the "morning shows" trend

  • There was a time when morning was meant rising sun with cool breeze and birds singing. Our morning used to start with talawat-e-Quran on PTV followed by dua at 7:30 AM, with the hope of having an amazing day ahead but unfortunately the meaning has drastically changed now! Now the morning is about leaving every work, running late, burning chai. 

    Back in the days, there was only PTV, the first morning shows in Pakistan was aired live on January 1988, known as "Subuh Bakhair". The show was hosted by the famed author and travel writer, Mustansar Hussain Tarar for nearly seven years. He is considered as the pioneer of live morning transmissions in Pakistan. His show was simple and had informative discussions. 

    The modern morning show trend started back in 2006 with "the Nadia Khan show" the show started pretty well, she used to have some guests from lollywood and even bollywood, the show got famous in no time because of nadia herself and her bubbly personality. She was innovative and did fun things which were in limits! The most awaited segment was the birthday bash where people used to send her their names and she used to wish them. 

    When other channels saw the success of the Nadia khan show, they planned to start their own morning shows as well. Morning shows started springing up on almost every other channel. Good morning Pakistan, Jago Pakistan Jago, Muskurati subha, one after the other came. And due to the saturation, it looks like they've ran out of topics. 

    The standard, content, everything has been going downhill since then. Most of the part here depends on and is done by the host. She's the backbone of the show, the show starts with a bright blast of energy with an overjoyed female host, she is the wedding planner, counsellor and gossip monger all rolled into one. 

    The morning shows mostly cater women, who stay back home, who raise their kids and made their family life, they are the managers of our house and work tirelessly for as long as a lifetime. They deserve as much respect as any other professional and definitely deserve some me-time as well and a break from their hectic routines. 

    with a fast-moving world, these women need to be exposed to more discourses of life to broaden their horizon, and television is one school they regularly feed from, the makers of these morning shows know this and use it in their favor, the female audience of these shows has been tricked into believing they are learning something new each day. but the question is, are they being fed the right thing? 

    In the early days of morning shows, it was mainly about food, beauty and self-grooming. and female related problems. There were different segments for each subject, women used to learn dishes and tricks and trip to improve their cooking then their beauty related problems that could be solved using home remedies, professional and experiences people like Zubaida apa used to give these advices so there was less risk of side effects, women used to call and ask for solutions. Also, women learnt a lot about self-grooming and basic rules, it was great for those women who cannot afford to go to a salon or take self-grooming classes. Well the shows were somewhat informative back then. 

    Now the shows have become all about fashion, shaadi talaaq, saas bahu and other stupid issue. The shows are everything but informative. The first thing that you see when you tune in is the ranting of the host, every host only talks about herself. Her family, kids, husband. What did her husband say to her? How is her saas? And all the silly things no one woukd be interested in hearing. Whether you are a celebrity, a prominent figure or just another guest, why would one share such personal experiences and memories on a live morning show with all the audience? There are some things that should stay between couples and there is a thing called privacy. Plus, nobody also wants to hear about how and where the host went for last vacation, neither we are interested in their show off about their lives. 

    Secondly, it is good to talk about problems openly but there are a few limits! Seeing a pregnant host is not a pleasant sight to see, plus the show is being watched by children and gents as well. if a host is pregnant she creates so much hype about her pregnancy as if she is the first woman to produce a child, and then they talk about the problems so openly that you cannot even think of watching such shoes with you brother or father. There's a thing called "haya aur sharam" that has gone missing. 

    Weddings has become a big thing, first we used to see a single show of wedding but then the shows started dedicating the whole week to the wedding ceremonies. Married celebrities remarry on a morning show, it is a star-studded wedding with celebrities wearing expansive clothes, give concepts of some worthless rasmain, that has no significance in the society. such type of rubbish things only adds problems in our society and developed a complex between lower middle-class people because they cannot afford such things. These types of program can play very negative role in society because then a girl would want a similar wedding and her father cannot afford that. 

    The most interesting topic for anyone is saas-bahu, morning shows use this for ratings, they create a whole drama, set up families, the rival families are low-profile actors masquerading as real family members who are well trained for the nail-biting squabble. The dialogues are so well-written and the quarrel was so natural that people could easily be fooled, as if they are witnessing a quarrel between women in some neighborhood. This gives a bad impression and girls who are about to get married and those who are married. 

    Then a new concept started of weird make up and modeling competitions, participants are being insulted on national television, it ruins their self-esteem, plus the themes are weird as well, for example; Jago Pakistan Jago held a competition where make-up artist had to do make dark skinned brides, but instead of calling models with dark complexion they called fair models, this showed that tv industry does not accommodate dusky models. At the same time, they thought it was alright to choose fair models and make them duskier, rather than actually choosing someone who is duskier. The lack of representation of duskier people on television promotes and reinforces that there is no space for them and that their skin color is a problem, to the point that they can blackface fair people but not hire them to play their own part. 

    These shows are just strengthening the chains of social stigmas and beauty standards we are already shackled in like zero size figure and fair skin, the kinds of questions that are asked for 

    the sake of ratings from the guests are to some extent offensive and absurd as well. Mostly they are patient in responding when their faces show a story otherwise. 

    Every now and then shows invite a designer to flaunt their collections but a lot of the people cannot afford it hence it creates complex among the women. This results in day dreaming which leads towards frustration, jealousy and intolerance in our society 

    Morning shows are famous for the unlimited number of totkay, and the cure for almost each and everything. And the funny part is, these totkay are not given by any experts but mostly by artists or models. A popular model and an actress Fiza Ali made concoctions of juice that are inimical to one’s health. Everything was going to detox result in weight loss, actually not weight loss, but loss of water and minerals from body. She very arrogantly said, ‘I’m very focused on looks and socialize with people who are good looking’. What is this attitude promoting? Telling the young girls how important good looks are and make friends on the basis of their looks. What a shame! 

    The issue of marital conflicts is a huge focus of these shows. Every other day they invite a woman who is tired of bearing the brutal behavior of her husband and she lets everyone know her story. What is the benefit of all this? Absolutely nothing, these issues not only brain wash the audience but they also create a feeling of depression among them. Pakistani morning shows must be focusing on the talent of the youth, compatibility of the couples, ways to lead a better life, tips to remain active and confident. These shows must act as a grooming tool for the audience. 

    However, it is wrong to say that these morning shoes are a complete waste of time because housewives and old citizens find them entertaining. Some of the morning shows produce quality work as well but it is not consistent, glamour takes over the informative part and makes it look boring. 

    The producers should know that they’re catering a group that doesn’t have a lot of knowledge about the outer world and women mostly believe whatever they see! There should be a proper check and balance and content should be rechecked. The concept of morning shows is completely disturbed these days, they focus on adult and vulgar issues. this has not only made it difficult to watch these shows with families but also it has had a huge negative impact on the minds of the audience and culture. 

    I'm not saying shows should only be informative and boring, all of us like to have a break and enjoy but morning shows shouldn't only be about fashion and glamour and focus more on information to serve its purpose right. It should educate the women in the right way!