After about 10 days from the start of the intense series competition at their highest season, Ramadan, some have managed to shine, attracting millions of viewers and significantly stepping ahead of competitors. Eugenie Nights is one such series.
Starring Tunisian artist Dhaffer L’Abidine, and young Egyptian artist Amina Khalil, alongside other talented names including Lebanese artist Carmen Bsaibes, and Egypt’s hidden gem Mourad Makam, the series takes audiences back in time to the 1940s and is set in Port Said.
Taking place in the suburbs of Port Said, a city that has rarely been featured in TV drama, the series tells the story of Kariman, a young wife who accidentally kills her abusive husband while defending herself from one of his physical attacks, after he had forcedly taken her daughter from her to Paris.
She is afraid of being arrested before she travels to retrieve her daughter, who is depicted as the only reason for the young lady to keep up with her physically and emotionally abusive husband who rapes her.
Arriving in Port Said, her journey begins as she tries to earn enough money and a way to obtain a visa to travel to her daughter. As the story unfolds, she falls in love with the city’s most famous doctor, portrayed by Dhaffer L’Abidine, who is miserably married to his late brother’s wife.
Written by Samaa Ahmed Abdel Khaleq, the series features a beautiful calm world of people treating each other decently and calmly, with beautiful sceneries, passionate love stories being the main factors that attracted audiences to it.
Despite what seems to be a cliché plot of the escaping woman who falls in love with a rich, decent, and attractive man on her way to achieve a certain goal, Egyptians proved for the second year in a row that betting on featuring the bright side of Egypt in the past is always a winning scenario.
The beauty of the women’s dresses, the simplicity of the lifestyle, and the luxury of the elite’s conduct were also strong essential elements that successfully attracted people to the series.
The series draws a different, unique line in its plot, away from the commonly known violence, sexual content, and severe poverty featured for several years in most of the series in screened in Ramadan.
The series was named after Eugenie, Port Said’s classiest musical theatre. The plot’s events take place during the theatre’s nights. Kariman is its female lead star and the doctor is one of its regular attendees.
Khalil and L’Abidine create a perfect example of a socially desirable couple. However, one must be attached to the simplicity and heart-melting acting of Bsaibes as Aida, the doctor’s wife who passionately tries her best to win the heart of her husband and adapt to the city she just moved to, and the lifestyle she was forced to live.
The drama also features a long, hurtful love story between Aziz (Mourad Makram) and Italian Sofia (Ingy El-Mokkadem), who play the roles of close friends to the stars.
Sofia is a member of the Italian community in Egypt, which at the time started to leave the country due to the unstable political scene. Her love for Aziz, refused by his mother as she believes he deserves a woman from the same social class, presents the social restrictions foreigners had to deal with among Egyptians.
The bright colours of the location enriches the feeling of cheerfulness and decency that the series portrays people to be living in during that era. The set is always made of bright, warm colours that took only a few episodes to move the audience in time and place to 1940s Port Said.
Despite being a huge hit and met with warm acceptance among audiences after only a few days of being screened, the series is being accused of following the same path of the Ramadan 2016 series Grand Hotel.
Audiences believe that Eugenie Nights follows the same drama elements of Grand Hotel, the mysterious crime series that left audiences with sympathy for its antihero, the impossible love stories of two different people who cannot be together, the beauty of classiness and serenity, and the breath-taking women’s dresses.
Many believe they are attracted to Eugenie Nights for the same reasons they fell in love with Grand Hotel and passionately followed it throughout the month. However, as more than half of the episodes have yet to be screened, a final consensus has not yet been made.