Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Corner Mosque

Well, the much-anticipated "Little Mosque on the Prairie" is debuting tonight. I am looking forward to seeing what all the fuss is about.

Reviews at this point tend to be mixed - some are cautiously positive and others giving it a thumbs down. Actually, Bill Brioux's column (Flat as the Prairie) is hilarious on its own. He refers to it as "an out-of-gas Corner Mosque":

The CBC comedy, premiering tonight at 8:30, has become the Little Prayer On The CBC, the divine new series that would lead the once proud public network into the promised land of higher, or even measurable, ratings.

The jokes here are endless, I suppose.

However, even the encouraging review by Rob McKenzie voices this concern:

If Little Mosque has one weakness, it's that several of the non-Muslim characters have the depth of cardboard. The antagonistic townspeople come across as a bunch of inbred, bug-eyed sister-kissers. Mercy may be small, but it has a radio station with a shock jock who loves to fearmonger, and a populace happy to be monged. And when Amaar, the town's metrosexual new imam, is en route to Mercy from Toronto, the cops who detain him at the airport are even more imbecilic than the two Mounties on Corner Gas. Amaar says that if his story doesn't check out, "you can deport me to Syria," to which one of the policemen huffs, "Hey, you do not get to choose which country we deport you to."

Mark Steyn, in the Jan. 15 issue of the Western Standard makes the point that "Muslim the new gay". He says that "...the intended impact is the same: to make Islam something only uptight squares fret about."

Record television critic Joel Rubinoff makes that comparison as well (sorry - under subscriber lock):

While some may find its Northern Exposure-meets-Men In Trees premise too derivative to feel truly original, the (mostly) witty subversion with which it skewers Muslim stereotypes shall be proven in time, I suspect, no less groundbreaking than Ellen, the '90s sitcom that, courtesy of Ellen DeGeneres, announced the arrival of gay culture in mainstream homes across North America.

Creator-producer Zarqa Nawaz herself is quoted by Rubinoff as saying:

I want people to ... recognize the similar issues that appear in all our lives. It's important to normalize the community within the greater community so as not to be seen as the 'other.'

Well, then clearly it's not a hidden agenda. However, if it helps us all to get along better together then what's the harm? And maybe, just maybe it will actually be funny!

What we really need here is a self-deprecating comedy about CBC. How about "Big Blight on the Taxpayer"? Now that I would watch.

* * * *

Update: Well, I just finished watching the pilot. (Of the show, that is). Big yawn as far as I'm concerned. For a show that is trying to do away with stereotyping, they sure go to a lot of trouble to cast the non-muslims as mindless dhimmwittis.


Cherniak_WTF said...

I expect the show to suck - I've not seen it but I'm not much inclined to watch.

Is this another rant of your Joanne? What was your point?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

What was your point?

Ah. I have obviously failed in my effort to communicate by nuance. Back to hitting heads with sledgehammers.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Sorry I missed the nuance, usually when I waddle into Conservadroid land it's been missing.

Red Tory said...

Joanne -- I’m looking forward to it. Maybe it will be funny or perhaps it might suck. I guess we’ll see. I like the premise and find all of the political flack surrounding it kind of interesting. The bottom line is still: will it make me laugh? If so, I don’t care about all the extraneous stuff that many conservatives are getting themselves in a twist over. Should I regard “Corner Gas” as mocking rural Canadians? How much “depth” does that Hank character have and is he meant to be representative of shiftless hayseeds that populate the prairies? Give me a break. The journalist who made the comparison between Muslims and gays is beyond funny. I can’t even begin to describe how wrong-headed that is. Oh, and I see you couldn’t resist taking a shot at the CBC -- something that always puzzles me no end.

Swift said...

I see prejudicve and bigotry are alive and well in Red Tory land

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Oh, and I see you couldn’t resist taking a shot at the CBC -- something that always puzzles me no end.

My dear Red Tory - The day that you see me not take a shot at the CBC is the day you should be puzzled.

Zac said...

The only good thing on CBC is hockey and I expect that to remain the same after tonight.

Who cares? Its a comedy. It if makes people laugh it will continue, if not it will be a total flop. Much ado about nothing, if you ask me (which you really didn't)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Much ado about nothing, if you ask me (which you really didn't)

The first part sounds like RT.


Hey, it's a blog! I'm always happy to hear your opinion, Zac.

C. LaRoche said...

Politics aside, I think the real question is: is it funny?
My answer, based on the TV ads: probably not.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Laroche - I tend to agree with you, based on the lines I've heard so far.

In fact, I've heard so many of the so-called 'jokes' I suspect this will be like watching a rerun.

Anonymous said...

A: Crack a couple of brewskis for the Grey Cup?
B: Muslims do not drink alcohol
A: No wonder you pray 5 times a day.

Might be like those movie ads, they use the best material in the ad.

How will you criticize the show without admitting you watched something on the CBC?

I'm expecting there will be a cameo from "track 'n' stalk" Kate, since I'm hearing she's hyping it so much.

liberal supporter said...

that was me ^

Maybe we're expecting too much. If the show doesn't suck as much as blogger does today, does that make it good?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

If the show doesn't suck as much as blogger does today, does that make it good?

It would make it an Emmy winner.

This is awful today. There was a three hour planned outage, but things are worse. Is it just my blog? Maybe I should upgrade to the new version. I tried before but they said my blog was too big.

Anonymous said...

I saw a promo for the show today on the CBC.

The Muslim sees the daughter wearing a midriff shirt.

DAD: You look like a Protestant.

DAUGHTER: Don't you mean a "prostitute"?

DAD: No, a Protestant.

Of course they had to go and bash Christians that way. Nice, CBC.

Not even that funny, either.

liberal supporter said...

But Protestants aren't "real" Christians, now are they?

liberal supporter said...

Of course the Roman Catholics used to call the Protestants heathens, but we know they were just kidding.

Anonymous said...

Someone should write a show based on "The Russians are coming!! The Russians are coming!!"....only it would be "The Muslims are coming!!! The Muslims are coming!!!"

Maybe I will. :-)

We'll see if CBC picks it up. If they don't, I'll cry "racism".:-)...then I'll take it to the highest court in the land, and have the CBC disbanded.

Because I'm a caring individual, I'll use some of my settlement money to help all CBC staff, who lose their jobs because they didn't pick up my show, re-settle in Fort McMurray, where they can get jobs flipping burgers.

Now there's an idea for a sitcom.:-)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Sounds good to me, Anon. Anything would be an improvement over the garbage we're forced to subsidize on CBC.

liberal supporter said...

While we're at it, let's stop forcing everyone to subsidize churches too.

Anonymous said...

So.....Muslims are known for their sense of humor. Really? Not from what I just watched. I noticed the joke about "Jesus", but didn't find a parallel joke about Mohammed.

No pushing boundaries here. The daughter said that she hoped the imam would bring them into modern society. Well, she could start with taking off her scarf and showing her hair.

I don't think I laughed once.

It's a CBC comedy show, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

For a show that is trying to do away with stereotyping, they sure go to a lot of trouble to cast the non-muslims as mindless dhimmwittis.

Oh, and there are NO mindless "dhimmwittis" in this country? Please.
At least, portraying them as cute, bumbling yokels acknowledges the FACT that they do indeed exist.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anon at Tue Jan 09, 11:07:29 PM EST -

Red Tory has responded here, FYI.

Ti-Guy said...

I don't think I laughed once.

Unsurprising. This is, after all, the cri de coeur of rightwingers everywhere. You should all plan to have it engraved on your tombstones.