Tere Bin’s fiasco has audiences up in arms with its recent episode leaving us more confused than ever, we list down potential lessons.
Audiences had been in distress, shock, and confusion feeling betrayed by the impending possible risk of the social and moral demise of their favorite hero, Murtasim. Tere Bin fans, audiences, and reviewers have been in a state of disbelief at the promo last week and the entire country invested in one drama!
Over the course of the few days, we have seen an uproar, Twitter trends targeting the makers, and conversations of utter disappointment. What we waited next for was the actual episode – which in itself was the addition to our confusion. And now what entails is a storm of memes and misery at the makers’ attempts to soothe audiences. The tweets and reviews show the audiences had figured it out already and can’t be fooled. Though we are relieved, they too audience sentiments into account and edited out the (alleged) Marital Rape scene.
But what now? Ask Drama viewers. Are there any takeaways from this entire Tere Bin Encounters of The 46th Episode Kind?
Well, post the fiasco of the said episode(s), there might be some integral lessons to be learned for makers, audiences, and writers:
1. Sensationalism Is Irresponsible
It’s 2023 and we are definitely more aware of our rights, and social and moral ethics and can identify what kind of content is responsible and what is clearly not. Dramas bear a great responsibility when they present their content, content that subliminally conditions the younger generations and their mindsets, content that creates conversations and impacts human behaviour.
As per the earlier promo, Tere Bin took Murtasim’s character to great heights and then sent him crashing to the ground (hard) in one go – but then, subsequently, showing he was apologetic and regretful. When a hero as loved and as stable as Murtasim is shown to lose his cool and attempt marital rape in a fit of rage, later feeling guilt-ridden and deeply penitent – it might be showing younger minds how this behaviour is supposed to be normal, how one can be the very personification of loving, supportive and protective and when or if provoked it’s normal to go ahead (in a state of fury) with an action as intolerable as marital rape.
Legitimately speaking, a character who would act in such a manner would not be painted as a romantic hero, it would only make sense if he were to be a negative character or to have defined negative streaks from the get-go. Something in his past would have pointed to this departure from civil behavior. To the contrary, Murtasim was known to have uttered (when he slapped Meerub) that he had never ever physically abused a woman before.
Fans have pointed out that the show merely set out to glorify Murtasim’s flaws and that’s highly irresponsible storytelling. The mere fact that there was suggested marital rape in the promo was enough to figure out the rest of the plot.
It must be highlighted that despite the fact that the team (allegedly) edited out the Marital rape narrative in the subsequent episode, the conversations among fans around Murtasim & Meerab’s characters have been extremely damaging and alarming after the airing of episode 46 and episode 47 promo. Due to the huge fan following Murtasim commands online, fans kept finding excuses for Murtasim’s deed (if he had committed an assault on Meerub) and also blamed Meerub’s character for spitting and slapping her male lead – actions which led him to (allegedly) commit assault.
2. Team Work Makes The Dream Work
Blaming one person to take the brunt of the entire fiasco is unfair. Twitter has been and is still seeing a plethora of tweets attacking solely the writer with how terribly she ruined the characters, criticizing her writing, and how she only bothered to glorify Murtasim. HOWEVER, we must understand that one person alone from the entire team can’t take the fall. The drama has been produced with an entire content team at its helm – writers, directors, producers, and actors. All of them were and should have been aware of the script and can share their input, contribute and point out possible errors. All of them have the ability to raise a concern, object and if not yet aware – they can be made to.
So criticizing the writer to take the brunt is perhaps a tad unfair, propagating hate towards one person. One person taking the fall doesn’t relieve the others of the responsibility. Perhaps an entire team with ‘seasons’ of experience behind them wasn’t able to gauge the consequences. So, going forward – before having to sink in deep waters with public uproars – writers, production houses and actors can be more careful and perhaps even run the content by a sample viewer base.
3. We Need More Than A Clumsy Save
Many audiences, while they appreciate the effort, believe episode 47 was a clumsy cover-up attempt. Perhaps delaying the episode by a week or so and implementing a new track might have made for a more plausible narrative.
The respect shown to distressed viewers and taking public opinion into consideration must be noted as a first, but it goes without saying that shifting the entire blame on Meerab being so weak-willed and unable to control herself was painstakingly hilarious for many viewers to stomach. The subsequent story seems fragmented – a simple owning up to the lack of sensitivity shown onscreen and an apology would be enough while in the meantime, focusing on a more believable and plausible storyline could have helped save the day!
4. Stigmatising Halal Physical Relationships
In a senseless attempt to bring the situation under control, we were presented with an incredulous story line of the main leads having consensual sex yet devastated, as if it was a tragedy for a married couple. In a society, where even the conversation around a wife and husband showing affection is taboo, are we are further stigmatising halal physical relationships?
5. Distorting What Independence For Females Is
Which brings us to our next point, “Wo nahi rok saki, tou mai rok leta” – did Meerab just lose all her will and gave in, in a moment of anger, right after slapping (and spitting on) Murtasim? A bit difficult to digest….all the brunt was borne by Meerab’s character.
This is not the independence we seek or Meerab set out to seek in the beginning – this is not what freedom for women entails. As long as an act is consensual, it has nothing to do with losing your independence. A woman’s independence was to be able to be given a right to choose, right to take on a career and right to marriage. It seems Meerab has herself, at this point forgotten the meaning of her independence. Also, slapping and spitting at your husband or anyone, for that matter, does not represent freedom and should not have been depicted as a way to vent, especially by a female lead who was painted as educated and hailing from a refined upbringing.
6. Moments like the present often end up righting wrongs
Some instances help set a precedence and present a wakeup call of doing more, taking more responsibility, more opinions on sensitive matters. Topics such as the ‘Me Too’ movement, marital rape, abuse, right to divorce, assault on women are very sensitive issues that have created global impact and awareness. Therefore production houses, writers, directors and actors need to be aware and create content that is responsible, rightly vetted by influencers as well as experts who can provide their counselling on social issues that might need a sensitive representation.