Written by Ola Oreiba 

أهلا بكم في برنامج البرنامج...
أهلا بكم في برنامج البرنامج…

Hi Everyone! I hope you missed me because it’s been a while and I really missed you guys! Cairo is still the same; crowded and under curfew, yet a lot cooler than before to be honest. Last Friday was no ordinary one though, curfew at 7; check, empty streets; check, some protests here and there; check. So what’s different, I say?! The first episode of the new season of Bassem Youssef’s El Bernameg aired on CBC at 10pm, and that was something! I thought I should share with you my take on the episode since it’s what everyone’s doing on social media since Friday night anyway.

Frankly, there wasn’t that much of a stir until a little before the show as far as twitter was concerned but then, there were all kinds of expectations, longing, judgment, rumors and criticism; typical Egyptians. I undoubtedly know that the stats of watching CBC that night went through the roof starting 9:50 pm, along with muting Khairy Ramadan until pre-El Bernameg’s infamous set of endless TV ads started showing up on the screen. I’m not going to fuss on the details of the episode since I know everyone watched it that night and thanks to YouTube, they must’ve memorized it by now.

I certainly loved it. It was really brilliant and if anyone should be taking credit for this brilliance, it would be the amazing team of writers behind this show. I thought the jokes were placed in the right situations and weren’t overdone or overrated. Despite the prominently exaggerated sexual connotations, it was still great all over. It also reflected the amount of effort put into something to finally appear so simple and quite easily done to reach the greatest amount of people so easily. Although, I must point out that Bassem Youssef still targets a certain class of the Egyptian society, a class that has a certain educational and social background, at least to get the sarcasm and the message behind them. Now speaking of the message, I think Bassem Youssef waited long enough for the tides to calm down so that he can strike his opinion freely and with all the attention drawn to him. It was important for everyone to know where he placed his beliefs and what his opinions were regarding all what’s been happening in Egypt during the past few months and in my opinion, at least he’s stated his stands clearly and they make sense to me, and it’s also what a large group of the people in Egypt believe in, fair enough.

As always, the episode stirred a controversy that could not be ignored –although naturally I did at first! The new thing this time was those who opposed joking about the army and El-Sisi so while they’re at it; I’d like to point out the fact that those people were the ones mocked by Bassem not the army nor El-Sisi himself *sigh*. Anyway, it’s what we always do and what it will always be, even if there are a lot who didn’t like it or some who decided to boycott watching CBC, there were also a lot who liked it and loved it.

So whether you agree with Bassem or not, and whatever your political stands or basic sense of human rights are, we cannot deny El Bernameg’s crew of credit they deserve for this season’s awesome start and great laughs. I was left with even higher expectations and looking forward for what’s next, hungrier for more.

What do you think of the episode?

Tell us your opinion via comments or email us on [email protected] and share with us your take on El Bernameg’s first episode.