her abusive father kills her mother during a violent moment. Grappling with the misery, Zubia makes a questionable decision during a low point in her life, a decision that leads to disgrace, only to be rescued by Asfandyar (Ahad Raza Mir) in a chance encounter. Asfandyar’s family is also well-to-do, happy, close-knit family. They find themselves in a messy situation when Asfand’s brother, Danyal (Shaz Khan), takes up a gang rape case against a powerful politician’s son. How these two stories come together forms the basis of the show. The show depicts a realistic take on life, family and love with brilliant performances. Relying heavily on emotion rather than action, the show focuses on the long term effects of grief and loss – and while the show is initially heavy, the journey is beautiful, leading Asfandyar and Zubia towards the light at the end of the tunnel.
Qandeel Baloch is a name that is associated with controversy. As viral as Qandeel was during her lifetime, she continues to spark debates after her death as well. A victim of an “honor killing” at the hands of her brother, Qandeel Baloch’s death was a tragedy, a life lost before her time – one thing (most) people can agree on. “Baaghi” is a take on Qandeel Baloch and her life. Inspired by her and many others like her, “Baaghi” depicts the journey of a village girl, Fauzia, to a social media sensation. Starring greats like Saba Qamar, Osman Khalid Butt and even Sarmad Khoosat, “Baaghi” is a must-watch, a show that makes one think about society and its rules.
3. Sang E Mar Mar
Sang E Mar Mar sits on the premise of hidden love and a misunderstanding that ensues because of it. Focusing on Gullistan Khan and his family, consisting of three sons, a daughter in law and his wife, the story follows the plot of Gullistan's son, Gohar, who pursues Durkhani into a relationship. A series of incidents result in Shireen's brother killing Gohar. How this murder affects Shireen and Gullistan Khan's family forms the basis of the story. The drama is riveting, each character having multiple layers to them. There are shades of grey in every character and that's what makes the story all the more intriguing. With a star-studded cast including Noman Ejaz, Kubra Khan, Sania Saeed, Mekaal Zulfiqar and more, Sang E Mar Mar is a gem of a show and, despite the emotional highs and lows, is a treat to watch.
4. Khuda Mera Bhi Hai
A break-out role for Furqan Qureshi, “Khuda Mera Bhi Hai” follows an unusual, refreshingly unique story. Mahagul (Ayesha Khan) and Zain (Syed Jibran) have a baby and are taken back when they discover the child is intersex, of the “third gender.” The show not only follows the hurdles the child faces navigating through society, but also the effect that such a situation can have on a marriage.
5. Alif Allah Aur Insaan
“Alif Allah Aur Insaan” is a multi-starrer with a cast including the likes of Kubra Khan, Mekaal Zulfiqar, Shehzad Sheikh, Ushna Shah and Imran Ashraf. The story follows a simple concept that evolves into complex stories: We are all human beings. Whether from a poor social strata or a rich lifestyle, each individual has their share of happiness, pain, family and all desire to be treated well and with respect. Regardless of where one comes from, that struggle can always exist, inward or outwardly. With high production values, great acting and fast-paced episodes, “Alif Allah Aur Insaan” gives off the visual feel of watching a Bollywood film accompanied by quality writing.
6. Mah E Tamaam
Despite coming equipped with all the twists and turns, plotting and deceit involved in melodramatic shows, “Mah E Tamaam” comes across as a fun, breezy watch due to the casting. Starring Emmad Irfani, Naveen Waqar, Wahaj Ali and Ramsha Khan in lead roles, the show follows Samahir and Umair’s love life. Umair’s coddled younger sister, Shifa, begins to cause trouble for the couple, ultimately changing Samahir’s loving demeanor entirely and taking her down a dangerous path. The chemistry between Emmad and Naveen is always a treat, but here, Wahaj and Ramsha share a sweet chemistry that makes the viewer want more with each episode.
7. Ranjha Ranjha Kardi
While Imran Ashraf earned fame and recognition for his earlier roles and role in “Alif Allah Aur Insaan,” it is with “Ranjha Ranjha Kardi” that he became a household name. The show focuses on Noori (Iqra Aziz), the daughter of a garbage man. Noori rejects her “place” in society and works hard to change things for herself. Unfortunately, after falling in love with the wrong man, Noori finds her life intertwined with that of Bhola’s (Imran Ashraf). It is from here that Noori learns about love, self worth, respect and kindness, finding the happiness and acceptance she wanted from a unique person. Written by Faiza Iftikhar, both Iqra Aziz and Imran Ashraf are outstanding in this show, making it a must-watch.
8. Ab Dekh Khuda Kya Karta Hai
Does Karma exist? In some way or form, do human beings pay for their misdeeds while still living on earth? “Ab Dekh Khuda Kya Karta Hai” follows Jaan-E-Alam, played by Danish Taimoor, a womanizer who not only has his way with women, but also uses them for his personal gain. After tragedy strikes with Noor (Yashma Gill), Jaan-E-Alam’s new employee, Maryam (Sanam Chaudhry) strives to distance herself from her boss – but is it too late? Emotionally destroyed by Jaan-E-Alam, Maryam rebuilds her life, only for God to step in and reunite her with Jaan-E-Alam once again under unusual circumstances. “Ab Dekh Khuda Kya Karta Hai” tells a riveting story with some truly great performances – and a touching OST to match.
9. Yeh Raha Dil
“Yeh Raha Dil” is a show that attempts to deliver something different and “fresh.” A love triangle at the heart of it, the drama follows Hayaa (Yumna Zaidi), Zaki (Ahmed Ali Akbar) and Nida (Anam Goher) navigate their way through self-understanding and relationships. This drama takes you on an emotional rollercoaster with highly confused characters, but the show ears points for being different. It is frustration-free, silly and does not bog the audience down with a heavy storyline.
Directed by Farooq Rind and starring Zahid Ahmed, Yumna Zaidi, Rehan Sheikh and Saad Qureshi in important roles, “Pukaar” focuses on the restrictive environment of feudal lords. Married to Saad, Samra finds herself trapped in an environment she is uncomfortable with. However, she has the support and love of her husband – a support that disappears after his death, leaving Samra helpless before her controlling in-laws. When Sarang enters her life, he unintentionally causes more harm than good, but brings a stream of happiness into Samra’s life.
While these 10 shows can keep one occupied for some time, there are many shows of quality out there that can be added to the list.