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
Forewarning only the pilot has been seen so far, but based on that I was thoroughly impressed.
Tyrant is the story of the second son of a powerful middle eastern tyrant who has escaped the corruption and despair of his native land and spent two decades Americanising himself and building an unassuming life with his wife and two kids. Reluctantly he is brought back to his country of birth for the wedding of his nephew.
Its not immediately a genre I would find myself drawn to, but I was enthralled. Barry (the second son) Is a wounded character, wary of his father and everything he represents, and they depict him brilliantly. His interactions with his brother and father are complex and deep.
The setting for the show is very beautiful, right in the opening portion of the episode you get a great sequence of shots where the American family is being driven in a cavalcade to the palace, and you can really see the juxtaposition of the opulence of their cars, the palace with its gardens and forest, with the impoverished masses being kept at bay so the streets are clear for the motorcade.
Watching both Barry's reaction to this contrasting culture and his American families reaction is very interesting and adds a different element to the story. His wife's "Dr. Phil" moments trying to get him to open up about the atrocities he witnessed when Barry (and the audience) know she could never really understand, his sons oblivious superficiality and obnoxious self absorption help make the story relatable to me coming from a western culture, and also highlight how ignorant they (and we) are.
I've only seen the pilot, as mentioned above, but I loved this first glimpse of a, for me, unique new story. I cant wait to see how it unfolds, and I recommend the first episode highly.
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