Ladies and gentlemen, drama enthusiasts and couch potatoes alike are invited to join us as we go on a thrilling journey into the illuminating world of Pakistani dramas in the amazing year 2023, which is coming to a close. 2023 will be remembered in Pakistani drama history as the year of a creative and narratively refreshing burst that profoundly altered the small screen landscape. This year, mini-series took the lead, giving viewers fresh narratives that defied outdated clichés. Compelling storylines, excellent direction and production, a rollercoaster of emotions, unexpected plot twists, and performances that left us both speechless and reaching for the tissue box—the drama industry's lineup thoroughly captivated viewers all around the world. Here is our selection of the best-loved Pakistani dramas by viewers in 2023, each of which stands alone as a masterpiece.
1. Kabuli Pulao: A Fusion of Love Beyond Age and Cultures
The story of "Kabuli Pulao" weaves together the love story of Haji Mushtaq and Barbeena, as they battle and overcome obstacles posed by age and culture. The drama, written and directed by Zafar Mairaj, narrates the love tale of an elderly Lahori Punjabi man and a young Afghan refugee girl. Starring Mohammed Ehteshamuddin, Sabeena Farooq, Nadia Afgan, and Abdullah Farhatullah, the drama immersed viewers in the complexities about the importance of respect in relationships and the strength of human connection. “Kabuli Pulao" is a must-watch because of its rich cultural setting and engrossing story.
2. Kuch Ankahi: Revival of the old School Family Drama Vibe
"Kuch Ankahi" became a classic, using the perspectives of three sisters—Aaliya, Samiya, and Tania—to exploring a fresh and socially progressive narrative. The series, which starred Sajal Aly, Bilal Abbas Khan, Sheheryar Munawar, and other actors and was directed by Nadeem Baig and produced by Kashf Foundation and Six Sigma Plus, eloquently addressed gender roles and after death wealth distribution. The drama's ode to the late, great Pakistani television writer Haseena Moin gave its poignant storyline a nostalgic touch.
3. Jannat Se Agay: Beyond the Paradise of Glitz and Glamour
By exposing the intricacies of celebrity life, "Jannat Se Agay" shone a light on the glamor and the dark side of show business. Starring Kubra Khan, Ramsha Khan, Talha Chahour, and Gohar Rasheed, the drama was written by Umera Ahmad and directed by Haseeb Hassan. This play broke away from the traditional love stories and examined the sharp difference between public and private lives, criticizing societal norms and providing a fresh perspective. The portrayal of a morning show host by Kubra Khan and the development of Ramsha Khan's character into an antagonistic figure gave this literary masterpiece more nuances.
4. Jaise Apki Marzi: Narcissism Killing Ambitions
"Jaise Aapki Marzi" tells the captivating story of Aleezay, a young woman divided between her personal goals and society expectations. Leading the charge with outstanding performances are Durefishan Saleem and Mikaal Zulfiqar. Under the direction of Saba Hameed and written by Naila Zehra Jafri, the drama developed with a nuanced exploration of career goals versus social pressures, highlighting the difficulties faced by women married to narcissistic men who try to silence them and convince them to compromise only. However, in the process, most of these women lose their sense of self and individuality.
5. Tere Bin: The Unforgettable Story Of Meerab and Murtasim
The drama "Tere Bin" emerges as one of the most loved and watched productions of the year. The leading couple of this unique love story, Wahaj Ali and Yumna Zaidi, have a remarkable on-screen chemistry which made the drama a hit. It was directed by Siraj-ul-Haque and produced by Abdullah Kadwani and Asad Qureshi. "An unexpected turn in Meerab and Murtasim's lives weaves a tale of love, sacrifice, and the unpredictability of relationships." Tere Bin is a love story unlike any other, unfolding with unexpected twists and turns. Viewers were gripped by the suspense when the last episode aired on July 6, 2023, and are now looking forward to the next installment in the officially confirmed second season.
6. Baby Baji: A Relatable Story Ruling Hearts and Screens
"Baby Baji," which explored the common issues of a joint family, was directed by renowned director Tehseen Khan, written by Mansoor Ahmed, and produced by Abdullah Seja's iDream Entertainment. The family soap opera "Baby Baji" portrayed a moving story of hardships within a joint family. The genuineness of familial ties was enhanced by Samina Ahmad, Munawar Saeed, Javeria Saud, Saud, and other spectacular actors. It examined the difficulties a matriarch faces in keeping her family together in the midst of conflict between them through a compelling plot. The soap opera garnered a lot of attention on television and YouTube, and it played a major part in 2023's drama landscape.
7. Sar-e-Rah: The Many Lives In Our Society
Produced by IDream Entertainment and USAID, "Sar-e-Rah" gained prominence as a powerful miniseries. Focusing on societal issues, this mini-series, which was written and directed by Adeel Razaaq and Ahmed Bhatti, presents the lives of people from various walks of life. By examining the unsung stories of resiliency and cultural obstacles encountered by women, girls, and transgender people, the miniseries takes on a sympathetic perspective.
8. Razia - The Story of Every Woman
In the world of Pakistani dramas, "Razia" took the lead and became a symbol of empowerment. This miniseries was written and directed by Mohsin Ali, is notable for its emphasis on societal issues and the status of women. Starring Shaheera Jalil Albasit, Mahira Khan, Mohib Mirza, and Moomal Sheikh, "Razia" follows the protagonist as he progresses toward self-worth and independence. A moving depiction of women overcoming social barriers unfolds in the drama.
Viewer’s Choice and Online Chatter:
Like everything else in the digital era, viewer choices were given a lot of significance in 2023. "Tere Bin" became a popular choice among viewers due to its endearing romance. It became one of the most talked-about dramas as conversations erupted on social media sites. "Jannat Se Agay" and "Kabuli Pulao" were also well-received by audiences and regularly trended on the internet.
A Dramatic Year Indeed!
As the curtains fall for 2023, it's clear that mini-series won big on the silver screen due to their unique stories and provocative crafting. Also, this year, a multitude of powerful female characters were featured in Pakistani dramas, shattering the stereotype of the damsel in distress. These characters demonstrated resilience, humor, and a will to control their own destinies, whether they were navigating between social norms, or overcoming personal obstacles.
Drama lovers can look forward to an exciting future as Pakistani dramas continue to captivate and evolve, as evidenced by the discussions, trends, and fanfare that lit up the digital space. Cheers to another year of engrossing narratives, unforgettable characters, and a continuously flourishing drama industry!