Ramadan 2017 series - File Photo
CAIRO - 29 June 2017: After the first part published yesterday, we continue looking back at the 20 high and low points of Ramadan 2017 series and offer you our opinion on what was a success and what was a complete and utter flop.
11- Tamer Habib should stop adapting novels or other foreign drama plots and write his own material and preferably something new and different to his usual emotional over stretched love stories and human relationship. It is time for a change and new ideas.
12- There seems to be a new trend this year of an age censorship warning before the start of each episode in almost all of the drama series, this might be a good thing as it warns adults about letting the younger audience tune in. But it is a new feature that the Arab viewers are not used to, since Ramadan is traditionally a family month and as a family sit and watch TV, though this seems a thing of the past and contrary to MBC channel’s slogan ‘Ramadan Unite us’ it actually divides us.
13- The older generation of actors have proven this Ramadan that real talent never fades away regardless of the role’s capacity. Nabil al-Halafawy was beyond description as the loving and principled father in Le Aala Sear who struggles in a world that is far from the world he once knew and his resistance to maintain the old and beautiful music without it being ‘polluted’ by the new wave of street music. Halafawy was probably the best actor in Le Aala Sear and the most positive thing that comes out of it. Mona Wassif was another great figure in a galaxy of stars in al-Haybeh she brought back memories of her best work as she represented the real Arab mothers; strong, protective and always abides by customs and traditions. She is the ultimate matriarchal figure which was so beautifully captured in the last episode as she in the absence of her sons takes charge and leads the women in the house to protect their home, as each one takes up a rifle to confront the aggressor. Ragaa el-Geddawi is another star who demonstrated her great acting as the warmth of Amina’s family in Halawet al-Dunia was generated by Geddawi's brilliant portrayal as the typical caring and soft grandmother who often added a much needed humour in the drama series.
14- Zeina in Le Aala Seaar was so convincing in her role as the bitter back stabbing friend that the audience hated her and most of the social media posts were poking fun or anger at her, which is a clear sign of her great acting ability and a good change of direction for Zeina as it stopped her from being stuck in one type of role like her co-star Nelly Karim.
15 – There was no real serving of comedy series this Ramadan, Donia Samir Ghanim failed to repeat the success of last year’s Nelly and Sherihan and some viewers complained that most of the jokes that were being used in La La Land were derogatory as they poked fun at people’s weight and physical appearance. Ahmed Maki’s Khalasana bi Sheaka also proved to be a flop and attracted a minimal amount of the wider audience. Maybe Maki and Donia should return to working together as they were far more successful as a team.
16 – Nadine Nassib Njeim (Al-Heaba), Sheren Reda. Mai Al-Gheti (in La Tutfe al-Shams), Hanan Motawea (Hatha Al-Masa, Halawet Al-Dunia) were the only stars that stood out in their perspective work. Yet Sherin Reda deserves a special mention as she portrayed a role that is quite complex her behaviour is alien to our culture and tradition yet you feel close to her and can see the good that is within her, she was definitely one of my favourite characters.
17 – The biggest flops or disappointments for me were; La Tutfe Al-Shams as Tamer Habib destroyed one of Egypt’s best loved novel with his own version, which makes us wonder why Habib did not just give it another title if he was planning to change it completely. Hani Adel was a big let-down as I expected his choices to be far more appropriate to the stage he has reached in his career although I have to admit he was much better in Hatha Al-Masa as the hypocrite TV presenter that preaches something to his audience yet in his private life he is the opposite; the audience could easily relate to his character as he represented a realistic portrayal of so many TV personalities. Ahmed Fahmi is another major disappointment, considering his talent and ability I was expecting a strong performance from Fahmi, but his role was rather passive and was merely there to support Nelly Kareem and Zeina. But the number one award for biggest failure has to go to Mervat Amin who could not perform a single convincing scene as a mother, at certain stages I felt she was chosen merely because she comes across as a upper middle class woman with her beautiful and youthful appearance although personally think that Anoushka could have outdone Amin in that role and is far more suited to it.
18 – Last Ramadan the theme of most of the dramas were crime and mystery, but the good thing about this year is the mix of series that were on offer, each tackling a different issue, whether it was the danger of modern technology, cancer and its impact, dysfunctional family relationship, love and traditional mafia like customs, action, social issues, betrayal etc there was something for everyone and even if you hated everything there has to be one thing that satisfied your taste.
19 – Some of the series were daring in introducing taboo or not often discussed issues such as homosexuality in La Tutfe Al-Shams, domestic violence/abuse that happens to educated middle class girls (Hatha Al-Massa) the danger of trusting someone with a personal video or photo or even just keeping it saved on your phone device. All these issues were a great step forward in bringing these topics into a wider and open arena where a discussion will be generated rather than just brushed aside.
20 – In the past drama series relied on old methods of marketing such as street posters or TV trailer, but this year the drama series that seemed to have performed best in the TV ratings are the ones that used social media to their advantages as stars such as Ahmed Dawood, Dhaffer L'Abidine, Hend Sabri, Ayad Nassar, Arwa Gooda, Ahmed Fahmi, Nelly Kareem, Zeina, Taim Hassan, Nadine Nassib Njeim and others posted daily photos to keep viewers interested and to lure new ones as well as doing live videos on Instagram to give the audience that closer feel to the cast and crew. Social
media is the new and more powerful not to mention cost cutting marketing tool.