The wildly irreverent Egyptian Netflix comedy series Abla Fahita: Drama Queen, which started transmission earlier this month, is proving to be something of a cult success. The six-part series, which mixes puppets and live-action, follows the adventures of self-indulgent diva puppet Abla Fahita, separated from her kids, who will stop at nothing to redeem herself and reunite her family.
The iconic Egyptian puppet character made her debut on Youtube, where she introduced her puppet “family” in a series of comedic videos that went viral on social media platforms at the time. In 2014 Fahita starred in a CBC Channel show titled Abla Fahita Live From the Duplex as she interviewed celebrities including Hany Shaker, Mahmoud El Eissely, Fifi Abdou, Hala Sarhan, Dhafer L’Abidine, Hamada Hellal, and Rania Youssef.
When he originally announced the new project, Netflix Director of International Originals Ahmed Sharkawi said: “We are very excited to be collaborating with Abla Fahita, one of the most prominent comedians in Egypt and the wider Arab region. We are looking forward to working with Abla Fahita in order to bring our Arab and international audience a fun innovative series full of laughter and excitement.”
At the time Fahita was quoted assaying:” “Damn this globalisation! I barely had enough time for my own show and now they want me to do a series.
“I always say that Egyptian comedy is a great product for export after Egyptian cotton. And it’s obvious how the world today is a sad place in dire need of laughter.”
The series reflects the ambition by Netflix to attract more audiences in the Middle East. Netflix made the first ever-Arabic supernatural drama Jinn, which was directed by Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya and written by Jordanian screenwriter Bassel Ghandour, while the platform has also announced a new original Arabic series, AlRawabi Schools For Girls which is directed by Jordanian producer and actor Tima Shomali.
Also available is the six-part drama-horror series Paranormal. Set in the 1960s, the series, follows the adventures of Dr. Refaat Ismail (Ahmed Amin), a single hematologist who finds himself faced with a series of supernatural events. While last year it was announced Egyptian-Tunisian actress Hend Sabry would star in a new original series set to shoot in Egypt.