TV Review | Little Mosque on the Prairie 4.1 – “Love Thy Neighbour”

Little Mosque on the Prairie (CBC: Monday, 8:30 PM ET/PT) is not a show I normally watch, since it’s white-bread comedy with a mostly-brown cast.  Brandon Firla’s involvement with the show has intrigued me enough to give Little Mosque another chance.

After watching “Love Thy Neighbour,” I still find Little Mosque wanting.  I don’t care what Andrew Ryan tells me, the show’s not that good.

Reverend William Thorne (Little Mosque on the Prairie always goes for subtlety) is Mercy Mosque’s appointed enemy for this season.  Firla is wasted as the snobbish Anglican on a quest to Take Back His Church.  Amaar Rashid (Zaib Shaikh) and Yasir Hamoudi (Carlo Rota) try to outsmart Thorne, who’s full of radioactive smarm.

It should be noted that Amaar is the only man genuinely threatened by Thorne.  The worst Thorne’s capable of is stealing Amaar’s office for a while.  When Thorne begins to bathe himself in virgin blood, then he’ll be a genuine threat to the people of Mercy.

The show’s religious sentiments aside, Thorne is a cartoon villain.  While setting mouse traps, he says “…this should take care of one of my infestations.”  Ooh, subtle.  He’s almost as subtle as Dishonest John from the Beany & Cecil cartoons.  Maybe Thorne needs a pencil moustache, just to round the character out.

Adding Firla to the cast of Little Mosque is a bald-faced attempt to bolster sagging ratings.  Little Mosque isn’t making fun of religious hypocrisy by adding a condescending Anglican.  All Little Mosque does is refit Clark Claxton III from Billable Hours, in hopes of renewing its comedic tension.  Hell, the show admits as much.

Watching “Love Thy Neighbour,” I’m reminded of why I don’t watch Little Mosque on the Prairie.  The show simply isn’t funny at all.  Point blank, Little Mosque is an ethnic Corner Gas – quirky, bland, safe.  It’s the basic Canadian rural sitcom, but with burqas.

The ubiquitous Jayne Eastwood guest-stars as Mrs. Wispinski.  In one scene, she gives Amaar and Yasir cookies, but doesn’t tell them she made the cookies with pork lard!  HA HA!…PORK LARD!  No wonder Little Mosque is in its fourth season, with thought-provoking knee-slappers like that!

Little Mosque on the Prairie has been shedding a quarter of its audience with each passing season.  Brandon Firla isn’t going to stop the ratings slide, no matter how good he is.  I can’t see a life for Little Mosque past 2010, but then, This Hour Has 22 Minutes still exists.

Cameron Archer

Owner/Writer at Gloryosky
Cameron Archer runs this site, and is a freelance arts writer. He has contributed to Canadian Screenwriter since 2011. He is a CMG Freelance member.
Cameron Archer