Tyrant’s second outing improves a bit, but that also allows it to take a step back. My thoughts about this State of Emergency here on Tube Talk.
Tyrant: Season 1: Episode 2: State of Emergency: GRADE: D
Maybe I was too quick to say Adam Rayner was the best thing about last week’s pilot in the sense I was trying to find something among the boredom that came from it that seemed interesting, but man this week, his range expanded from the level of drying paint to halfway, begrudgingly excited. Yes, they casted a white British man, who happened to have had a suntan and that’s already a wrong way to go with this, but he was casted late into the production of the series, which might explain how terrible his chemistry is with some of the cast. Apparently, he’s what the producers had in mind for the lead role. Rayner is an actor I’ve only seen once before from an episode of Doctor Who, but I was ready to give him the benefit of the doubt.
There is a scene in the messy episode where I did like his acting. The main plot revolves around his new niece, Nusrat (Sibylla Deen) being attacked and kidnapped by some preteen terrorists to get one’s brother out of jail and Barry, interim President at the moment, goes and talk the kids out of it. It actually is some inspiring acting on his part and the expression he gives to his military leader uncle Tariq (Raad Rawl) when he has them executed, after Barry had promised them fair treatment, actually makes good use of his soft-spoken approach actually works. It doesn’t when it really needs him to be angry or mad. The only other worth compelling scene with his range is when he talks to Jamal’s wife, Leila (Moran Atias) used to be in love as young ones.
But then you get lines like from Tariq, “Terrorists start young here. Like gymnasts.” Then you pound you head against your remote for how stupid that was.
Hope you enjoyed all that stuff above cause that’s where the praise of this episode ends. Let’s stay on Barry for a second, I know he’s suppose to be closed-off given his past and how he doesn’t really reveal that to his family, I get that, I’m not a moron. But holy shit, he’s like Fort goddamn Knox. I don’t know what to really think of this guys now other than boring, though occasionally interesting. the soft=spoken bit only works twice here and for the actor to make it compelling, he needs to be told when to use it right by the director, which isn’t always. He seems so damn stiff and almost like an android at some points wondering what this thing we humans call emotion is. Controversial casting of Rayner aside, this could be a huge leap for him in terms of exposure, but I feel like were this to get canned right now, I wouldn’t remember him in about two weeks or so. There needs to be more to this character.
The direction on this episode is pretty horrible. I still don’t care for his family as the kids are still uninteresting and the wife is simply just there. The kidnapping really just amounts to the show still using violence against women as drama and conflict for the series. What do we do with a character after being raped on her wedding night by her new father-in-law? Have her kidnapped, handcuffed, and heaving breasts exposed to a little boy. Nusrat isn’t exactly having the best honeymoon right now you guys.
Oh and this was also to say something about the conditions of such places like this and how soon violence in the young can start and holy shit I lost interest fast. Its kinda what I feared the show would do, just abandon conventional storytelling in order to say a message, nothing inherently wrong with that, if you have something to say with a script you have, by all means do it. Just make it interesting and without a reliance on a trope such as violence against women. Use other avenues of the situation or maybe get a director who can translate the script to screen correctly, cause as mentioned, the direction is pretty shit here.
Also not helping is that, what’s so different about Abbudin? What makes it stand out from the locations of places from Homeland or 24? Nothing. Its just as generic as you can get, most shows set in a fictionalized part of the word at least bring some color and background to the place to make it unique and standout. Twin Peaks, this is not. and by that, nowhere near as interesting or great that show and fictional town were and still are.
But wait, above I said this was a slightly better episode, so why does it have a worse grade than the pilot? Well yes there was a far more engaging story here than in the pilot, but it only served to show how many problems this show really does have in just two episodes aired on television.
Barry is apparently persuaded to stay here where, he really doesn’t have to. Funeral over, brother’s in power, go home and doctor sick kids dude. You have an out, but I guess we need a subplot where he and Leila have an affair, mark my words, its gonna happen, and how can we not have payoff for the Sammy might be gay subplot? Tyrant and seriously only go up from here, or down further. Its up to them.