Man Like Mobeen
|Man Like Mobeen|
|Created by||Guz Khan and Andy Milligan|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||3|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Original network||BBC Three|
|Original release||17 December 2017 –|
Man Like Mobeen is a British comedy-drama television series set in Small Heath, Birmingham. It is produced by Cave Bear and Tiger Aspect Productions for digital channel BBC Three and is written by Guz Khan and Andy Milligan.
Man Like Mobeen follows the life of the titular Mobeen as he spends time with his friends Nate and Eight and, in the absence of parents, raises his much younger sister, Aqsa, in Small Heath, Birmingham. Mobeen tries to live a good life as a Muslim and ensure his sister reaches her potential while escaping his murky past as a drug dealer.
Cast and characters
- Guz Khan as Mobeen: A reformed former drug dealer raising his younger sister and trying to improve his community.
- Tolu Ogunmefun as Nate: Mobeen's best friend and advocate.
- Tez Ilyas as Eight: Mobeen and Nate's close friend, part of the chosen family to Aqsa.
- Dúaa Karim as Aqsa: Younger sister to Mobeen, often exasperated with him but loves and looks up to him.
- Mark Silcox as Uncle Shady: a sadistic and outspoken figure in the local community, but close ally to Mobeen and co.
- Perry Fitzpatrick as Officer Harper: The strict but ultimately fair police officer who helps and is helped by Mobeen.
- Kiell Smith-Bynoe as Jovell Maynard: A drug dealer
- Aimee-Ffion Edwards as Miss Aitken: Aqsa's English teacher
Background and production
While working as a humanities teacher in a secondary school in Coventry, Guz Khan began making YouTube videos in character as Mobeen, an opinionated care worker who is raising his sister Aqsa. One video reacted to Fox News's suggestion that Birmingham was a no-go area for non-Muslims while another went viral after calling for a boycott of Jurassic World due to its use of the word "Pachy" to refer to the dinosaur Pachycephalosaurus, as it sounds like the racial slur for people of Pakistani descent, "Paki". Steve Coogan's production company Baby Cow picked up on Khan's YouTube videos and made a pilot for BBC Three's new talent show, Comedy Feeds. Khan has described the pilot as "very generic, super-sitcomy" and stated that he wanted to make "something more substantial" with Man Like Mobeen. The four part first series, produced by Cave Bear and Tiger Aspect Productions, was announced by BBC Three controller Damian Kavanagh at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival and was released on iPlayer in December of the same year.
The show was picked up for a second series of four episodes in September 2018. During filming for the second series' first episode, which deals with knife crime, Khan and other members of the production called an ambulance after seeing a young boy attacked and threatened with a knife. Khan has stated that while waiting for the ambulance he felt that "nothing was more real than the very subject we were filming and talking about". In response to the success of the programme with younger audiences, the BBC announced in March 2019 that a third series of Man Like Mobeen had been commissioned, which aired in 2020. In September 2020, a fourth series was confirmed.
Scripts for Man Like Mobeen were written by Khan and Andy Milligan, creator of the comedy drama Undercover and script writer for TV presenters Ant & Dec. Khan has stated that he wanted the show to portray "the funny yet complex realities of life for young working class men and women in Britain today", alongside an authentic account of Birmingham, which he feels "gets almost no positive representation in the media".
Series One (2017)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||1||"Bagpuss"||Ollie Parsons||Guz Khan and Andy Milligan||17 December 2017|
|Eight paid a stranger £150 for what he was conned into believing was a laptop, which is actually a dead cat in a bag. Based on a description of a 'Brown male, in jogging bottoms' dealing drugs, Eight is arrested by armed police. The real culprit is Shahid, a Small Heath dealer who uses 14-year-old Kareema to move his gear. Kareema asks Mobeen's sister Aqsa to help her hide Shahid's drugs from the police and she agrees. When Mobeen finds out, he physically confronts Shahid.|
|2||2||"Wifey Riddim"||Ollie Parsons||Guz Khan and Andy Milligan||17 December 2017|
|Mobeen's little sister Aqsa is suspended from school for fighting bullies. Believing that Aqsa would benefit from a female role model, Mobeen agrees to Uncle Habib's suggestion that he meet Khadijah and her father to discuss an arranged marriage. Things do not go to plan as Uncle Shady attends the meeting and ends up in a physical fight with Khadijah's father.|
|3||3||"Upper Room"||Ollie Parsons||Guz Khan and Andy Milligan||17 December 2017|
|Mobeen and Nate visit Eight's grandfather, who is terminally ill. He confesses to a bigamous marriage to Jamila, an assistant at his video rental business, and asks Mobeen to take him to see her at his shop one last time. When the four men arrive, Eight's grandfather reveals that Jamila left ten years ago and he actually wanted to go to the shop to dispose of a stash of pornographic VHS tapes before he dies and his other wife, Nadia, finds them.|
|4||4||"H-ALTRight"||Ollie Parsons||Guz Khan and Andy Milligan||17 December 2017|
|Mobeen takes the blame when Aqsa throws a flask at racist leader Robbie Worthington during a demonstration, and is arrested. He finds himself in the back of a police van with Worthington. The two argue and Worthington faints. After the pair are released, Aqsa again throws her flask at Worthington.|
Series Two (2019)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|5||1||"Prom Night"||Ollie Parsons||Guz Khan and Andy Milligan||6 February 2019|
|Mobeen is worried about rumours of debauchery and the threat of a stabbing at Aqsa's prom night, so attends with her in a car borrowed by Eight from a local gangster, Azaar, without his permission. Azaar drives by, recognises his car and threatens Eight, but the police arrive to investigate rumours of knife crime and the gang disperse. Ridwan, a classmate of Aqsa's who has a crush on her, arrives with a katana and is lectured by his hero, Mobeen. While playing with the katana, Mobeen is tasered by police.|
|6||2||"Wrestling with the NHS"||Ollie Parsons||Guz Khan and Andy Milligan||6 February 2019|
|Aqsa is injured during a game of WWE and is taken to hospital by Mobeen, Nate and Eight. While waiting for Aqsa to be treated, Mobeen meets an upper class man who complains about waiting times in the overstretched A&E and espouses racist views. Eight gets lost in the hospital and, posing as a doctor, performs surgery on the upper class man. The hospital authorities become worried about how Aqsa obtained her injury and call the police, however the policeman who arrives knows Mobeen and states that he's sure he would never intentionally hurt his sister. After this, the upper class man comes to the police officer and complains about his anus being stitched up.|
|7||3||"Return of the Pack"||Ollie Parsons||Guz Khan and Andy Milligan||6 February 2019|
|Mobeen's old friend Cal is released from prison and struggles to adjust to a crime-free life. Nate and Eight organise a homecoming party for Cal but Azaar arrives and Cal robs him at gunpoint. Aqsa is angry with Mobeen when she finds out he isn't her official legal guardian.|
|8||4||"Fake News"||Ollie Parsons||Guz Khan and Andy Milligan||6 February 2019|
|While queuing outside an indoor mini golf centre, where Mobeen, Nate, Eight and Aqsa are going to celebrate Aqsa's 16th birthday, Mobeen is filmed punching a dog, which is sent to attack him by its owner, who'd argued with Mobeen about her place in the queue. The video goes viral and Mobeen enlists Uncle Shady's help to remove it from the internet. While Mobeen is on a date with Aqsa's teacher, Miss Aitken, Nate and Eight are attacked by Azaar and his gang, leaving Mobeen plotting revenge.|
Series Three (2020)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|9||1||"You Reap What You Sow"||Ollie Parsons||Guz Khan and Andy Milligan||26 January 2020|
|10||2||"Moving Food"||Ollie Parsons||Guz Khan and Andy Milligan||26 January 2020|
|11||3||"Permanent Exclusion"||Ollie Parsons||Guz Khan and Andy Milligan||26 January 2020|
|12||4||"Boys In The Wood"||Ollie Parsons||Guz Khan and Andy Milligan||26 January 2020|
|13||5||"This Is The Ends"||Ollie Parsons||Guz Khan and Andy Milligan||26 January 2020|
Writing for the Financial Times, Harriet Fitch Little described the first series as "an exceptionally funny character comedy that spins jokes with a subtlety that’s rare for such a young writer". Before the release of the third series in January 2020, the NME's Gary Ryan said that Man Like Mobeen "isn't just one of the funniest sitcoms of recent times – it may also be one of the most important" and described the show as "Only Fools and Horses meets Breaking Bad – a lightning-in-a-bottle sitcom that features flawed-but-loveable characters you enjoy hanging out with, while actually saying something about the world they inhabit".
- BBC 2017.
- Jeffries 2018.
- Ryan 2020.
- BBC 2018.
- Lobb 2019.
- BBC 2019.
- "Man Like Mobeen to return for Series 4". www.comedy.co.uk. 9 September 2020. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
- "'Man Like Mobeen' creator Guz Khan says season 4 could explore COVID in prison". NME. 3 September 2020. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
- Fitch Little 2017.
- "Man Like Mobeen coming to BBC Three for brand new series". BBC. 24 August 2017. Archived from the original on 27 October 2018.
- "Guz Khan's Man Like Mobeen returns for a second series on BBC Three". BBC. 5 September 2018. Archived from the original on 27 February 2019.
- "BBC Three's Man Like Mobeen returns for a third series". BBC. 3 March 2019. Archived from the original on 18 September 2019.
- Fitch Little, Harriet (15 December 2017). "Man Like Mobeen — exceptionally funny character comedy". The Financial Times. (Subscription required.)
- Jeffries, Stuart (9 January 2018). "Man Like Mobeen's Guz Khan: 'Citizen Khan reminds me of On the Buses'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2 April 2018.
- Lobb, Adrian (8 February 2019). "Guz Khan: 'Man Like Mobeen' creator, rising comedy star, working class hero". The Big Issue. Archived from the original on 12 February 2019.
- Ryan, Gary (28 January 2020). "'Man Like Mobeen' star Guz Khan: "Anyone can make a generic sitcom – but we want to present real issues"". NME. Archived from the original on 28 January 2020.
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