Gideon Raff, the writer for Showtime’s Homeland, brings to us a little Middle Eastern turmoil in the FX drama “Tyrant.”
Dr. Bassam “Barry” Al Fayeed (Adam Rayner) is the second son of a Middle Eastern tyrant who governs the fictional country of Abbudin. Barry lives in Pasadena, California, and practices as a pediatrician, travels with his physician wife Molly (Jennifer Finnigan) and his two teenaged children to Abbudin for his nephew’s wedding. (We know that Barry has not been to Abbudin in at least 19 years, because he has been married that long and his family has never been there). By some miraculous coincidence Barry’s father passes away while he is visiting and his brutal brother Jamal (Ashraf Barhom) takes the reins of the country.
But all is not well in Abbudin: a rival faction that had been ousted by the Al Fayeed regime wants their country back and upheaval is in the making. Barry is now stuck in the middle of a good old time hoedown in the Middle East. Should he stay or should he go?
The main crux of the plot is the interplay between the temperate Barry and his hot-fused brother Jamal. References are made to dictators such as Gaddafi and Hussein, and the Jamal character appears to be patterned after Saddam’s brutal son Uday. Despite some obvious flaws in the program, such as Barry’s wife and children’s naiveté to what is going on in Abbudin, the series shows promise.
Reviewer’s Notes: “Tyrant” is filmed in many cities throughout Israel.