Stars: Yasmina El-Abd, Ulka Simone Mohanty, Mahmoud Elli
Have I been living under a rock, or is this your first encounter with an Egyptian show too? If this is characteristic of Egyptian shows, we are missing out on a lot of great content. Compared to conventional portrayals of Arabs in the mainstream media, which present them with loaded guns and explosives, this series offers a new perspective. The depiction of a warm, sweet and normal Egyptian family defies all the blatant clichés that the Netflix American media foist on Arabs.
The protagonist, Ola (Hend Sabry), is a 40-year-old recently divorced mother of two. The series follows Ola as she struggles to find her new identity amid these unusual events. More so, knowing her true identity. She sacrificed a great deal of her time and energy to ensure that she could become the perfect mother and wife, and created a claustrophobic environment for her ex-husband that ultimately leads to their divorce.
In the aftermath of her husband’s departure despite her best efforts, reality hits her hard. As she explores her true identity, she is reunited with her long-lost best friend, Nesrine (played by Nada Moussa), and ventures into a business. She then goes on to capture her growth, her true identity, and various dynamics that change throughout the series.
Although the narrative has been told, this show immediately captivates the audience. The writing keeps it fun, easy, and relaxed while maintaining a nice flow. The script, like many sitcoms, contains a high level of drama but is presented in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the viewer but instead keeps them interested throughout.
The dynamic that is created between the characters is one of the key strengths. Divorce disrupts many relationships, in this case, particularly between a controlling wife and a claustrophobic husband. Other relationships, such as the adaptation of the children to the divorce or the lack of control of the mother-in-law over Ola, are approached realistically without relying on excessive romanticism.
The characterization is another aspect to highlight. There is no such thing as a flawless character in the show. All of them are neither good nor bad; they all have imperfections that are rendered naturally and realistically. Initially, the husband’s perspective on her problems seems relatable. Ola’s shortcomings are obvious. Our story continues to unfold as we discover how she came to be the person that she is. We learn that she is capable of unlearning and that her husband is a man-baby who hides behind her mother and is not as godly as he seems.
While all of this is great, what stands out the most is her long-lost friendship with her best friend, a friendship she abandoned for the benefit of her husband. The two get together and create some of the funniest and most enjoyable scenes on the show. A couple whose bond is nice and enjoyable to watch.
The show initially portrays women at odds with each other, creating the evil mother-in-law, eventually breaking this stereotype. It is touching to see Ola get used to her ex-husband’s girlfriend, realize that he is not an enemy of hers, and defend her against her. The program goes beyond proposing challenges to society, it also celebrates these challenges, as indicated by the women, who are delighted and celebrate that Ola is divorced and can start a new chapter in her life.
A generation gap is also authentically depicted in the series. In her interaction and introduction to the youngsters, Ola truly falls in love with herself. Her daughter’s acceptance of the fact that she divorced her or her love interest for someone several years her junior allows her to see herself in a new light.
The business aspect of the program is presented in an overly simplistic way, which makes it seem easier than it is. Your success and the efforts that go into a business seem to be written off as an overnight success. However, it is understandable given that the emphasis of the program is on your personal growth.
The show does not lose its charm despite this. As Hend said, although the show is authentic to Egyptian women, it still strikes a chord with all women. The show is a total binge that will keep you up all night and bring you joy.