Egypt Independent

Ramadan television programs leave audiences cold



In previous years, television programs during Ramadan, were of substance. This year, however, drama has taken over from such programs and left people to channel surf through the mass of soap operas. A bitter sarcasm has overtaken the airwaves directed either towards current social and political issues or the main guest on the program. But nothing was outstanding.

The channels are crowded with many different types of program, amongst which the most popular is the talk show, the main purpose of which often appears to be to embarrass the celebrity with impertinent questions. Considered one of most popular of these shows is Blesan Moaaredik (Your Opponent's Tongue) where eminent presenter Tony Khalifa interviews the likes of Egyptian director Inas alDeghedi. Another, Bedon Reqaba (Without Censorship) presented by Waffa alKilany has a similar format.

 
At the beginning of Ramadan, the interviewing is tight and the format closely followed but it seems that as the month progresses the guests become less and less famous, and more and more vocal as the interviewers seem to be less in control of the questions.
 
On another level, another type of popular Ramadan show this year is comedy such as 100 Messa (good evening) with Mays Hemdan, Dahakni Shokran (make me laugh, thank you) with Karf alSaaida and Ay Kalam Fadi Maool (nonsense words) and Salata Baladi (Salad) with Tarek Rashed. 100 Messa is one of the most popular comedy shows on the television currently, but not because it's so funny, rather because it's so controversial. The Jordanian anchor on the show was saying such offensive things about Egypt that a Facebook group was formed urging viewers to boycott it. 
 
The newest type of comedy is one in which celebrities are tricked into false situations, causing them to lose their tempers, only to be told later that the whole set up was only a joke. Examples of these types of shows are: Fabricano and Kaman wa Kaman (Again and Again).  Programs like this have a hard core fan following but are not as popular as they once were.  In previous years shows like Zakia Zakaria were aimed at the man in the street and not at celebrities.
 
A common link between all these programs is the high level of sexual content. On almost all of them the anchors are to be found talking about homosexuality, making sexual jokes and loading everything with sexual innuendo, a practice deemed inappropriate during the fasting month of Ramadan.