We discovered a drama serial playing on Geo Entertainment that makes for a rather interesting case study of viewing preferences and how easily the Pakistani audience can be misled. A 7th Sky Production, as almost all Geo Entertainment dramas are, Fitrat started airing on the channel on 2nd November 2020. The show airs new episodes every day which means by this very moment we write this piece, Fitrat has crossed over 90 episodes since it premiered almost three months ago.
A very quick search of the drama’s title on Youtube brings up the list of episodes officially uploaded on Geo Entertainment’s Youtube channel. We noticed that every single episode of the drama averages around four million views. For a daily show that uploads a new episode seven days a week, having four million people tune in on Youtube to watch the drama’s new episode regularly and diligently every day is a feat worth boasting about.
Daily dose of flashbacks
So, what makes Fitrat a drama worth making a case study out of? It is just another drama that fetches high online views and ratings for the channel as do many of its other dramas. But here’s the catch: Fitrat is objectively not a good drama and this is something that its own audience has been complaining about for quite some time now.
Being a daily drama, it is no surprise that Fitrat tends to rely on gimmicks like lengthy episode recaps and extensive flashbacks to stretch out 40-minute-long episodes every day. However, after stretching a story that could’ve easily been wrapped in 25-30 episodes to 90+ episodes, it is quite clear that the show no longer has enough content to be able to give us new episodes every day. Hence, the drama now solely relies on the flashbacks and soundtrack montages and gives very little content in the episode that could actually push the story forward. And this has not gone unnoticed by the drama’s loyal viewers.
The comment section on Youtube under the drama’s episodes are full of annoyed viewers complaining about how Fitrat’s episodes are just 10 minutes of recap + 15 minutes worth of flashbacks and soundtrack montages and 12-15 minutes worth of actual episode. Viewers also leave comments saying how they finish the 40-minute-long episode within 10 minutes because that’s just how long the new content in the new episode is. The viewers’ displeasure with the drama could not be more evident than this and yet, the stability of the drama’s online views hasn’t been threatened. In fact, Fitrat’s new episode gets 1+ million views within 4-6 hours of it being uploaded. By contrast, dramas like Dunk and Raqeeb Se aren’t as fast getting those views.
Fitrat started on a decent enough note. It is a story about this beautiful and desirable woman who is basically a selfish “gold-digger” who thinks about no one in the world but herself. She schemes her way into the heart and lives of rich men, marries them for money, and then unable to control her restless “fitrat” (nature), she loses interest in them and goes in search of a partner. The plot of the drama revolves around this one character, the people connected to her, and how their lives are affected because of her.
This storyline seems to really interest the Pakistani audience, especially how the leading actress Saboor Aly plays her role. With her flawless depiction of such a strong character, she manages to grab on to the viewers and make them yearn to know what her next move will be. She shows the characters’ ambitious yet evil side to the best of her talent and she has surely done so right. The increasing views with each episode are proof enough.
Regardless, Fitrat seems to be approaching its end but we are not completely sure because the drama tends to introduce new tracks and resolve them either too quickly or not fast enough. However, we are sure of one thing and that is that Fitrat has discovered a new way of hooking the audience to it with this new formula of having a daily episode drama airing at prime-time. The promise of “new content” every day will get the viewers tuning in daily to consume their daily dose of entertainment. Fitrat is very close to hitting a century; a hundred episodes and we’re wondering how much more we will continue seeing this drama on our screens.