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Not the Hero They Want but the Hero We Need

Ms Marvel is a cinematic masterpiece in many ways. From the dynamic cinematography to the buzzing sets, the shows producers truly brought their A game. The series creates a story that most Pakistani kids have been starving for and it duly delivered it. The beauty of the series is that all South Asian kids can relate to Kamala's character. We identify with her struggles to find herself as she is under the careful watch of her strict parents. Especially girls can identify with the scene where Kamala gets told of by her mother when she sees her cosplay costume for being too revealing.

The true beauty of the show is that it remains true to the Pakistani identity especially that of immigrant Pakistanis who struggle to cope with the dueling identities they grow up with. The show does not offer a one sided view of Pakistanis rather they show a side that had often been ignored in cinema only to show the terrorist, militant Islamic portrayal that was a common perception among many. The series puts Pakistan on the map and not only that, it is laudable to see Pakistani actors getting a chance to show their acting prowess at an international level.


Yet while the show truly offers a great example of representation for South Asian females, the main audience that marvel caters to to is the middle aged white man as can be seen in the heteronormative superheroes that we all love and know like Captain America, Thor and Iron Man. So it is no surprise that such an incredibly diverse show only has a 6.6 rating on Rotten Tomatoes where reviewers call it childish and like an "Indian soap opera". So the question then arises that just because the majority of shows catered to patriarchal norms in the past and now there is a rise of movies that show different representation, why do the fan boys still believe that they are owed certain depictions of characters and storylines? Why cant shows be appreciated for their originality and plot instead of their relatability? There needs to be a growing understanding that not all shows or movies cater to all demographics rather that their beauty lies in the ability to show representation and stories that we didn't have access to.

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Iman Ahmad
Iman Ahmad
10. Dez. 2022

It was actually really disheartening to see how many big Marvel fans didn't even acknowledge the shows release just because it did not feature well known, white actors. I think this problem of representation persists in a lot of different types of media because the average consumer is so used to seeing white leads on screen that anything out of that realm is uncomfortable for them. For instance, a lot of people had problems with Ariel being black in the new live-action movie and Ariel's race has nothing to do with the plot of the movie. Moreso, a lot of fans were also angry when Hermione was played by a black lead in a broadway production -- if I remember…

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Something I loved about this show was the way they used desi songs such as Pasoori and Ritviz songs. It was quite refreshing to see a song on your playlist and in the show at the same time and made me feel very seen tbh. Apart from that I loved the fact that they actually shot some scenes in Karachi instead of creating a fake setup as most movies do. The show was very relatable and I think a lot of non Pakistanis also appreciated it a lot since it showed them a different culture. People across Twitter were very appreciative of the show when it came out!

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