TV Chief Osama El-Sheikh was arrested and recently convicted of squandering LE 20 million in the acquisition of privately produced TV series and programs that were screened on national television. Numerous anchormen and women, who were seen as symbols of the old regime, were booted from their daily talk shows only to pop up again on newly established private channels. The nation’s trust in Egyptian media faltered, again.
TV writers and directors seemed to be stuck in a rut, mostly because so many shows had to be postponed due to issues related to the revolution. Adel Imam was forced to save his TV comeback Ferqit Nagy Atallah (Nagy Atallah’s Troupe) for another day after criticizing the revolution and irking fans. Yehia El-Fakharany had to postpone Bawaqi Saleh (Saleh’s Remains) when it became impossible for him and his crew to film in Arab countries due to region-wide instability.
What was left was more of the same in terms of television series. A few concepts adapted from classic Egyptian films here and a few biographies there. This year featured the Carol Samaha’s portrayal of beloved Lebanese singer Sabah. Interestingly, it was the women who were the predominant protagonists in 2011, with Hanan Turk starring in Nona El-Maazona (Nona The Matchmaker) and Somaya El-Khashab in both Keid El-Nessa (Women’s Tricks) and Lahzet Milad (The Moment of Birth).
With the nation high on post-revolution drama, series featuring corrupt businessmen, especially those related to politicians of the old regime, were main attractions in 2011’s Ramadan lineup. Nour El-Sherif returned in the third installment of El-Daly, whose writers claimed the series was banned from being aired in 2010 because it reflected real-life politicians of the old regime. Citizen X was a nod to the story of Khaled Said, the popular icon of the January 25 Revolution.
It’s amazing that anything managed to air at all this year, and despite the thin lineup, there were some noteworthy standouts. Egypt Today brings you our list of the best series of the year.
Directed by Osman Abou-
Laban and Mohamed Bekeir
Starring Youssef El-Sherif, Mahmoud Abdel-Moghny and Rasha Mahdy
Ahmed Kassem (El-Sherif), nicknamed X, is killed in the first scenes of the show. A series of flashbacks takes the viewer on a journey leading to his murder.
Directed by Sherine Adel
Starring Khaled Saleh and Bassem Samra
The true story of businessman Ahmed El-Rayan (Saleh), the creator of one of Egypt’s most notorious pyramid schemes, which was based on Islamic banking principles.
Directed by Ahmed Abdel-Hamid
Starring Khaled El-Sawy and Ranya Farid Shawky
The show explores corruption in the healthcare industry. Dr. Soliman (El-Sawy), a renowned surgeon, faces cases of corruption at the hospital where he and his wife Dr. Shahinaz (Shawky) work.
EL-DALY, PART 3
Directed by Youssef Sharaf El-Deen
Starring Nour El-Sherif and Sawsan Badr
El-Daly (El-Sherif), a corrupt businessman, continues to eliminate his adversaries one by one in this third and final installment of the series.
DAWARAN SHUBRA (THE SHUBRA TURN)
Directed By Khaled El-Haggar
Starring Afaf Shoeib, Dalal Abdel-Aziz and Ahmed Azmy
This drama takes place in the old Cairo neighborhood of Shubra where Muslim and Coptic families live as neighbors. The series takes a hard look at the pertinent issue of religion and sociopolitical change.et