While directing the show producers and directors of Ertugal had no idea of what to come. They could never have imagined the hysteria that their show would create amongst international audience for them it was Pakistan. Backed by their very own PM and aired on PTV, Ertugal has become the darling of every household. For a change the drama is not about an extra martial affair or in-laws beating their daughter in law, but it is about Islamic history. The kind of success it has delivered has shocked many Pakistani audiences and celebrities and some of them couldn’t taste the sourness of “on your face” phenomenon as their own shows started to loose relevance. Why shouldn’t they?, what has Pakistani drama industry given to its audience except for exploiting the societal prejudices and creating a false depiction of life. It is high time instead of criticizing our industry learns to make something like this. Genuine people like Humayun Saeed have already accepted this changing media preference and have announced a series similar to Ertugal from our very own country.
“I prefer to watch it with kids, so they can have real-life superheroes instead of fictional ones,” said Hassam Mustafa as he settled down at his Islamabad home to watch the series with his familia after iftar.
The popularity of drama is because of its unique nature of production. The way it has been portrayed helps kids connect to our glorious past, so they believe and revive what has been lost. The drama has also resulted in revival of PTV ratings as it has reportedly earn a revenue of more than PKR 50 Million on the commercials. This was a magic move done by our PM to revise the fate of PTV Prime mister is the person upon whose instructions Ertugal is making rounds on media. “Over here, we go to Hollywood then Bollywood and back again — third-hand culture gets promoted this way,” Khan told a group of YouTubers recently, referring to the influence of foreign shows.
The five-season series tells the story of Ertugrul, the father of Osman I who founded the Ottoman Empire, which ruled parts of Europe, Western Asia and North Africa for more than 600 years. “The response has been incredible, it’s really great to see how the show is resonating with Urdu speakers around the world,” said Riyaad Minty, digital director of TRT, which produced the series. Many Turkish series have succeeded in Pakistan they were also dubbed but this series in particular has won many hearts. PTV held monopoly in the drama industry but unfortunately faced a backlash after private channels started gaining popularity. “It is a good opportunity for PTV management to look at themselves, shake their conscience and wonder how they are unable to produce a prime-time drama,” Aehsun Talish, a Pakistani drama producer, told AFP. PTV has earned a good income as brands are approaching for advertisement during commercial breaks. It is said that Ertugal is a way to convey to the world that turkey will revive hinting to the end of contract of Lausanne, a peace treaty that is said to be ending somewhere in 2023. “There’s strong backing among many in Pakistan for pan-Muslim solidarity, which translates in many cases to support for strong Muslim leaders from Malaysia to Turkey and many places in between,” he said “This historical Turkish drama has provided us with a nice escape from stereotypical Pakistani dramas, which always center on the affairs of ‘saas-bahu’,” he said, referring to relationships between controlling mothers and their daughters-in-law.