Domestically produced television shows had waned in popularity in Iran due to strict censorship guidelines and the accessibility of satellite TV, which provided access to programs from diaspora media companies. This dynamic has changed in recent years due to the emergence of video rental services (شبکه ی پخش نمایش خانگی) that produce shows that would be deemed inappropriate for traditional broadcast TV. Iranians access these new shows through informal retail DVD sales and online streaming services.
The clip here and in the next lesson are from the popular series Shahrzad. Shahrzad owes its popularity to the well-known actors featured in the series and its setting in the aftermath of the 1953 coup against Mohammed Mossadeq, which allows for the depiction of political incidents that carry resonance in the present day, such as the house arrest of political leaders and the expulsion of politically active students from university.
The scene here shows Shahrzad speaking with her ex-husband Qobad. Shahrzad had been forced to marry Qobad because the man she loved, Farhad, was arrested by the Shah's regime and was due to be executed because of his involvement with the pro-Mossadeq movement.
Bozorg Aqa, a powerful underworld figure with political ties, agreed to help rescue Farhad only if Shahrzad agreed to become the second wife of Qobad, his nephew and heir. Qobad's first wife, Bozorg Aqa's daughter, was unable to conceive and Bozorq Aqa wanted to find a second wife for his nephew to produce a (male) heir for the following generation of the family. After Shahrzad gave birth to a boy, named Omid, through the forced union with Qobad, Bozorg Aqa forced the two to divorce and forbade Qobad from further contact with Shahrzad.
In this scene, Qobad is trying to reconcile with Shahrzad, contrary to the dictate of his father-in-law. Although their marriage was envisioned by Bozorg Aqa to be temporary and instrumental, Qobad wound up falling in love with Shahrzad, who is - as we see in the scene - less than eager to re-start a relationship with Qobad.
To Qobad's great annoyance, Shahrzad uses formal language as a distancing tactic throughout the conversation in this scene.