JEDDAH: The popular Saudi YouTuber has slammed several Ramadan TV shows this year for being “not creative” and “horrified” to watch.
Actor Abdul Majeed Al-Kinani told fans that he had been turned off by “a state of regret” from a number of TV offers produced for the holy month of fasting.
In one of the most recent episodes of his hit online show, “Luqaimat,” he chose two Saudi productions for particular criticism.
Describing poor acting standards in the “1 Billion” program of the Saudi Broadcasting Authority, Al-Kinani said: “The worst moment that humans can experience, is when you watch an open and horrified scene, when you have nothing to do with it. “
Playing a clip that shows the actor delivering dialogue directly to the camera, he added: “I feel offended that our official TV channels are treated like this.”
Calling for a better understanding and respect for the Saudi audience, he said: “I have great hopes for people in the authorities and ministries to take action and follow up on how this work makes it to the screen in a sorry country.”
He also denounced the Ramadan series “Exit 7,” starring the actor “Tash Ma Tash” Nasser Al-Qasabi, for being “not creative and repetitive” in his plot.
Al-Kinani had promised that 2019 would be the last season of “Luqaimat,” but because of popular demand he agreed to return. A light entertainment show was launched in 2012 on the SceenTV YouTube channel that addresses topical issues in the Kingdom and throughout the Gulf region.
Reacting to Al-Kinani’s comments, Nora Al-Rifai, a 28-year-old TV show and film fanatic, said: “The reaction of people and hashtag trends (on Twitter) proves how aware the audience has gotten to the point where you can only present them (the event TV) with any content and calls it comedy or drama.
“Because of streaming services and reopening of films, people have to compare a lot, and if it doesn’t meet their expectations, then it has to go,” he added.
Dahlia Baeshen, a Saudi scriptwriter, said there is little that can be compared between local and international production standards. “We are a much younger industry. Some aspects of film making techniques are less visually appealing. The reopening of cinemas in the Kingdom will further change the tastes of future viewers.
“On the other hand, I am sure there has been a change in the subject matter of TV shows. Some of the topics at ‘Exit 7’ are bold and bold and would never have been discussed only a few years ago. This jump is quite impressive. “
He noted that the Kingdom had many talents that emerged with young people aspiring to be filmmakers, writers, and actors.
“Talent is important, of course, but I think more importantly, creative needs to find a platform to connect. We have a rich history and culture and lots of stories to tell. However, I think for TV to change, we need to have better construction and structure in the industry, matching different talents to each other, “Baeshen added.
Professional resources and tools, such as talent agencies representing artists and writers and director guilds, are needed, he said.
After watching the growth of the YouTube TV series, he added: “I think we are far away, but there is plenty of room to do more. A lot of content, especially on YouTube, is very male-oriented. I want to see more content written by women to express the other side of the spectrum. “
Afnan Linjawi, a Saudi screenwriter and poet, said: “With access to Hollywood productions, Bollywood films, streaming services such as Netflix, and Spanish, British and other productions, if we count them, the Saudi performer is 50 years ahead of Saudi production.
“Saudi viewers might know what a good TV is, but unfortunately most don’t know what is needed to make a good TV.”
He told Arab News that quality television requires a stable and strong production industry with unwavering infrastructure and quality personnel. “Decades of failure, good trials and errors, and success are mandatory.”
Saudi producer Jawaher Al-Mary said TV in the Kingdom deserved a second chance. “With regard to the latest works, I think the ideas in it are repeated, and some are even embarrassing. It’s not because of a particular genre, whether it’s drama or comedy, but the whole content. “
He felt that “Ureem,” a comedy series about a young man who worked at a travel company, was the only Ramadan event to be noted.
Other social media users echo Al-Kinani’s frustration about Ramadan TV content this year.
Ali Al-Saif said: “People of his generation have witnessed extraordinary media exposure and participated in many large international works which undoubtedly influenced their tastes and the public as a result. Viewers can now distinguish between the big and the unusual.”
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