Alluring Morning Shows
Elaborately dressed women with coiffured hair, glamorously dressed showbiz personalities, beauticians, models, non-stop chatter, gossip, laughter and a sprinkling of tidbits about weight, beauty and food. Sounds familiar? These seem to be the ingredients of most morning shows these days in Pakistan. With a heady mix of glamour, gossip, controversy, spice and entertainment, it seems the morning show culture has caught on in drawing a vast audiences and making the female hosts almost into cult figures.
All the big names have jumped onto the bandwagon. Famous actors, including males, have turned into morning show anchors. These include Sanam Baloch, Savera Nadeem, Fahad Mustafa, Faisal Qureshi, Bushra Ansari, Nadia Khan and Sanum Jung, to name a few. But morning shows were not always for the glamour-addicted.
The shows used to offer fruitful information and some entertainment. The earliest morning show - Subuh Bakhair - way back in 1988 used to be live on PTV and was hosted by Mustansar Hussain Tarar for nearly seven years.
His prime audience consisted of children, with whom he interacted with intense affection. Subuh Bakhair was a rich source of information and knowledge for all sections of society, ranging from children, elders, women and art lovers. Now the focus of morning shows seems to have shifted. It is now primarily women who watch these shows while carrying out their household chores.
The morning shows promise to give a fresh start to the day with warm chemistry and addictive energy. They aim to provide a mix of entertainment and information to keep viewers informed, and empowered.
One channel claims its morning show enhances its viewers’ lives and inspires women through motivational messages, self-help tips and news packaged in an entertaining manner besides interviews, gossip and hot issues and audience interaction through interactive games/quiz segments, emails, live calls and SMS.
Because morning shows have such a large, loyal following of housewives, they are
attractive for advertisers selling goods and services to this segment. Morning shows are a good advertising platform for household goods.
For fashion designers, beauticians and jewellery-makers, morning shows are a good source of advertising. Women copy the jewellery and fashions the anchors and guests wear.
With all the major channels having morning shows with similar sounding names, competition has become fierce and entertainment draws viewership.
This is mostly in the form of glamour with increasing emphasis on beautifully attired celebrities discussing their lives, showing their homes and sharing experiences. Women viewers (and even men) call to ask them all kinds of questions. Some morning shows feature fashion shows or makeup and styling sessions. The increasing obsession with glamour and clothes has led to complaints that morning shows look more like fashion parades and publicity events and have become too extravagant, vulgar and competitive instead of entertaining. In their bid to be different, many anchors have even crossed the line between entertainment and controversy.
A hue and cry was raised over the extrav- agant weddings that were featured in certain morning shows complete with wedding joras, jewellery, makeup and hairstyles. The bubbly host is these shows seemed to have become the wedding planner, counsellor and organizer all rolled into one. There were complaints that in a country like Pakistan, where many people cannot afford to eat three times a day, the shows added insult to injury by showing expensive designerwear. Some shows featured exotic dishes just to be different while people wondered what was the point of all this.
Other shows dwelt on bizarre topics such as black magic and spirits. One anchor, Maya Khan of Samaa TV, made headlines for her famous raid in a park where she supposedly caught a couple out on a date. She caused a further stir on social networks by admitting that the couple were actors paid by the channel. Nadia Khan, got into trouble for openly discussing actress Noor’s divorce case while it was in court and wasn’t allowed to be discussed. Shaista Wahidi was hosting the morning show ‘Utho Jago Pakistan’ on Geo. The show was suspended in 2014 by the channel after alleged blasphemy during the show and she left Pakistan fearing for her safety.
Morning shows have also been criticized for being too vulgar. One host was shown dancing in front of a religious figure. Others have been found at fault for openly discussing private affairs such as a celebrity’s pregnancy or extra-marital affairs. There are still people who describe morning shows as being empty and lacking in meaningful discussion.
Although all morning shows feature chatty hosts, there are some that are different and more sober. These shows discuss serious topics and are above celebrity glamour, inviting serious individuals and professionals. Dawn TV does some of its morning shows outdoors. The Bushra Ansari show on Geo had serious themes and featured famous personalities. Aamir Liaquat on Geo or Aniq Ahmed on Dunya News also do not have the bubbly glitz of the normal morning show.
You are what your morning show is. It can start with an effervescent host, a sparkling star or with mind-numbing chatter. Depends on how you want to start your morning.
The morning shows promise to give a fresh start to the day with warm chemistry and addictive energy. They aim to provide a mix of entertainment and information to keep viewers informed and empowered.