The Ultimate Review of 2019’s Ramadan Series

The good, the bad and the in between

Ramadan is coming to an end which means it is time to look back at the past month, at all the series that have made us laugh, cry, gasp and get utterly obsessed! While some series took us on incredible emotional roller coasters and captivated us with unexpected twists that we’ll be thinking about all summer, others didn’t quite leave us with the buzz we were hoping for.

Qabeel- Our number one favourite this year had to be Qabeel! Starring some of our all-time favourite stars, Amina Khalil, Mohamed Mamdouh and Mohamed Farrag, we had very high expectations for this series, and we were more than satisfied. Qabeel was fast-paced, shocking and had some unexpected twists; yet, what really made the series exceptional was the acting. While Mamdouh delivered a stellar performance that convinced us of his character’s mental struggles, from mid-series onward, Khalil and Farrag stood out in their portrayal of the very disturbed, murderous characters behind the serial killer, Qabeel. They gave us a true shift in story-lines that changed the course of the show. With gripping start and a haunting ending, Qabeel definitely came out on top this year.

Zay El Shams (Like the Sun) – One of the most popular series this Ramadan for a good reason! Playing the lead character, Nour, Dina El Sherbiny amazingly captured the heart wrenching transformation from a young eager lawyer, into a grieving and broken woman investigating her sister, Farida’s murder. This crime mystery genuinely kept us guessing until the very end, with the shady characters and unfolding backstories leading us to realise that nothing is ever as it seems. In addition to the strong writing from Mariam Naoum, the performances given by all three Shenawy women, Dina El Sherbiny, Riham Abdel Ghafour and Sawsan Badr, were beyond mesmerising. Love Farida or hate her, you cannot deny that the biggest mystery this Ramadan was – Who Killed Farida El Shenawy?

Wald El Ghalaba (Son of the Poor) – This series left us with very mixed feelings. While one on hand, the acting from Ahmed El Sakka, Mohamed Mamdouh and Injy Mokkaddem was on great form, unfortunately, the plot and character development left us feeling a bit deflated. Sakka, playing Essa, provided us with some moments of genuine laughter, making his character very endearing, but overall, the series made the world seem a bit too morally black and white. With other series providing us with compelling character complexity, Wald El Ghalaba fell short.

Zelzal (Quake) – Mohamed Ramadan as usual broke the internet, with his series, Zelzal, being the most highly watched show this Ramadan. Zelzal had its ups and downs, but was a little too predictable, so didn’t end up among our favourites. While Ramadan’s character, nicknamed Zelzal, did face a tumultuous journey that had some interesting elements, the overall plot took too long to kick off, and when it did, we knew where it was going.

Hekayti (My Story) – We had high hopes for Hekayti, starring Yasmine Sabri as the lead, but we were left disappointed and a little bit bored. The story follows Dalida (Sabri) through a difficult path of family and personal struggles, but we found Sabri’s performance flat and unemotional. In scenes where we should have been crying, we were too busy yawning. The dramatic scenes were over the top, and it was all made worse by the overuse of slow motion. It is great to see a female character taking the lead, but we needed a more believable plot and more convincing acting.