Every so often, television gives us a series that fearlessly plunges into the murky waters of societal toxicity and is an acute representation of the prevalent issues of our time. Amidst this thought-provoking journey, it manages to retain the element vital to a TV drama’s success: the sheer power of storytelling to captivate and entertain. Jannat Se Aagay, currently on air on Geo TV, has done just that.
A directorial venture of the maestro Haseeb Hassan and written by none other than Umera Ahmed, Jannat Se Aagay explores diverse themes. It traverses the quest for self-discovery and contentment, the ceaseless race for material success, and the inherent risks of idolizing others.
The story follows Jannat and Tabassum, played by Kubra Khan and Ramsha Khan respectively, as they navigate through the uncertainties of life, aspiring to achieve the essential elements they believe to be missing from their lives.
Jannat is a successful morning show host who appears to have everything; success, wealth, a devoted spouse, and healthy children. Among her dedicated viewers is Tabassum, a middle-class girl, who idolizes Jannat, never missing an episode of Jannat’s show. She harbors dreams of emulating Jannat and is truly captivated by her way of life.
Topping the ratings chart, Jannat Se Aagay is a well-rounded production. The flawless direction and applause-worthy execution of the story have reeled in and maintained a dedicated audience. With the backend so strong, it is little wonder that the final product is as refined as it is. The brilliant performances by all the major leads add to the appeal for the audience and build up anticipation for the next episode.
In just a matter of weeks, the drama has successfully cultivated a dedicated fan following for several compelling reasons. To begin with, it masterfully strikes a delicate equilibrium between providing entertainment and conveying significant social messages. This achievement stands as a testament to the impeccable collaboration between the writer and director, who never fail to deliver. Notably, the drama refrains from becoming didactic; instead, it subtly imparts its messages.
The intricate nuances of the plot, coupled with timely and surprising twists, further enrich the narrative. Additionally, the enchanting soundtrack, beautifully rendered by Qurat-ul-Ain Balouch, captivates the audience, and elevates the drama’s appeal.
The drama delves into yet another profound and troubling issue, prompting myriad questions to surface. Through Jannat’s journey in the world of morning show hosting, we are given an insight into the behind-the-scenes workings and the lengths to which hosts are willing to go for TRPs. In a gut-wrenching scene, we witness Jannat urging a rape victim to shed tears on her show for the sake of ratings.
The scene’s execution leaves the audience rattled. But truth be told, would we tune in to watch a show interviewing a rape victim if it weren’t dramatized? This scene subtly brings up numerous queries in our minds. While it’s easy to place blame on the host and label her heartless, we must also consider whether as viewers, we engage with content that isn’t entertaining but solely to address social issues. Does the audience consume sensational content because it’s readily available, or do hosts produce such content due to a demand for it? These disconcerting questions arise as we watch Jannat navigate the world of morning show hosting, creating an ongoing cycle that urges us to reflect on our own behaviors and choices.
Jannat Se Aagay also highlights the real-world repercussions of excessive social media consumption, emphasizing the consequences of oversharing and divulging too much personal information to the public. The drama aptly presents the impact that the constant exposure to others showcasing seemingly superior lifestyles can have on others, cultivating feelings of inadequacy and fuel unrealistic aspirations driven by a relentless want to fulfill desires at any cost.
Conversely, social media figures face the relentless pressure and scrutiny of generating content for social media, sometimes constructing a fabricated facade to appease the masses. This facade, coupled with the fear of negative feedback from the public, can inflict significant harm on one’s mental health.
One captivating aspect of the drama that keeps us engrossed is the enigmatic cast of characters, each painted with diverse hues. Every character possesses intricate layers and multifaceted dimensions, prompting us to ponder their choices in one moment and making us sympathize with them in the next.
Jannat Ali Khan, a renowned morning show host, is willing to push boundaries to ensure her show, Jannat e Jahan, maintains TRPs. Leveraging her eloquence, magnetic presence, captivating persona, and a seemingly empathetic demeanor, she endears herself to her audience. However, beneath all the fame and success, there exists a void in Jannat’s life. Her unhappy marriage elicits both empathy and criticism from the audience, generating a complex blend of emotions among viewers. In addition, her surprising act of keeping all of Tabassum’s letters reveals an unexpected soft spot in her character. The range of emotions of Jannat’s character alongside Kubra’s acting make the drama interesting to watch.
Gohar Rasheed, essaying Noman, Jannat’s husband, once again captivates us with his exceptional performance. Rasheed fearlessly embraces yet another challenging and gray role. Noman is presented as composed, subdued, and sophisticated. On the surface, he appears to be the ideal husband, supporting his wife’s independent work, caring for their children, and devoid of the toxic traits often associated with TV portrayals of desi husbands. However, as sympathy for him builds due to his wife’s neglect, his character takes an unexpected turn by engaging in an affair with his colleague, Zara (Saboor Aly). The multifaceted nature of Jannat and Noman’s characters leaves us constantly reevaluating the dynamics of their marriage, eventually drawing us deeper into their lives.
Jannat Se Aagay also explores the dynamics of the relationship between Tabassum and Farooq, played by Ramsha Khan and Talha Chahour, respectively.
Tabassum, a kindhearted and beautiful young woman, dedicates herself to caring for her family and contributes financially by offering tutoring to neighborhood children. Despite her modest lifestyle, there’s one source of immense joy and inspiration in her life: watching Jannat’s morning show on television. Jannat’s influence is so profound that Tabassum is willing to leave her home just to catch a glimpse of her idol. She even requests her fiancé to gift her a ticket for her birthday so she can attend the show to watch Jannat live.
Farooq’s character is bound to warm your heart. Despite battling with unemployment, he is determined to do anything that brings a smile to Tabassum’s face. Farooq prioritizes happiness over wealth and monetary gains. You will even see him shed a tear or two in the drama, which is refreshing to see on television.
The on-screen chemistry between Farooq and Tabassum is sweet, and it’s wholesome to watch their relationship develop as they try to find a common path that unifies their ambitions and goals.
Jannat Se Aagay is being aired on Har Pal Geo by 7th Sky Entertainment, produced by Abdullah Kadwani and Asad Qureshi. In addition to the lead cast, the drama boasts a talented cast including Sheheryar Zaidi as Abid, Hina Bayat as Shabana, Faiza Gillani as Suraiyya, Saboor Aly as Zara, Daniya Anwar as Naseem, Sara Ashraf as Andleeb, Aina Asif as Aasia, Hoorain Khan as Aima, Azlan Nofil Awan as Aalyan, Ayesha Jahanzaib as Alia, Aiman Zaman as Chanda, Hamza Tariq as Jibran, Rameez Alam Siddiqui as Akhter, Younu Raheel as Asghar, Maria as Firdous, and Lubna Aslam as Tasneem.
While it’s easy to place blame on the host and label her as heartless, we must also consider whether as viewers, if we engage with content that solely addresses social issues. Does the audience consume sensational content because it’s readily available, or do hosts produce such content due to a demand for it? These disconcerting questions arise as we watch Jannat navigate the world of morning show hosting, creating an ongoing cycle that urges us to reflect on our own behaviors and choices.