oh my. according to the san francisco chronicle, pakistan’s “Drama Hour” dares to “go there”:
One recent Sunday evening at midnight in a town near here, Kohsar Riaz sat down eagerly in her favorite living room chair for her weekly dose of ARY One World network’s “Drama Hour” and was instantly engrossed in the depressing tale of a hijra (cross-dresser) disowned by family and friends, desperate for acceptance and hopelessly in love with a young man who used him solely for money.
…Tens of thousands of South Asian night owls who stayed up to watch the popular television show got a rare glimpse from the other side of one of the region’s most ostracized groups.
…”These are good things,” 56-year-old Riaz, a mother of five, said after the program. “All our Pakistanis should watch and understand that if people have problems, it doesn’t make them bad, and maybe it means they need some help, and we should listen to them.”
besides compassionately examining the plight of hijras, “Drama Hour” has also taken on taboo subjects ranging from divorce to the age-old debate between love and arranged marriages.
Each week viewers get an understanding-driven treatment of sensitive social issues that, while often poorly filmed and acted out with over-the-top melodrama (accompanied by unbelievably cheesy soundtracks), try to promote a moderate, tolerant outlook.
“It’s all about exploring and examining who we are and how we want to live,” says Lahore social worker Humaira Qureshi. “To move forward, we as an entire society have to take a deep look inside at painful, unpleasant issues and decide what we want for ourselves and our children.”