Socialist Worker

Sensational Man Like Mobeen breaks new ground

Issue No. 2690

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Guz Khan impresses as Mobeen (Pic: Tiger Aspect/Paul Husband/BBC Pictures)


The latest series of the sitcom-drama Man Like Mobeen is now on BBC3 catch-up, alongside the previous two seasons.

It’s the creation of writer Andy Milligan and comedian Guz Khan, who stars in the lead role.

He’s a gangster going straight in Small Heath, Birmingham.

Mobeen’s parents left for Pakistan and never returned, leaving him the house and his teenage sister Aksa to look after.

His close mates are the foolish Ate and wise Nate.

Together they deal with a host of hilarious, terrifying and touching local events.

Slapstick

There is no other British TV show that blends serious social issues with slapstick action and stinging one-liners.

Offender rehabilitation, poverty, homelessness, food banks, gang violence and family tensions are part of the thematic mix.

Just one of the factors that puts this show up there with Fleabag as ground-breaking BBC TV is its all-round creative excellence.

Casting, acting, script, editing, camerawork and music are all sensational.

In addition its producers go out of their way to encourage working class children to come forward as trainees. At a recent Birmingham preview Khan intimated that the likes of Idris Elba and Riz Ahmed wanted a part in the latest episodes.

But only Art Malik made the grade, playing a gang master concerned about Smethwick rivals.

Khan continually insists that he is representing local working class families and lives.

This is the very opposite of sitcom Citizen Khan, and is also a much better representation of Small Heath than Peaky Blinders.

Nick Grant


Sex Education

Sex Education—now in its second series—works because it taps into that particular form of teen angst—the fear that everyone else around you seems to be at it like rabbits.

Asa Butterfield’s Otis continues to charge a tenner to dish out advice from the toilets block of his improbably-American secondary school.

But this is complicated when Jean, his therapist mother, flawlessly played by an unflappable Gillian Anderson, starts working there.

As well as providing no end of horrifyingly embarrassing moments for Otis, her frank—and free—advice starts to threaten his business.

Sex Education is great, and if anything the second is better than the first.

Mishaps

It manages to interweave the various struggles and sexual mishaps of a host of weird and wonderful characters with a bouncy script.

And it takes on everything from sexual assault, STIs and asexuality without the viewer feeling they’ve been hit over the head with a biology textbook.

If you’re looking for information about the bees and the birds, Sex Education probably isn’t for you.

But you could do a lot worse than watching the students at Moordale High grapple with the most fundamental of questions.

Sarah Bates


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