TV Review – Jinn Season 1

TL;DR – It has an interesting premise that sucks you in, great cast, great locations, but the story was a bit hit and miss at times.   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Jinn. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

In a world full of stories you can use to draw inspiration from, it is surprising that more shows don’t make use of the mythology and stories from the Arabian Peninsula. It feels like it starts and stops with Aladdin at times, at least in shows that make it to the west. But there are such a variety of narratives that you could draw from to tell interesting stories. Today we are looking at a TV series that is taking that opportunity with Jinn.

So to set the scene, we open in on Amman, Jorden as a school group gets ready for a bus ride to Petra. You have the usual clicks appearing, you have Tarek (Abd Alrazzaq Jarkas), Omar (Mohammad Hindieh), and Nasser (Mohammad Nizar) who are part of the popular crowd and who are happy to torment Yassin (Sultan Alkhail) who they think is telling on them to the teacher Ms Ola (Hana Chamoun). You have the power couple in Mira (Salma Malhas) and Fahed (Yasser Al Hadi), the mythology nerd Hassan (Zaid Zoubi) that just won’t shut up about Jinn. When they get to Petra they start messing around and Tarek takes pleasure in tormenting Yassin, but later that night after a few drinks tragedy strikes when Tarek falls down a canyon wall. However, the question remains, did he fall, or was he pushed, and if he was, what or who pushed him? Now from here, we will be looking at the season as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.

Jinn. Image Credit: Netflix.
This is a series that makes the most of every setting. Image Credit: Netflix.

One of the strengths of the show is its cast, which is really important in a show like this which is all about working out who is and is not being possessed. The characters in this show have to deal with all the social structures at high school, pressures at home, oh and that there is a Jinni out there that might be killing them off one by one. This was especially true of those actors that had to play duel characters when they were possessed. I liked the strength that Salma showed playing Mira as her whole world is falling down around her. To add to this we have Hamzeh Okab who plays the enigmatic Keras, the titular Jinni, who does a great job of never quite revealing what his true goals are. Also props to Mohammad Hindieh who has to chart Omar through some of the largest character shifts in the show. On the whole one of the really interesting things I discovered when researching Jinn is that for most of their main cast this was their first acting jobs. So, mad respects, because I could not tell that from the show.         

Another feature the show uses to great effect is the locations and how they incorporate them into the story.  When you have a show set in Amman and you have Petra nearby why wouldn’t you use it, especially given the story that you are exploring in this show. There is just a sense of history when you are filming around almost 2000-year-old ruins that you just cannot replicate easily on sets, even though there are a couple of sets used here and there. Walking through the ruins of Petra you get immediately taken back in time, to a place where Jinn might exist and it feels like if there was any place on Earth you could call them back it would be here. While Petra is a focal point for the film, a lot of the show also takes place in Amman, which was interesting to see because unlike a lot of shows set in the greater Middle-East region, we rarely get to see shows set in the Jordanian capital. This allows them to explore different parts of society and create a setting that is always interesting.     

Jinn. Image Credit: Netflix.
There are these character moments that just hit hard thanks to a great cast. Image Credit: Netflix.

When it comes to the overarching story of the season, there were some things that worked, and some that didn’t quite come together. To start with this is only a five-episode season, this has the bonus of making sure you do not pad out the show at all, but sometimes moving at a breakneck pace you do have to make sacrifices. You see this towards the end, where in the last two episodes people know things that they probably shouldn’t but the kind to need to keep everything moving. While that fast pace does leave you going “wait what?” at times, it also allows the show to hit you with a 2-by-4 with these big reveal moments. Because Jinn is set in a high school, you do have to reorientate yourself back to that setting and remember what things were like back when you were there, and how sometimes really small things are actually a big deal. How easy that is for you to do might change how you view the show. Overall it felt like Jinn crafted there narrative and main characters to take them on a journey and I’ll be interested to see where they go from here given some of the reveals in the season finale.        

In the end, do we recommend Jinn? Overall, yes, yes we would. It is telling an interesting story, with a great cast, and a setting that will capture your imagination. Does everything work, no, but I was there for each and every turn in the story, and I would love to see that story continue.

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you seen Jinn yet ?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.    

Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Jinn
Directed by
– Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya & Amin Matalqa
Written by – Elan Dassani, Rajeev Dassani, Amin Matalqa, Tiffany Ho & Dolores Rice    
Created by – Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya, Elan Dassani & Rajeev Dassani
Production/Distribution Companies – Kabreet Productions, Master Key Production & Netflix
Starring – Salma Malhas, Hamzeh Okab, Sultan Alkhail, Aysha Shahaltough, Yasser Al Hadi, Ban Halaweh, Faris Al Bahri, Mohammad Hindieh, Hana Chamoun, Zaid Zoubi, Mohammad Nizar, Karam Tabbaa & Abd Alrazzaq Jarkas

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