Next Best Thing???

Hi people! How are you liking the rain? Hopefully not feeling under the weather? I’m feeling cold, cold, cold. Just want to drink hot tea all day long and curl under my blankets… and so shall thy poverty come upon thee. Hahahaha! Definitely not sleeping my way to poverty. But remember at the beginning of the year when it was sooooo hot and everyone was practically screaming for rain. And now the rains are here, and we’re all singing “Rain. Rain. Go away.” Humans. There’s just no pleasing us.

But on the plus side, we get to talk about the thing we love the most; the movies*wide smile* Today I thought we take a look at the next best thing since ice cream. Lol! Just kidding. More like the next best series since “Game of Thrones.” And that series would be “Tyrant.” Not by my postulation (before some people demand my head for saying so) just echoing some peoples’ sentiments.

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Tyrant is an American drama television series created by director and writer Gideon Raff and developed by Howard Gordon and Craig Wright. The first season of Tyrant consisting of 10 episodes premiered on American cable network FX on June 24, 2014 and ended on August 26, 2014.  FX then went on to renew Tyrant for a second season which premiered on June 16, 2015, and ended September 1, 2015. On October 8, 2015, the network renewed the series for a third season, which premiered on July 6, 2016.

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Tyrant takes us on a journey to the troubled Middle Eastern fictional country of Abuddin. Bassam “Barry” the younger of two sons, of the infamous Abuddin tyrant ruler “Al-Fayeed”, who has been running from his past for 20 years, is a pediatrician living in the United States, with an American wife, a son and a daughter. When he is reluctantly compelled to return to his home country, for his nephew’s wedding, he’s caught in a political crisis when his father passes away in the midst of growing popular revolution against the ruling family. Bassam attempts to use his influence to guide the new President, his brutal and unstable older brother Jamal, to a political solution that will avert a bloody conflict.

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The show was initially filmed throughout many cities in Israel (such as Kfar SabaPetach Tikva, and Tel Aviv) and Morocco, but because of the ongoing violence between Hamas and Israel, FX has moved its production from Israel to IstanbulTurkey. The fictional Arab country of “Abuddin” is deliberately compiled out of mixed elements of a few different actual countries, in order to not appear to simulate a particular nation or situation.

The producers of the series have also said that no particular sects or clans will be named while relating details. Executive producer Howard Gordon stated, “We do want to stay away from reality and yet hew to it as long as it sort of feels emotionally correct and culturally correct. I think we’re going to try to stay away from names as much as possible.” I feel you guys. Wouldn’t want an extremist sending a “care package” your way too. Season 3 episodes were filmed in Budapest, Hungary.

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Tyrant received mixed reviews. On Metacritic, the show holds a score of 54 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews”. On Rotten Tomatoes, the show has a rating of 60%, based on 47 reviews, with an above average score of 6.2 out of 10. The consensus on the site reads: “Realizing a uniquely vital representation of life in the Middle East, Tyrant mostly thrives as a biting family drama set against immersive scenery”.

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Critics labeled the show “boring and messy.” And also criticized the show’s depiction of the Middle East and the lead actor Adam Rayner for his portrayal of Bassam Al-Fayeed calling it “lackluster, bland and lacking in charisma”. The show’s depiction of Jamal Al Fayeed as a rapist was also criticized with accusations of using Jamal’s sexual assaults to add “edge” and “atmosphere” to the show.  VanDerWerff also agreed that the sexual assaults were used as plot devices and added that the scenes “leave a bad taste in the mouth“.

Some reviews were however positive. Melissa Maerz at Entertainment Weekly gave the show a B-, enjoying it, but admitting that the show could use some work. At The Arizona Republic, Randy Cordova wrote that the first season “was one of the most overheated programs on TV, in the best sense of the word.” He also praised Barhom’s work, saying the actor overshadowed Rayner: “Through his layered performance, Barhom brings a smoldering intensity to the role and practically drips with testosterone.” 

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While I agree that “Tyrant” is entertaining enough, I wouldn’t go as far as comparing it with “Game Of Thrones”. Wonder why anyone would think that to start with. Hmm… see any similarities from the pix. Perhaps because the show also has propensity to “kill off its cast” like “Game of Thrones”. But that aside, Tyrant lacks the “superb plot, master storytelling nuances and unforgettable characterization of Game Of Thrones”. The show’s good enough but it definitely needs work especially in characterization and plot. I couldn’t find one character to adore (Jon Snow) or hate immensely (Joffrey Baratheon) on Tyrant. Here I go again with the character thing. Can’t help it. Characters give life to stories!

This is where I sign off today. Be sure to catch a glimpse the series “Tyrant”. Keep living the good life guys. Love y’all. Adieu!

 

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    matthew afolabi
    August 30, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Season 1 and 2 of tyrant was awesome and spellbinding but season 3 does lack some of those nail biting moments. The only high point for me so far (after 8 episodes in season 3) was the killing of Bassam’s daughter. But, honestly I must say watching the next episode always gives me that fear of what will happen or might happen next. Game of thrones though is on a different solar system on its own.
    I still prefer Bassan when he was the rebel leader fighting the Caliphate than Basan the president.

  • Reply
    Neca Ugochukwu-Onyeka
    August 31, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Tyrant is so boring I cant even watch past the first episode.

  • Reply
    decityshelters
    September 19, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Thank God Tyrant has been canceled.

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