‘Must Watch’ Series for Ramadan 2015
One of the most eagerly anticipated events of each year is the roll out of Ramadan series for the season. All of our favorite stars have been working long and gruelling schedules to make sure that this year’s offerings not only match, but exceed the drama and humor that kept us riveted to our screens last year. Cairo West Magazine has compiled some of this season’s must-sees!
El Ahd(The Pledge)
Director KhaledMaraie has been busy shooting his new television series Al Ahd (The Pledge), in which he collaborates with writer Mohamed Amin Rady for the third time. Following hot on the heels of El SabaaWasaya (The Seven Commandments) the new series El Ahd is already predicted to be a hit of the season.
Producer Tarek El Ganainy got to work early on this star-studded production, to avoid pressure as the 19th of June launch date draws closer. The cast includes big names like Ghada Adel, ShereenReda, AsserYassin, Hana Shiha, Arwa Gouda and KendaAloush.
CWM: Shereen, what can you tell us about your role in El Ahd?
SR: Working on El Ahd is quite different from some other roles I have played. We are a big cast and we know each other well; we have a nice social time off the set! When I’m filming, I’m carrying that character around with me all the time, even off camera. But Goma, the person I play in El Ahd, is not a heavy load. Without giving anything away I can also tell you she is not what she first appears to be!
CWM: Asser, what can audiences expect from El Ahd?
AY: The secret to a successful drama series is that all the different elements must be well-placed; every aspect, from the direction to the editing, cinematography, music, costumes and so on. This series is quite innovative in that it’s historical but not set in a specific time in history, and it’s in modern dialect, so it’s very accessible. It has a large cast of stars, plus the individuals that go to create the whole are outstanding, such as great cinematographer Ahmed Youssef. It just feels like it’s the right combination of talent.
CWM: Hana, how different is your coming Ramadan series, The Pledge (Al Ahd), from last year’s series El SabaaWasaya?
HS: In many ways it’s completely different. To begin with, whereas El SabaaWasaya was a contemporary story set in a very real place – the lower class areas of Cairo – Al Ahd takes place in a parallel world of un-named location, and at an indeterminate time. The costuming though is kind of ethnic 19th century. In the story, I play one of several main characters, part of a family dynasty, fighting for supremacy over three lands.
The series is produced by TVision, and heralds a major development in Egyptian TV drama as it will contain a lot of graphics to create the fantasy world, sort of along the lines of Lord of the Rings. We’ve filmed in lots of different locations, including Siwa, Wahat, Fayoum, and they have even created an entire village set from scratch in Mansouria.
I co-star with more than ten other actors including Arwa Gouda, Ghada Adel and Asser Yassin, and the script-writer Mohamed Amin Rady (he also did NiraanSadiqa or ‘Friendly Fire’) is actually the same as for El SabaaWasaya. He has a slightly controversial way of working with actors, using complex storylines with multiple characters.
Al Sa’look(The Bum)
An action-packed mix of comedy and drama, Al Sa’look promises to keep viewers glued to their screens. With a star-studded cast, including Khaled El Sawy, Hassan Hosny, HishamAbdallaand SabryAbdelmonem, director Ahmad Saleh looks to have turned out a series to remember.
Director Islam Khairy has created a social drama that is sure to become a ‘must watch’ this Ramadan. Starring the ever-popular GhadaAbdelrazek, supported by Ahmed Hatem, Ahmad Rateb and KarimQassem, the plot centers around a woman living in a slum who owns a garbage dumpster inside the alley where she lives. But her neighbors hate her and how her job affects them, so they get into a series of fierce disputes.
Hawari Bucharest (The Alleys of Bucharest)
Partly filmed in visually stunning locations like Prague and Bucharest, Hawari Bucharest will be a treat to watch, quite apart from the gripping storyline. With big-name stars like Amir Karara, OlaGhanem, Ahmad Salaama and RashaMahdy, director Mohammed Bakir has put together a drama with enough action and suspense to keep viewers waiting for each episode. The plot? SayedGadallah is a professional boxer living in a poor town. He gets forced to fight battles to save his brothers’ lives, and eventually gets in seemingly endless trouble.
OstazwaRa’eesQesm(Professor and A Head of Department)
If you are looking for comedy and a tongue-in-cheek peek at situations that arise in Egyptian life, then once again Adel Imam will be delivering a daily dose of laughter for Ramadan viewers. Supporting stars Nagwa Ibrahim, Ahmad Bedear and Ezzat Abo Ouf are a perfect foil for his antics, so it looks as though this clever series, directed by WaelEhsan will capture its fair share of fans this Ramadan.
What to expect? Adel Imam plays the character of a leftist college professor teaching at the Faculty of Agriculture, who is constantly angry about Egypt’s political situation before the 2011 uprising. His wife is unable to have children. He joins the January uprising in 2011 while leaving his wife, and eventually is granted a position in the new government. From then on, he starts a new chapter of his life, full of surprises.
Taht El-Saytara(Under Control)
Everyone has been looking forward to having the lovely Nelly Karim grace the screen again this Ramadan, and one of her ‘not-to-be-missed’ series is Taht El-Saytara. Written by Mariam Naoom, and directed by Tamer Mohsen (who keeps rolling out cinematic hits like Ot w Far), this drama series also stars Hany Adel, Mohamed Farrag and the good-looking Tunisian actor DhafferL’abidine. No plot give-aways here, why spoil the excitement and suspense?
Tareeqy( My Road)
Tamer Habib spoke to Cairo West Magazine about his upcoming Ramadan series Tareeqy, starring lead singer Sherine Abdel Wahab. “It is a musical drama, first of a kind in a long time. There are 12 songs and the looks are from the 60’s and 70’s. It is the life story of a girl who dreams to be a singer, with suffering and the emotional drama along the way.”
Directed by Mohamed Shaker, the series also stars SawsanBadr, BasselKhayyat and Ahmed Fahmy.
Zarf Aswad( Black Envelope)
Guaranteed to keep us all on the edge of our seats, night after night, this mystery series offers thrills galore. The big-name cast of stars includes Amr Youssef, Dorra, Salah Abdallah, andMahmoud El Bezawy. Director Ahmed Medhat co-wrote the script, and from looking at his past work we can expect a gripping plot from beginning to end.
Adding to the great choice of action viewing this Ramadan, this crime drama touches on a hot topic. Ahmed El Sakka stars alongside Arwa Gouda, and the series is co-directed by Ahmed Shafik and Emad El Gazwy. Without giving too much away, Khaled, the owner of a big import/export business, gets in trouble when his son gets kidnapped by an organ trafficking organization. Joined by his wife, he travels to search for his son, and decides to infiltrate the criminal organization by working with them. Eventually, he faces several surprises involving his closest friends.