OUR REVIEW: Citizen Khan splits opinions

Asian Image: REVIEW: Citizen Khan splits opinions REVIEW: Citizen Khan splits opinions

Citizen Khan made its long –awaited debut on the BBC this week.

But did Adil Ray’s new show about ‘community leader’ Mr Khan hit the mark with audiences?

Many took to Twitter as the show aired and there was very mixed opinions. Some users tweeted about how the show was stereotypical and a little outdated.

Others lambasted the characters for not portraying the ‘true face’ of Asians in Britain. The show was a big let-down said one user and not funny exclaimed another.

In contrast a fair number of people said they could relate to some of the characters and habits. The catch-phrases quickly caught on and a number of users congratulated Ray for being brave enough to put together a show like this.

Citizen Khan was always going to get such mixed opinions. It was stereo-typical because in many respects that is what comedy is about.

It is hard to judge how the show will be perceived until after the first series. The jokes were a little poor in parts but I sense the criticism is a little unfair.

I think early on they tend to be treading a little too carefully and this might be the case in the upcoming episodes too.

The supporting cast is good with Kris Marshall as the mosque manager and Felix Dextor as the Somalian. Hopefully, we will see more of him in the coming weeks.

White audiences may not be able to relate to some of the jokes but Asians will easily identify with the over-emotional Mrs Khan (Shobu Kapoor), the daughter who lives a double life and the sensitive Amjad (Abdullah Afzal).

I sense some white audiences might feel uncomfortable at sniggering at some jokes. We British have become all too careful of offending it seems.

I admit there were moments I did not laugh and at other points I was laughing out loud. It is after all a sitcom and it is on BBC 1!

I have watched many shows in my life and those being overtly critical of this only need to take a peek at what else has been mainstream TV over the years.

I think Citizen Khan in itself will be popular with all audiences because Ray’s character is lovable yet quite irritating at the same time. He is also someone who thinks he has some sort of power when in fact he has very little.

Yes, Goodness Gracious Me and the Kumars at Number 42 were in a different league. But even those suffered at the beginning. Goodness Gracious Me at the time was criticised for being stereo-typical too.

We have moved on since then but in many respects we still laugh at characters such as Mr Khan in our own community. Why do we then feel so aggrieved when the joke is out there for everyone to see?

Comments (7)

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12:35pm Wed 29 Aug 12

John Stacks says...

What a joke of a sitcom. Message to Adil Ray - Muslims have moved on from your dated script. You should be ashamed of yourself for selling out religion to line your back pockets.
What a joke of a sitcom. Message to Adil Ray - Muslims have moved on from your dated script. You should be ashamed of yourself for selling out religion to line your back pockets. John Stacks
  • Score: 0

3:26pm Wed 29 Aug 12

Xyriach says...

Comedy uses stereotypes, it's one of the ways to associate an audience with a character without having to explain a lot.

However, these were not sterotypes, these were borderline Spitting Image puppets.

As an athiest, I'd hoped that given the sorry cultural tensions that still exist in the UK, that a sitcom based in an Islamic home would aim to tear down some of the borders between cultures and religions, not reinforce them. If ever there was a time for someone step forward and say "look, we're getting some bad press at the moment but forget the stereotpyes and remember that we're all just people" it's now.

But what Citizen Khan seemed intent on saying was "not only are your prejudiced views accurate, but we're going to sign them off under a BBC label with Muslim writer/actor backing."

I only watched this expecting to see a sort of "My Family" meets "Keeping Up Appearances" with a cultural twist and was curious how it would turn out.

I was dissapointed to see that it didn't.
Comedy uses stereotypes, it's one of the ways to associate an audience with a character without having to explain a lot. However, these were not sterotypes, these were borderline Spitting Image puppets. As an athiest, I'd hoped that given the sorry cultural tensions that still exist in the UK, that a sitcom based in an Islamic home would aim to tear down some of the borders between cultures and religions, not reinforce them. If ever there was a time for someone step forward and say "look, we're getting some bad press at the moment but forget the stereotpyes and remember that we're all just people" it's now. But what Citizen Khan seemed intent on saying was "not only are your prejudiced views accurate, but we're going to sign them off under a BBC label with Muslim writer/actor backing." I only watched this expecting to see a sort of "My Family" meets "Keeping Up Appearances" with a cultural twist and was curious how it would turn out. I was dissapointed to see that it didn't. Xyriach
  • Score: 0

4:13pm Wed 29 Aug 12

DuncanD says...

When it comes to British humour, the British have never been afraid, or ashamed to make fun of themselves and their own institutions. In a Britain where Her Majesty the Queen can parachute from the skies with her skirts blowing in the wind, and where an iconic piece of music representing all the emotion and the striving of the Olympic Games can be lampooned by Britain's most ludicrous comedian, then almost anything goes, in the name of humour. Basically, if you live in Britain, if you call yourself British, then you ought to EXPECT that your way of life will be the subject of humour. If the English, the Welsh, the Scots and the Irish can laugh at themselves and at each other, then so can Asian Brits, Oriental Brits and all the rest. You are not being treated with disrespect! You are being treated as British.
When it comes to British humour, the British have never been afraid, or ashamed to make fun of themselves and their own institutions. In a Britain where Her Majesty the Queen can parachute from the skies with her skirts blowing in the wind, and where an iconic piece of music representing all the emotion and the striving of the Olympic Games can be lampooned by Britain's most ludicrous comedian, then almost anything goes, in the name of humour. Basically, if you live in Britain, if you call yourself British, then you ought to EXPECT that your way of life will be the subject of humour. If the English, the Welsh, the Scots and the Irish can laugh at themselves and at each other, then so can Asian Brits, Oriental Brits and all the rest. You are not being treated with disrespect! You are being treated as British. DuncanD
  • Score: 1

4:53pm Wed 29 Aug 12

Sathacker says...

This is just one more example of what a Godless amoral country Britain has become. Not content with rejecting any semblance of decency, morality and a Godly life itself, it now seeks to ridicule and insult those who do, regardless of faith or denomination. Small wonder therefore, that righteous Muslims who live Islam to the will of God as written in The Holy Qur'an hold us in such contempt.
This is just one more example of what a Godless amoral country Britain has become. Not content with rejecting any semblance of decency, morality and a Godly life itself, it now seeks to ridicule and insult those who do, regardless of faith or denomination. Small wonder therefore, that righteous Muslims who live Islam to the will of God as written in The Holy Qur'an hold us in such contempt. Sathacker
  • Score: 0

5:53pm Wed 29 Aug 12

Kenny005 says...

Here we go again! It seems that there are some who will resort to any lengths to look for something to be offended by.

Whilst the show wasn't particularly funny, there has been no indignant outrage at the scripted suggestion that Scottish people are 'ginger', and drinkers. Nor any howls of protest that the mosque manager was the 'wrong colour', i.e. not 'brown'. Not to mention the intimation that there was 'something wrong', with the Somalian, because he was Somalian.

But oh, show an image of someone quickly reading the koran to make a good impression and the howls of Islamophobia start.

Hypocrisy!
Here we go again! It seems that there are some who will resort to any lengths to look for something to be offended by. Whilst the show wasn't particularly funny, there has been no indignant outrage at the scripted suggestion that Scottish people are 'ginger', and drinkers. Nor any howls of protest that the mosque manager was the 'wrong colour', i.e. not 'brown'. Not to mention the intimation that there was 'something wrong', with the Somalian, because he was Somalian. But oh, show an image of someone quickly reading the koran to make a good impression and the howls of Islamophobia start. Hypocrisy! Kenny005
  • Score: 0

4:07pm Mon 3 Sep 12

Open_Mind says...

Sathacker wrote:
This is just one more example of what a Godless amoral country Britain has become. Not content with rejecting any semblance of decency, morality and a Godly life itself, it now seeks to ridicule and insult those who do, regardless of faith or denomination. Small wonder therefore, that righteous Muslims who live Islam to the will of God as written in The Holy Qur'an hold us in such contempt.
I think that Adil Ray has done well for stepping outside of the stereotype. As an Indian Muslim, I want to congratulate the BBC for having the b***s to air this.

This show has little to do with Muslims and more to do with the 1st and 2nd Generation Pakistani / Asian Culture. It’s good to see that the country I am proud to be a part of is now showing programmes that depict the true multi-cultural and multi-faith society. The people who are attacking Citizen Khan should not be attacking the TV programme itself (as surlely they used a different book and not the quran), but should really be looking at how to stop these sort of actions really happening by educating their children and themselves values such as; living a proper islamic life, understanding that muslims are not only Pakistanis and that they come in all different colours and sizes and the fact that these norms from the good old days need to change. If you people (the general muslim public) stop doing these actions on a day to day basis then surely sitcoms like these will not attack those sort of ChaCha like, young westernised pakistani girls scared of their parents type charecters

Finally, thank you for putting ina tokenistic must have convert. This was a great touch, as most mosques across the country now have at least 1 – 10 converts attending the mosque regularly.

Well done and keep up with the good work.
[quote][p][bold]Sathacker[/bold] wrote: This is just one more example of what a Godless amoral country Britain has become. Not content with rejecting any semblance of decency, morality and a Godly life itself, it now seeks to ridicule and insult those who do, regardless of faith or denomination. Small wonder therefore, that righteous Muslims who live Islam to the will of God as written in The Holy Qur'an hold us in such contempt.[/p][/quote]I think that Adil Ray has done well for stepping outside of the stereotype. As an Indian Muslim, I want to congratulate the BBC for having the b***s to air this. This show has little to do with Muslims and more to do with the 1st and 2nd Generation Pakistani / Asian Culture. It’s good to see that the country I am proud to be a part of is now showing programmes that depict the true multi-cultural and multi-faith society. The people who are attacking Citizen Khan should not be attacking the TV programme itself (as surlely they used a different book and not the quran), but should really be looking at how to stop these sort of actions really happening by educating their children and themselves values such as; living a proper islamic life, understanding that muslims are not only Pakistanis and that they come in all different colours and sizes and the fact that these norms from the good old days need to change. If you people (the general muslim public) stop doing these actions on a day to day basis then surely sitcoms like these will not attack those sort of ChaCha like, young westernised pakistani girls scared of their parents type charecters Finally, thank you for putting ina tokenistic must have convert. This was a great touch, as most mosques across the country now have at least 1 – 10 converts attending the mosque regularly. Well done and keep up with the good work. Open_Mind
  • Score: 0

1:43pm Thu 13 Sep 12

gunsta33 says...

I had to create my self a log in for this site and comment as there are a lot of muslims on here that are condemning a programme that has been produced to make people smile and laugh.

I DO NOT for one moment think Adil Ray had any other intentions other than to make people laugh. I have watched this show very carefully and not once has Adil made fun of the religion.

The one's that are getting upset by all this are probably the muslims who have nothing better to do and probably don't even observe the religion properly.

Fabulous family sitcom my friend, me, the wife and the kids watch it together and we are all in stitches by the end of it!

Keep it up Adil and I hope another series is in the pipeline and that Mr Malik makes an appearance.

You have got it spot on!
I had to create my self a log in for this site and comment as there are a lot of muslims on here that are condemning a programme that has been produced to make people smile and laugh. I DO NOT for one moment think Adil Ray had any other intentions other than to make people laugh. I have watched this show very carefully and not once has Adil made fun of the religion. The one's that are getting upset by all this are probably the muslims who have nothing better to do and probably don't even observe the religion properly. Fabulous family sitcom my friend, me, the wife and the kids watch it together and we are all in stitches by the end of it! Keep it up Adil and I hope another series is in the pipeline and that Mr Malik makes an appearance. You have got it spot on! gunsta33
  • Score: 0

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