Stories of unfaithful spouses and cheating in relationships are a norm for the Pakistani drama industry, yet drama serial Meray Pass Tum Hu, revolving around a deceitful wife and a loyal husband has become an obsession for Pakistanis who are waiting with bated breath for the finale of what is being touted as the ‘Biggest Drama Serial in the history of Pakistan’.
Here, let’s analyse the reasons behind the massive popularity of the show!
MPTH isn’t another show about betrayal in relationships rather it has much more to it if you look deeper. For the first time, the viewers got to see what a man goes through when he is hurt and betrayed. Usually, men are painted as oppressors, adulterators, and abusers in our dramas while women are portrayed as damsels in distress and victims of oppression by men but MPTH showed us the other side of the picture. It brought to light that there do exist good men like Danish, who don’t always kill in the name of honour, who suffer themselves and let go of their wives on such mistakes.
Drama viewers have been so used to watching husbands being bad to their wives in the routine that they were pleasantly surprised to witness on screen a very calm and cool reaction from a typical husband over his wife’s betrayal. Humayun Saeed as Danish has portrayed a husband that has become an ideal for Pakistani women and has made them ask-Is he for real?
Moreover, reportedly more men than women are watching Meray Pass Tum Ho, which is not a surprising statistic because the show flips the usual Pakistani drama plotline by making the man the victim of infidelity.
The success of the show also owes much to the triumph of marketing. Starting with an aggravated interview from author Khalil ur Rehman Qamar, infamously declaring that a man cannot resist a woman tempting him, the makers have used various ploys to keep viewers’ attention intact throughout the show with a mix of good and bad marketing tactics. Regressive dialogues, additional characters, unexpected twists in episodes further inclined viewers’ interest in the show.
Even when the play is about to reach its end, it has been further hyped with a delayed finale and screening of the last episode across all major cinemas in Pakistan. Hence, intelligent marketing ploys have played a significant role in the massive success of the show.
Now, with the story coming to a close, everyone is struggling to find a definitive ending for each character even after following the show religiously and that’s where the beauty of the show lies that it has kept the audiences guessing as to what will happen in the finale.
While women usually forgive their unloyal partners for a happily-ever-after scenario in such cases, somehow, fans don’t want Danish to forgive Mehwish and are eagerly waiting to witness her fate after betraying a loyal, loving and caring husband for the lure of material luxuries.
But we can’t ignore the fact that though the show correctly targets cheating, its emphasis on demonising the woman exempts male protagonists of their flaws. In every respect, Shehwar is as guilty as Mehwish yet no one calls him a cheap, worthless man. People are rightly judging Mehwish but the problem is no one is judging Shehwar. KRQ’s misogynist dialogues such as the famous ‘do takkay ki aurat’ dialogue and ‘Khuda Talaq Lenay Wali Aurtoon Ko Pasand Nai Karta’ reveals a frighteningly common mindset and lopsided mentality that the burden of guilt in moral lapses lies on a woman’s shoulder absolving men of all moral responsibilities.
Hence along with love, the drama has also received its fair share of criticism for portraying women as ‘bad’ and fostering misogyny and sexism in a society already plagued with a patriarchal mindset. But unsurprisingly, the criticism has garnered more attention towards the show with people watching the show for the mere reason that why is it being heavily criticized.
MPTH’s roaring success proofs that everything seems to be working for the show be it the love of the audience or the criticism of the feminists. After all, not all dramas make it to the big screen and MPTH finale has successfully managed to do that.