Teeli's latest web series, Just Married, explores young love and marriage in Pakistan and how different it is from what is shown in dramas. It highlights the lighter side of marriage and how not everyone has to deal with an evil mother-in-law or phupo ki beti who wants to steal your man.
The six-episode series explores the newly married lives of Zain and Aiza, a couple who live by themselves in an apartment in Karachi by choice.
According to Teeli, millennial representation in Pakistani dramas lacks authenticity. "Our content on television is still trapped between the themes of domestic abuse, unhappy marriages and toxic family members. With Just Married, we want to tell refreshing stories of young love and healthy relationships," the company said.
In Just Married the problems the couple faces are common ones — fighting over losing your keys, not being Instagram perfect, nosy neighbours and prioritising promotions over babies. The series also allows characters to have hobbies (Zain's figurine collection) and shows us the mundane side of being married.
“All of our creative decisions were guided by one decisive aim — to explore very basic nuances in the lives of modern, married couples in Pakistan," director Muhammad Murtaza Alizai explained before the series launched. "Their everyday problems can be as simple as spending hours searching for the right Netflix show, running into an annoying chatty neighbor or just dealing with your significant other’s annoying snoring habit."
I believe we have managed to successfully piece together a very refreshing, relatable and a young take on life after marriage in Pakistan, he added.
The writer of Just Married, Gul Zaib Shakeel, touched on the importance of stories to break the depressing and damaging clutter of problematic dramas on TV. “Writing Just Married was an opportunity to show a lighthearted romance between a married couple, something almost never witnessed on traditional TV," he explained.
"Writing relatable and cute moments was quite a fun experience because a lot of it is sourced from real life people," said Shakeel, who is also the general manager of Teeli. "The most insane conversations took place when I asked married people what's the weirdest, funniest or most awkward question they have been asked. All of that culminated in the characters of the annoying neighbours the protagonists have!"
Most people are enjoying the show's fresh take on marriage.
"I wish our TV channels [made] such fresh stuff. This one is refreshing," commented one user on the YouTube video.
Others are able to relate to Aiza and Zain.
"They have told the reality of social media. Every time putting fake pictures are not necessary [sic]," commented one person on YouTube.
"Very good, very interesting and AAA+ category instead of TV channel dramas, 90% dramas are not for our youth... this is good," wrote another user.
Of course Baby Yoda (or Chishti Saab) was a fan favourite.
The final episode of the series airs today (February 12) and the rest of the episodes are available on YouTube.