Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Man Who Would Be King (Television Review: Tyrant, Tuesdays on F/X)

When I saw a preview for the new F/X series "Tyrant," I was instantly curious, and I didn't even really know why.  The show has a certain cache, as it was created by Gideon Raff, of Homeland fame. (He is no longer involved because of backstage drama. Ang Lee was signed to be the Director at one point, to be replaced by David Yates) This show is pretty ambitious, as it tells the story of the fictional Arab nation Abuddin. Run by a dictator, the pilot revolved around the lavish ten-million-pound wedding celebration of the ruler's nephew. Barry, a California pediatrician, is the second son of the dictator, and is summoned to attend the festivities with his wife and two teenage children. There's a lot of action on the first episode, and it will certainly get anyone's attention. It's a tad over the top, but then again I bet the truth is even more bizarre. There's wall to wall solid acting here. Barry, played by Adam Rayner gives a more subdued approach, perhaps to counter his brother Jamaal's in-y-our-face character. As the main protagonist, you see a slow bubble there, and I think it's effective. You cannot wait to see the boil over of his character. And wait, there's even a gay subplot, with his son Sammy who at first sight seems your typical man-bro American, but is later subtly revealed as gay. (I can imagine that storyline will end in tears) The pilot ends explosively, with a scene reminiscent of Argo's ending. And it's set up in such a way that you will want to tune in next week to see what's next. I hope this show keeps my interest: I am more interested in drama over action so it will depend on he route that the show will take. But for now, I am on board.

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