I know what you are thinking, why should I even bother reading this, it was a bag of shit right? This was my thoughts when I saw the first promo ads for Channel Nine’s new comedy Here Come The Habibs. It looked like a TV show that perpetuated stereotypes and that for me was a massive turn off. So I along with the majority of Australian’s on social media slammed the show before I had even seen it, branding it as racist and trash television.
As the show’s premiere drew closer, I watched an interview on Kyle & Jackie-O and saw that the show’s creators were actually Lebanese. This blew my mind, how could these people make a show about their culture that made them look like cultural stereotypes? And then I said to myself “I am doing what I tell everyone else not to, judging something before you have experienced it for yourself” So I deleted my Tweets and Facebook posts, closed my mouth and waited for the show to start. . .
Safe to say I was not only impressed at how not racist this show was, it drew to light a lot of concerns about white Australia culture and how uncomfortable they are around other cultures in their country, it also provided a lot of laughs and bringing us the new Kath & Kim style show on Aussie television.
Here Comes The Habibs centres around the Habib family, who after winning the lottery relocate from Bankstown to a mansion in the predominately white suburb of Vaucluse. When the new neighbours are not impressed with their jet ski in the fountain and dinghy on the boating dock, cultures collide as the families struggle to keep the peace.
The show boasts a diverse cast of Lebanese and Caucasian Australians who completely understand comedic timing. The chemistry between all the characters in this first episode is outstanding and as they show grows (and it will!) we will only see this develop further. Michael Denka is the head of family as Fou Fou Habib and has a “Dad off” with neighbour Jack O’Neill played by Darren Gilshenan, there are awkward conversations mentioning Cronulla riots and terrorism, and what makes it so funny is how it mirrors Australian society right now.
Camilla Ah Kin is by far my favourite character as doting mother and Baklava making Mariam Habib, her warmth and strength as a character was clearly evident and provided one of the highlights of the show for me. Sam Alhaje plays gym obsessed Toufic Habib and his contrasting brother Elias is played by Tyler De Nawi. The youngest Layla is played by Kat Hoyos and has some epic selfie taking skills.
While I expected mentions of sharia law and halal, the arguments were over the positioning of a fence, really you cannot get any more Australian than that! The show presents the Habibs as an Australian family, and their neighbours the O’Neill’s as an Australian family. This clear shining beacon of humour and warmth leaves no room for racism, it is about family. There is a lot of heart in the show and while we have only seen one episode, I can’t wait to see the result of different cultures colliding, and the hilarious contrasts the Habibs and the O’Neills will show us.
So is it racist? No
Is it hilarious? Yes
Is it worth watching? If you are a fan of Aussie comedy and you enjoyed Kath & Kim, then this is definitely for you!
Here Come The Habibs is on Channel 9, Tuesday night’s at 8:30pm