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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Tehran first impression: Binge-worthy spy thriller

Tehran, the Apple TV+ series, is completely worth your time. The binge-worthy spy thriller could easily become the next Homeland.

Written by Sampada Sharma | New Delhi | Updated: September 25, 2020 10:06:39 am
tehran tv show reviewIsraeli spy thriller series Tehran is now streaming on Apple TV+. (Photo: Apple TV+)

Television has gone global, and that stands true not just for English language content but for shows from many other countries. Tehran, Apple TV+’s latest series, is an Israeli show that revolves around the Iran-Israel conflict and gives us an exciting spy thriller that is sure to hold your attention. In simple words, Tehran is here to fill the void that Homeland left earlier this year.

The opening scene of Tehran establishes the relations between Iran and Israel quite precisely, and it is this relationship that establishes the tone of the series.

Tehran follows a Mossad agent Tamara (Niv Sultan) who is on an undercover mission in Iran that goes horribly wrong, and it is this imperfection that instantly draws you into the series. We have all seen enough Jack Bauers whose airtight plans always save the day. So, the flawed plans here make the audience even more alert. The show establishes very early on that there is no designated path that’s being followed and that is what makes it gripping.

For a Mossad agent being undercover in Iran is nothing less than a death sentence and to make her death sentence a reality is an Iranian intelligence officer named Faraz (Shaun Toub). He is a high-ranking intelligence officer whose love for the country supersedes his love for the family. It is this constant dilemma between family and country that makes him real.

Tehran is instantly addictive. The episodes are structured in a way that you can’t help but speculate about the next moves of these believable characters. There are no parts of the episode that make you want to skip ahead. Every detail is relevant and executed well, which makes it extremely binge-worthy (We will only see weekly episodes after the first three episodes).

tehran apple tv series Niv Sultan plays a Mossad agent in Apple TV+ series Tehran. (Photo: Apple TV+)

The innocent casualties of international conspiracies are regular tropes in spy thrillers, but as insignificant as their impact might be to the overall story, it is noteworthy that characters in Tehran do not just shoot, kill, and move on. There are consequences, and that makes even the random kills worth the screen time.

Written and created by Moshe Zonder, of Fauda fame, the first two episodes of Tehran introduce us to the political universe of this show, which in this case is extremely necessary. A shot of a public hanging on the streets of Tehran, an Israeli woman throwing up at the airport because her aircraft had to make an emergency landing in Iran and a woman defecting from her own country spells out the environment here without any words.

The scenes where you see the workings of Mossad and the deep connections they have all over the world raise the stakes even before you know the real motive behind Tamara entering Iran. Director Daniel Syrkin manages to keep you on the edge of your seats through the first two episodes, and if the remaining six are just as good, then Apple TV+ has a hit on their hands.

Also Read | Hoping that Tehran can bring people closer to one another: Shaun Toub

Verdict: Miss Homeland? Watch this!

Tehran is streaming on Apple TV+.

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