Netflix starts filming first original Arabic series in Jordan

Neflix has begun filming ‘Jinn,’ a six-episode series, about a group of young Arabs who encounter the supernatural powers of a jinn, or genie, in the ancient city of Petra. (AFP)
Updated 15 August 2018

Netflix starts filming first original Arabic series in Jordan

  • Series will star Salma Malhas and Hamza Abu Eqab
  • ‘Jinn’ will be available on Netflix worldwide next year

DUBAI: Netflix began filming “Jinn,” its first original series in Arabic, in Amman earlier this week, in the home country of the scriptwriter, Bassel Ghandour, who wrote and produced the Oscar-nominated “Theeb.”
Announced in February this year, the six-episode series, about a group of young Arabs who encounter the supernatural powers of a jinn in the ancient city of Petra, will star Salma Malhas and Hamza Abu Eqab. It will be directed by Lebanese director Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya ( “Very Big Shot”), with the brothers Elan and Rajeev Dassani (“SEAM”) as executive producers.
The series is Netflix’s first original project in the region; it launched the stand-up show “Adel Karam: Live from Beirut” earlier this year.
It’s expected that Jinn will be available on Netflix worldwide next year.

REVIEW: 'Stranger Things' season three

Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield), Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), Natalie Dyer (Nancy Wheeler) and Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven/Jane Hopper). (Netflix)
Updated 21 July 2019

REVIEW: 'Stranger Things' season three

  • Hit series returns, funnier and freakier

DUBAI: Netflix’s “Stranger Things” crossed the line from hit series to cultural phenomenon pretty early on with its mix of Eighties nostalgia, sweetly humorous kids-coming-of-age story, sci-fi thrills and genuinely spooky scenes.

After a second season that brought a darker, more dangerous vibe but lost some of the fun, showrunners the Duffer Brothers seem to have struck a better balance between the two in the third season, released last week.

Set in the summer of 1985, the central gang of kids: Mike Wheeler, Will Byers, Lucas Sinclair, Max Mayfield, Dustin Henderson and telepath Eleven (or El — or Jane Hopper as she’s now the legal adoptive daughter of Sherrif Jim Hopper) are on school vacation, and it’s that awkward summer when the boys start to take more interest in girls than in Dungeons & Dragons, much to Will’s chagrin. Mike and Lucas are (at the start of the series at least) bumbling their way through relationships with El and Max respectively. The Duffers mine these awkward ‘first-love’ scenarios for rich humor and some genuinely touching moments, as well as some realistic takes on how the complications of love interests affects the tight-knit gang of boys we met in the first series. And of how they enable Max and El to bond. It’s great to see El relax into hanging out with her first real girlfriend (in the platonic sense).

There’s plenty of humor too in the double-act of Dustin and Steve Harrington — formerly the high-school heartthrob, but now struggling to retain his ‘cool’ edge while working in an ice-cream parlor in the town’s new social hotspot, the Starcourt Mall. New arrival Robin is his co-worker — and thorn in side, constantly puncturing his ego.

Of course, there’s a darkness stirring too. The sinister, otherworldly monster defeated by El at the end of season two is not, it seems, as gone as everyone thought. Strange power fluctuations trigger Will’s awareness of his nemesis, and the kids quickly realize that their summer holidays aren’t going to be as carefree as they’d hoped. There’s the issue of exploding rats, for starters, and Max’s older brother, Billy, is acting very, well, strange.

Everything that made “Stranger Things” so wildly popular, then, is still in place, including stellar performances from the ensemble cast and the eye-catching attention to Eighties pop culture (new Coke, Phoebe Cates and Ralph Macchio, for example), to — of course — the unsettling notion of something very wrong happening just beneath Hawkins’ shiny, happy surface.