By Muhammad Omar Iftikhar
The popularity of the TV show, Dirilis Ertugrul, a Turkish historical fiction, and adventure television series, swept across Pakistan. Perhaps no other TV show in recent memory could match the excitement viewers had when they were watching this drama. Social media remained abuzz when aficionados of the show and its characters shared posts and commented on the aspects they liked. The case of Dirilis Ertugrul should be taken up by the producers and directors who have been delivering drama series to Pakistan’s various TV channels. They should study why did it gain such immense popularity. One must wonder what led to the meteoric rise of Dirilis Ertugrul among the masses of Pakistan, especially those residing in the metropolis. Perhaps it was the story and the plot that kept evolving with every episode. There was the evolution of the characters as well.
Engin Altan Düzyatan who played the role of Ertugrul Bey and Esra Bilgic who played Halime Hatun became superstars in Pakistan. People began following the style these characters portrayed in the TV series. One must wonder if the drama’s international actors had an impact on the viewers in Pakistan? Perhaps it is in our mindset to accept, acknowledge, and respect all content that has a foreign tag associated with it. Pakistan can create its own Netflix where episodes of classic drama series and sitcoms produced in yesteryear can be uploaded. The current trend observed on electronic media, however, is appalling. The morning shows are filled with self-glorification, the drama series show mediocre social issues, while the talk shows do not add value to the viewers’ thought process. One may wonder why aren’t there any programs produced and telecasted on Pakistani TV channels that could amass a fan following akin to the one enjoyed by Dirilis Ertugrul? There could be one answer: commitment. The writers and producers need to show their commitment to producing TV series that could uplift the social consciousness instead of producing mediocre content that makes them slaves to morning shows and senseless drama series that only glorify the actors.