Yasir Hussain doesn’t think much of Pakistani dramas

Yasir Hussain slammed the Pakistani drama industry in a recent interview with Something Haute’s Aamna Haider Isani, claiming that poor drama quality is why foreign audiences are not watching our shows.

When asked why Indian viewers watched Pakistani shows, Hussain maintained that India produced “incredibly terrible” dramas, causing their audiences to turn to Pakistan for entertainment because “Pakistani dramas are better than theirs”. He mimicked the exaggerated “dush-dush-dush” onomatopoeia commonly heard in Indian serials, emphasising just how bad he believed them to be.

“Only places [countries] with terrible shows watch our [Pakistani] dramas — those who do not have good shows of their own,” the Badshah Begum actor said.

He commented that Koreans and Iranians were not watching Pakistani television content, which Isani claimed could be because of “language barriers”. However, Hussain quickly retaliated that “language barriers did not stop” Pakistani audiences from watching Turkish, Korean, Iranian or English productions.

“These aren’t our languages,” he emphasised, adding that local audiences watched those foreign productions because they were doing “good work”, while the Pakistani drama industry was “not doing good work which is why they [audiences] are not watching it”.

Hussain said that Pakistanis in America and England had “nothing to do” and those “trying to teach their children Urdu” were the only ones watching Pakistani dramas. “Who else is?” he questioned.

The Karachi Se Lahore actor also stated that he did not want his son to be an actor because an actor’s job was to act well but the only gigs being offered were “bad”.

“The TV dramas that are hits are not good. An actor is shown a script for a 25-episode show and it is stretched to 40 episodes — how can that show be good?”

As an active member of the Pakistani drama industry, Hussain has every right to critique it and call out the abysmal work being produced. However, as a screenwriter, actor, director, and playwright, Hussain holds more power than most others in making content that is worthy of being watched by local and foreign audiences.

We are the change we seek, and perhaps Hussain should — and hopefully will — work towards making the drama industry better with the privilege afforded to him.

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