Are Pakistani dramas drawing inspiration from the K-Drama industry?
A break from the conventional saas-bahu themes? Yes please.
Fashion and Features Editor
Over the past decade, the Korean entertainment industry has gained global recognition for its unique storytelling and captivating ‘Green Flag’ characters. With protagonists known for their softness and charm, K-dramas have successfully portrayed healthy relationships that leave audiences feeling warm and fuzzy.
Beyond accolades at prestigious events like the Oscars, Emmys, and Baftas, the K-drama industry has cultivated a massive global fanbase, turning binge-watching into a guilty pleasure for many.
One recurring trope in K-drama projects involves disguised identities, where the male protagonist assumes someone else’s persona to win the affections of the woman they desire. The Pakistani drama “Ishq Murshid,” featuring Durefishan Saleem and Bilal Abbas Khan, adopts this trope as the central theme as well.
Durefishan’s character, Shibra, embodies a modest disposition, rejecting materialism and opulence. In contrast, Bilal’s character, Shameer, from a high-class family, views Shibra’s values as a barrier to winning her love.
In his quest to capture her heart, Shameer employs a clever strategy, disguising himself as a humble individual named Fazal Baksh, assigned to deliver food from Shibra’s house to her father’s office. From the dioalogues to the convincing acting by the main leads, we can’t help but feel a little ‘Start-up’, a little ‘Coffee Prince’ seeping into the drama.
The 2023 Pakistani television series “Fairytale,” a delightful romantic comedy featuring Sehar Khan as Umeed and Hamza Sohail as Farjaad in the lead roles, drew comparisons from netizens to characters in K-dramas.
❜ birthday 🎂🤍 thankyou Hamza and Sehar for making me feel always enchanted & Smile love you guys tons <3
Umeed’s character resonated with the image of a strong, independent woman prepared to face the world, reminiscent of the women portrayed in “Search WWW,” while Farjaad embodied the ideal lover, ready to provide unwavering support in every aspect, akin to Cho Yong Pil in “Welcome to Samdali.” Not to forget his demeanor is very much like Kang Tae Moo from ‘Business Proposal’ as well.
In another trend, sports-oriented K-dramas annually capture widespread attention and spark numerous discussions. This year, the Pakistani entertainment industry has presented two projects emphasizing sports: the drama “22 Qadam” starring Hareem Farooq and Wahaj Ali, as well as the recent movie featuring Yumna Zaidi as a female cricketer titled ‘Nayab.’
This raises the question: Is there a growing influence of K-drama themes on Pakistani entertainment, and are these adaptations resonating with the audience? We are positive. We’re thrilled to witness certain dramas breaking away from the traditional portrayal of a damsel in distress for the female protagonist, steering clear of depicting the male lead as a manipulative toxic lover, and departing from the conventional saas-bahu themes.