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Ramez Wakel El Gaw : Ramez Galal's Weakest Ramadan Prank Series Yet
While some may argue that originality is dead, no genre is more vulnerable to that notion than comedy, which has always been prevalent in Egyptian Ramadan TV. One only has to look to polarising TV personality and prankster, Ramez Galal.
Appearing for the fifth consecutive time on TV screens during Ramadan, Galal's latest shenanigans present nothing new – in fact, one could argue that this year's show, Ramez Wakel El Gaw, is one of the poorest yet; even the opening credits have come to be uniform. A grand orchestral intro makes way for nonsense music with nonsense lyrics. Galal – who lends his vocals to the opening credits – begins each episode in the same way, weaving in some banter at the expense of the celebrity that he's about to prank.
The concept of the show is that each unsuspecting victim is summoned to a mystery business meeting in Dubai via plane. The prank? It's simple: convince the celebrity in question that the plane is experiencing engine failure and that they are about to die? Tasteless? Maybe. Unfunny? Almost certainly. Galal and co also pepper the celebrity's ride with smaller, more infantile mini-pranks – serving strange-tasting coffee and spewing unpleasant odours in the plane.
As mentioned, the main prank itself is significantly weaker and cruder than that in previous series. In addition, episodes are shorter, while the show misses the opportunity in making the most of their guests – a sit-down and interview would give the show much more value, for examples. In fairness, however, the disguises and make-up that Galal uses during the pranks isn't half-bad and there's a certain guilty pleasure in seeing what he'll look like in the next episode.
As always, the pay off in a show like this is how the celebrity responds to the revelation of the prank and this series has thus far seen some pretty angry and over-the-top reactions, with one particular episode featuring former belly-dancing star and actress, Lucy, requiring an inordinate amount of bleeping. Galal was even the victim of a pretty firm kicking at the hands of another unimpressed guest.
Galal shows have always received criticism, but viewing figures have always proven the popularity of them; like him or loathe him, people are always talking about him. This year, though, despite Paris Hilton featuring in an upcoming episode, there isn't as much buzz; this is partly because of the emergence of other Ramadan prank shows, but could Egypt finally be tiring of his antics? Only time will tell.
Assuming that true to the show’s advertising, the pranks aren’t staged in the slightest, this has to be sadism in its purest form; sadism that attracts an audience worthy of a prime-time slot and almost double the show’s length in advertising no less.
time around Ramez Galal stages a heist. His unwitting victim is placed on a bus
full of extras and as they’re driven through the desert, the host and a bunch
of his cronies drive up and hold up the bus. As the guest starts to fall apart
at the seams, Ramez, the sadist that he is, marches up with a bazooka, shoots
out the windshield and forces them off of the bus. Once the guest is forced
past their breaking point, Ramez tries to get them to see, between the
shrieking, gasping and fainting spells, that it was all ‘just a prank’. They’d be justified in
suing the smirk off of him - after introducing their fist to his face that is.
After the big reveal, both host and guest get into a hot air balloon - they obviously had some money lying around that they were at a loss of what to do with - for a completely pointless question and answer session. You seriously had no idea that it was a prank? Your expression was priceless! Irritating laugh and all. The teenagers who make up the show’s main demographic have much to answer for.
Suffice it to say that the show is not only infuriating but supremely irritating as well and not just because of its content and host. It’s broken up into roughly two minute chunks with about ten minutes of advertising between each segment of the show. So if the show isn’t enough, we get an overdose of idiotic, overplayed ads as well. Seriously, we’re just a few days into Ramadan and we’re already sick of that god-awful, inescapable Universal ad that seems to have taken over every single channel on TV.
We implore you not to contribute to this guy’s inexplicable success - at least when it comes to his prank shows, Ghesh El Zawgeyya wasn’t half bad. Do it for your own peace of mind, if not for the well being of Egypt’s celebrities. Fingers crossed that somewhere down the line, one of the victims gets their own back.
First, it’s important to establish that we cannot place the blame in its entirety on Ramez Galal for his sadistic show. A big part of the blame should fall on us, the viewers, who eagerly wait for pranks and spike the show’s ratings, even reaching the point where café owners will blast these shows on large TVs to attract customers. It’s time to admit that there’s a sadist in all of us.
The premise of the show is a guest will come in to film an episode about the World Cup on a zodiac boat out at sea. The boat malfunctions, one of the presenters dives in to see what’s wrong, and the events quickly escalate to the boat sinking with the guest and a fake shark attack.
In the episode with Rania Mahmoud Yassin and Mohamed Riad, it’s interesting to point out that the boat didn’t sink entirely, and Rania kept a firm clutch on her sunglasses in a situation where any normal person would’ve let go of his/her belongings in exchange for safety. We ignored these points at first, but after several mentions on TV and by other viewers, we couldn’t help but wonder.
The show comes with a lot of legal issues this year, of which, a case that Athar El Hakim filed against Galal, banning her episode from airing, under the pretence that the prank extremely frightened her. The truth behind that is in question, after a video of her discussing her pay for the episode was leaked. Other legal issues concerning the show include damage to marine life from planting metal poles to support the hidden cameras.
Because nothing is black and white, it’s important to admit Galal’s sense of humour and experience, especially when it’s imitated by an artist like Mohamed Fouad in his show “Fo’sh Fil Mo’askar”, a stale and completely void of humour prank show.
We have to admit, we were impressed by the shark boat Galal uses to rescue the guests. He is a smart actor who was able to establish himself within Ramadan TV and create shows that people wait for year to year.