Ok, so we're not going to bore you with Homeland references for this entire article, but there's a new show. It's called 'Tyrant.' It's a bit like Homeland. It's on FX and stars Adam Rayner as Dr Barry Al Fayeed, a family man who travels from California to the Middle East for the wedding of his nephew. As wedding's go, it's not a particularly enjoyable one, given he must confront his dictator father whom he left behind 20 years ago.
Can Tyrant emerge as one of the better shows of 2014?
The pilot episode airs on FX tonight though the critics have already had their say.
"The pilot is riveting but, like our protagonist Barry, a bit joyless. Here's hoping the series doesn't collapse under the weight of its own gravitas; it's a compelling premise that plays out in a part of the world not often seen on TV," said Lori Racki of the Chicago Sun Times.
"In its early episodes, Tyrant is as engaging when it focuses on family drama as when it veers more in the direction of taut, serialized, political thriller," said Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
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"In essence, Tyrant is a ruling-family variant on The Godfather, shifted from Italy and America to the Middle East. But don't dismiss the shift out of hand: That move is precisely what makes Tyrant so intriguing--and so troubling," said Robert Bianco of USA Today.
'Tyrant' certainly has an interesting premise
"The pilot is strong and closes with a cliffhanger element that should bring back a sizeable chunk of the tune-in audience.... but having no other episodes to find out in what direction the series wants to go--not just with Barry/Bassam, but where the core of its stories will come from (family or politics), means it's too early to give a definitive endorsement to Tyrant, despite its potential," wrote Tim Goodman, cautiously, for the Hollywood Reporter.
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"If you can gulp hard and swallow the premise of Tyrant, you'll find another hard, dark, intense FX drama about a world in which a lot of the normal rules don't seem to apply" said David Hinckley of the New York Daily News.
British actor Adam Rayner is principally known for his work onstage, though UK television fans may recognise him as 'Dr. Gail' in the 2010 Christmas Special 'The Perfect Christmas' episode of the BBC sitcom Miranda.