Written by – Ola Oreiba
Hello everyone! Welcome to this special Cairo-related column; Cairo’s Eye Corner. I’ll be taking you on a biweekly tour of our grand city called Cairo giving you my view of what Cairo is all about and discussing its vast array of topics and issues that we face on a daily basis.
Since we’ve said our goodbyes to this year’s Holy month of Ramadan a couple of days ago –I hope you all had a wonderful Ramadan and Eid by the way- I thought we should take a look back at this year’s Ramadan highlights; aka TV.
To be honest with all of you, I’m not a TV person at all, whether in Ramadan or in any other time of the year. And since I am a demanding girl who’s quite difficult to be amazed/amused (and with basically nothing to do in Ramadan giving the circumstances), very few stuff captured my attention and the rest was either never heard about or just doesn’t deserve my attention, with all due respect to both of course.
Now, I hereby present you my very own Ramadan TV Awards. *YAAAAY* *APPLAUSE*
Best TV Series:
Esm Mo’aqat (Temporary Name): It kept me engaged all the way with not a single boring episode and it surprised me quite a lot and always left me wanting for more. It’s such another level of story presentation and direction that I have to say, brilliant, quite futuristic and sophisticated. I have to say the ending didn’t meet the expectations of some; they can’t be blamed though, it left the audience with tons of questions that will remain unanswered. However, who doesn’t love an open ending? Chapeau!
El Da’eya (The Preacher): Another win in this category. Although, it wasn’t really a personal favorite of mine, it was -in my opinion- a perfect fiction; meaning, yes, it’s a story that can by no means occur in our real life but it still presented real characters with so real emotions that you could actually feel them all around you such as redemption and regret, standing up for what’s right and admitting one’s faults and trying to correct them. They overdid the romance part a bit, but overall I think it covered the whole issue of using religion for political purposes and wins well without crossing the line or being biased. The dual end letting evil have the upper hand once and then the one in which the good wins over the evil was really dramatic; with the subliminal message to the people to choose their fate and help the good within them defeat everything else and rise. Epic!
Worst TV Series:
Hekayet Hayah (Hayah’s Story): Yes, I know a lot of people watch it and adore it but I didn’t like it because of how the story seems to just ruin the idea of the family or in other words, present a very bad example of family that couldn’t, despite all the changes introduced to the familial structure, exist no matter what in our society. Seriously, the amount of evilness in it is literally indescribable. I know we’re not living in utopia here but still, this is so unreal in an unacceptable way. Another thing is the quality of Hekayet Hayah’s scenario, which is way too disgraceful and condescending that couldn’t be the kind of conversation in a TV series that almost the whole family could be watching. One more thing, Ghada Abdel Razik, stop it with the-wonder-woman-3rd-millienium’s-Nadia-El-Guindy, please! Need I say more? YES!, The ending; damaged and despite having the element of surprise, it was annoying and infuriating, I mean, what was with all the sympathy that whoever watched the series had for Hayah when she was the lunatic all along?? One last thing, Tarek Lotfy’s ridiculous laughing all the time and he’s not even high. *sigh*
El Shakk (Doubt): I don’t like it for the same reasons I mentioned regarding Hekayet Hayah. It just destroys the image of the family or –not to sound too dramatic- portrays a very wrong image of how a family should and how its members interact with one another. I know there could be some complications inside one family but come on people! I bet the devil was clapping all the way through both shows when he saw the amount of evilness played out here! The ending was realistic, I was glad Waseela was stripped of all the money, and it showed how she didn’t change inspite of all what happened and that she was still greedy and necessarily evil.
El Kebir Awy: For the third time this Ramadan, back with Hazal’oum, a great sense of humor, a set of catch-phrases that will be added to our dictionaries and more space for each character to make us laugh even more, plus The infamous HARLEM SHAKE *mazareeta style*. I love you Ahmed Mekki!
El Ragol El ‘Enaab: The Trio Ahmed Fahmy, Chico and Hisham Maged -or popularly known as; Samir w Shahir w Bahir respectively- are just LOL!! The show, jokes and performance are epically funny.
Best TV Intro/Song:
- I know a lot of people love Masha’er (Feelings), the theme song of Hekayet Hayah performed by Sherine Abdel Wahab, but I didn’t like the lyrics at all. Kind of reminded me of Ehab Tawfik’s songs, only at a slower tempo. It didn’t touch me, I’m so sorry!
- El Da’eya scores again with both intro and outro! Epic lyrics, epic music and Amaal Maher’s great voice.
- Bint Esmaha Zat (A Girl Called Zat) has a melody that is such a beauty; it transfers you to another world and another time instantly.
Series Worth Watching:
These are series that I haven’t watched at all but I’ve heard great reviews from almost everyone who watched them:
- Moga Harrah (Heat Wave) starring Eyad Nassar,
- Niraan Sadiqa (Friendly Fires) starring Amr Youssef and Menna Shalaby,
- And El ‘Araaf (The Fortune Teller) starring Adel Emam.
And now on with the TV Shows! *applause*
- The ATM prank on El Kahera Wel Nas channel takes home the Best Prank Show Award. Well, it wasn’t actually a show. It was some kind of filler that aired between programs where the credit card gets stuck inside the ATM and the machine starts talking, hitting on girls sometimes and provoking everyone likewise. I laughed my ass off to it.
- Ramez ‘Ankh Amoun takes away the Worst Prank Show Award. *censored content* .. That’s it!
- I think both Khawater (Thoughts) and Khotowaat El Shaytaan (Devil Steps) are worthy of receiving the award for Best Religious TV Shows this Ramadan. If you watched any of them –and hopefully both- then you’ve experienced a great deal of knowledge and greatness of Islam. If you didn’t watch any of them, then you’ve missed an AWFUL LOT!!
- La Sosta deserves the award for Best Talk Show. The idea is unique and funny, although slightly crossing the line sometimes –if you know what I mean- but quite entertaining nevertheless.
- Waseem Hodhod is the Worst Talk Show this Ramadan. It’s not even a talk show and I couldn’t even categorize it. I think he should go back to Abu Hafiza. It’s bullshit –my apologies.
- Finally, Amrika Bel ‘Araby (America in Arabic) by Bassem Youssef is a show that didn’t get the attention it really deserved. A lot of people did watch it but a lot still didn’t. It is definitely unique and one of a kind and it’s Bassem Youssef and his crew along many notable Egyptians from a variety of professions and backgrounds living in Egypt or the US. It’s a perspective. If you didn’t watch it, please do!
Last but not least AT ALL; ladies and gentlemen…THE Ads!!!
Who nailed it?
- PEPSI: WOW! It was the perfect hit, targeting the childhood and youth of most of our generation; utterly nostalgic!
- Etisalat’s creative Egyptians ad: such a brilliant ad. It put a smile on my face on a personal level. I loved it.
- Universal: Ahmed Ezz was very funny. Each ad was funnier than the previous one and each time they left us wanting more.
A Good Ad?
Vodafone’s “Share” song by Mohamed Mounir: Despite the fact that he says “sheer”, the song is really good and touching. Overall, it was ok.
Who missed it?
Mobinil, Coca-Cola and El Bank El-Ahly (National Bank of Egypt). They all made very successful ads last year so naturally, people were expecting something better this year. The Mobinil song was real good but last year’s was definitely a hit and the Kareem Abdelaziz ads were boring. Same was the case with Coca-cola’s song. Lastly, the phone cash ads weren’t funny or catchy at all like their last year’s campaign.
Birell’s Horoscope ads: Again adding to the “Estargel” (man-up) motto, this year it was a comparison between the characteristics of males and females according to horoscopes. It was fun and as is always the case with Birell, some people fell in love while others puked.
Well, the competition here was in fact fierce. I couldn’t pick one as an ultimate winner for this award. In fact, I picked 5! -Yes, 5 indeed! They are –with no particular order:
- Cottonil: I still can’t get past the idea of advertising for basic underwear. Why? Do people really need an introduction to such product?
- Egy Telecom ads: Zaatak? Ahramaatak? Hamada?
- Zigo chips, stop making ads, please, I beg you!!
- Mirinda Fun Mix: the music gets on my nerves so much I want to kill someone every time I hear it!
- And last but NEVER LEAST; Demo Biscuits. It may be the worst ad of all time.
I guess that’s technically all. I tried to cover almost everything that I managed to watch or hear about. Please feel free to disagree with me as the opinions mentioned above are strictly my own, so I’d love to know your feedback through the comments or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
See you later!