If the powers that be can put together a film based on the drunk-texts of popular blog Texts from Last Night; then anything is possible. Not that Ghada Abdel Al’s blog-turned-best-selling novel Ayza Atgawez (I Want To Get Married) offers such bemusing bathroom reading tropes as TFLN; but both of these blogs got one thing right: they have their finger on the pulse.
Based on a concept so relevant that you may want to slap yourself for not having thought of it first, Ayza Atgawez chronicles the ever-unfolding quest of an average Egyptian woman shuffling through different suitors; resulting in very real and very relatable comedy. Abdel Al started out by documenting her real-life struggle on her blog, but little by little she exaggerated the tales for the sake of keeping it interesting; the results are exceedingly hilarious episodes of living-room conundrums. Abdel Al’s blog was picked up by Dar El Shorouk in 2008 and published as a novel, which is now a bestseller and in its second-edition print.
Actress Hend Sabry was a fan of the blog and approached Dar El Shorouk with the idea of turning the bestseller into a TV show, an offer to which they immediately agreed. And even though the deal was finalised just eight month before Ramadan, the production team quickly set into action casting and prepping for the show.
Sabry plays the role of Ola, a 29-year-old pharmacist who’s intelligent, witty and well-educated. Her only shortcoming seems to be her inability to find a husband and settle down. The fact that she’s nearing what society regards a spinster age only throws Ola and her conservative, middle-class family into a constant state of panic. Ola reluctantly meets with suitors that have been recommended by her rather dubious aunt; and much hilarity ensues.
Seasoned comedy director Ramy Adel Emam was signed to direct the series, and taking a cue from Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody, Abdel Al adapted the novel for the series’ script. If the series is anything as close to as funny as the novel; then this series will be a sure-fire comedic hit.
Production wrapped only a few weeks before Ramadan, and a recently released promo has given us a taste of the different guest stars, the book’s distinctively sharp and witty dialogue, and the countless red teddy bears given to Sabry as a token of her potential partners’ love.
Emam’s track record as a comedy director isn’t the best indicator of quality, but there is no doubt that Ayza Atgawez will be one of the most promising shows to air during Ramadan. Produced by Al Shorouk Production Company and T-Vision, the series boasts a strong cast, including Sawsan Badr, Mahmoud El Guindy, Ahmed Sakka, Edward and Ahmed Fouad Selim. Newcomers Tarek El Ibiary and Caroline Khalil also star.
Judging by the preview promo, we’re excited about Ahmed Sakka’s turn as the police officer, though we’re rather apprehensive about Sabry’s comedic overacting. Comedic timing is one thing; brash slapstick is a whole other.
Save for some abysmal stereotypes and an episode featuring the always tanned Tamer Hagras, this looks like an interesting and satirical take on a social problem that still plagues modern Egypt today.
The show will be aired on at least nine different TV channels, including MBC, Orbit Series, Abu Dhabi , Dream 2 and Nile Comedy.