After 24 and Homeland, its Tyrant for producer Howard Gordon. Undoubtedly, the Arab world has become a hot topic not just for the media, but also for TV series producers looking for a lucrative yet engaging plot, with a message. Only this time, the show runners have created a fictitious country of Abbudin, with a history and political scenario much like any Arab country that you may come across in your newspaper’s headlines.
Bassam ‘Barry’ Al Fayeed (Adam Rayner) is the son of the leader/dictator/king/president (phew!) of Abbudin. However, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife and family, due to ‘issues’ with his father for almost two decades. Seems like daddy issues don’t just mess up hot strippers and bottle blonds! Anyhow, his nephew’s wedding beckons, and Barry takes a much detested trip back home on the insistence of his wife and son, and much to the chagrin of his daughter. Everything isn’t hunky-dory back home, protests and attacks are rampant, even threatening his nephew’s wedding. Things take a turn for the worst when… wait, no spoilers!
Tyrant seems legitimate enough, with the dusky and sandy streets of Abbudin, and you constantly have that prickly feeling at the back of your neck and in the bottom of your stomach that things are going to turn nasty soon. The show runners obviously want to keep away from naming names and at the same time be as accurate as possible, taking cues from past and current global events.
The only issue I had was with the costumes and the lack of ethnic wear, even during the wedding. Having been brought up in the Middle East I know for a fact that they would not constantly wear tuxedoes and gowns, at least not to a royal wedding; that’s just not how they roll, honey!
Tyrant is a far cry from Homeland, with the obvious glamour and fictitious settings. I am not completely sold on the show after viewing the premier, let’s wait and watch.