Dear Lebanon, Who The Hell Is Ruby?

Perhaps it’s Medical School life finally catching up with me and keeping me out of many loops but there’s something I don’t get – why is everyone fascinated by someone/something called Ruby?

A few days ago, I was home while my mom and a few of her friends were having coffee. I was unconsciously listening in on the conversation when they started to discuss a woman named Ruby and how “not good” she was. I suppose using the word they used would be inappropriate here. But you get the drift.

I figured Ruby must be someone from my hometown. That’s enough to get me not interested. I’m not big on gossiping especially when it’s about people I don’t know as is the case with almost everyone in Ebrine.

Then I went to Beirut to visit some people who had nothing to do with my hometown. They were also talking about Ruby, using the exact same terminology I had heard before. It couldn’t be a coincidence. No – I refused to be ignorant anymore.

So I did some asking.

It turns out Ruby is a TV show. Yes, a TV show that people are obsessing about en masse. I decided to shrug it off as another Lebanese “it” thing that will soon wear off. How bad could Ruby-mania be? Then I found out my brother, who never – ever – watches such things, is actually tuning in every day to watch Ruby. Perhaps it’s because a good friend of his, Cynthia Khalife, has a role in the series as the Lebanese sister of a Syrian doctor. It could also be that my brother is tuning in to stare at Cyrine Abdel Nour. Who wouldn’t?

When it comes to me, I think the biggest problem Lebanese TV shows and series have is their script and to a lesser extent the acting with the former influencing the latter greatly. In Ruby’s case, the script has been imported from Mexico and translated into a Lebanese-Egyptian-Syrian version.

Is the series any good? Perhaps so. But have we gotten so unoriginal that we can’t come up with our own ideas? What’s next? Will they import Desperate Housewives now that it ended? How about we start our own medical drama à la Grey’s Anatomy while we’re at it?

Either way, I got a glimpse of Cyrine Abdel Nour’s – umm – behind? in Ruby today…. I now understand what the fuss is about.

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