Pakistanis Want Their Trashy TV, Too

Imported soaps tap an audience yearning for social change

As the beautiful Nihal prepares to marry Behlul, there’s a glitch: Her gun-wielding stepmother declares undying love for the groom. Dangerous liaisons are at the heart of Ishq-e-Memnu, or Forbidden Love, a Turkish drama that was the biggest hit on Pakistani television this past winter. At its peak, the steamy story of a Turkish tycoon and his family was watched by a third of the country’s cable and satellite TV audience.

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