Al-Shamshoon (partially lost Arabic adaptation of "The Simpsons" Fox animated sitcom; 2005)

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Alshamshoon.jpg

The adaptation's title card

Status: Partially Lost

Al-Shamshoon (Arabic: الشمشون) was an adaptation of the long-running American TV sitcom The Simpsons adapted for a Middle-Eastern audiences.[1] Al-Shamshoon was produced by the Saudi owned media company Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) with the first episode airing in 2005. In order to better suit a Middle-Eastern audience and to meet the guidelines of various Middle-Eastern governments, many changes were made to the series. These changes would actually end up being so drastic that it caused the series to have a short run due to low viewership. While 52 episodes of Al-Shamshoon were made, only 34 aired leaving 18 unaired episodes currently lost.

Background

The Simpsons airs in numerous countries with numerous cultural changes in order to fit the standards of the country in which it is airing in. Prior to the production of Al-Shamshoon, The Simpsons aired on networks in the Middle-East such as Showtime Arabia and Dubai's One TV in English with Arabic subtitles. The Simpsons was very popular among viewers in the Middle-East and in order to capitalize on its growing popularity, Saudi owned media company Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) produced its dub and take on The Simpsons.

Syndication

Al-Shamshoon aired on the first night of the Islamic holiday of Ramadan on October 4, 2005. A lot of very noticeable changes were made to the show in order to better fit the Middle Eastern region. Among these changes The Simpsons include name changes, the character Homer not drinking beer, all references to Moe's Tavern were edited out, the removal of references to Judaism, the elimination of certain characters, Springfield changed to Rabeea, the church became a mosque, and references to bacon were edited out.[2] In order to be effective "Arabized," the showrunners only worked with certain episodes. They opted to start with season 4, skipping the early seasons, and adapted popular episodes like "Cape Feare." Several early episodes, notably "Homer the Heretic" (which details Homer's dismissal of church and foundation of his own religion after an epiphany) were not adapted.[3]

Many viewers found the changes made to Al-Shamshoon to be just too different and not funny. On top of that, many people in the Middle East see cartoons, as aimed towards kids, who did not see a reason to watch Al-Shamshoon. Due to massive criticism from viewers and even from executive producer John Swartzwelder,[4] Al-Shamshoon was pulled from air after thirty-four episodes.

Availability

Due to the series not being well-received, Al-Shamshoon has never been released onto home media.[5] In 2023, an Internet Archive user going by Kira Days uploaded the first ten aired episodes, meaning there are 24 aired episodes that are still lost. The remaining eighteen unaired episodes have yet to surface.

Episodes

Episode Number Status More Information
1 Found
2 Found
3 Found
4 Found
5 Found
6 Found
7 Found
8 Found
9 Found
10 Found
11 Lost
12 Lost
13 Lost
14 Lost
15 Lost
16 Lost
17 Lost
18 Lost
19 Lost
20 Lost
21 Lost
22 Lost
23 Lost
24 Lost
25 Lost
26 Lost
27 Lost
28 Lost
29 Lost
30 Lost
31 Lost
32 Lost
33 Lost
34 Lost
35 Lost Unaired
36 Lost Unaired
37 Lost Unaired
38 Lost Unaired
39 Lost Unaired
40 Lost Unaired
41 Lost Unaired
42 Lost Unaired
43 Lost Unaired
44 Lost Unaired
45 Lost Unaired
46 Lost Unaired
47 Lost Unaired
48 Lost Unaired
49 Lost Unaired
50 Lost Unaired
51 Lost Unaired
52 Lost Unaired

Gallery

ABC News report on Al-Shamshoon.

See Also

External Links

References