‘Secret of the Nile’ on Netflix is so, so good

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I just finished watching Grand Hotel or as it’s known on Netflix, Secret of the Nile. It’s the first Egyptian show on Netflix, and it’s actually a remake of a Spanish drama series, Gran Hotel. It’s Downton Abbey meets Cable Girls (also a Spanish drama, also on Netflix, also I’m obsessed), and I’m not the only one who thinks so.

The original Gran Hotel is 39 episodes, broken into 3 seasons. Secret of the Nile is 30 episodes, 45 minutes each, and it plays out as one long season (it was originally released as a Ramadan special in 2016). I learned about it this past Sunday and just finished marathon-watching it at 4am this morning… LOL.

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The acting is so rich and complex, the cinematography is riveting, the sets are stunning, and the wardrobe and hair/makeup are fire. But the reason I literally watched 1,350 minutes of TV in three days is because of the drama. Oh the drama! Egyptians. Know. Drama.

I never knew the true meaning of the words “the plot thickens” until now. The plot is so thick it’s a vat of cement and I am here for this concrete mixture of deception. Grand Hotel also has some phenomenal villains who’s character development is… to die for… and it somehow carries on through 30 episodes. I am here for these scary Tants (Aunties)!

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It’s in Arabic and I watched it with English subtitles. I’m proud to say I’m learning such important Egyptian Arabic as, “IDKHUL!” (Enter) and “Nazarthu. Dul. Alayya. ANNA… UMMIK!” (You sided with them against me, your mother!) Wow, this is really going to come in handy when I visit the Pyramids.

If you enjoy period dramas (low-hanging pun intended) and you’re looking for a new show to be obsessed with, I recommend watching two episodes before you judge.

Also, in case your watching and you’re like, Who does Ali/Fouad (played by Amr Youssef) remind me of? He looks like Joshua Jackson (Dawson’s Creek):

You’re welcome.

P.S. ABC is remaking Grand Hotel, too!

I love Grace & Frankie

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You guys, I love Netflix’s Grace & Frankie. I can’t believe I just finished watching Season 4 – four seasons in and it’s just as good / getting better. Let me count the ways:

1) Who doesn’t love a good Lucy/Ethel, Thelma/Louise combo? Grace/Frankie have a dynamic worthy of its ranks. I appreciate the consistent stubbornness of their qualities, and how their flaws (and virtues) balance each other out. And cause chaos.

2) I haven’t been blessed to watch Golden Girls just yet, but I can’t think of another show that appreciated / embraced older women since then. How do we not? It’s embarrassing and we’re missing out. Grace and Frankie helps me appreciate who I might be and feel seen rather than slowly disappearing off the face of existence.

3) The humor is just. Next level in every way. I appreciate how honest and vulnerable the comedy is, that it stems from Grace and Frankie’s genuine struggles, hopes, and concerns in this chapter of their lives / f*ck you for calling it a ‘chapter of their lives.’

4) I love being able to see these beautiful humans with their beautiful wrinkles and not so beautiful joint pain, struggling with all of the above. It’s not just refreshing to see two women in their 70’s as leads – it’s necessary.

I can’t wait to rewatch it this summer and I’m looking forward to Season 5. Bravo to show creator Marta Kauffman, and the incredible forces that are Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.

Is there a show with older lead characters that you love? Leave a comment with your recs. I’m putting together my Summer Watchlist right now and would love to learn your favorites.