Man Like Mobeen


During the Stay-at-Home weeks, I’ve been more intentional about what I consume and more reflective overall. A colleague and I were discussing the impulse to journal and record our consumption habits so I thought I’d revive this blog.

I’ve really been enjoying Man Like Mobeen, a BBC dramedy now available on Netflix. I first encountered Guz Khan on Mindy Kaling’s fun if forgettable romantic comedy mini-series remake of Four Weddings and a Funeral. (This mini series is almost nothing like the movie, by the way, but I’ll save that for another post.) Khan played Basheer, the jolly sidekick of one of the primary leads, and lit up every scene he was in. I constantly wished for more Basheer and was thrilled to see that Guz Khan is the lead in his own show, which he also created.

Man Like Mobeen is set in Birmingham (England not Alabama) and features Khan in the titular role as a knockaround guy trying to evolve as he is the primary caregiver for his younger sister in the absence of their parents. There is a lot of fun Brummie atmosphere woven within a few different compelling threads in the show. Mobeen is Muslim and of Pakistani descent, and many of the episodes show he and his friends comically and tragically confronting different aspects of working class life as black and brown men in the UK. The opening sequence of the series pits Mobeen and his two best mates against the barrel of police rifles, and it’s hard to shake off that image in the midst of nationwide protests and calls for justice for Black lives. Mobeen situates perspectives I have scarcely seen intersecting and does so with that classic British, dark comic sensibility yet somehow also feels incredibly timely and relevant. You can tell this is a passion project for Khan, and he carries the weight well; he is a genuine delight onscreen. (And also a great Instagram follow.)

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