MARIA MAGDELEINA

writer, podcaster, child of God

WARNING: SPOILERS

Since the pandemic, my favourite hobby has been to escape reality in every way I can. Since I prefer to stay safe and stay in, I watch a couple of movies and/or tv shows and read books every day after work and during the weekends. I’m into Egyptian movies and TV shows so bad. I have watched so many of them that I decided to write reviews again on my blog. I’ll write about all kinds of movies, music, books, etc. even if I’m late. I’ll write whenever I feel like it and today, I feel like writing about Lo2lo2, starring Mai Omar.

The show tells the story of a girl, Lo2lo2, who grew up in extreme poverty and was abandoned to an orphanage by her grandmother who couldn’t take care of her. Her father was a greedy criminal, and her mother was arrested instead of him because he ran away. When she became an adult, Lo2lo2 decided to escape the orphanage with her only friend, Marwa (played by Hadeer Abdelnasser), and start a new life. Lo2lo2 always dreamt of becoming a singer. The show goes on showing the ups and downs of a young woman who finds fame, and once she does, her life is never the same.

I will try not to spoil the story too much, but I can’t promise that. There are a few things to address, so I might even spoil the ending.

I believe that any kind of media, from film, music, and TV to the news and social media, has the power to influence people, as much for good as for bad, especially a young audience. Therefore, I believe the show was problematic for several reasons.

First, the media has to stop normalizing men hitting/slapping women (and vice versa), even when they believe they deserve it. Because if we allow ourselves to slap people when we think they deserve it, we will allow ourselves to do the same when they don’t, just out of anger. I wish I had seen characters that control their anger, say the truth, and communicate effectively. I’m thinking of Tarek Al Nassar, played by the amazing Ahmed Zaher, when I say this. We see him slap his ex-wife Dalia (played by Heidy Karam), Lo2lo2, and even his secretary (played by Naglaa Badr). The boundaries are blurred.

The show wants you to like Tarek, but you’re torn apart. He is kind and you can tell he loves Lo2lo2. However, it annoys me that he knows he can buy people and get what he wants just because of how rich and powerful he is. He has douchey vibes.

Poster for the show.

Second, can we stop promoting revenge, especially revenge that involves killing people? Even if you send someone to kill instead of you doing it, that doesn’t make you right or better. There are so many ways to seek justice even if the process is long and difficult. Revenge doesn’t fix things, it usually worsens them. Killing is not a solution, but calling the police and telling the truth is. Also, revenge doesn’t help you heal and start a new chapter in your life. In Lo2lo2’s case, revenge made her lose the best character of the whole show: Magdy, her manager and truest friend (played by the talented Edward). He’s a mature person who does everything for Lo2lo2. He helps, guides, and teaches her everything she needs to know about her career. He takes full responsibility for his actions. And he loves her, but more than a friend. Lo2lo2 doesn’t love him this way.

I hate the ending because Magdy, out of love for Lo2lo2, killed a guy, Bouda (played by Sharnouby), who threatened and raped her. I like that Magdy and Tarek don’t look down on Lo2lo2 because she was drugged and raped. Tarek is late in helping her, but both men take her side and see her worth. But killing your rapist doesn’t bring you justice and it doesn’t change the past. We can’t send this message to girls or guys who have been victims of sexual assault. In Lo2lo2’s case, she had proof she was raped, but she didn’t want to show a video of her being raped to the police. I know things are different in the Middle East, but since Egypt had a #metoo movement last summer, I was expecting a commentary on that subject in the show. I would have preferred Lo2lo2 have the courage to fight, be an example to her fans, tell her story, and have a better ending than losing her manager. I know that these things aren’t easy to do, but since killing has become easier and ok? Who are we to choose who dies and who doesn’t? Now that her worst enemy is dead, will the singer really be able to sleep at night? How can she move on if her best friend is sentenced to death?

At the end of the day, it’s a dramatic show made to entertain people, and I’m pretty sure the majority of the audience is not dumb. People (usually) understand what is right from what is wrong. I’m just annoyed that we still see characters who make the wrong decisions, while they know which ones to make in the first place. I guess the show would have been much shorter if the characters put their egos on the side.🤦‍♀️

Apart from the things I found problematic, the show was good. Like a 3/5 good.

Mai Omar as Lo2lo2 in the show.

The actors all performed very well. It’s the first time I see Mai Omar take on a lead role. I loved her in Al Fetewa. I can’t wait to see her perform other roles in the future. As always, Edward is the best: he’s funny, emotional, and simply cool, all at once. He played a great character. Moreover, I hadn’t seen Ahmed Zaher play before. I was impressed by his acting skills. As for Sharnouby, it’s the second time I see him play a bad boy, and all I can say is that he’s good at it. 🤷‍♀️ I wish I had seen him sing more in this one. If I could re-write the story, I would make him do a duet with Lo2lo2, or something. All the other actors, Heidy Karam, Naglaa Badr, and Ahmed’s daughter, Malak Ahmed Zaher, and Hadeer Abdelnasser, were equally great.

What I liked the most about the story was Lo2lo2’s friendship with another singer: Camelia, played by Nermine Elfeky. They weren’t friends at first, and I was about to hate that because it’s probably the hundredth time we see women hating each other instead of supporting one another. However, they forgive each other and become good friends. I love that Camelia tries to help and protect Lo2lo2 from Bouda and doesn’t judge her (it’s important to note that Lo2lo2 was a huge fan of Camelia before she became famous).

Finally, there are interesting plot twists. They are at times unrealistic, still, you can’t predict them. Chapeau aux réalisateur (Mohamed Sami) et scénaristes (Mohamed Sami, Mai Omar, and Mohamed Marhan – yes, Mai Omar and her husband came up with the story)!

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