It has been nine years since Bulbulay was released. Bulbulay has become a household name and a front-runner for Pakistani comedy shows. However, the more successful a show becomes, the more important its critique.
Bulbulay’s track record
Bulbulay has produced 11 seasons and a total number of 456 episodes. This sitcom is the creation of writer Ali Imran. It holds the record for the longest running TV show in Pakistan, and along with it, holds a high TRP. Thus, it has a significant audience. The show’s popularity is majorly owed to Hina Dilpazeer playing the character Momo. Her catchphrases have become iconic. It used to be aired on ARY TV but was shifted to Bol TV in 2018.
What is the story about?
The story revolves around a family of four and three of the characters lack basic common sense, and thus supposedly create humor out of a day to day situations. Hina Dillpazeer plays the ditzy mother Momo who gets married to one of her son’s tenants, Mahmood Sahab who is played by Mehmood Aslam. Mahmood Sahab, in a characteristic fashion, gets moderately frustrated by Momo’s blunders but makes his own, and thus further creating a humorous situation. The son Nabeel is also the producer of the show, and matches Mahmood Sahab in intellect and tendencies, but begrudges him for marrying his mother in old age. Nabeel’s wife, Khabsurat is played by Ayesha Omar. She is the opinionated, bossy woman whose contrasting common sense displays the ridiculous nature of the antics.
Context of Bulbulay
Bulbulay follows the same pattern as a 1997 hit comedy sitcom called “Family Front”. Just like Bulbulay, it created humor out of unintelligent repetitive errors. Just like Bulbulay, it was predictable and centered on family life. However, it did not run for as long as Bulbulay is currently being extended. Furthermore, it did not produce a frenzy of spin-offs mirroring similar humor mechanisms. Perhaps that is due to the privatization of media over time. Unlike the one PTV channel, the various competing channels care more about ratings and profit.
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Critique of Bulbulay
A healthy level of critique is necessary for improvement. Critiquing Bulbulay will make the audience aware of better quality alternatives. It will put the Pakistani comedy scene out of its stagnant pit. Bulbulay has very shallow dialogue and does not attempt any sort of social satire, despite its long run. Social satire is not the responsibility of any comedy show, but it adds a layer of reliability which is essential for better quality. Portrayed as dolls rather than human beings, the monotonous loop of their performances and dialogues actively harm the quality.
It would be well noted to look at the comedy-drama serials with this lens of critique and realize the distinction between popularity and quality. We have several PTV drama serials that can serve as models for good comedy e.g. Sona Chandi. The actors do deserve credit for their acting but the script needs to be upgraded.