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Modern Kuwaiti dramas prioritize profit, controversy over substance

Youth have potential to produce outstanding work, grow industry: Experts

By Ghadeer Ghloum


KUWAIT: The status of Kuwaiti drama, once hailed as one of the best across the Arab world and GCC countries, is deteriorating, said a number of experts in the TV drama industry at a forum held by Writer Taleb Al-Refai.

Refai welcomed guests to the 11th cultural forum to discuss television drama in Kuwait at his home on Sunday. The meeting discussed several issues the TV drama industry is currently facing in Kuwait.

(From left) Fahad Al-Handal, Layla Ahmad, Taleb Al-Refai and Hadeel Al-Hasawi pictured at the cultural forum.

The meeting included critic Layla Ahmad, critic and writer Fahad Al-Handal, narrator and writer Hadeel Al-Hasawi, prominent actor Jassem Al-Nabhan and writer Layla Al-Othman, in addition to other young writers, actors and family members of Refai. Ahmad and Handal shared their views on the reasons behind the deterioration of Kuwaiti dramas in response to questions raised by Hasawi.

Handal said drama in Kuwait no longer has the qualities it used to have during its golden age, when it thrived and stood out. Kuwaiti drama used to be closer to people’s issues – people used to feel that the TV series is communicating with them because drama in the past used to be faithful to its duty of raising awareness in society and bringing up a new generation. Many people in the industry today mainly focus on the materialistic income that comes from the drama, rather than the quality of the message behind it, he lamented.

A series might bring up unrealistic and irrelevant issues, yet the drama may go viral and become a trending topic. Ahmad said it’s because platforms normally seek people’s attention. Many dramas create an intriguing plot that manifests a taboo or a prohibited issue, for instance. In agreement with Ahmad’s opinion, Handal said trends feed on scenes and plots that create controversy, so when producers doubt the quality of their work, they usually tend to focus on issues that would attract people’s curiosity and attention.

Moreover, Handal suggested reproducing societal issues in dramas and digging deeper into people’s pain, pointing out the necessity for actors to understand their social responsibility rather than seeking popularity and fame. Nabhan further elaborated on this matter, saying actors and actresses must pay more attention and consideration to their responsibility at work, as they affect society and reflect it too.

Ahmad, Handal and Nabhan expressed their hope and trust in youngsters, as they represent the future of drama in Kuwait. They said youngsters must be given a chance to showcase their work in order to grow in this field, believing youth in Kuwait have the passion and potential that is needed to produce to outstanding work in the drama industry.

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