Al Rawabi -Season Two: Expectations

Hoping no word of this piece is a spoiler -since there is no affiliation between Netflix and your beloved magazine Uthhub whatsoever- a lot of, high, expectations are had when one thinks of the second season of “Al Rawabi School for Girls”. Being the first Arab hit series on Netflix, there is no doubt that news of a second season was awaited -impatiently too. Hence, what could some of these expectations be, whether plot-wise or regarding certain characters and their development?

To begin with, the plot that left everyone on the edge of their seats with a -potentially deadly- cliffhanger, one must ask who dies in the first season’s finale. Of course, the slightly obvious hint/foreshadowing detail in the very last scene is where one sees the headmaster of the school sitting on her desk on which is displayed a framed picture of her son -who is Layan’s boyfriend. When such a scene is right after a gunshot is heard, it is very predictable that said son meets his demise after Layan’s brother finds them both cozy in a chalet with a -beautifully deadly- pool. However, in Uthhub’s humble opinion, a character’s death seems too tragic to be in a series directed towards teenagers; one must hope at least. In other words, the plot -artistically too- would be heavily heading towards a funeralizing direction, which may overshadow many of the other plotlines that the series withholds. Practically, no one likely dies in the finale; a huge feud unfolds however after an ugly fight happens between Layan’s brother and her boyfriend.

Now regarding the development of some characters, shall one begin with Maryam’s, it would be evident how the protagonist of the series took a sharp turn to become a very wrathful one -rather destructively. She went from being the “goodie two shoes” to the vengeful version of herself that is seen by the end of the show. Although revenge -while wicked- is a very natural reaction to many situations, it was very unexpected of Maryam to go to such lengths with the aim of hurting Layan. With Maryam being chaotically out of control, her friends Noaf and Dina -and all credit goes to the creators for choosing the names of the characters- begin to advise her against her wrongdoings. To no avail whatsoever, Dina and Noaf decide to step aside from Maryam’s way and help Layan by trying to warn her. Now, how do these characters get by after this incident? If anything, the season finale leads to more feuds than ever before; Layan would be expected to go full-on “Maddie” on Maryam, given that she learns the truth about the plot against her. In addition, Noaf and Dina are not expected to be fond of Maryam too -especially Noaf given how Layan was the one to help her out in the pool incident.

On another level, some characters underwent minimal development; however, they granted the series depth by highlighting some background information about them. Said characters would be Rania and Ruqaya; where Rania was always the boldly confident one, the series uncovers her being domestically abused. Such a detail makes one expect that in season two greater development would unfold, in which direction, one cannot assume, however. On Ruqaya’s side, it is shown how her low self-esteem and lack of confidence result in her doing things that are very unlike her. Hence, one could only hope that her character development would grant her a more secure personality. Another character that underwent almost no development was Dina, as she starts out as a bubbly person and with the finale, there is not much of a difference. One could only expect that Dina would show a bolder side and would not let anyone step on her toes again.

As a finale to this piece, Uthhub must admit that the hit series deserved every ounce of the hype; one hopes so dearly that the second season showcases similar levels of depth -providing more roundness to all the characters. All in all, with all the expectations, the one that prevails is that the second season would exceed any possible guess for the plot -hopefully so.

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