Presented by Toni Baroud and Karen Der Kaloustian, the Arabic version of prominent French game show “Fort Boyard” definitely tops the list. Thrilling, adventurous, and brimming with suspense, Hella w Htalla kept us on the edge of our seats with every new challenge. Also, the expression “Felindra, ras el nemer” is still stuck in your head. Admit it.
2. Ya Leil Ya 3ein
The first season of this entertainment show aired on LBC in 1999 with Toni Abou Jaoude and Marianne Khallat (whose curly hair was gorgeous) as the hosts, followed by another season in 2002. The format featured two celebrity teams (divided between guys and girls) who had to compete across a variety of musical challenges and became widely popular among the Lebanese and Arab public at the time. In 2006, we witnessed the third (and arguably most memorable) season of Ya Leil Ya 3ein which was presented by the adorable Toni Abou Jaoude and Carla Haddad. Although the one thing that’s still stuck in everyone’s mind is the hot dancers squad.
3. Ma Elak Ella Haifa
No Lebanese fitness show whatsoever has managed to even attempt to touch upon the iconic status of Ma Elak Ella Haifa, due for the most part to its unreasonably catchy opening song. I mean, who can possibly forget the “metl l mannequin bade sir, bade elbos ktir asir” line? One word: legend.
4. Project Fashion
The first season of the Arabic edition of “Project Runway” aired on Future TV back in 2006 with former Miss Lebanon Norma Naoum as the host (and was subsequently renewed for a second season). Just like the US version, the show featured a series of unconventional design challenges and one designer was eliminated by the end of each episode. My personal favorite was the supermarket challenge on the first episode of season 2, whereby the contestants had to design an outfit using supermarket supplies only, from trash bags to washing gloves. I also recall very well that the designer who was eliminated at the end of that episode had made her entire outfit out of pita bread (one simply does not forget that).
5. Dayf El Beit
Not many people recall the name of this show but the format basically consisted of having a celebrity come and babysit the children of a certain family for a few days while the parents went on vacation. The twist: celebrities only had a limited budget to do with (not to mention limited parenting skills). All in all, the kids were having a blast.
6. Micho Show
Micho Show remains one of Future TV’s most memorable shows. The game show was so widely popular among Lebanese and Arab audiences when it first aired that Michel Azzi was even asked to go on tour across a number of Arab countries to film special episodes with live audience. The show also had some pretty catchy promotional songs along the way.
7. And of course, SL CHI
This one goes without saying. Still as funny as ever.