Just forget the words and sing along

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Little Mosque on the Prairie

I feel I have to take a moment to offer up my review on the latest Canadian pop culture offering, couretesy of the CBC. It's been gaining a lot of headlines around the world, because it's, apparently, the first sitcom about Muslims. Yup, I'm talking about Little Mosque on the Prairie.

When I first saw the commercials, I thought, "Hmmm...." When they started showing commercials with actual clips from the show, I started thinking, "Huh. This looks kinda like Corner Gas with Muslims." But I was intrigued enough to tune in for episode one last night.

The show takes place in the small Prairie town of Mercy. The Muslims in the town have finally gotten their own mosque (they're actually leasing the parish hall from the Anglican church, and that becomes a plot point). So, of course, a lot of the humor comes between the culture clash between the Muslims and the rednecks. And, culture clash between the older, more traditionalist Mulims, and the younger, more liberal Muslims.

The main character is shaping up to be Amaar, once a successful Toronto lawyer. He had himself a spiritual awaking, and moved out to Mercy to be the mosque's imam (according to the exposition in the pilot, an imam is a Muslim preacher). Naturally, of course, he's the one caught between the rednecks and the Muslims...and, being a younger, more liberal Muslim, he also finds himself at odds the older tradtionalists.

Those who are hoping for a South Park-style skewing off all the negativity towards Muslims will be sadly disappointed. If anything, as sitcoms go this is very...conventional.

If anything, those who are portrayed with negative stereotypes are the small town rednecks. Especially the character of Fred Tupper, who's the announcer on the small town radio station, and the main "voice" of paranoia towards Muslims. Working at a small town radio station myself, I find it highly doubtful that a small town radio announcer would be able to get away with the sh*t that this Tupper fella says about the new mosque.

My final assesment: it's a cute little show. While the subject matter may be groundbreaking, the plots aren't.

For those who missed the premiere last night, it's going to be rerun tonight at 8 on the CBC. Next week, it moves to its regular timeslot, Mondays at 9.

Hey, look! It's the official website! Click to read a far better description of the show.

No comments: