Just when you thought that awards season was done and dusted and even the post-awards celebratory parties had wrapped up, Hum TV Network has decided to have yet another treat in store for you – or not.
Hum TV’s style Awards are slotted to take place this October, promising awards, performances, fumbles, grumbles, the whole shebang.
But wait – haven’t the Hum Awards already taken place this year? And don’t we already have the Lux Style Awards for passing verdicts on style, entertainment and what-not? Is Hum endeavouring to have its say regarding the country’s style quotient?
“We have always sought to raise the bar in the field of entertainment,” observes Hum Network’s President Sultana Siddiqui. “We have certainly done so with our dramas. I feel that we now need to do the same with events. Greater variety and thereby, competition, will only help the industry get better.”
“Also, as a channel, we can ensure that the events we organise are much more long-lasting. An awards ceremony organized by a sponsor may suffer through budget fluctuations. They may have a grand ceremony one year and merely announce the results the next. But as a channel, we have to make sure that our event is regular and high on entertainment value."
"Our regular Bridal Couture Week is a prime example of this. The event has associated with different sponsors but regardless of this, it has invariably taken place twice a year, every year.”
Sultana has a point. Nevertheless, is Hum TV sure that they have a strong enough grip on style? Case in point; the recent Hum Awards’ red carpet where style was non-existent, replaced by ostentatious, unfathomable wedding-wear bling.
“That’s a matter of opinion but I am not saying that hitches won’t occur,” she says. “But slowly, we will all strive to get better.”
“I am determined that our Style Awards will have unbiased, fair results. I plan to take on a genuine batch of jurors who will then decide upon the winners. Fairness is imperative for an awards show to be taken seriously and I feel that there is a definite need for it.”
It would be an accurate guess that Sultana is, in essence, referring to the recent LSA results that have invited in their fair share of critique and doubts. The other major pitfall faced by local events are timings, when shows slotted to begin as early as 7 p.m. only initiate around a late 11 p.m. and then go on till the early hours of the morning.
From the LSA’s to the Hum Awards and even fashion weeks, audiences leave while the show goes on and on. Only recently, social media was rife with images of actress Mahirah Khan dancing to a more or less empty auditorium for the LSA finale. While the performance was slotted to be one of the show’s highlights, most of the audience refused to stay on till late to see it.
“Timing is another issue that we hope to address,” vouches Sultana. “I believe in recording in real time and not filming performances from before. Still, we need to be better prepared to ensure punctuality.”
Nida Butt is set to take on the mantle of creative director for the show, which will be held in October, so that's sure to bring a change
Improving timings, particularly, is a tall order to fulfill. Historically, local events may, with much effort, improve content and sometimes, miraculously, even the red carpet brings on style but late timings continue to persist.
Hum Network may genuinely be aiming to raise the bar of awards ceremonies but there’s also a lucrative incentive at play. Awards ceremonies – no matter how many and how painfully long – work very well as ideal ‘special shows’ for weekends and Eid. Audiences are sticklers for them and they draw in high ratings.
But will Hum’s style awards manage to work beyond being well-watched TV shows? Will they entertain or be merely yet another long drawn-out affair where the media and celebs troop out to a distant location, suffer through delays and endure constant blunders?
Nida Butt takes on the mantle of creative director for the show and the awards are set to take place around the end of October. Let’s see precisely how ‘stylish’ this one turns out to be.