The premise is quite hokey, but Mekki’s take promises a lot of Facebook-generation humour. A rural town’s Omda (played by Mekki) makes a surprising confession to his son (also played by Mekki) and sole heir on his deathbed: his mother was actually an American and he has a twin brother (Mekki again) living in the US. His father’s last wish is that the twins are reunited and divide the inheritance equally between them. Roll in the Upper Egyptian vs. American jokes and thinly veiled social critique.
The Upper Egyptian brother is a strict and adherent follower of tradition; which is too bad since his American doppelganger is anything but. With his arrival at the small village, the American twin introduces Wi-Fi, doughnuts, PSP and fluffy Valentine’s Day gifts, much to his brother’s chagrin. The two clash due to the obvious cultural differences, and reach an actual Rocky-type face off at one point; but this odd paring is sure to bring valuable lessons for both parties.
Mohamed Shahin plays both the Upper Egyptian and American sidekick (with quite a fetching Troll-like Mohawk), while Donia Samir Ghanem plays the Americanised girlfriend as well as the fierce Upper Egyptian love interest, which she made famous in Teer Enta. Even Mekki’s American character seems to be a carbon copy of Mekki’s Sahel Guy character in Teer Enta with the wig, white shorts, tattoos et al. In fact, the characters are so similar that viewers may have to remind themselves that this is not an extension of that film, but we’re not complaining. If the last two years of box office earnings have proven anything, it’s that everything Mekki touches turns to pop culture gold.
Produced by Mekki’s newly-founded production company Bird’s Eye, the comedian of his generation spared no expenses: the series features special appearances by guest stars such as Lebanese sensations Miriam Faris and Haifa Wahbe, as well as an intriguing guest spot by Turkish heartthrob Kivanc Tatlitug, AKA Mohannad the marriage wrecker, who coincidently made a cameo on a pillow in, you guessed it, Teer Enta.
Al Kebeer Awi will air on Mehwar, ART and Cairo Drama during Ramadan. Cairo Centric has yet to release its line-up for Ramadan, but keep checking its website for updates. If history has taught us anything; it’s that Ramadan’s most coveted shows air between one to three hours after fetar time.