Never give up on your dreams, keep sleeping.


Never give up on your dreams, keep sleeping  – Saira Ansari



Until the 12th grade i remember waking up for school with sounds of news channels growing louder in the other room, where my parents would have their breakfast while watching TV. These channels not only provided the 7 am latest but also, there were these morning shows where the host would appear in extra overdone make-up and heavy dresses to talk about everything that was pointless and unimportant. During my 10th grade i remember ‘Good Morning Pakistan‘ being one of these shows.
They had Dr.Shaista Wahidi hosting with new guests, asking them ‘deep’ questions about their lifestyle, personal relationships etc. The show usually ended with Shahista Wahidi dancing to a hip desi song with the invited guest. All of this happened live; and that too at 7 in the morning. On one of these shows i remember Sahista Wahidi attempted to kiss a cobra with an action/thriller background playing in the studios. To spice things up and make it more tense for the audience, her father called her on the show and begged her not to kiss the snake. But of course she did. And then it just kept on getting worse.
By the time i was ending my 12th grade i remember every single channel airing morning shows with the same script outline which included different segments like the cooking corner, morning exercise corner, horoscopes, beauty tips, live calls and even a special segment dedicated to birthday wishing only. Nadia Khan from ‘Mornings with Nadia‘ on ARY was very popular for her special birthday dance which personally shocked me. These ladies did anything and almost everything to get better ratings. Now i see the morning media situation has continued to worsen. We have theme weeks now!
There is the wedding week where the host gets hold of an ordinary to-be married girl, provides her with designer clothes and expensive make up packages. The studio set is turned into a shaadi stage and you even see models pretending to be at a wedding, sitting and chatting around on the set. Then there is the valentines day theme which obviously every single channel MUST follow. Whatever news or drama channel you switch over to on this day, you see red. Then comes the women’s day theme and the eid day special (this continues for 4 days. It just has to) . And if they have nothing to talk about, they bring in a maulvi ghost hunter or astrologist who takes live calls and ‘helps’ the audience with their personal problems. If that doesn’t work either, the hosts bring their families on the show and talks about themselves while their kids run around in the studio or start crying on live television..
There isn’t much left to say because I’m sure everyone else has witnessed such morning show cheapness as well. At the same time i see why no one bothers to change or make such shows better because this is what the audience want to see. And believe it or not, they want to see all of  it as soon as they wake up. Aunties and sometimes even very decent uncles just give in and watch these shows because that’s just all there is to watch during certain times of the day. Such overly done segments get the channels their ratings and make the hosts more popular too.
God bless Pakistan.


13 responses »

  1. I get exactly what you mean. Morning shows are the epitome of cheapness and tackiness. Their material has become more derogatory over the years and yet their popularity soars! Something to think about.

  2. There is a valid point being made here. There really is nothing different about these shows than the rest of the popular media broadcast, except the timing. May be it’s because they are loud and colorful and distract people from their problems, or may be we as a people have no appreciation for finer subtle things and just want something with music and fanfare. It seems for now we are stuck with them.

  3. great read. but, whats the alternative? zakir naik?
    relax. we ll evolve. with time. slowly, we ll evolve. and yes some stuff is sensationalized and overstretched, but thats true all over the world. such is the modern technological fatr of our times.

  4. I really like the overall idea and can relate to what you mean but with time I have come to realize that all that was being portrayed is a part of our society too and there’s no denying that. The way we want our images to be portrayed, our society isn’t exactly like that. I don’t like the meaningless conversations either; which were just there to attract the audience but these shows were famous because of our audiences’ acceptance. We do need to prioritize things and show meaningful stuff but things like music and dancing and ending on a happy note, that’s just human nature. And we need to appreciate the diversity that exists. We cannot make everyone wear the mantle of our perceptions.
    A great effort and a must read!

    • seconded, alveena. these things have legitimacy in the minds and hearts of people; but the counter argument holds true as well; sometimes they do tend to have negative consequences for the impressionable audiences; very interesting dialectic that this article has sprung up; good stuff saira 🙂

  5. I totally agree. Morning shows might have had semblance of use once when they initially began about 8 years ago (in Pakistan) but of late they are nothing more than popularity contests.

  6. No one wishes to see their own faults and no one wishes to accept the magnitude of how far humankind can fall from grace, so we equip ourselves with the most illogical things available to us, why? because its easy to talk about rishtas and biscuits and pony tails, then talk or actually sit down and see our own faults. Everyone loves to be subjective but they hate to see the myriad of problems they have created, because God Forbid someone decided to that, they will have to be accountable. We want that invisibility cloak that allows us to hide from the blunders we have made. Deflection in its truest form right up there.

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