The latest TV drama series, “Muzakirat Zoug” (Memoirs of a Husband), has taken the Egyptian television world by storm. The show features Tarek Lotfy, Khaled El-Sawy, and Aisha Ben Ahmed as its lead actors and revolves around the marital and family problems of Raouf, a captain in an airline company, who seeks the help of a psychiatrist to deal with his unhappiness in his life with his wife, Sherine.
The show is actually based on a satirical book by the late author Ahmed Bahgat, under the same name. The book highlights the comedic struggles of an Egyptian husband as he tries to balance the demands of children, meeting various household needs, and reconciling constantly between his family and his wife’s family. This main theme is the basis of the show, with screenwriter Mohamed Suleiman Abdel Malek primarily relying on the book’s social details.
While it is not the first time the book has been adapted for television, “Muzakirat Zoug” promises to offer a fresh take on the timeless text. The late Mahmoud Yassin and Fardous Abdel Hamid starred in the TV series “Mazakrat Zawg” in 1990, which was a great success at the time. However, the question remains: how did the second adaptation differ from the first one? How did the two adaptations differ from the original book?
The Original Book: “Muzakirat Zoug” (Memoirs of a Husband)
The book is a collection of memoirs written by the husband, Raouf Hamdi, secretly from his wife, Sherine El-Sokary. In it, he chronicles a number of marital problems in a comedic way.
The book takes place in the 1960s and follows a downtrodden, negative, and submissive employee who lives inside his own head.
Fate brings him together with a wife whom he sees as cranky and strong-willed, and their differences lead to problems between them.
He turns to his friends to help solve his problems, and then seeks out a psychiatrist to treat him, until he makes a decision that his wife opposes and he ultimately caves to her, continuing their disputes.
The TV Series Adaptations: 1990 vs. 2023
The first TV adaptation of “Muzakirat Zoug” aired in 1990, starring Mahmoud Yassin and Fardous Abdel Hamid. The events of the 16-episode series were portrayed in a comedic and entertaining way, and they escalated until Sherine kicked her husband out.
To find a solution, Raouf turns to his friend for help. During the events, Raouf considers killing his wife, which leads him to seek a psychiatrist. Afterwards, Sherine turns to charlatans and the problems escalate with their son. The events end with the decision to divorce, which Sherine refuses and forces her husband to stay with her.
In the latest adaptation, the events of the series take place in a light social framework, far from comedy and satirical drama. Tarek Lotfy plays the role of a middle-aged husband who works as an air traffic controller and has a daughter.
He seeks help from a psychiatrist, played by Khaled El-Sawy, to deal with his unhappiness in his marriage to his wife, played by Aisha Ben Ahmed. The show focuses on the couple’s marital issues, family problems, and the challenges of balancing work and family life.
One major difference between the latest adaptation and the previous ones is the tone of the series. While the earlier versions emphasized comedy and satire, the 2023 adaptation takes a more serious and realistic approach to the story. The show explores the complexities of marriage and family relationships in a more nuanced way, offering a deeper and more meaningful perspective on the subject.
Overall, “Muzakirat Zoug” is a compelling and thought-provoking television series that offers a fresh take on the timeless story of marital problems and family issues. While the show deviates from the comedy and satire of the original book and the earlier adaptations, it does so in a way that adds depth and complexity to the story, making it a must-watch for anyone interested in exploring the complexities of human relationships.
As for which version of Muzakirat Zoug is better, it’s up to the viewers and readers to decide.