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 Some users tweeted about how the show was stereotypical and a little outdated.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?