We are delighted to welcome on Kuwaiti American author Chelsea Abdullah who has just made her debut with the mesmerizing Arab fantasy novel The Stardust Thief!Continue reading “The Middle Geeks Interview: Chelsea Abdullah, Author of ‘The Stardust Thief’”
We discuss episodes 5-6 of the new MCU Disney+ series Moon Knight starring Oscar Isaac, May Calamawy, and Ethan Hawke, joined once again by our friend Hanna Flint!Continue reading “The Middle Geeks Episode 38: ‘Moon Knight’ Episodes 5-6”
Many new viewers may ask themselves “Who the hell are Moon Knight and Marc Spector?” The protagonist of the titular Disney+ series, Steven Grant, grapples with the same question as he’s swept on a psychological and mythological ride across the globe.Continue reading “NOC Review: ‘Moon Knight’ Raises the Bar for What the MCU Can Be”
We are joined by the Organizing Director of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), Donna Farvard, and our friend and Vulture critic Roxana Hadadi to discuss acclaimed Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s latest film and award-buzzed film, A Hero.Continue reading “The Middle Geeks Episode 34: ‘A Hero’ Review and Reputation”
Even though there’s not a lot to be merry about, we count our blessings and make it merry! We also discuss the wonderful 2020 film Gaza Mon Amour by director brothers Tarzan and Arab Nasser, which shows old love in the middle of Gaza, starring our fave Hiam Abbass. We also discuss the exciting news of We Are Lady Parts Season 2 renewal, Mena Massoud’s new Netflix rom-com coming out soon, and much more!
The rip-roaring show of a Muslim women punk rock band is coming back to our screens and our hearts.Continue reading “Peacock’s ‘We Are Lady Parts’ Renewed for a Second Season”
We’re excited to have Meg Humphrey of Rogue Podron on to discuss Star Wars: Visions, the new anime anthology on Disney+ that breathes fresh life into this franchise with Japanese creators, crafting stories in a universe that was *heavily* inspired by their own culture.Continue reading “The Middle Geeks Episode 32: The Promise of ‘Star Wars: Visions’”
We are delighted to welcome Abubakr Ali on the podcast, who will be playing the titular role in Netflix’s Grendel, making him the FIRST Arab and Muslim actor to headline a comic adaptation in TV/Film! We discuss what got him into acting, his career so far, what his favorite superhero and other media are, and much more. Enjoy the conversation!Continue reading “The Middle Geeks Interview: Abubakr Ali of Netflix’s ‘Grendel’”
Damian Wayne has many fans. The popular Arab American character, son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al-Ghul, is an adorable crime-fighting — and previously murderous kid — whose fundamental charm and sincere desire to do good has captured the hearts of many DC fans, so much so that he has a current ongoing series. But we don’t see enough of Damian’s school life. When does he get to be a regular pre-teen who gets to have fun at school and make friends?Continue reading “Interview with ‘Batman and Robin and Howard’ Author Jeffrey Brown”
Denis Villeneuve’s Dune adaptation, based on a book that was explicitly and heavily influenced by Middle East and North African (MENA) and Islamic cultures, is out, and we are joined by our friends and fellow MENA critics Hanna Flint and Roxana Hadadi to review it.Continue reading “The Middle Geeks Episode 31: ‘Dune’ Review”
Created by Jordanian creator Tima Shomali, AlRawabi School for Girls is a devastatingly excellent series on Netflix exploring the dynamics of a Jordanian high school. What causes these girls to escalate their psychological wars on each other? How does this series do at exploring some of the systemic patriarchal problems in Middle Eastern societies? We discuss all of that and why we love this series.Continue reading “The Middle Geeks 30: ‘AlRawabi School for Girls’ Makes ‘Mean Girls’ Look Like Cotton Candy”
Ferdosa joins us to discuss the Netflix documentary Lift Like a Girl! How well did this documentary do at showcasing the weightlifting journey of Asmaa and her team, and the depiction of everyday Egyptians? What could it have done better? We also discuss the exciting news that Black Palestinian writer and actor Yassir Lester will be the head writer of the upcoming MCU series Armor Wars, and speculate on what that might mean for the MCU’s penchant for military propaganda. Enjoy listening!Continue reading “The Middle Geeks Episode 29: ‘Lift Like a Girl’ and an MCU Assessment”
Palestinian historian and scholar N.A. Mansour joins us to discuss the situation in Palestine, where the situation stands now, how pop culture plays into the dehumanization of Palestinians, and what you can do to help and learn more about Palestinian people and their struggles. We also discuss all of Loki Season 1! What did we like about the series, and what themes resonated with us? Where could it have done better in areas? We also give our recommendations, and much more!Continue reading “The Middle Geeks Episode 28: Palestine in Pop Culture and ‘Loki’”
For Pride Month, we are so excited to have on Amin El Gamal, who plays Sam on the amazing queer Ramadan rom-com Breaking Fast, which is now on Hulu! We dig into what drew Amin to acting, the experience of filming Breaking Fast and working with Mike Mosallam, their thoughts on the current landscape of MENA and queer stories in film and, what he’d love to see more of in the industry, and much more!
We are SO excited to discuss Nida Manzoor’s We Are Lady Parts, a British series featuring a punk rock band of all Muslim women of color, including MENA women, premiering today on Peacock TV! What did we love particularly about this series, and how well does it handle representation? We also discuss the news of the additional Sandman for Netflix, including the Lebanese Razane Jammal, American Eid debuting on Disney+, and much more!
Get a first look at the cast of We Are Lady Parts, a new series coming to Peacock in June!Continue reading “Peacock Reveals ‘We Are Lady Parts’ Trailer and Character Posters”
We discuss the most recent IDF and Israeli government brutalization and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Gaza and East Jerusalem and discuss what the world and the US need to do to help those affected and end the occupation. We discuss what the daily reality is like for Palestinians in the West Bank through Farah Nabulsi’s brilliant short film, The Present, which you can watch on Netflix. Please do what you can to help Palestinians in need.
This month, we’re reviewing not one, but TWO series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+, and Nasim Pedrad’s Chad on TBS! What did we think of the overall series and finale of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier? How well did it handle the sociopolitical and geopolitical themes it tried to tackle? How did Chad do a good job at presenting a normal Iranian American family, and what did we make of the cringe humor style? We also discuss some VERY exciting castings of MENA actors for the Black Adam film, give our recommendations, and much more!Continue reading “The Middle Geeks Episode 25: The Falcon, The Winter Soldier, and… Chad”
We’re joined once again by the wonderful Arezou to discuss and review the entirety of Marvel’s WandaVision on Disney+! What did we think the series did well, and what were areas it could have improved upon? How well did it do at exploring themes of love and grief? What do we think it says about the future of the MCU, and the standard it sets for character development and exploration going forward? We answer all that and more in this spoiler-packed installment of The Middle Geeks!
Spoilers for all of WandaVision throughout this episode
We’re joined by Mae’s sister Sonia to discuss the inaugural film of Algerian director Rayhana Obermeyer, “I Still Hide to Smoke.” How well does this film convey the experiences of living as a woman in Algeria in the mid-1990s? How are the themes explored applicable to women’s issues worldwide? How amazing is Hiam Abbas in the lead role (answer: incredibly amazing as she is in everything.) We also have a lot of MENA news to discuss, including the news that our fave Marwan Kenzari will be starring in the DCEU’s Black Adam! We also discuss Mauritanian-American actor Mamoudou Athie’s new film project, the announced tv adaptation of Hafsah-Faizal’s “We Hunt the Flame,” which takes place in a fantasy Arabia, the upcoming return of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, the Writers Guild of America forming a Middle Eastern Writers Committee, and the exciting news about the establishment of Avatar Studios, which is expanding the animated universe of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra on Nickelodeon and Paramount+!
We are joined by our friend Tariq Raouf to discuss the upcoming film Breaking Fast, which features a gay Arab-American Muslim as its protagonist! We discuss what we enjoyed about the film, what director and writer Mike Mosallam was trying to say with this delightful rom-com, how well it does with representation for Arabs, Muslims, and Ramadan, and where it could have been better. Before that, in our MENA news segment, we have some GREAT news to discuss with Ramy’s May Calamawy being base in Marvel’s Moon Knight! And another of our faves, Rami Malek, has been cast in a lead role in David O’Rusell’s upcoming film! Enjoy listening!
Spoilers for Breaking Fast begin around 26:06
We are joined by the wonderful Hanna Flint to discuss Wonder Woman 1984 in this special bonus episode! We discuss the various ups and downs of the film, how well we thought the actors did with the script and story they had, and whether this movie did Diana Prince/Wonder Woman justice. We also discuss the many racist and Orientalist aspects of its depiction of Egypt and Egyptian people, and how detrimental it is for MENA representation. There’s a LOT to discuss, and we go through it all. Enjoy listening!
Spoilers for Wonder Woman 1984 begin around 11:26.
TW for discussion of rape and sexual assault 11:44 -12:57
We’re back with a LOT to discuss. Joining us is a prolific cosplayer, streamer, and friend, Jasmin! We discuss Jasmin’s cosplaying and how the cosplay community has been doing in quarantine. We also discuss the announcement of a queer Ramadan rom-com coming out next month, highlights of the MCU announcements from last week, and how MENA people are WINNING as directors for Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight, why we’re so excited for these series, and our thoughts on the castings (and on the ones that are controversial), and discuss Netflix’s Mosul as our movie of the month. Enjoy!