FX’s Tyrant was a show that started with a plot that might have been way too idealistic for people to grasp at first:
Bassam “Barry” al-Fayeed, who has fully assimilated to living in America, is the son of a Middle Eastern dictator. Barry is a pediatrician in Los Angeles, but he and his family return to his native country for his nephew’s wedding. It’s his first visit in 20 years, but things don’t go as planned. When his father dies suddenly, Barry and his family are embroiled in political upheaval and forced to stay in the country. A clash of cultures ensues as Barry is thrown back into the familial and national politics of his youth, which he had escaped by self-imposed exile.
It caused a massive controversy by being one of the first American shows to take place in and deal directly with Middle Eastern issues, and the drama-turned soap opera will come to an end tonight. I watched the show because it was different and partially due to the backlash against it. I really wanted to see what was so “racist” about having a drama that deals with Muslims and Middle Eastern issues. All in all, while this final third season threw out the idealistic vision Barry started with and the show became a moby dick-esque version of Barry hunting the people who SPOILER: Killed his daughter. It showed that dramas don’t have to be about Cops, Americans, or even take place here. It’s a step in a right direction, but ultimately as with most idealistic calls of revolution, heroism, or change it ends in bitter defeat.