12 Arabic TV Adaptations That Will Either Make You Cringe or Fall in Love


Recently, we discussed some outstanding Arabic productions that were so successful that they inspired other movies abroad. Today, we decided to shake things up and do it the other way around: Arabic adaptations that were inspired by other movies. Some of them were amazing, while others were quite the opposite.

1. Bedazzled - Teer Enta

The movie tells the story of a shy guy who makes a deal with the devil to get the girl of his dreams. Obviously, there were some changes from the original work to adapt it to the Arab audience, as Bedazzled contained a lot of sexual scenes and innuendos. However, the director and the amazing cast of Ahmed Mekki and Donia Samir Ghanem were able to replace those scenes with comical ones better suited for their audience.

2. Chasing LifeHalawet El Donia

Starring some of the biggest stars of the Arab world, Halawet El Donia was able to shatter our hearts into pieces; telling the story of a girl who gets her entire world turned upside down when she finds out she suffers from cancer. This was one of the best Arabic adaptations ever made; staying original to the main work, except for the ending of the series.

3. Grand Hotel - Grand Hotel

Grand Hotel swept the entire Arab world off its feet, and people are still in awe of it until now. We can definitely say that the Arab adaptation lived up to the original Spanish one, following the story of a man searching for his missing sister and how his life will never be the same again. There were no plot differences between the adaptation and the original series.

4. Groundhog Day - 1000 Mabrouk

Teaching everyone the importance of family, relationships, and most importantly, life, we give this adaption a thumbs up! It successfully adapted a classic movie that follows the life of a man who finds himself repeating the same dreadful day over and over again until he figures out what's he's supposed to do right in his life. Many changes were made in the adaptation, such as the main character’s family members, the way he lived his life, and his relationship with his colleagues, all of which made him a hated man. But the biggest change was the ending, which was completely opposite from the original.

5. Indecent ProposalCello

Lebanese series have the ability to take a story filled with taboo subjects and transform it into a work that is filled with class and grace. When a loving couple living a simple life and dreaming of a bright future are approached by a young millionaire with an indecent offer they can't refuse, they find themselves in the middle of a crossroad. One of the top Lebanese hit series, we can say that the adaptation was a success.

6. Love StoryHabebi Da'eman

Starring Egypt’s favorite couple, Nour El Sherif and Poussi, the movie tells the tale of star-crossed lovers who face all obstacles and hatred through their way in order to make their love survive. Even though there were a few differences between the two movies when it comes to the lead characters’ personalities and some of the events, it was still a huge success in the Arab world.

7. Malena - Halawet Ro'ah

Halawet Ro'ah took on the adaptation of the highly acclaimed movie Malena, about a widowed woman who is the subject of a boy's fantasy and the neighborhood's hate due to her extraordinary beauty. However, the adaptation failed miserably as it only focused on the sexual aspects of the movie, leaving other important and influencing ones.

8. Memento - Fasel w Na'ood

This was a comical adaptation of the mystery movie Memento, but that doesn't mean it was a failure, but quite the opposite; the movie was a huge success in cinemas. The story follows a man who suffers short-term memory loss after his son was kidnapped.

9. Pretty WomanJeans

This adaption will definitely make you cringe non-stop. Jeans is the exact replica of Pretty Woman, which tells the story of wealthy businessman who pays a prostitute to spend the week with him. But this movie should have never been adapted; the casting, the performance, and even the script wasn’t altered at all.

10. ScarfaceAl Fata' El Shareer

Just to be clear, any movie starring Al-Pacino should never ever be adapted into an Arabic one. The Egyptian remake Al Fata' El Shareer stars Nour El Sherif and tells the story of a man who decides he’s tired of living in poverty, and decides to infiltrate the world of drugs and mafia. But this one was a huge fail, due to many reasons, such as the special effects when it comes to the fighting and torturing scenes, as well as the original ending of the movie, which was completely ruined in the adaptation.

11. Shall We Dance - Ma Tegi Norqos

Another movie that shouldn't have been adapted is Shall We Dance, but with a twist. The creators made the lead character a woman, but we have to give this one a thumbs down because the main aspect of the original movie was ruined: the beautiful dancing between the cast members. The movie follows a woman who is feeling depressed and lonely from her ordinary and everyday life and decides to join a dance school.

12. Unfaithful - La'o

This was a huge hit with the Arab world because it tackles a taboo subject (cheating) that most Arab movies don't really tackle. The series follows the daily life of a housewife and mother feeling lonely because her husband is a workaholic. She finds herself creating her own hell when she starts an affair with a free-spirited artist. Completely different from the movie when it comes to its graphic sex scenes, the Arab adaption focused on showing the psychological effect of the affair on the lead character and her entire family.

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