13 items from 2015
“Tyrant’s” bid to win TV’s equivalent of “Most Improved Player” honors ultimately fell short, as the second season’s finishing kick slipped back into some of the quicksand that made the first disappointing. Interesting and provocative in its willingness to tackle the unsettled nature of the Middle East through the prism of a fictional country, the series completely transformed its protagonist but couldn’t effectively deal with why, after all he’s endured, he and his family wouldn’t just head home as fast as humanly possible. Nor did a cliffhanger ending do much to stoke enthusiasm for a return engagement.
The stilted dynamics of the central family were clearly the weakest part of season one, in which U.S. pediatrician Barry Al-Fayeed (Adam Rayner) returned to his homeland of Abbudin to attend the wedding of his nephew. Once there, all hell broke loose, as Barry’s strongman father died suddenly, »
- Brian Lowry
The Montreal-based company has closed key sales on Hany Abu-Assad’s drama on the eve of its world premiere in Toronto.
The Idol has sold to Tfi in France, Koch in Germany, Umbrella in Australia, PVR in India, California Filmes in Latin America, New Select in Japan, Beijing Xiangjiang YiHua Films in China, Edko in Hong Kong, Spring International in Taiwan and Red Pictures in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
Deals have also closed in Benelux (September Films), Switzerland (Praesens), Hungary (Mtva), South Africa (Times Media), Portugal (Outsider Films), former Yugoslavia (Discovery Films), Romania (Independenta), South Korea (Kaon Contents & Media) and airlines (Captive).
Seville International parent company eOne will distribute directly in Spain, while Mbc will co-produce The Idol and handle the release in the Middle East and North Africa through its 03 production arm.
The film is based on the true story of Arab Idol 2013 winner Mohammad Assaf, who made it from his home in Gaza to the »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Seville International has sold Hany Abu-Assad’s singing drama “The Idol” in more than 20 markets ahead of its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The movie is based on the story of Mohammad Assaf, the 2013 winner of “Arab Idol,” who managed to leave Gaza and make it to the Cairo auditions of the most popular talent show in the region.
The film is written by Abu-Assad and Sameh Zoabi. Ali Jaafar and Amira Diab are producing.
Sales include France (TF1), Germany (Koch), Switzerland (Praesens), Benelux (September Films), Japan (New Select), Hungary (Mtva), Australia (Umbrella), Latin America (California Filmes), South Africa (Times Media »
- Dave McNary
eOne’s art-house sales arm Seville International has secured several deals on Hany Abu-Assad’s Toronto-bound The Idol.
Sales include France (TF1), Germany (Koch), Switzerland (Praesens), Benelux (September Films), Japan (New Select), Hungary (Mtva), Australia (Umbrella), Latin America (California Filmes), South Africa (Times Media), China (Beijing Xiangjiang YiHua Films), Portugal (Outsider Films), Hong Kong (Edko), India (PVR), Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore (Red Pictures), Taiwan (Spring International), Former Yugoslavia (Discovery Films), Romania (Independenta), South Korea (Kaon Contents & Media) and Airlines (Captive).
eOne will directly release the film in Spain.
Co-producers Mbc will handle the Middle East and North Africa release through its 03 production arm.
The Idol is written by Assad with Sameh Zoabi. Ali Jaafar and Amira Diab produce.
The film is produced in association with the Doha Film institute and the »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
The Collider Weekly TV Guide is a rundown of notable episodes, premieres, returns, finales, and opportunities to catch up on great shows (or cast an eye to the occasional TV train wreck). Check out our picks for the week of Monday, July 13th: 7/13 The Whispers, "Whatever It Takes" (ABC, 10 p.m.) - This mysterious, intermittently tense series continues with Wes (Barry Sloane) and the President (Martin Cummins) discussing the fate of the rock, while members of the President's family are targeted. The weirdness continues! [caption id="attachment_468739" align="alignright" width="350"] Image via Lifetime[/caption] UnReal, "Savior" (Lifetime, 10 p.m.) - The cast and crew must come to terms with some hard truths in the wake of an on-set tragedy in the latest episode of Lifetime's single legitimate program. 7/14 Tyrant, "A Viper in the Palace" (FX, 10 p.m.) - FX's slightly underrated political melodrama continues to chart the converse lives of the two scion's of Abbudin's late, »
- Chris Cabin
Last year, Tyrant didn't bring in very good ratings but the FX execs decided to give it more time and renewed the show for a second season. Will the numbers get better in season two? How long will the cable channel remain patient if they don't? Will the drama be cancelled or renewed for a third season? Stay tuned.
Tyrant revolves around the youngest son of a dictator who returns to his war-torn country in the Middle-East with his American family. This season, the drama's cast includes Adam Rayner, Jennifer Finnigan, Ashraf Barhom, Moran Atias, Alice Krige, Alexander Karim, Cameron Gharaee, and Sybilla Deen.
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The biggest criticism of Tyrant's first season was the casting of Adam Rayner, a quite white British actor, in the role of Bassam Al-Fayeed, the Americanized, self-banished scion of President Al-Fayeed (Nasser Faris), the ruler of the fictional Middle-Eastern nation of Abbudin. Not only did Rayner's ... let's call it "pretty" appearance highlight the show's more irksome and flat melodramatic passages, but next to the Galilee-born Ashraf Barhom, who plays Bassam's wildly sadistic, power-obsessed brother Jamal, blue-eyed Rayner seemed simply not to belong in the frame with actors who, for lack of a better phrase, look the part. There's a part of me, however, that has always suspected that this casting was less the work of opportunistic producers who were scared to put anyone but a white male in the lead, and more an expressionistic touch, a way of palpably underlining Bassam's inherent Western attitude and philosophies amidst a world bent on strict traditionalism, »
- Chris Cabin
VideosWatch the Trailer for Tyrant Season 2
As Season 1 drew to a close, Barry conspired with the U.S. government to stage a coup and thus keep his wicked brother Jamal (Ashraf Barhom) out of power. That… didn’t go so well. Instead, Jamal got wind of the plot and had his bro arrested, and now must decide whether or not to proceed with an execution.
In the above »
The quagmire of the Middle East appeared to engulf the first season of “Tyrant,” an FX drama that dropped an expatriate and his absurdly dense American family into the turmoil of his fictional native country. The new episodes, however, reflect a fairly impressive turnaround, significantly diminishing, if not wholly expunging, much of the stupidity, while echoing real-life events in provocative ways. Still not a great show, this project from Gideon Raff and Howard Gordon suddenly exhibits the potential to become a fairly entertaining one, with the disclaimer that the terrain still contains an abundance of storytelling sand traps.
Lest anyone forget the events of season one, pediatrician Barry Al-Fayeed (Adam Rayner) returned to his birthplace of Abbudin for a family wedding, bringing along his wife (Jennifer Finnegan) and two clueless children (Noah Silver, Anne Winters), who were apparently raised without the benefit of books or cable news. When Barry’s father, »
- Brian Lowry
Three episodes were provided for reviewing purposes prior to broadcast.
If there was anything you could say about Tyrant‘s freshman season, it’s that as a show on a basic cable network, is was pretty unique. Set in the fictional foreign country of Abbudin, the show followed Bassam “Barry” Al-Fayeed (Adam Rayner) and his quest back home after twenty years absent – in which he turned into a crunchy granola suburban dad with a wife and two kids – and his subsequent attempts to keep his hotheaded brother Jamal (Ashraf Barhom) from descending Abbudin into chaos.
It was topical and interesting and a slight slow-burn, all the ingredients for good grown-up entertainment, but iffy writing and poor pacing made it ring constantly hollow. Its best, most interesting storylines either going nowhere – Barry’s son Sammy (Noah Silver) and his fling with family bodyguard Abdul – or dragging out far too long for even a 10-episode season. »
- Mitchel Broussard
FX is one network that understands how to tell savory meaty family-centric yarns that build each season with more intrigue as new characters are woven in. In the case of Gideon Raff’s “Tyrant,” we have a layered, life and death drama that has one fictional Middle-eastern country caught in the balance in a compelling whip-smart game of chess between two brothers. Fox may have showstopper Cookie in their “Empire,” but FX has Ashraf Barhom as Jamal Al-Fayeed, the most watchable villain since “Dallas” baddie Jr Ewing. “Tyrant” is the story of the son (Bassam/Barry) of a Middle Eastern ruler who […] »
- April Neale
I'll be quite honest: Tyrant being renewed for a second season was a huge surprise. Critically, it wasn't a hit (I gave up after about 4 episodes), but most viewers who started it did mostly stick with it, as ratings remained incredibly consistent. It's that consistency that FX is looking to hold onto with the series, which also suffered from early creative conflicts (including Ang Lee leaving the project, followed by the departure of Homeland's Gideon Raff, although Howard Gordon remained) that left it without a clear tone (at least to start). Sometimes it was decidedly lackluster, sometimes it was offensive, sometimes it was soapy, and sometimes its conflicting accents were just confusing. But if FX has faith in it, maybe it's time for the Tyrant lost to find it again. Judging from the Season 2 trailer, it shouldn't be too hard to pick up. The coup orchestrated by Barry Al-Fayeed »
- Allison Keene
Jamal (Ashraf Barhom) seeks the help of Ziad (Amir Boutrous) in finding the traitors trying to overthrow him in our exclusive clip from Tyrant: The Complete First Season, which is currently available on DVD from Fox Home Entertainment. We reported in September that FX has renewed Tyrant for Season 2, with the 13-episode season slated to debut sometime this summer. If you haven't caught up with this riveting drama from the producers of Homeland quite yet, you have plenty of time to watch Season 1 on DVD before the new episodes debut.
The series centers on Barry Al-Fayeed (Adam Rayner), whose western views are pitted against his brother Jamal's wife, Leila (Moran Atias), who wants her husband to rule with an iron fist. As a national political crisis threatens to explode, Barry finds himself torn between the seductive lure of absolute power and sympathy for his country's courageous freedom fighters. Jennifer Finnigan, »
13 items from 2015
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