Every year, the Egyptian population eagerly awaits the fresh multitude of star-studded TV shows that the Ramadan season has to offer; trying to figure out which ones they love and which ones they love to hate.
There are usually always the one or two shows that are actually good, and that the majority of people prefer watching religiously every night after Iftar (breaking fast), and then there are the ones that are okay to watch, and the ones that no one quite understands how or why they were even produced – or why they bother watching them, for that matter.
Perhaps not quite as star-studded as usual, this year’s Ramadan shows offer a wide range of fresh new talent, as well as a refreshingly light-hearted show leading the race, as opposed to the usual drama-turned-melodrama nature of most must-watch shows of previous years.
That being said, although there are quite a few shows worth checking out this year for one reason or another (including the fact that mostly everyone spends most of their time at home now in quarantine anyway), there are three shows in particular that seem to stand out amongst the rest.
B 100 Wesh (Multifaceted)
Director Kamla Abou Zekri strikes again with another leading Ramadan show. Starring Nelly Karim and Asser Yassin as two polar opposite – yet equally witty – mastermind thieves, B 100 Wesh (Multifaceted) has been leading the Ramadan series race this year, thanks to it’s wonderful cast and light-hearted nature.
This comedy series is about a group of outcast thieves who initially got together in order to plot to steal a dying millionaire’s inheritance. The group is made up of a wide range of characters who don’t quite seem to match well together, but who somehow manage to fit together like some sort of a mismatched puzzle.
From wonderfully constructed characters, to a well-written script in which the comedy seems to flow naturally rather than seeming to be forced or induced by the actors, this series offers audiences a much needed breather in the midst of its fellow drama-infused series – as well as during a Ramadan that is very different in nature to the usual (as a result of being quarantined and practicing self-isolation).
From the beloved space-headed Seba’i (Sherif El Dessouki) and the fun-loving Maggie (Ola Roshdy), to the ever-hopeful Radwa (Zeinab Ghareeb) and the delightfully distraught Naglaa’ (Donia Maher), this cast’s oddly fitting chemistry is unparalleled.
As every dramatic element seems to work well together and complement each other in this particular series – from the writing to the acting – B 100 Wesh (Multifaceted) is definitely a must watch this Ramadan.
Standout ‘Must Watch’ Aspect(s): Its lightheartedness and the chemistry between the characters
Standout Character(s): Naglaa’ (Donia Maher) and Seba’i (Sherif El Desouki)
Standout Dramatic Aspect: The writing
El Nehaya (The End)
Written and starring Youssef el Sherif, El Nehaya (The End) is a first-of-its-kind epic sci-fi tale set in the future (2120). Aside from the story that unfolds, the production of this particular series is what stands out the most.
The set, the special effects and the costumes are what steal the show when it comes to El Nehaya, as opposed to a riveting storyline. That’s not to say that the story is poor, on the contrary, although sharing some familiar qualities to most future-set epics, the series’ storyline has its own unique elements, is interesting and well-constructed.
The show revolves around the character Zain (El Sherif), who happens to be a gifted engineer trying to change the current world that he lives in – a world in which there is no education, and which is run by a single corporation that has monopolized every industry (EnergyCo). In this version of the future, the currency also happens to be energy.
The show itself has a variety of interesting elements, and even includes a few gripping twists and turns. When it comes to the cast, some characters are a hit and there are few that are a miss. The surrounding set however, accompanied by the thematic music that appears every so often, never fail to transport audiences to this post-apocalyptic world.
Standout ‘Must Watch’ Aspect(s): The production and sci-fi storyline
Standout Character(s): Zain (Youssef el Sherif) and Aziz (Amr Abdel Gelil)
Standout Dramatic Aspect: The costumes
El Ekhteyar (The Choice)
Based on true events surrounding the life of Egyptian army commander Ahmed el Mansy (commander of the Sa’ka (Thunderbolt) Forces), El Ekhteyar (The Choice) is worth watching as it is both well-made and introduces audiences to a human side of the army – the people behind the camouflage attire.
Starring Amir Karara as El Mansy, El Ekhteyar delves into the intricacies of army operations that took place in 2017, and those that led to the death of El Mansy during a terror attack in North Sinai. The show however, focuses mainly on telling the story of El Mansy – the family man, the human being.
Paying homage to this Egyptian army legend, as well as fellow martyrs, El Ekhteyar goes beyond showcasing army events, with a cast that seamlessly portrays the intimate relationships and family dynamics of these human beings.
The show is both interesting and gripping, and offers audiences a well structured storyline, as well as a new kind of perspective.
Standout ‘Must Watch’ Aspect: The new and human perspective the storyline offers
Standout Character(s): Ahmed el Mansy (Amir Karara) and some of the guest actors’s characters, such as Captain Fathi (Mohamed Adel Imam)
Standout Dramatic Aspect: The set