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Rima Iskandarani and Frial Abdelrazek: Comedy Central’s Funny Ladies

To what lengths would people go for the perfect selfie? And how perfect a social media ‘influencer’s life really is? In the critically acclaimed Comedy Central production, Bad Snappers, Rima Iskandarani and Frial Abdelrazek reveal the real face of social media.

Rima Iskandarani and Frial Abdelrazek are among the latest talent to join Comedy Central Arabia in its continuing mission to produce more local content, having landed starring roles in the short-form, online show Bad Snappers, which is exclusively made for Instagram, Facebook and online.

The production is digitally native and lives entirely on the web. Based on the Comedy Central UK series of the same name. it features five 1-minute long episodes, posted weekly, that follow two young, Social Media-obsessed girls, Rima Iskandarani and Frial Abdelrazak, and chronicles the successes (or lack, thereof!) of their desperate measures to engage their social following.  During the 5 weeks the show ran, the short form reached 2 078 000 video views in total.

Velvet Magazine meets Rima and Frial, to discuss the show, social media, and the recent “BroadcastPro Award” they were awarded in Dubai.

In your own words, tell us about this web series? 

FRIAL: This web series is a depiction of what’s happening now in real life on social media, in a sarcastic and funny way.

RIMA: It’s a sarcastic depiction of the reality we are living today when it comes to social media and how it affects our lives.

 How do you prepare for each episode?

RIMA: Pulling in from real experiences that I have witnessed be it myself or from friends, influencers…etc

FRIAL: All I needed to do was have a look at each episode story board and then recall some real situations that I had seen on social media.

How did you prepare for your persona?  

RIMA: I always remind myself of the humor of the situation. I also try to add more reality through in a humorous and sarcastic way.

FRIAL: Personally I didn’t do much because I have a strong sense of humor and I always like to transfer everything into comedy, so I go through the story board and then I add my personal touch.

What was your favorite part of shooting Bad Snappers with Comedy Central? 

RIMA: It was the set and team itself. We truly enjoyed filming the episodes. It didn’t feel like a job or a chore, in fact it was a lot of fun and we laughed a lot through it.

FRIAL: My favorite part was being part of the team and the spirit among us! It was so much fun!

What were your expectations when you first started, and what are your hopes now for the future given the success of the series?

RIMA: When I first started, I was hoping that the topics be true examples of real life situations and that was very well met. As for the future, I have high hopes that the show will continue to successfully speak to the masses, delivering our message as well as raising awareness on social media realities and impacts, while also making people smile and laugh!

FRIAL: At the very beginning, I hoped we were going to be something like Key & Peele (another Comedy Central production) and I was super excited. And then once we started shooting I wanted us really to shoot more episodes with more stories. For the future, I would like to expand and invest this success in longer series mocking different real life problems in the same sarcastic funny way.

My big dream is to make a project that combines Arabic Comedy Central and Hollywood styles.  That would be very diverse and funny.

The series focuses on social media, what is your own take on social media influencers?

FRIAL: In Egypt, I would say Yasmin Abd el Aziz or Mona Zaki. I love their comedy style and how they can put some sense of humour even in serious movies. As for social media influencers, my only take on it is that they only create a perfect picture about what they do.

RIMA: Social Media influence has become a job in today’s world. When I was a radio host, I used to interview Influencers on my show and they were all confirming the same message we are communicating through Bad Snappers, which is that what they are portraying is not a reality – it’s not real life and they put a lot of time and effort behind every post, story. However, I also feel that some of the influencers are creating positive impact in the world.

In your opinion, how do you think social media affect people’s lives?

RIMA: It has taken over their minds and plans. Nowadays a lot of people forget to enjoy the moment as they become more concerned about showing it off to people  – it’s almost like they are going out to share it on social media, rather than to actually enjoy it with friends and family.

FRIAL: Social media influencers can exaggerate sometimes because they give a fake image of what life should be. They make people think their lives are perfect, which could make some people try to imitate that perfectness ending up with a big disappointment for sure.

Comedy Central recently won an award in recognition of the success of Bad Snappers. As the main cast members, how did that make you feel?

RIMA: It made me feel proud to be part of a strong and successful team that is making an impact and creating smiles.

FRIAL: It made me feel happy and proud and it makes me feel that I am on the right track and of course excited for more projects and more success.

What do you think about the locally produced content, what needs to be done in general to enrich the Arab locally produced content?

RIMA: Some of the content is good and has a message and a meaning. However, sometimes I feel that some of the content is very low quality, with no assigned purpose and thus simply mind numbing.

FRIAL: I think that we need to have more faith and to believe in our abilities. We should focus more on real things that are more related to our Arab world, because normally an audience would like to watch or follow the content that touches them most. And of course. advertising is very important…you have to put great content out there because now the world is coming together and you need your content not only to be locally successfully but also internationally.