Coming-of-age Pakistani teenage web-series Midsummer Chaos started on 12th June on YouTube after facing series of delays. Reportedly it was supposed to be aired in March but got shelved due to some creative differences between production and actors. The series had to be reshot with new actors as previous ones left the project as it was not in line with their personal beliefs. At least 90% of the series was again recorded.
It is directed by young Ahmed Sarym for young people of Pakistan who do not find much representation on cinema and TV. Online streaming platforms like Netflix are full of teenage shows like Sex Education that perfectly represent western teen life and its perils. Pakistani teens never got to relate with local content of such nature which depicts their life as well.
The mini-series is an effort from the production team to surprise all those guys and gals who needed their story to be told on large screens. The series received little recognition, but the actual target audience it tried to represent was not sure about this project.
What is Midsummer Chaos All about?
The story of Midsummer Chaos is set in Islamabad and revolves around teenagers who have recently finished school and summer shenanigans before college. The show promises to give an authentic account of the life of Gen Z in Pakistan.
The first 14-minute episode showed the kind of issues the series will discuss. There was some partying, smoking, drinking, relationship problems, and fight. It immediately got the attention of social media but only to get criticized. Most of the viewers opined that the characters failed to connect with the audience even though some popular names were among them.
Who is Playing the main Characters?
The cast includes famous TikToker Mustafa Babar, the superstar from critically acclaimed Churails Meher Bano, and model Mamia Shajafar. The others in the show are fairly new faces like Momina Duraid’s son Shahzayn Duraid, Zainab Ejaz, Shameen Tariq, Kamila Aazeen, Nael Aamir, and Zaina Waraich.
The show will consist of 5 episodes that will air each Sunday on Sarym’s YouTube channel, Qissa Nagri. The channel is known for paying tribute to the deceased model Zara Abid with a beautiful short film Sikka.
How’s the Reaction Been?
The story, characters, concept, and acting did not sit well with the audience. Even the target audience was not sure if they were being represented. Some teenagers felt that they were still being excluded because it was not easy for them to just up and go to a party. There are series of challenges they have to face before planning to hang out with their friends. Most teenagers do not find permission from their parents to visit parties. They have to make up different stories or sneak out to avoid parental scolding and keep things cool at home.
The majority of youngsters in Pakistan face different kinds of challenges than the series depicted. One of the greatest struggles for a normal Pakistani teen is probably getting through exams instead of leading a luxurious life. In that essence, some viewers felt glad to be not born in rich households.
Some of the viewers felt that the show somewhat portrayed exactly the right kind of rich kids. They felt that Midsummer Chaos might not be for them but it might be for elite families. According to them, rich teenagers are spoiled and delusional, limited to the confines of their own bubbles. Therefore, they may come off as annoying to other people who have been leading a completely different life. The show may have reminded once again how the elite society remained ignorant of real-world problems.