TV Show “Tyrant” and Addiction
Wikipedia reports numerous misunderstandings and myths of the FX show reviewed above, “Tyrant,” accounting for the “mixed reviews” the show has received. According to Wiki, Rotten Tomatoes (giving season one a score of only 6.2 out of 10) says the show “thrives as a biting family drama…” but never mentions the reason how or why it’s a “biting drama” or a political one as well.
Wiki posits the main problem with the series is Adam Rayner’s (younger brother Bassam “Barry” Al-Fayeed, the iNtuitive Feeler, or “Idealist”) “lackluster” performance and lack of charisma. But of course: he’s not a “larger than life” alcoholic, without which charisma often is non-existent. Blindsided both by events and his brother’s misbehaviors, he’s stunned—and with that, at least initially, comes paralysis. The evolution from this to taking action is gradual, but expected for someone who doesn’t grasp the fundamentals of substance addiction (nearly everyone). It takes time for the uninitiated to realize the extent of problems addiction causes, especially among blood relatives.
The rave reviews the show does receive are for the wrong reasons. Ashraf Barhom, playing older brother Jamal Al-Fayeed, is praised for bringing a “smoldering intensity to the role and practically drips with testosterone,” but the critics don’t mention the alcoholic egomania driving his intensity and testosterone. The criticism the show received for his rape of his son’s bride-to-be says that it serves only to add “edge” and “atmosphere.” No it’s not; the rape is meant to show that as an addict, Jamal is capable of anything. One critic complains the scenes “leave a bad taste in the mouth.” Indeed: that’s precisely what alcoholic misbehaviors are supposed to do.
If the critics understood addiction, this magnificent portrayal of an alcoholic dictator would scare them in its realism.