Ramadan-a-rama: TV dramas show off the good, the bad, and the oh so cheesy
It would not be a proper Ramadan without the pileup of cheesy TV series that have nothing to do with the intended spirituality of the holy month. Last Ramadan one of the programmes revolved around a polygamous man with four wives, and there was a scene where he hit them. Social services? Police? Anyone?
This year the line-up includes a series on a belly dancer, a depressed aristocrat and a professional swindler. Cue insanely loud and obnoxious music.
Starring Adel Imam, known for his sleazy movies, over the top performances and huge accompanying cast. In the past, Adel Imam’s nonchalant acting made for interesting subjects and hilarious performances, but as his fame grew, his movies and series became less substantial and depended on slapstick comedy.
For the second year he is doing a Ramadan series, this time called The Oracle. Sadly, the events do not include flying bats and crystal balls. The show instead tells the story of a professional crook who climbs the slippery stairway of political life to become one of the top leaders of the country. He is accompanied by actors Hussein Fahmy, Sherine, and Talaat Zakaria.
Ghada Abdel Razek, known for her controversial performances, entertained the fasting crowds Ramadan two years ago with a series called Zohra and her Five Husbands, in which the title character apparently married a lot, which somehow provided enough material for over 30 episodes.
This year she comes back with a love story between a depressed aristocrat and a businessman. She is joined with actors Ahmed Zaher, Razan Maghreby and Rogina.
In the sixties, Egyptian actress and icon Soaad Hosni starred in a film called The Second Wife, which told the story of a village mayor who covets his employee’s wife, makes him divorce her and then forcefully marries her.
The story has been adapted into a series and filling the shoes of Soaad Hosni is incapable actress Ayten Amer has been chosen. Amer, known for her stomach-turning roles is as far away from Hosni’s coquettish attitude as the recently demoted Pluto is from Mercury. She had been accused of spreading the hateful term ahbooshi, which is a strange concoction that means I don’t like it. The term has been used excessively on social media websites to express distaste.
Oh, jolly, a series that revolves around the marriage of young girls to much older men, or in modern terms: paedophilia. Salah El-Saadany plays the rural person who marries a young girl. Other actors in the series include Dalia El-Beheiry, Nihal Anbar and Yasser Galal.
Zaat – “Self”
The series traces the social and political changes in Egypt from the 1952 coup until modern times, and shows the effects of events on the Egyptian personality. The series is adapted from the novel by author Sonallah Ibrahim’s, who is known for his leftist thinking. The book was translated into English in 2004 by Anthony Calderbank. The cast of the series include Nelly Karim, Bassem Samra, and Hany Adel.
Actress Mona Zaki returns to your TV screen this Ramadan, portraying an artist who is involved in an accident and suffers from amnesia, which leads her to become a belly dancer. If you are a fan of shaking bodies and bouncing people then this is the series for you. Nothing says spirituality more than the inside of nightclubs.
Zaki is joined by Hany Adel, Maha Abou Auf and Bassem Samra.
Myrath al-rih – “The wind’s heritage”
History changed when Fifi Abdo and Somaya El-Khashab decided to join forces to present us with the ever-revolting series Keed Al-Nesa 2(Women’s Wrath 2). This year, Somaya is starring on her own in a series that recounts the story of a poor girl who marries a much older businessman. Girl? Somaya? Ok!
The cast includes Mahmoud Hemeida, Affaf Shoeib, Marwa Al-Khateeb and Bassem Ragab.
Meshwar far’on – “A Pharaoh’s path”
Yet another series about a businessman! Egyptian society is apparently obsessed with businessmen and their stories this year. Actor Khaled Saleh, who played one just last year, is returning to do the same thing all over again. While last year he lost all his money, this year he still has to make money as apparently he is starting from the ground up.
His co-stars are Jumana Murad and Ahmed Safwat.
Moga hara – “Heat wave”
Jordanian actor Iyad Nassar, who has garnered quite the female following during the past few years, is returning with a series that tells the story of the Al-Agaty family. He plays the role of a violent police officer, who is in the vice department and –lo and behold– suffers from a psychological complex. The year before last, Nassar played the role of a therapist, so it makes sense for him to play the role of the patient this time.
Nassar is joined by Rania Youssef, Hana Shiha and Medhat Saleh.
Nekdeb law aolna ma benhebesh- “We lie if we say we don’t love”
Previously called “We do not eat artichoke,” producers decided to change the name lest people think it’s about those who are allergic to artichokes. The new title is just as useless and confusing.
Actress Yousra plays a divorced woman who cares for three children and owns a small restaurant. She is depressed and saddened by the troubles around her, which include her ex-husband, neighbours and friends. In the meantime, she neglects her own needs. We don’t know about you, but we are at the edge of our seats. Oh, Lord, the drama!
Mostafa Fahmy, Ragaa Al-Gedary and Yara Jobran are among the cast.
By Thoraia Abou Bakr
Which Ramadan dramas do you think should have been cut from the lineup? Please share by commenting below.
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