The fascination of Pakistani dramas
The popularity of Pakistani dramas has been huge since the beginning of its production in the 1960s. These TV shows bring huge audiences in front of the TV screen not only in Pakistan, but also in India and the Middle East. Thanks to modern means of communication, they can be seen from any corner of the globe. Traditionally, they have covered topics such as love and the achievements of famous people, but recently they have also started to touch on various social issues.
The principal caracteristics
Most Pakistani dramas are in a traditional format. They fall into two main categories. These include soap operas, which tell one story in many episodes, and anthology series, which tell a different story in each episode. There are also miniseries, but they are not as common as their counterparts. Most of the serials are in Urdu, but there are also some in other languages spoken in the country.
Although these series have traditional formats, they have a unique duration. They usually end in less than a year. They don’t have hundreds of episodes like the popular western soap operas. They don’t have seasons like traditional anthology series. The short length is actually seen as a benefit, as the risk of audiences getting bored with a show is extremely low.
The drama series covers a variety of topics. The traditional ones include love and romance, family ties, betrayal, and honor. In recent years, the shows have begun to cover socially important topics such as domestic violence, child marriages, racism, and the fight against terrorism. Most of the series are based on novels that are adapted for television, but this is not always the case.
The Main Genres
Romance is undoubtedly the most popular genre of Pakistani dramas. It includes recent award winners such as Zindagi Gulzar Hai and Aunn Zara. It has two main subcategories. The former is a middle-class drama that usually tells the story of two people fighting for their love in an urban setting. Pastoral dramas take place in a rural setting and focus on the romance of two people who come from different social and economic backgrounds and fall in love.
Teen or teenage dramas focus on the difficulties associated with moving from childhood to adulthood. Historical dramas usually tell the stories of famous people or describe important historical events. The thriller series most often includes crime solving. Dramady is a genre that offers a mix between drama and comedy. Its popularity is constantly growing thanks to shows like Rasgullay.
Production and broadcast
The country’s TV channels are the major producers of Pakistani dramas. The series have traditionally been done in Lahore. It is also known as Lollywood as it is the film production capital of the country. Each of the major TV channels including ARY Digital, Hum TV, Geo TV and Urdu 1 broadcast their own series. Most of the channels can be watched both internationally and locally. It is also possible to watch the drama series episodes online after they have aired on TV.
Given its long history and great growth, the local industry is producing better and better Pakistani dramas in terms of scripting, directing and acting.