Embark on a voyage to the golden years of television. The journey won’t be perfect but it will be insightful for sure
or someone who recently penned a critique on one of the most popular drama serials that have managed to garner record-breaking views on YouTube (still mulling over why?) an opportunity to explore PTVFLIX came as a welcome reprieve.
Sometimes, it seems as if the complaints of the audience regarding the nosediving standards of the Pakistani entertainment industry fall on deaf ears. The critics are rare and one can understand why. Their critiques amount to naught as trite story arcs are slated and approved for production almost cyclically. In all of this, it is barely surprising that we hit a new low every time the ratings of a drama serial go through the roof.
A refreshing change in this comes in the form of PTVFLIX, a recently-launched app that offers unlimited streaming of popular TV shows, drama, music and documentaries, with archives that define an era of quality family entertainment presented by Pakistan Television.
The productions rolled out in the 1970s and 1980s, the golden era of television, are permanently etched in the sepia memories of an entire generation. Although the memories are tainted with nostalgia, the accounts of this generation should be paid attention to for they were the ones who witnessed the television culture take root in the country. They were also the first to embrace it with enthusiasm.
More importantly, it was during this era that television viewership grew and people began taking interest in and looking forward to broadcasts that included drama serials and classic plays that set standards for times to come.
Those who grew up in the ’90s and early 2000s are privy to this age only through word-of-mouth. They have often heard their parents reminisce about timeless, culturally relevant, stigma-breaking dramas featuring progressive scripts, meaningful plots and fantastic actors.
From the accounts of parents and the elderly, it is not difficult to gather that while the times were tough, art and creativity flourished. The Urdu drama saw great improvement and reached legendary heights.
The grim present and uncertain future of art in this country makes one want to turn back and relish the productions of the past. The songs of those times are still relevant. The films from the era make sense today. The TV shows addressed the right issues. The content connected with the audience emotionally, culturally and mindfully.
The songs of those times are still relevant. The films from the era make sense today. The TV shows addressed the right issues. The content connected with the audience emotionally, culturally and mindfully. It still does – and PTVFLIX provides the perfect opportunity for people, especially young audiences, to experience firsthand, some of the fabulous productions that their parents have been singing praises of and understand what the hype was about.
It still does – and PTVFLIX provides the perfect opportunity for people, especially young audiences, to experience firsthand, some of the fabulous productions that their parents have been singing praises of and understand what the hype was about.
On PTVFLIX, Tanhaiyan, Teesra Kinara, Andhera Ujala, Dhoop Kinaray, Khuda ki Basti, Kiran Kahani, Waaris, and Ek Mohabbat Sau Afsanay can be watched seamlessly, even on the go. For children, the library includes Ainak Wala Jinn, Arty and Granny Sunny aur Science.
The streaming platform has both old and new shows that one can easily access on PC, Android and iOS. As of now, it is free and accessible to all Pakistanis.
It is heartening that the platform features reviews on the latest releases, of dramas and films. This feature is instrumental in helping one sift through the platform and decide whether a drama serial is worth their time. What’s more, it also gives a comprehensive rundown of the latest sports events and news stories.
The interface for the phone is user-friendly, fluid and fast, and every video plays seamlessly. The web version seems a bit shaky and could use some improvement on operations and workability.
While it is a brilliant initiative to have the youth engage with the old plays and the oldies to explore the new art, PTVFLIX’s repository doesn’t have it all.
Plays such as Taalim-i-Balighan and Mirza Ghalib Bandar Road Per, Jhok Siyaal or the original Khuda Ki Basti are missing. These were priceless possessions of PTV. Several episodes of Alif Noon and Fifty Fifty are yet to be made available.
But by and large, one can appreciate that a treasure trove of PTV dramas has been digitised. It can be pleasantly surprising to go down memory lane for a strong dose of nostalgia. Through this portal, one can look pensively at both the past and the future.
The writer is a freelance journalist based in Karachi. She may be reached at email@example.com