As the current world crisis drives the whole world into self-isolation and quarantine mode, television is becoming, now more than ever, an outlet for many to hold on to their sanity and curb their anxieties as they scramble to make sense of the current global pandemic. Luckily, in a world oversaturated with television dramas and films, viewers are at no loss when it comes to content to binge-watch. This is no different with Ramadan right around the corner, and with part of the holy month’s list of traditions being to keep up with one or two series to help fasters through their hunger pangs and as of late, to distract them, if only for a few hours a day, from the constant stream of pandemic-related news. This year, the holy month promises a cinematic cornucopia of series and shows to pick from. That’s not limited to the genre either, as this year’s roster of action series is on point with everything from storylines set in the far future to thrillers to heroes chasing trails to find their beloved. As the Ramadan series race begins, families find themselves torn between which series that deserves this their unwavering attention. Here are the 4 action series to binge on this Ramadan for those who haven’t made up their minds yet.
‘El Futuwa’, a series that explores the outdated culture of Futuwas, takes place in a period of time when Cairo was known as ‘Al Mahroussa; that is, between the 1870s and the 1880s. Deep within the maze of alleys in one of Cairo’s many districts is born Hassan El Gebali (played by Yasser Galal), son of the futuwa of the ‘Gamaleya’ district. Said to have 7 lives due to his near brushes with death and subsequent survival, El Gebali was thought to be stillborn by his midwife when he was born. Taking his first breath just as those around him were about to brush him off as dead, El Gebali keeps coming up against death triumphant. El Gebali goes on to grow into a healthy adult who inherits his father’s copper shop when he passes away. Eventually becoming the district’s hooded hero under the guise of ‘El Futuwa Al Molassam’, the series’ protagonist goes on to stand up for the underdog and fend for the victimized and the defenseless. Meanwhile, the district of ‘El Madbah’ witnesses a reign of injustices and corruption doled out by its respective Futuwa (mafioso) ‘Sayeed El Laban’. El Gebali’s own district is run by Futuwa Saber Abu El Shedeed and his wicked son, Azmi. The series follows El Gamaleya’s hooded guardian of justice, El Gebali as he tries to restore order against the propagation of corruption and brutality - all while remaining anonymous. The series explores the archaic culture of futuwas - which is the antiquated version of mafiosos - in Egypt and their proliferation of injustice, as they hold the full reign of power within their respective districts. El Gebali is the paradigm of justice and honor, constantly standing up against corruption whereas the notion of injustice is personified within the characters of Sayeed El Laban, and Azmi, Abu El Shedeed’s son. The viewers follow El Gebali’s journey as they witness the pressing circumstances that galvanize the birth of a hero, and his journey throughout the thorns of villainy.
Featuring an impressive cast including Hassan El Raddad, Basma and Hanna Sheeha, ‘Shahid Ayan’ is the action series set to keep viewers on the edge of their seats this Ramadan. Played by famed Egyptian actor, Hassan El Raddad, Amr is a police officer who runs an investigation into the mysterious disappearance of his wife. Despite evidence pointing to her death, Amr opts to trust his gut and continue to pursue his mission. ‘Shahid Ayan’ follows Amr as he finds evidence and clues pertaining to his wife’s disappearance and the events that lead up to a dramatic interaction set to change the course of his life. Sacrificing everything to fulfill his national duty, Amr even ends up bringing down a terrorist operation throughout the series.
Starring Youssef El Sherif, El Nehaya is a series set in the year 2120 when technological advancements have reached a height in their progression. The series follows a technology engineer played by Youssef El Sherif, who ends up obsessed with the negative effects of the fast-paced growth of technology on humanity. In a world where robots and humans have become indistinguishable, El Sherif’s character ends up hating technology and attempts to put a halt to its accelerated development. His actions thus lead him into a series of complicated situations - one of which ends up being an encounter with his robotic clone.
Being one of the most anticipated series this Ramadan, El Prince is the second collaboration between famed Egyptian actor, Mohamed Ramadan, and director, Mohammed Samy - with their first alliance having garnered wide success in the 2016 series, ‘El Ostoura’.
El Prince follows Mohamed Ramadan’s character, Radwan, who works as a mechanic alongside his father in an auto-workshop. Upon his father’s death, Radwan inherits most of his belongings. This, however, doesn’t sit well with his siblings who have long since gone off to pursue their dream careers. A whirlwind of drama follows with Ramadan being falsely accused and thrown in jail. But not before vowing vengeance on those who put him there. While it’s still unclear how he plans to exact revenge, it’s safe to assume - being that it is Mohammed Ramadan, after all - that it’ll probably be with his fists….or maybe he’s had a lobotomy this Ramadan and has decided to use his words instead; in which case, we apologize for categorizing El Prince as an action series.
While the jury is still out on whether El Prince is more of a drama or an action series, any die-hard Mohammed Ramadan fan knows that where there’s Mohammed, action most certainly ensues. While we may not be able to guarantee a full-blown action series, if we’ve learned anything from our past Mohamed Ramadan-binge sessions, it’s that it’s probably safe to assume that there will be at least one scene where the action star takes off his shirt - as one inevitably does in a fight - to beat up a group of men single-handedly thus exacting his revenge on all those who have ever wronged him.
Tune into all these exciting new series during Ramada by subscribing to Sling TV Arabic, sling.com/arabictv.