After a year, the reigning queen of dramas Saba Qamar is back, this time with ‘Cheekh.’ She’s affirmed it’s her hardest role to date, and it took an emotional toll on her even more so than ‘Baaghi’ did. While at first glance, the episode was at most mediocre, with the usual trope of a montage of character introduction in subtle filmy ways, the build-up and the shocking ending gave hope.
The drama hosts an ensemble cast of Saba Qamar, Azekah Daniel, Bilal Abbas Khan, Aijaz Aslam, and Emaad Irfani, and while it felt like I was watching ‘Balaa’ for a few scenes (considering Bilal and Ushna are in that too), the character introduction was well paced. Haya (Azekah Daniel), Mannat (Saba Qamar) and Nayab, (who is from a lower middle class) (Ushna Shah) are best friends. Mannat is outspoken, fearless and comical. Nayab is far more reserved while Haya is mature and nonchalant. ow, before we dive further, let’s introduce the boys; Haya has three brothers – Yawar (Aijaz), Shayan (Emaad) and Wajih (Bilal)
Next, up, the talented Bilal Abbas Khan enters, and we see him interact with Nayab whose incredibly nervous around him. It’s endearing, and also absolutely unfathomable to see two actors in such different roles (in comparison to ‘Balaa’). Mannat is the life of the party – we transition into Haya’s engagement party which becomes the premise for the rest of the episode. Mannat is your regular ‘Emma’ (if you’ve ever read Jane Austen) – she’s trying to convince Wajih to marry Nayab after she sees a little flicker between them. It’s a light affair thus far, and we’re wondering when the more harrowing nature of the promos we’ve been shown will churn up. A more serious twist emerges when we see Nayab’s parents, who are a little more conservative than her friends’ are worried as to why she hasn’t returned. Nayab’s step-mother is instantly the antagonist, and we see how soft her father is after he is convinced to marry someone far older than her for money.
Mannat’s husband Shayan is in America, and we see their very comfortable relationship; and while she declares her authority and exudes such wonderful self-confidence, while she might seem a little arrogant – she’s far from it. She takes care of Nayab like a sibling and promises her she will get her married to make her life more at ease.
Yawar is a stern man, but also a very kind character; he orders that no female housekeepers will go give food to the male help to protect their dignity; he said they are also someone’s daughters – bravo to such a swift but very powerful scene where we saw a little taste of his personality.
At Haya’s next function, Wajih couldn’t stoop admiring Nayab, and it was a beautiful little moment – but it was all cut short when one of his friends arrived drunk. Nayab is visibly disturbed by what her father asked of her and stepped inside the house for a little breather from all the commotion. Wajih’s sends his friend to go inside for the alcohol to wear off where he notices Nayab. A few seconds later, Nayab falls off the first floor of the balcony.
Fans have been praising the first episode
#Cheekh first episode was excellent ! Gripping and fast paced; all actors are very good and the narrative is set, however i am HOPING it doesnt become preachy and the moral lessons stay subtle.
— Fantasia. (@fantasia_iq) January 7, 2019
— Javeria (@javeria_16) January 6, 2019
— Faqiha Rabbani (@faqiha10) January 7, 2019
— Alia Khan (@itsalia_khan) January 7, 2019
#CHEEKH our new #addiction we #love the #first #episode so much and @s_qamarzaman @bilalabbas_khan and all over the cast so much into there characters and the ending of the first… https://t.co/5DB4pfpeW4
— Alia Khan (@itsalia_khan) January 7, 2019
Saba Qamar’s level of swag tho 😭😭❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
— AsfiYa (@AsfiYaHum) January 7, 2019
This drama serial ‘Cheekh’ on ARY digital is going to be another massive hit after ‘Ab dekh Khuda kya kerta hai’ after all, Saba Qamar is here after a long time.
— فاطمہ (@iFatimaAlAsadi) January 6, 2019
It’s awesome really loved its first episode excited for the next episode….😍😍😍😍
— Ayesha Khan (@AyeshaK50530652) January 6, 2019
So happy with the positive feedback for @bilalabbas_khan This love is long over due! His hard work is paying off. Last year he was brutally ignored by all major award ceremonies! Love of the audience matters and its pouring in abundance ❤️#cheekh #sabaqamar #bilalabbas
— Wajih Slays in ‘Cheekh’ (@BilalAbbas24x7) January 6, 2019
Just wow performance congratulations to the entire cast and crew 👏🏻 #Cheekh
— Ghayoor Hussain (@Ghayoor_choco) January 6, 2019
Just clocked #Cheekh first epi and Saba Qamar👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼😂😂😂❤❤
Wajih why u gotta be evil for 😭💔
is this show like a murder mystery?🤔
— lish (@folishba) January 6, 2019
#cheekh is a little typical and pretty depressing. not sure if i have the stomach to watch it. Saba Qamar, as always, is brilliant though.
— Mahwash Ajaz (@mahwashajaz_) January 6, 2019
The promo of the second episode looks terrifying and starkly different in tone, manner, and vibe. We’re looking forward to it. Have you seen the first episode of ‘Cheekh?’ What did you think?