Barry Al-Fayeed has been living in the United States for twenty years, during which time he got married to Molly Olson, and had two children (Sammy and Emma), with both Molly and he working as physicians, Barry as a pediatrician, in Pasadena. This life belies the fact that at age sixteen, he, under his given name Bassam, escaped his family life in the middle eastern country of Abuddin, where the Al-Fayeeds have been the dictatorial rulers for generations, normally of violent and repressive regimes which he could not morally tolerate. He has not been back to Abuddin since. On the urging of his mother, Barry decides to go back to Abuddin with Molly and family in tow. He may find that leaving Abuddin this second time around is more difficult as he gets ensconced in the troubles the Al-Fayeeds are facing in general in continuing to rule the country as a repressive dictatorship. The longer Barry stays, the more it in turn affects the only life of democratic freedom Molly, Sammy and Emma ... Written by
During a November 2016 New York Times showrunner roundtable focused on TV's depiction of Muslim characters, Howard Gordon expressed regret for the fact that many of the Arab characters in "Tyrant," including the lead, were not played by actors of Arab descent: "I did a show called 'Tyrant,' one I was not running, but kind of wound up running. The lead was sort of the Arab Godfather, except the family business happened to be the military dictatorship of this country. So, right away, the tone of the show is up for grabs. It was at some level ambitious but ill-conceived, and we wound up casting, in the end, a Brit, who had not a drop of [Arab descent]....A white guy....Why we didn't find someone [else], I don't know why. I will call it my inattention, and somehow this happened, and I knew, at some visceral level, this is going to be, among the many challenges, perhaps the greatest challenge." See more »
I'm impressed with the courage it took to put this on TV. This is not an easy subject to cover and the honesty it is dealt with says a lot about the willingness of the entire crew to take risks.
The acting is superb and everyone gives their character the exact nuance required to convey the sliminess, brutality, tortured indecision, suffering, or shallowness required.
I never thought I'd see such depth and truth portrayed on a mere TV series. The people who put this on have guts and I'm impressed. I will continue to watch for as long as the producers, directors and actors are willing to avoid shallowness or cave to "political correctness."
I'm not a big fan of sex, nudity, or brutality on TV but this story could not be properly told without representing the characters as they really are.
Congratulations! And I'll be praying for you.
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