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How an anti-elite TV drama became Iran’s lockdown hit | Holly Dagres

Storylines about corruption in the political classes have proved popular with Iranians stuck at home, streaming Aghazadeh

A woman screams for her life after being locked in a Mercedes-Benz in a junkyard. In the next scene, all that is left of her is a metal cube with blood gushing out. This isn’t a scene from the latest horror film, but the first episode of the new Iranian drama series, Aghazadeh – taken from a term used to describe children of the Iranian elite with privilege, connections and influence.

During the coronavirus pandemic, many Iranians, like much of the west, are stuck at home streaming the latest hit shows. The Aghazadeh series, which was released by the Iranian version of Netflix, Namava, is one of the most-watched series to date, with about two million subscribers tuning in. Yet what makes this drama stand out is not just the display of taboo subjects – the use of drugs and depiction of illegal mixed parties with alcohol and Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy blaring in the background – but its attempt to address the Iranian public’s discontent over the blatant corruption of the political elite’s children.

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