A crime of passion

Rasha al Raisi – Despite being born in the month of January, I’d never been a winter person. To me, any temperature below 25 degrees is cold. I start wearing layers of clothes (especially when heading to malls. I never understood the logic behind freezing conditions there), I get grumpy and automatically switch into hibernation mode.
The mode includes not leaving the house after sunset, closing the windows so that no draft comes in and most importantly fighting with my brother over my fat cat, nature’s best bed warmer.
In Malaga when the temperature dropped to 16, I started my layering business wearing a fleece topped with a huge shawl (and 2 trousers when it hit 10!) — while the Europeans around me were in t-shirts, enjoying cold beers and a swim on the beach.
I also started hibernating after 5 O’clock, locking the windows and switching on the heater (and running to and from the cold kitchen when reaching starvation levels).
Given these extreme conditions, I started watching Arabic series on YouTube. Normally, I only watch Arabic series during Ramadhan (the real season of series, with almost 100 productions of 30-episode series from around the Arab world, that runs during the holy month).
But being locked indoors for many hours, I had to break the rule to kill time. I watched something called A Crime of Passion. I’m a big fan of crime series and don’t mind watching re-runs of all the CSIs (I even found a Spanish channel that runs them on daily bases. It was weird to hear Horatio speaking Spanish!).
Unfortunately, the Arabic one was more of a fantasy than a crime series. It starts with the main character Aws having an affair with a married woman. One day while they’re together, the husband comes early. Aws flees by jumping off the balcony and landing at the neighbour’s downstairs. The neighbour is called Jumana and her husband walks in to see Aws in the balcony, and accuse her of having an affair with him (just like that).
Without a given explanation, he shoots himself in the head and Jumana is accused of his murder (for some reason she never defends herself and keeps crying hysterically for almost 10 episodes). Aws hears the bullet while jumping off to the ground. In sheer panic, calls his friend and asks him to get his passport and money.
He travels to Egypt and meets a movie director who falls in love with him (along with her daughter) and becomes a movie star (while writing this I regret wasting precious time watching this nonsense). Aws’s sister happens to be Jumana’s friend and helps her to get out of prison. Jumana sees Aws’s film poster and decides to go to Egypt to revenge. Aws meets Jumana and he doesn’t recognise her although for the first 15 episodes he keeps drawing her face and crying out of guilt.
My question is: how come such rubbish scripts get produced? Where are TV production critics to set things right? In glossy magazines you rarely read about series that flopped.
In social media, the actors and their fans set wars if anyone raises the question about the quality of work produced. This leads to the production of hundreds of series that are visually attractive but with no real substance. Let alone the lack of credibility when it comes to locations and characters looks (Jumana’s designer’s jumpsuit and make-up in prison!).
I think that the time had come for us as viewers, to choose credible series that respects our mentality. Series with new ideas that are enjoyable yet leaves room for reflection.
Rasha al Raisi is a certified skills trainer and the author of: The World According to Bahja. rashabooks@yahoo.com