Citizen Khan: Too Late for a Laugh?
Radio presenter Adil Ray finally premiered his sitcom Citizen Khan as a stand-alone comedy on BBC One last night. After Mr Khan got his first outing as part of BBC Two’s Bellamy’s People and later on BBC Radio 4′s Down the Line, he was dying to get a TV show of his own. But after watching the first episode last night, I can’t help but think the series commission came 20 years too late.
The style and humour of the programme was very much a nod to the 90s sitcom Goodness Gracious Me. Although GGM was a hit for the likes of Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar, their style of comedy belongs firmly in the 1990s. Citizen Khan’s jokes were unoriginal to say the least – the outdated Asian ideals, the inverted racism, the rebellious child…we’ve seen it all before. Kris Marshall starring as a Muslim convert was a predictable addition to the cast at best. Adil’s characterisation of Mr Khan reminded me too much of Kulvinder Ghir’s style of delivery on GGM. The shouting, the nervous laughter, the theatrics.
As much as I wanted to give the show a chance, Citizen Khan felt too much like a Goodness Gracious Me take on Muslim life, but without the modern take that would’ve at least made it stand out as an original piece of comedy.