As our post-iftar headache subsided on this first evening of Ramadan, my wife and I decided to check out what’s on TV in Ramadan. One thing you need to know about me is that my average TV watching time is usually something like half an hour per month. I have not watched an arabic series since my teenage days. The last Arabic TV series I was marginally aware of was Nihayet Rajul Shuja3 (The End of a Brave Man).
Bab el 7ara is, of course, the opium of the Arab masses after the Arab-dubbed Turkish soap opera Muhannad and Noor ran out two days ago. So I switched onto MBC1 and, lo and behold, there was the opening sequence for Bab el 7ara III (Revenge of the Mutant Mustache).
It’s not just disgusting fake mustaches. This “series” has the works. Sweaty men’s faces. Female actresses drowning in greasy make up. Fake tears enough to irrigate your garden. Ridiculously over-emotional acting. Horribly bad lighting. Stupid camera work. Over -dramatic music. Fake sets. You name it, they’ve got it.
And oh.. the personalities: the over-inflated Arab ego, the machoism, the overt verbalization of inner thoughts (because the audience is too stupid, we have to shove every emotion down their throat and make sure they understand how the character feels).
This is hit TV material for today’s Arab world. The theme song, played over a horribly edited opening sequence crammed with shots and the names of all the people who worked on the show, promises the audience a feast of “valor” and “bravery” You know, all
the “good stuff” from the “good old days” when colonial France was still around in Damascus and when men where men etc, etc.
I couldn’t care less about the content of this show actually.
But it angers me that this is the quality of production that today’s Arab audiences are fed. The advertising that interrupts the show looks so slick and cinematic compared to the show primitive visual language and third rate school stage acting.
It’s seems we have not hit the cultural rock-bottom yet. Just put on the mustache and floodlight my face and take me on a trip to the good old neighborhood.
P.S: we switched to MBC and and actually enjoyed the lighthearted Kate and Leopold, a much better demonstration of old worldly valor and gentlemanliness. 100% mustache free.
Read these related posts on 360east:
- Got hit by the damn blog spammers!
- Win Nokia Nseries devices with Ikbis in Ramadan
- MixUp Arabia episode 7 | Oct 12, 2005 | The Ramadan Cast
- Ending my self-imposed blogging hiatus
- Please tell me who to vote for in the 5th district
Bookmark this post on your favorite bookmarking service