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 will go through a few points about various elements of the show.
Casting - It doesn't seem like anyone is out of place, but there were a few confusions about child versions of a few characters. One of the children looks nothing like the adult version of the character, I was confused and had to look up the cast. Other than that the cast is solid.
Writing - Generally well written with a few odd circumstances but nothing that cannot be explained later in the show. I am glad the writers were up to the task because the show is very dialogue based there isn't a lot of action but I was still pulled in episode after episode.
Acting - Adam Rayner is the main character is this show and as far as I know it's his first lead he has had for a major network. All I can say is that he is playing his role right. This can be said for the rest of the cast with a few exceptions. I cannot say too much without giving away spoilers but I have no complaints about the acting.
Set - Most of the show was filmed in Morocco, the show is not set in Morocco but it had me convinced it was a middle eastern country.
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