Midsummer Chaos is back with a second season and even more drama. The teen drama sensation that had everyone talking — but not always in a good way — is going to release on September 9 on the Qissa Nagri YouTube channel.
According to the synopsis for the show, the second season follows the “life-altering events of young adults in the city of Lahore as they dabble with their morality, family secrets, friendships and love, all whilst coming of age”.
Images spoke to director and writer Ahmed Sarym about the show and why he’s making season two.
“I didn’t intend on making a sequel at all. I had in fact started writing a completely different script and was focussing on college, but when I moved to Lahore last year, I came across the most talented writer/musician, Ayesha Naveed. Her and I formed a friendship where we’d spend hours just writing. One fine day, we were simply discussing what Midsummer Chaos characters would look like had they been Lahoris, and before we knew it, we were done writing the pilot episode,” he explained.
“I think why I went ahead with producing and directing it is that I genuinely felt like this was a story I wanted to tell. By the end of the writing process, I was in love with the characters, all their flaws and nuances, which I think Ayesha wrote really well. I was also just really on-board with the idea of establishing Midsummer as an anthology series.”
To say that the response to Midsummer Chaos was mixed would be an understatement. There were jokes, memes and some rather mean things said about the cast and makers of the show on social media. The young director is now taking all of it in his stride.
“I was scared to say the least, the first season had a very emotionally taxing toll on me, and the entire team. People on the internet can be extremely cruel, but I feel like in retrospect, two years after the release of the first, I’m older, hopefully wiser and have simply decided to take it in my stride,” said Sarym. “Season one placed so many of us on the map; Khushhal, Maham Shahid (Meesni and Jhok Sarkar). Pick it apart or enjoy it, it gives us what we need to keep creating better art.”
And that art is now set in Lahore. The first season of the show was based in Islamabad, exploring the lives of a group of teenagers the summer before they head off to college. But it’s not just the city that’s different — it’s everything, according to Sarym.
There’s a new city, a new story, new characters and an entirely new cast.
“We’ve shot it in Lahore, keeping in mind how important the city’s backdrop is to the story. Technically, a lot of advancements, which I hope are reflective in the show. I learnt a lot about where I went wrong with season one and have tried to apply those learnings here, if only the audience watches it with a clear head,” he said, laughingly.
“It’s set in a different city because it’s an anthology. Casting was an interesting process because I wanted fresh, new faces that looked the part, could sound the part and also feel for the part, the way Ayesha and I would. We had an open casting call and I was also reaching out to actors I thought fit the part, everyone that eventually made the cut read through the script with us and here we are today, launching a new cast that I have put all my faith in,” said the director.
The new cast features Mustafa Taifoor as Alti, Meher Hasan as Ayra, Shameen Tariq as Noor, Haider Abbas as Dayaan and Azariah Naseeb as Zerlina.