In the past couple of months, our social media has been flooded with ads that don’t seem like ads for a television channel, at least not a typical Pakistani television channel. Television has, in the recent years, become something just for the older generation. Most dramas only cater to older women, and the youth, losing all hope in the content, has mostly diverted to Over the Top (OTT) platforms. One channel, however, aims to change this. GREEN Entertainment, the recently launched TV channel backed by ISPR has entered the Pakistani television scene with all guns blazing, and has the potential to bring about a much needed change.
In the beginning it was the OST (Official Sound Track): an upbeat song that featured celebrated artists like Abida Parveen, Atif Aslam, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shafqat Amanat Ali and many more, crooning to the lyrics, ‘’Kyunke main Green hoon (Because I am Green)’’. The uplifting nature of the song blended with the patriotism of the colour green and seemed to aim to create a feeling of pride within one’s own identity, something Pakistanis often struggle with. The song was well-received and increased the audience’s expectations from the channel.
After the official song of the channel, the Youtube channel GREEN Entertainment started to upload innovative short films which explored several themes like morality, classism, societal norms, corruption, gender equality and several other relevant topics. One of the videos, entitled ‘Farq Toh Parta Hai,’ features children dressed as adults; in one instance a father tells his son to lie to the cable man who’s come to collect his fees, just after advising him to always tell the truth. When the son looks at his father skeptically, the latter sheepishly explains that small lies don’t matter so much. “Farq toh parta hai (It does matter)” is sung in the background. This video, and several others with the same lesson, highlight several other hypocrisies that adults teach their children unconsciously.
The most striking of the content that were advertised by the emerging channel were the trailers of the dramas that were planning to show. The very first teaser, one starring Zahid Ahmed of Ishq Zahe Naseeb fame, was of the comedy named ‘101 Talaqain.’ This interesting-looking drama directed by Omar Akram portrays the whirlwind life of divorce lawyer Rustom Kawasji, as he tackles different couples going through different difficult situations.
What is very appealing is the direction and cinematography of this drama, and this is true for all of the teasers that have been put out by the channel. The dramas to-be aired are shot beautifully; the sets are expansive, the camerawork is innovative and the post-production seems to be quite well done. This is extraordinary compared to the low-budgeted, underwhelming direction of many of the current dramas. What the GREEN dramas seem to excel in the most, though, are the kind of stories they are bringing to the audience.