Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Little mosque on the prairie

I don't watch nearly as much tv as I did when I was younger, but this actually sounds like it could be interesting. from the BBC:

Braving Toronto's cold and drizzle, the show's writer and creator Zarqa Nawaz explains that the inspiration for the show came from her own experiences as a Muslim woman who made a life-changing move to the provincial prairie city of Regina to work in a mosque.
The plot follows a Canadian-born imam as he makes a similar move from a big city to the Saskatchewan town of Mercy (pop. 10,000), where he encounters a colourful array of characters, both in the town's Muslim and non-Muslim communities. "It's very unusual, because usually the Imam is imported from overseas and there's often a cultural disconnect," says Ms Nawaz. "I thought it would be interesting to have an imam with Canadian cultural sensibilities having to deal with the immigrant men for a change."

The new modern-thinking Imam comes up against more conservative individuals in his community, including his predecessor, whose sermons had been largely preoccupied with corroding western influences such as TV shows like Desperate Housewives. In the first episode, other stock characters are introduced, such as a local right-wing radio shock jock (whose first question to the imam is "Are you a terrorist?"), a local priest who rents the parish hall for the new mosque, and a rural bumpkin who is absolutely convinced of a terrorist plot on every corner.
First heard about it from Xymphora, of all people:
The latest Canadian Broadcasting Corporation comedy, no doubt inspired by a combination of CBC liberalism and the overwhelming success of its main competitor’s show ‘Corner Gas’, is called ‘Little Mosque on the Prairie’, produced by filmmaker Zarqa Nawaz. It’s a comedy about Muslims living in a small town in Saskatchewan.

I wonder: would social conservative talking heads throw a stink if PBS picked it up in the US? I'm guessing yes. And if it actually is any good, some American producer will buy the US rights, redo it, and make it so nonthreateningly winsome you'll want to puke.