Here Come the Habibs is an Australian broadcasted television comedy series produced by Australian giant Jungle Entertainment. The sitcom follows a Lebanese-Australian family who, out of nowhere, win the jackpot in the lottery and decide to take their winnings and move to the posh Eastern suburbs of Sydney.
The series premiered on the “Nine Network” in Australia in February of 2016 and ran for two seasons. Although ‘Nine’ Program Director Hamish Turner did confirm in 2018 that the show would not be returning for a third season, the show is still widely watched in the Lebanese Diaspora and featured in diaspora newsletters as a must-see.
The six-part series was created by Rob Shehadie, Tahir Bilgic, Matt Ryan-Garnsey, Phil Lloyd and Ben Davies. It was written by Phil Lloyd, Gary Eck, Sam Meikle, Trent Roberts, Steve Walsh, directed by Darren Ashton, and produced by Chloe Rickard.
The theme centers on Matuse, an Australian Muslim aspiring rapper and his family attempting to integrate into the posh neighborhood.
The comedy series’ theme song was nominated for Best Television Theme at the 2016 APRA Screen Music Awards.
Although not casting any Lebanese actors in major roles, and often accused of racism, stereotyping, and a bit of a one-sided Western perception of the Lebanese population in Australia, the show remains a hilarious and exaggerated depiction of a migration and integration story.
Of the series, a popular Australian-Lebanese blogger has said: “It’s interesting to see so many Lebanese people expressing their distaste of the program and its ethnic stereotypes, but, in all honesty, the stereotypes portrayed in the show don’t steer too far away from the reality for so many Australian Lebanese families.”
On a more positive note, she says: “As you may witness in Here Come the Habibs, Lebanese people are closely knit to their families and extended families, they love food, they dance in any place they can, the women are a mixed bag of fun and crazy, the men balance hours at the gym with their reputation and, really, they all just want to fit in without attracting too much attention.”
Lebanese viewers around the world might just have to judge the series for themselves at this point, although the general reviews were positive, and the laughs were real.
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