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October 20, 2009

The Lowdown on Background

Hi Minnie and Mosque-witzes,

(Okay, even I admit the bad play-on-words are getting to be a little too obscure--"Fans of 70s independent American cinema will find this hilarious," said the sad little blogger to himself, delusionally.)

Anyways, to the topic at hand! Like most shows, we use a lot of extras, or "background performers" as they are more politely and rightly called. They are the folks wandering down the streets of Mercy. They are the ones at the mosque who aren't cracking jokes. They are the ones in Fatima's diner who are always talking but mysteriously can't be heard. The background performers might not always seem to be doing a whole lot--but what they are doing is harder than it looks, and it can mean the difference between a vibrant scene and a dead one.

We don't necessarily get to know all of them as well as we might like to, but once in a while we are reminded that, yes, they ARE people too! Case in point, I recently saw Arlene Duncan relaxing between scenes, and someone was furiously working away on paper.


This is the other JJ on Mosque-- Jenny Jamie Ferenczi, a graphic and web designer. When not pretend-drinking from an empty coffee at Fatima's during a scene, she was hanging around the loading bay drawing portraits. She sent me a couple of her drawing from that day, and I thought I'd share them here.



Great work Jenny, and all the rest of our unknown soldiers in the war for light entertainment! You know who you are!

October 13, 2009

This week in Mercy...

Hi all,

Another week in the Mosque-verse. Big news: Rayyan moved out! Not-so-big news: Thorne is still mean!

LMOP Campaign

Behind the Scenes

People like to make fun of the CBC, and Canadian television in general. They think it is low budget, poorly made, and, most of all, poorly marketed. Even if we do make a good show, we can't sell it. Well, for those people, check out the photo above - here I give you a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse at the creation of a high-tech, big budget advertising campaign conceived in the Little Mosque headquarters. Top that, Hollywood!


In the next few days, look for a new Facebook Trivia Challenge. Try to brush up on your episodes from last year and this year, because your Mosque I.Q. (M.Q.? L.M.Q.? L.M.O.T.P.Q.?) will be put to the test! As always, there will be modest prizes in the grand tradition of the finest Canadian television. But more importantly, it is your chance to see yourself at the top of the electronic leader board. Keep your eye on the site for details, and if you're not on 'the facebook,' as my dear grandmother would say, do it now!

Elsewhere in facebook news, the show page continues to be a hotbed for debate and, more specifically, Thorne-bashing. Some of the recent highlights include:

"Watched the second show, actually laughed a few times. But then here comes the new Rev to take away any humor and smiles that may have been in me and replace it with anger and frowns and disgust. Once again, towards the end of the show, I catch myself saying "What a jerk!" ever time that horrible Rev came into the scene."

I recently bumped into Brandon Firla, the actor who plays the dastardly clergyman, and he said that he'd read some of the comments and was actually delighted! After all, he had set out to create a villainous and unlikeable character. Well done... you jerk.

And then, alone in the wilds, a few clear voices actually rose above the din to defend the character of Reverend Thorne:

"These Thorne comments have made me realize why Canadian television is thought of as so boring. It is because our audiences in Canada demand bland, middle of the road material. Proof in point, read comments below. God forbid there should be conflict or a FICTIONAL character that doesn't have good ethics, cause that would insult and offend our sensibilities. ITS CALLED SATIRE PEOPLE!"

People, people... please think twice about saying nice things about Thorne, or someone's feelings will be hurt. If you can't say anything hateful, don't say anything at all! ;)

Next week's show:

Rayyan's parents promise not to pop in but then leave their key in Rayyan's house. When Sarah sneaks back in to retrieve it, she gets trapped when Rayyan returns unexpectedly. Meanwhile, Rev. Thorne targets Rayyan for conversion as a way to taunt Amaar but the Imam falls for Thorne's trick and does battle for Rayyan's soul.

October 2, 2009

The New Face of Anger… or Joy?

Well, the reviews are in for the first episode of the new season of Little Mosque on the Prairie. The critics seem to like it, and the fans are… mad!! (and you know I don’t use the double exclamation in bold lightly).

We received some good notices and articles in some major dailies:

The Globe and Mail

The Toronto Star

The Calgary Herald

But on-line, another story emerged…

Once the program aired on Monday night, our Facebook page was immediately flooded with comments. Many were demands to bring back Reverend Magee. Someone even suggested an official campaign be started to do just that. I am not sure if anyone has ever successfully done this for a Canadian show, but if you feel that strongly about it, it can’t hurt to try...

Some of the other comments:

“I'm not sure about the new reverend. Don't like him much at this point but I enjoyed the rest of the show”

“From the writers' perspective it makes sense to get rid of Magee to add conflict. I like him, though.”

“ugh. I hate the new reverend”

“I think Rev. Thorne is an interesting addition to Mercy. There will definitely be interesting times ahead for the people of Mercy!”

“I was in stitches within the first FIVE minutes of the episode!”

“I LOVE IT! Welcome back ♥”

Well, we knew that Reverend Thorne would ruffle a few feathers, but that’s a lot of feathers!

What do you think?