What Did Netflix Do?
Netflix just released a new series titled Jinn that has received an enormous amount of attention…especially in the Middle East. The majority of that attention is due to Jinn being Netflix’s first Arabic language original series. As a result, the show’s main focus for an audience is based in countries such as Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan. A major controversy has recently erupted out of Jordan, which I will explain later.
A Short Summary
Jinn is basically about a group of high school students who encounter a vengeful Jinn while on a class trip to the ruins of Petra, Jordan. One student dies, which sets in motion the quest to discover who the Jinn is and what their intentions are. Soon after, an apparently “good” Jinn appears who seeks to help the teenagers defeat this evil force. They learn that one of them must have summoned the Jinn and will be united with the Jinn if it is not stopped. This in effect, will cause them to lose their soul forever. The first season portrays this struggle all the way to the final episode, which ends in a confusing manner.
So What’s the Big Deal?
The first season of Jinn consists of a mere five episodes that range in length from 46 to just shy of 25 minutes long. For binge watchers this is a plus. The benefits gained from watching Jinn may end here though. Problems plague the story line, directing, and special effects in the series. The season finale had me scratching my head, and left me confused as to what just happened. For goodness sakes, the English subtitles didn’t even match up with the English voice overs! At best, this series was produced in a lackluster manner.
Another concern, was the amount of obscene language used throughout the episodes. Additionally, there were two scenes of a girl kissing different boys, which has led to a call for censorship in Jordan. I know firsthand from living in the Middle East for four years that obscenity (according to their standards) in any form is frowned upon, and in many cases, censored. I sat through multiple movies that had scenes cut out, and people were not allowed to show any intimate affection in public. It has me wondering if the writers of Jinn had researched the Arabic culture in the Middle East before creating this Netflix series.
What Does the Future Hold?
Netflix has plans to release two more Arabic language originals in the near future. They include Al Rawabi School for Girls and Paranormal. Hopefully, they will learn from their mistakes made with Jinn and not repeat them. I am sure there will be some apprehension with viewers when they decide to watch these next two series. I would be surprised to see strong support for a second season of Jinn.