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There's no laugh track, al hamdu lillah!!!
September 15, 2007 7:20 PM   Subscribe

CBC Television's sitcom Little House on the Mosque, starring Carlo Rota of 24, has been mentioned before on the blue and grey. Reviews have actually been pretty positive, the ratings have been good, and now you can decide for yourself whether the "brou-ha-ha" was worth it (all 8 episodes linked inside). Don't think a sitcom can possibly capture Muslim life accurately? Well, maybe Morgan Spurlock's 30 Days can do a better job for you. It's pretty fascinating viewing, either way.

Little Mosque on the Prairie imdb Episode Guide
Episode One
Episode Two
Episode Three
Episode Four
Episode Five
Episode Six (Featuring Colin Mochrie as the Arch Deacon)
Episode Seven
Episode Eight
posted by miss lynnster (30 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE!!!! I was distracted. Whoooooops! Please correct!
posted by miss lynnster at 7:22 PM on September 15, 2007


Partially filmed in my hometown. Woo-hoo!

(But Corner Gas is better, now appearing on WGN.)
posted by evilcolonel at 7:34 PM on September 15, 2007


I watched a few of these episodes when in Canada, actually. Found it lacking in the humour department.

Maybe it's a Canadian thing?
posted by liquorice at 7:38 PM on September 15, 2007


Well, it's no Alf. That's true.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:48 PM on September 15, 2007


Check out the 30 Days episode though, I found it really interesting.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:49 PM on September 15, 2007


No, liquorice, it's pretty stale. But I guess that's sort of the idea, it's this homey, kind of lame, totally inoffensive limp family-friendly sitcom... that just happens to be about the travails of Muslims in Saskatchewan.

It's internationally syndicated, even. I don't know.
posted by blacklite at 7:56 PM on September 15, 2007


I think Canadian tv tends to be hit-or-miss but Little Mosque has a really talented cast and has probably suffered from all the hype quite a bit. Once it was getting buzz it seemed they had to take any hint of edge right out of it.
posted by SassHat at 8:07 PM on September 15, 2007


I prefer Rota's unctuous turn as the panegyrical host of The Great Canadian Food Show, myself.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:09 PM on September 15, 2007


Apparently Freddy Mercury liked him too.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:15 PM on September 15, 2007


it's this homey, kind of lame, totally inoffensive limp family-friendly sitcom... that just happens to be about the travails of Muslims in Saskatchewan.

Lame enough that it can do nothing but constantly lean on the supposedly amusing beliefs and practices of Muslims, lurching awkwardly from one contrived conflict of religious doctrine to the next. I don't have enough love for limp family-friendly sitcoms to watch every episode and confirm this, but it looks like every single one is based entirely on "Look! They're Muslim! They do Islamic stuff that is slightly different than the religious customs common in Saskatchewan!" when really that's not quite so interesting as to deserve the exclamation marks. More than a decade ago, Father Ted proved that religious themes and characters are perfectly compatible with enjoyable television situation comedy writing, so there's really no excuse for this.
posted by sfenders at 8:36 PM on September 15, 2007


Meh, not nearly as controversial as the unforgettable and disturbing "jalapeno" scene in Trailer Park Boys.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:05 PM on September 15, 2007


"Brou-ha-ha?" Ha-ha-ha!
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:22 PM on September 15, 2007


sfenders: I don't disagree with any of that, I just figured I'd summarize it for those who haven't seen it.

It's actually really painfully bad to me in spots, like, couldn't they have done it better? Now people are going to think that Muslims are just incredibly cliche and unfunny.

On the other hand, part of me thinks that it needs to be this lame, or it just would never get off the ground. It doesn't have to appeal to the Hip Kids who want it to be edgy/funny, they already are probably fine with Muslims in their community. It has to appeal to Joe Protestant in Cow Tip, Alberta, and it's following the Corner Gas formula to do it. It's probably working.
posted by blacklite at 9:25 PM on September 15, 2007


When have sitcoms ever represented the characters in anything but a stereotypical manner as they lurch from one contrived conflict to the next? It's the nature of the medium and the need to churn out a new 22minutes of television every week.
posted by Mitheral at 9:42 PM on September 15, 2007


In a way, having Muslims be a subject of stale humor is in itself an act of normalizing them, really. Don't you think? I won't say I thought it was hysterical but I did chuckle in a few spots. I don't hate it any more than I hated Charles in Charge.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:51 PM on September 15, 2007


I couldn't stand it. There's so much better television from which to choose; why would I dedicate my time to a mediocre sitcom?
posted by five fresh fish at 9:57 PM on September 15, 2007


In a way, having Muslims be a subject of stale humor is in itself an act of normalizing them, really.

I think there is some truth to this: It's hard to hate a people after you realize they are just as fucking boring as the rest of us. Maybe this is an idea the UN should explore.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 11:18 PM on September 15, 2007


How come CBC, BBC, and other non "U.S. American" broadcasting corporations are under the misimpression that six or eight episodes counts as a "series" (US ethnocentric translation: SEASON! tyvm) and how come with LOST dropping down to maybe 18 eps a season starting next year instead of TWENTY-THREE like it used to be in the olden days, it looks like we're following suit?

"Less is more" is yet another corporate propaganda LIE that's being choked down our throats. Less content for more profit. You have to downsize to upsize. You have to belittle to be big about it. Am I the only one seeing a pattern here?

Oh. And "Little House on the.." was old and trite when Michael Landon used it. Color me unimpressed.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:24 PM on September 15, 2007


Speaking as a canadian who has seen real mosques on real prairries, that is no John Kennedy.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:58 PM on September 15, 2007


I'd rather have 13 good episodes that 23 with 10 clunkers.
posted by A189Nut at 4:50 AM on September 16, 2007


... the need to churn out a new 22 minutes of television every week ...

This Hour Has 22 Minutes.
posted by bwg at 4:52 AM on September 16, 2007


Eh, it's a sitcom, and not worse or more contrived than any other sitcom out there. I'm thinking of sitcoms like "According to Jim" or "Hope and Faith", etc. All pretty retarded and predictably funny.

Okay, so it's a shame that the first sitcom featuring a mostly Muslim cast is not the best television ever. And it's a shame that Islam currently has so much cultural baggage in the West that they have to spend so much of it hashing over the whole perceived "clash of civilizations." But it's improvement over there being no Muslim sitcom. It's not like someone is going to watch this and think that Muslims are less human.

Maybe I'm some kind of retarded troglodyte, but I actually enjoy watching it even if it's not the best. I particularly liked the episode dealing with the daughter coming of age and having the wear the higab. It was really the Muslim version of the "my baby is all grown up" episodes and thus made it both special and banal (but in a good way).
posted by Deathalicious at 6:33 AM on September 16, 2007


How come CBC... are under the misimpression that six or eight episodes counts as a "series"

Officially: Hey, the Beeb does it! And look at all the cachet an' prestige an' shit it gives them!

Unofficially: After paying for for Don Cherry's wardrobe, George Strombolopolous' hair gel, and defanging Rick Mercer, that's all the budget'll will allow for.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:08 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Not funny.
posted by Ricky_gr10 at 9:11 AM on September 16, 2007


Metafilter: this homey, kind of lame, totally inoffensive limp family-friendly sitcom... that just happens to be about the travails of Muslims in Saskatchewan.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 6:34 PM on September 16, 2007


I don't think it's ever been explicitly stated that the series takes place in "Saskatchewan." In fact I think it's set in Manitoba.

I hate one thing about this series: What is with all the "people in Toronto are so arrogant" crap directed at the new imam? Do CBC assholes in Toronto really think that the rest of the country cares so much about them that some Muslim immigrants in RURAL MANITOBA are going to make a point about how "arrogant" Torontonians are? Even when Toronto tries to be self-effacing it just becomes more asshole-y. It's like those CFL ads when one fan would strereotype fans from another city, and the guy from Hamilton ragged on Torontonians for being "elitist." Assholes love to be called "elitist." It's almost as bad as people from Vancouver thinking that they're being humble by trumping how they're all laid-back potheads. Gah.

A series about Sudanese working at the abbatoirs in Brooks, Alberta would be interesting and topical.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 7:26 PM on September 16, 2007


My plan to save CBC:

-replace Strombo with someone who can ask a question without waving their arms seizure-like
-kill that turd of a show Spark
-early retirement for all Boomers
-Don Cherry gets his own sitcom
-chop off half the CBC building and move it to Montreal, where all the interesting radio seems to get made
-bring back Brave New Waves and make it a 1-hour prime time show every evening
-Air Farce can stay on, with the proviso that all cast members must take LSD and perform the sketches live
posted by pcameron at 10:46 PM on September 16, 2007


You just had to link to that lame-ass MeTa post I made. Thanks.
posted by Totally Zanzibarin' Ya at 7:37 AM on September 17, 2007


You're welcome. Any time. :)
posted by miss lynnster at 8:42 AM on September 17, 2007


pcameron, you forgot bringing back Rita & Friends and the unholy reanimation of Don Messer.

And screw Montreal - all they seem to produce is Wiretap, featuring the host's bloody wife every fifth episode.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:56 PM on September 17, 2007


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