How Kuwaiti TV Shows Portray Kuwaitis?

KTV

Kuwait used to be the center of the Middle East for Music and Television, but it seems we have fallen far from that pedestal. Kuwait used to be ahead of all the countries in the Middle East when it came to all forms of media but over the last decade in a half Saudi Arabia, Emirates, and Qatar have far surpassed us in media, production, and broadcasting. There is still some what of a TV industry in Kuwait and the talent is even being bought by other countries in the region. I for one don’t have much time to watch TV during Ramadan, working late until an hour before futoor so always cutting it close, and then going from dewaneya to dewaneya in Ramadan with the family at night leaves you very little time to watch all these shows. Previously I haven’t seen any Kuwaiti show because they are rather depressing, I recently just saw a few shows and I was very much disturbed, no wonder there is a lot of bad press about Kuwaiti TV shows.

The Simple Breakdowns:

  • Girls – They are over dramatic, depression across the board, painted faces making them look like clowns
  • Boys – Shallow drug addicted kids who care about nothing except getting the girl or money they want
  • Women – Scheming evil creatures who just want the money, or battered house wives
  • Men – Abusive, Drunk nonstop or weak men who just hit women or steal the wealth of other families any way possible

This is the repeated theme that I have seen in quite a few shows, and I was going mad, these shows were so disturbing they were going to give me a seizure. In any country there is a variety of shows and themes, but in Kuwait this seems to be the recurring themes. We are not like this and this does not portray our society as whole and it isn’t the limitation of our creative talents in Kuwait. The moment I start seeing these shows it reminds of some one scratching their hands on a blackboard. We are not like this at all, and we have a lot to be proud of and a lot of different stories to tell on TV.

A guy who is just trying to enjoy life!

8 Comments

  1. I think you would have been right if you were talking about tv three years ago. While elements of what you described can be found in the shows today (its how these actors were trained, unfortunately) I think you’d be pleasantly surprised at how plot-based the shows have become. They’ve takin it back to the basics in a lot of ways. Huda Hamada, I think, is the writer of Um il Banaat and some other shows. She never emphasis on this the standard issue deviance you talked about. Also, Hayat Al Fahad’s shows, which take place pre-oil are very much plot based. Old stories you’d hear from your grandmother with a little dramatic flare. I’d say that you haven’t found the right show yet.

    Shows I’m watching: Al-Jleeb, Saaher il Lail, Al-Malaka(surprisingly better than I thought).

  2. It’s unfortunate that when I ask many people (Kuwaitis and non) if they watch our shows anymore, you get the occasional yes, whereas before, you used to almost get a definite yes.

    I think a lot of people were beginning to get sick of the same plots (as you mentioned above) repeated year-in year-out. It has almost become the cliche that represents Kuwaiti shows / TV.

    I heard that the shows are much better, but I honestly have not watched any this year. There are a few really good Egyptian shows which have grabbed my full attention.

  3. Thank you for this post !, I was just sitting with my family the other day and telling them the exact same thing. “Are some Kuwaiti families really like this?” The shows really do portray us in a very negative way, and watching them is really depressing. This year I did not bother watching any shows, it was the best decision I ever made.

  4. Lazilae

    You are talking about Fajer Alse3eed – Al-mansour Drama era ( wealthy families with cheating drunk Men in private ga3da in chalet, super evil mothers, se7er etc ) . But I like what I see in saher ilaiL. At least they respect the viewers intelligent ! And the acting is pretty good (no over reacting) .

  5. il pazzo

    r u kidding me!!! there r no others stories to tell, cuz i check it on wikipedia and actually that shows do portray our life here … very accurate infact xD

  6. il pazzo

    u can argue with me all u like but u’ll never beat the mystical high penguin xD

  7. Unfortunately they don’t even speak the language properly. I find myself correcting the terminology during the whole show.

  8. A HUGE fall from grace… We were as you said on the top (at least in the Gulf region). Our accent and words unique to Kuwait became known all over the region because of our dramas and stage-plays. Now it’s exactly as you describe and the stage plays are just screaming clowns making fun of each other.

    I miss our theater (Fursan il Manakh, ByeBye London, 3ala haman ya fir3oan, 7ami iddyar) and the dramas that kept us hooked. I loved the children 30-episode dramas (madinat al riya7) and the ‘grown-up’ shows (3ala iddinya issalam) and older ones like khalti gmasha and even older classics like darb izzalag. I’m smiling as I list them!

    I hope we get out of this ridiculous loop and go back to focusing on quality rather than ‘shock’.

    Thank you for the post.

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