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Supernatural drama stirs social media debate

By JT - Jun 16,2019 - Last updated at Jun 16,2019

AMMAN — The recent release of the first Arab Netflix Series “Jinn” has sparked a spectrum of reactions on social media, ranging from outrage to praise.

Social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram have transformed into hubs of public debate over whether the portrayal of teenage life in Amman was reflected accurately or exaggerated in the series.

“Jinn” is a television series that follows the journey of high-school students who come into contact with supernatural jinn and must put a stop to their reign of terror. The controversy lies in the manner in which the show incorporates mature language, behaviour and underage drinking.

Several commenters on “Jinn’s” official Instagram page, such as Mohsen Izmigna, remarked that the behaviour portrayed in the show was “totally against our traditions as Middle Easterners, especially Jordanians”.

Some scenes were described as “lewd” and a “violation of public morals” by others, according to entertainment website Decider.

However, most of the outrage centred around an actress' kissing scene in the first episode.

Nonetheless, others claimed that the show truthfully represented the life of some Amman teenagers. A 16-year-old commenter said that “if you can’t notice, the majority of teenagers in Amman do have that lifestyle and most of the things in the series are actually true and the ‘insults’ are far better than what is actually said in real life between teenagers”.

Private school graduate Abdullah Rifai added that the show was an accurate representation of Amman’s private-school teenagers, rather than the city’s teenagers as a whole. “The show isn’t trying to promote or idealise such behaviour. It’s just an attempt to make the characters seem realistic and relatable [far more so to private school children],” Rifai said.

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