Television and Dramas of the 80's

Written By: Hiba Abdul Aziz

Television is the biggest medium of entertainment. In Pakistan, Pakistan Television (PTV) entertained millions of viewers, independently, from 1964 to 1990. It was PTV that created the classic dramas which have mesmerized us for decades. In the early days of PTV, drama serials were mostly commended for being richly diverse in their plots and direction. From historical to classic, from fictional to non-fictional, from serious to comedy, those old dramas still remind us that that was real art.

In this period of cable & satellite channels when we have more than 200 channels on our TV which are broadcasting day and night, the 1980s were a time when the entire Pakistan would switch on its TV to specifically watch Pakistani dramas, which used to be popular and heartwarming. We still remember the vivid characters that made us laugh, cry & cheer along with them. Those characters became a part of our family & entertained us. There was actual emotion, substance and plot in the dramas which reached people and taught them something worthwhile about life.

Nowadays, the trends have changed. People have adopted the manner of Indian Television dramas. Pakistani dramas have lost their appeal and quality. The dramas of the 80s used to be real, warm, filled with our culture and traditions and morals. Pakistani directors have now copied Indian dramas which have no substantial plot, and are about materialistic things and portray negative thinking and actions. These dramas are bold, bring up issues that have corrupted our society, like western ideologies, so that our youth is lead down the wrong path instead of being guided towards the good, righteous and honorable.

Pakistani dramas of the 80s were so appreciated that even Indians were big fans of them and bought CDs to watch the dramas. According to an article in the times of India, a fan said, “‘They had brilliant scripts and crisp dialogues. The stories were everyday affairs that one could identify with,’ says Delhi’s Amitabh Banerjee, 43, an avid watcher of Pakistani plays.”

A famous drama from the 80s was ‘Tanhaiyaan’, which gained a lot of popularity because of the captivating emotions, the strong and memorable characters and touching story. This drama captivated the television audience in mid 80s to such an extent that in Pakistan, as well as in India, functions and marriages had to be adjusted so that no episodes were missed.

Furthermore, ‘Dhoop Kinare’ gained tremendous applause from audiences. The drama centers on a team of doctors in a hospital in Karachi and their personal and professional relationships. The quality content of the show was a success and made the careers of Marina Khan and Rahat Kazmi. These shows had another attractive characteristic. They were shows of no more than 20 episodes, unlike the serials popular in Pakistan today, like ‘Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki’ and ‘Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ on Star Plus, both of which have more than a 100 episodes and contained nothing worth seeing other than a lot of melodrama and family politics.

In addition, the 80s brought dramas like ‘Andhera Ujala’ whose main theme was based on the criminal cases which are solved by a police team lead by Qavi Khan. The drama series portrays such criminal issues which we often hear and see ourselves and used comedy and amusing situations to show the ills of society. Also, the comedy show ‘Bakra Kiston Pe’ left audience with the moral that marriage is a sacred relationship and should be treated with respect. These dramas made a lasting impression on the viewers and exposed people to the simple and routine situations and relationships in life that need to be faced.

Hence, Pakistani directors and writers should revert back to the ways of the 80s where thought provoking plots were made, actors had grit and talent, and the freedom of expression was used responsibly to voice the pressures and problems of society and lead people towards the virtuous and right path that inculcates are culture, values and beliefs.

6 Response to "Television and Dramas of the 80's"

  1. Anonymous May 19, 2010 at 12:02 AM
    i do miss those old dramas....they used to be so amazing and the characters were so strong!! there shud be more dramas like that today!!
  2. Riaz Hussain August 1, 2013 at 11:53 PM
    Yes this is really a fit thing that the drama of 80's century For more
  3. Darran Bravo September 3, 2013 at 10:50 PM
    This is really awesome because its taking too much time to go with this entertaining Further
  4. Ilisha Hiya January 29, 2014 at 11:04 AM
    Tanhaiyaan was my one of favorite drama back then and i remembered that me and my family gather in tv room and wait for the drama i miss old days its really a fun back then Further
  5. ilyas khan February 23, 2015 at 6:46 AM
    there are is best drama of pakistan history I like these dramas nice sharing
  6. Adil Syed October 12, 2015 at 12:33 AM
    Can anybody remember a drama series that was aired during the 80s?
    This series was usually aired in the evenings, about 5 or 6 PM in Karachi. The story a comedy was about a gentleman who had returned from abroad to live in the village with his family. He would always wear a dressing gown and his favorite line was "Oh my Gawd", which he would say in frustration at various times. The episodes revolved around his life in the village where he was trying to settle down again.
    Appreciate anyone giving me enough information in helping me find that series from somewhere.

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