January 09, 2007
Little Mosque, Big Hype
It's common knowledge that all sorts of goods and services sell better if they are marketed using a terrorism/clash of civilizations angle. Every time I visit the bookstore, I see new and republished titles with prefaces and back covers that unsubtly use this type of framing to draw attention to otherwise dry material. In light of this cultural obsession with terrorism and Islam, it's hardly suprising that a new Canadian sitcom about small-town prairie Muslims has attracted an absurd amount of international attention. Local media, apart from regurgitating the usual cuddly sentiments (this show could only happen in fuzzy wuzzy multicultural Canada, US networks are too gutless and xenophobic!), have focused on CBC's publicity blitz for Little Mosque on the Prairie in the face of sagging ratings and the predictable dominance of American television programming in Canada.
Despite concerns that the show might reinforce some stereotypes about Muslims, I think it also has the potential to offset the monolithic wild-eyed, short-thobed loon image that is so prevalent in the media today. Little Mosque will most certainly avoid politically charged issues (actually, it would be hilarious to see an Archie Bunker-like Muslim grandpa blame the Zionists when his newspaper isn't delivered on time), but I am hoping that it will confront commonly-held prejudices in clever, funny ways and subsequently find appeal beyond Muslim/immigrant audiences (think Bend it Like Beckham, My Big Fat Greek Wedding and even Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle).
Either that or it will simply sink into obscurity once the novelty wears off.
[Photo Credit: littlemosque.ca]
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from the few clips availabe on the site & YouTube it looks quite good.
About time that a show like this is made, too. It might even serve to actually transport educational content.
Posted by: MSK at January 9, 2007 05:22 PM
So any initial reactions?
Posted by: Tom Scudder at January 10, 2007 03:58 AM
There's some prelim reaction/commentary at mooselim.ca (like Austrolabe, but with Canadian Muslims)
Posted by: eerie at January 10, 2007 11:23 AM
I see from the site name that we are not the only website blessed with experts in bad punditry.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at January 10, 2007 01:21 PM
Hey, I resemble that remark!
Posted by: matthew hogan at January 10, 2007 02:56 PM
Yes, yes you do.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at January 13, 2007 07:28 AM
the first episode of the show can be watched on YouTube.
Posted by: MSK at January 14, 2007 07:47 AM