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Posts Tagged ‘Arlene Duncan’

Gerry Dee Discusses Season 3 of Mr. D

Sunday, August 4, 2013 @ 03:08 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Indeed, details on the impending third season of  CBC’S  hit sitcom, Mr D have emerged  through a report from Metro Halifiax.

Producer and star , Gerry Dee   commented on the growth in the overall quality and type of storytelling that would be seen in the coming season. “We’re getting better at what we do, finding out where our mistakes might have been, and keep adjusting and tightening up the show”.

Further changes in the forthcoming season include its length which has been reduced from 13 episodes to a mere  8 episode season in order to accommodate the airing of the Winter 2014 Olympics.

Additionally, viewers can expect a more central  and intensive focus on the main cast  and Gerry starting to have opportunities to  teach  as a physical education teacher- quite a difference from the previous season which featured many guest stars such as Russell Peters and Arlene Duncan.

Mr D is based largely on Gerry’s own recollection of his teaching experiences of a decade, which includes 7  years as a physical education teacher and 3 years as a classroom teacher.To that effect, Gerry Dee has discussed how  the depth of his own experiences will impact  what viewers  will  see throughout the  entire course of the season.

“I’m running out of the classroom stories so I think you’ll see (the show) start to be a combination of P.E. and classroom material.”

Consequently, the third season will open with Gerry Dee substituting a gym class.

While a debut date for the show’s third season  has yet to be set,it will be posted to the blog as soon as  the details have been obtained.

What are your thoughts on seeing Gerry substitute as a  Gym teacher at various points throughout season? What types of storylines would you like to see  develop for both the classroom situations as well as for the gym classes? Share your  responses in the comments section.

Happy Birthday To Us!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 @ 11:05 AM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Happy birthday to  us ! Happy birthday to us!

Today, this blog  celebrates 5 years in operation! Its hard to believe that  its been 5 years since the blog first opened. When it first launched, I  would not have thought that   I would  still be running this site 5 years later or that it would have brought about such rewarding opportunities. This site means so much to me and I have genuinely enjoyed running it and keeping readers informed about relevant subject matter.

Special thanks are extended to YOU the reader for supporting the blog through your continuous visits, comments and ongoing involvement in other interactive opportunities on the site. Without readers a site has no purpose or future. Your visits truly mean everything!

 Indeed, our past year has been  a  fairly  successful  year, overall! We provided  extensive coverage of Modern Family through  news coverage  as well a weekly episode features. We were initially providing  coverage of The Office in its recent ninth and final season with news coverage as well as interviews with cast members, Jake Lacy and  Oscar Nunez. Though we did not continue to cover the show, I greatly enjoyed interviewing these  dynamic professionals  and wish them the best now that the show has concluded.

:We welcomed nearly  28, 000 visitors and several new readers. I also  continued to provide retrospective coverage of  Little Mosque on the Prairie with the show’s first year off the air.This includes  a review  of Little Mosque’s impact in the form of a guest post on  Marilyn Gardner’s Communicating Across  Boundaries . We partnered with Watch it Rae for our coverage of Modern Family and also  continued to pursue partnership with CBC for our coverage of Mr. D as well as  retrospective coverage of Little  Mosque on the Prairie.

 Coverage of Mr. D was launched  back in March through episode coverage, news features as well as other media coverage including an interview with Lauren Hamersley and a live chat with Naomi Sniekus. With the show  having  been renewed for season 3, expect more interviews and extensive coverage.

 What plans do  we have for  our impending sixth year? In addition to the Mr D  coverage outlined above,coverage of Modern Family   will also continue to a certain extent.  As always, your suggestions are welcome and can be made through the use of the suggestion box.We are in the process of exploring various other series and will issue an update shortly.

We will also be introducing a few regular features related  to the shows that are being covered as well as regular administrative features such as a  Reader of the Month Program. Contests may possibly take place as well.

 What has your favorite post of the blog been and what types of coverage would you like to see?

What  would you like to see on the site for our  upcoming year. Share your thoughts in the comments section or by e-mail. Thank  you for being apart of the community and I  look forward to another exciting year with the readership where we continue to work together to make the site the best it can be.

Little Mosque on the Prairie – A Review

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 @ 12:03 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Take a look at a feature I wrote  in relation to Little Mosque  on the Prairie’s impact on  Marilyn Gardner’s Communicating Across Boundaries  by following the link  enclosed below.

Little Mosque on the Prairie – A Review.

via Little Mosque on the Prairie – A Review.

Happy Birthday to Us!

Monday, May 21, 2012 @ 01:05 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]


Happy  Birthday to US!  Happy Birthday to US! Today, the blog celebrates  4 years of operation!

It’s hard to believe that it has already been four years since I first  opened this blog.When I first  started this site four years ago I was unsure of what it would become and   would not have believed  that I would be running it four years later. This site means so much to me and I have genuinely enjoyed running it and keeping readers informed about relevant subject matter. It has been a truly rewarding  experience and  provided enriching opportunities, which I never would have thought I would have. I am proud that this blog has been providing prominent coverage for thousands of readers each month on various television series which are of interest. Special thanks are extended to YOU the reader for supporting the blog through your continuous visits, comments and ongoing involvement in other interactive opportunities on the site. Without readers a site has no purpose or future. Your visits truly mean everything!

The last year has been the biggest and most successful year for this site. We welcomed nearly 44 000 visitors which is approximately  4 times the number of visits the site had in its initial year.  We continue to interact with readers through active monitoring of the blog`s Facebook and Twitter page . We pursued   affiliation with both CBC and Westwind pictures that supported the blog by endorsing its coverage of Little Mosque on the Prairie. The blog also further  expanded its diverse network this past year by having partnered with various cross cultural  blogs which have expressed interest in Little Mosque on the Prairie such as Marilyn Gardner`s Communicating  Across Boundaries and Knightley Emma. We were also recognized by the Canada Media  Fund  for  the site`s ongoing coverage of Little Mosque on the Prairie.  The blog connected with Gateworld .net , which is known as the leading online website for Stargate  where many of our interviews with cast members from the franchise were linked from. Thank you to  all of our affiliates for your support of the blog. I have  greatly enjoyed working with each of  your respective  organizations and/ or sites and hope that we  will continue to support one another in this coming year.

We continued our retrospective coverage of  the Stargate franchise after  it drew to an end after 17 years with SGU  through news reporting and interviews with SGU’S Jennifer Spence, Peter Kelamis and   brilliant main cast member , Brian J Smith. We also had the delight of interviewing  Stargate Atlantis, Rachel Luttrel! Thank you to each of  you for  kindly participating in the interviews. I tremendously enjoyed the rewarding experience and I trust each of you benefitted from it as well.

The past year has been a significant year for the blog’s coverage of Little Mosque on the Prairie as the show progressed in its sixth and final year.   In addition on going news coverage and weekly episode features, I   once again interviewed Little Mosque’s  Manoj Sood,   Debra McGrath,   Brandon  Firla  , Arlene Duncan and Aliza Vellani to  extensively discuss  roles within the show’s sixth and final  season. We also interviewed, for the first time, Little Mosque’s Derek McGrath to discuss  the impact  which the departure of his character had on the show as well as the fan favourite , Zaib Shaikh who provided an insightful overview of the show’s sixth and final season as well as  how the program represents  Canada.  Thank to you all of the cast members for your exceptional portrayals and for participating in the interviews. I sincerely hope you enjoyed the experience as much as I did and extend best wishes in the future of your acting careers. It has truly been truly an honour and my pleasure to work with each of you .

Indeed, this is the only online media outlet which has interviewed the entire cast of this ground-breaking series.The blog was  recognized  by other institutions of the media for its extensive coverage of Little Mosque on the various occasions for its extensive coverage of this ground-breaking series including   Aquila Asia, a cosmopolitan magazine which did a  complete overview on the series to introduce it to its south Asian  readership. The blog was also mentioned on a live streaming with the cast of Little Mosque on CBC Live where the entire cast of the show thanked  us for its extensive support as well as responding to additional questions which we had about the show’s end.  I also had a chance to appear on CBC`S The National in order to discuss the show’s impact

From February to April the blog hosted a few live chats with various cast members of Little Mosque on the Prairie  including Aliza Vellani, Manoj Sood and Debra McGrath as a way of providing  viewers with the chance to directly  interact with  the stars themselves. Thank you to these prominent Canadian talent and all of the readers who joined in the discussion!

We also covered various other series on the blog. Back in September we launched coverage of FOX`S  new science fiction series,Terra Nova through weekly episode previews as well as through our  interactive features. Although  this show was not renewed for a second season, I greatly enjoyed discovering the series.

The blog launched its coverage of The Office and Web Therapy back in September and January respectively .As a result we have begun to welcome a new audience to the readership  through ongoing news coverage .Interviews  with various cast members of both series may be scheduled within the upcoming period.

I would also like to take  a moment to extend thanks to Youtube group, supportfire115@http://www.youtube.com/user/supportfire115 for kindly providing the decorations used for this celebratory post. Thank you for helping make this special  day even more memorable through your assistance in this regard.Thanks also goes to the blog’s occassional communications auditor , Nisreen O’Neill.

What plans do we  have for year number 5? With Little Mosque and Stargate having ended, we look forward to occasional  ongoing respective coverage of these significant and  defining series for this blog.  The blog will continue to cover  The Office  as we approve its impending ninth season and provide extensive , ongoing coverage of Showtime’s Web therapy through ongoing news, weekly episode guides as well as  interviews with various cast members of this unique  comedy. The blog will also be launching coverage of  CBC`S, Mr. D as the show approaches its second season.  Expect other science fiction series to be covered as well. The blog may launch a music aspect  by  covering  works of  prominent North American  musicians. Further details will follow  next month once precise  plans have been finalized.

Although our previously announced plans to launch a held hosted site have been terminated at this time, we are  in the process of  assessing  various other templates  within WordPress.com. Readers can therefore look forward to a new  design .

What  would you like to see on the site for our  upcoming year. Share your thoughts in the comments section or by e-mail. Thank  you for being apart of the community and I  look forward to another exciting year with the readership where we continue to work together to make the site the best it can be.

Little Mosque on the Prairie’s Arlene Duncan Talks About The Series Wrap Up

Monday, April 2, 2012 @ 04:04 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Its been sometime since we last connected with Little Mosque on the Prairie’s Arlene Duncan, who  has  portayed  the role  of the vibrant  and independant cafe owner, Fatema Dinssah.With the groundbreaking and daring yet highly comedic series drawing to an end tonight on CBC, its a suitable time to touch base  with the actress to discuss  her response to the conclusion and to ask  her to reflect on some of her experiences over the course of its six seasons.

 Read through  my complete interview with the delightful actress below and be sure to tune in for the series finale of Little Mosque on the Prairie @ 8:30pm eastern standard time.

Abbas Karimjee: Since we last connected, it was announced that Little Mosque

will end in its current season.This season marks Little Mosque’s

final chapter. What was your reaction when you discovered this

and what are your thoughts on the degree to which it is suitable for the show 

to end this year?

Arlene Duncan:It has been both an honor and a pleasure to be part of such a unique

and ground-breaking show for six seasons. Currently we are

viewed in over 90 countries around the world. Although the show

went through many changes in its six seasons, I’m happy to have

seen my character make it from the first shooting day to the end!

Obviously after this amount of time working with the same cast

and crew there was sadness when we learnt that the show would be

coming to an end. Actually we thought we would be ending after

the 5th season but when we heard we would be coming back again

for a 6th season it was an unexpected bonus!

The cast of Little Mosque share a toast as production for the show wraps[June 2011 in Toronto

AK: Could you please give us an idea as to the atmosphere which was present on the set throughout the final weeks on the show?

AD:The atmosphere shooting the final season was very bittersweet: all

good things must come to an end, it wasn’t a complete shock or a

surprise, and we were all prepared to go out with a bang. Still, after

an investment of six seasons into these wonderful characters, just

like our audiences around the world, we’ve become attached to

them. It’s hard to say goodbye and let go of both the relationships

and what they mean to us, fortunately they’ll continue to live on in

reruns and DVDs around the world! After we shot our final scene

together as a group, we all very un-Islamically opened a bottle of

champagne and toasted to our success—those who partake,

partook!

AK: What is the final season all leading up to? Could you please give

us an idea of what in store for the series finale itself, both for

Fatima and the show in general?

AD:By the time this is posted the season finale may have already aired,

but still I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone. However, I

can say I think the ending should be a satisfying way to show the

journey of this community of Muslims and the people of Mercy to

the loyal viewers who have followed us from the beginning.

When the final credits roll, one can still imagine that life in Mercy and the lives of these characters will continue to go on: Rayaan &

Amaar’s life as a married couple, Sarah’s adventures in her new

role as a single woman, embracing her faith, Baber continuing to

rant, Fred spouting off on the radio, and Fatima dishing out goat

curry and wisecracks at the café.

AK: You have played Fatima for the show’s six seasons. Could you

please reflect on some of your most favorite moments on the show,

both on screen and in production? Reflecting on your six years

from working to the show, what aspect of working on the show,

will you miss the most?

AD:Although we did the majority of our shooting in Toronto (the

interiors were shot in a studio and the vicinity) and the exteriors in

Saskatchewan, we considered ourselves a Canadian show

representing the multicultural Canadian experience. What I’ll miss

most, besides having a steady gig for six seasons, and working

with our fantastic cast & crew, are the trips to Saskatchewan every

year to shoot exterior scenes. Our‘paid vacation time’ or ‘acting

camp’ as it was affectionately called was a fun-filled bonding

experience where we got to connect with each other as a cast & as

friends, as well as make friends within the Saskatchewan

community. These trips also helped me to ground my character in

the experience of what life would really be like as a Nigerian

immigrant in a small Saskatchewan town.

AK:You were recently involved in a musical theatre which made its

debut on January 23. Could you please indicate the

title of the project, where it was held,the storyline of the show and

other relevant details?

AD:Since the show finished shooting I have gone on to perform some

very different roles from Fatima in various films & television

shows, but I was most excited to get back to my roots in musical

theatre and play the lead role in the Tony-Award winning play

Caroline or Change. Set in 1963, Caroline Thibodeaux is a maid to

a Southern Jewish family who does what she must to provide for

children while struggling to keep her sense of self, while the son of

her employer struggles to make sense of the world around him. It

has been quite a while since I’d been ‘on the boards’ performing

live on stage night after night.

AK: How does working on a  theatre production differ from working

on studio sets such as Little Mosque? Which type of acting do you

prefer?

Playing eight shows a week takes a

very different discipline from working in television. There are no

re-takes in theatre and the objective is to give the audience an

‘opening night’ performance every night. I’m very happy to say

that thankfully our show was well received with a sell-out run. I’m

actually looking forward to getting back on the stage again!

AK:With Little Mosque ending, how do you hope Fatema will be remembered as and  what final message do you have for viewers of the show?

With the luxury of six seasons on LMOTP I’ve learnt a great deal as

a performer, grown as an actor and a person and I’m sure to carry

all that I’ve learnt into my future roles. I’m very grateful that

audiences have embraced the character of Fatima Dinssa as their

friend, a sister, or a neighbour and I hope that her legacy will be

similar to that of LMOP: to show that in spite of our outward and

cultural differences at heart we are all the same…and that most

problems can be resolved with some good food!

Little Mosque on the Prairie Season 6 Episode 10- The Worst of Times[ Series Finale -Part 1]

Monday, March 26, 2012 @ 11:03 AM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Tune in for  the first half of the series finale of Little Mosque on the Prairie to tonight @ 8:30pm eastern  standard time on CBC!

In the lead up to the series finale, Amaar reveals to Baber that he plans to be the Imam of the new Mosque. In turn, Baber revolts and forms a splinter Mosque. Meanwhile, Ann is distraught over Charles’ upcoming nuptials to a younger woman and comes up with a bizarre strategy to fight for her man. And Sarah attempts to rejoin the church choir, with fiery results.[CBC]

What prompted Amaar to change his mind about being the Imam for the community? How will Baber`s revolt affect the unity of Mercy`s Muslim community?What  is Ann`s  bizarre strategy and will she  be successful in   uniting with Charles?How will Sarah disrupt the choir with her fiery results and how will this affect her ability to  effectively reintegrate into the Anglican community. Share your thoughts  and speculations in the comments section of the episode.

Notes and Spoilers

Little Mosque on the Prairie Season 6 Episode 4-

Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 06:01 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Tune in for a new episode of Little Mosque on the Prairie, entitled The Dating Game@ 8:30pm  eastern time

Amaar needs Baber and Thorne’s cooperation to win a coveted Multi-Faith Award, but Baber and Thorne try to cut Amaar out when they discover the award comes with a cash prize. Meanwhile, Ann sets Sarah up on the worst first-date of her life, which leads to the worst second-date of her life. And Nate and Fatima team up to make a multi-ethnic sandwich[CBC]

What will be Amaar’s response be to the two’s attempt to have him removed from the situation? Given  Amaar’s more liberal approach to  multifaith events, how will Thorne and Baber’s more consrvative  and narrow mimded attutudes  affect their ability to win? What prompts Nate and  Fatema to make a multi sandwich  and how will this turn out?Share your speculations in the comments section and be sure to tune in.

Interview With Little Mosque on the Prairie’s Arlene Duncan

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 @ 06:02 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Indeed, actress Arlene Duncan   has been leading a prominent career as a  multitalented  Canadian  singer and  actress, who has appeared in numerous television and feature film productions , including  Puppets Who Kill, Regenesis, Degrassi: The Next Generation. The actress currently stars in  CBC’s hit sitcom, Little Mosque  on the Prairie, as the outspoken, strong-minded  café owner, Fatema Dinssa.

With  Arlene being kind enough to participate in a interview with us and Little Mosque progressing in its exciting fifth season, we took the chance to  discuss  the challenges of playing Fatema, how Arlene  relates to the character,  the actress’ experience  of being a  role model as a result of her role as Fatema , as well as the other acting projects which  Arlene has been involved in  and much more!

1.Although your previous roles have varied greatly from your current role as Fatima, how have you still been able to draw from your past experiences as an actress to enhance your performance as Fatima?

Coming from a Jamaican-Canadian background, I grew up surrounded by some very strong, independent women with gregarious personalities. I’d like to think I bring a lot of that experience to Fatima’s character. In the script she’s a ‘Nigerian Muslim café owner’, but to me, she is a mother, a businesswoman who speaks her mind and a woman who lives and expresses her faith and her culture. These qualities are pretty universal and I think that’s why so many people are able to relate to her

2. How familiar were you, with the religion of Islam, prior to being appointed the role of Fatima ?

I was only vaguely familiar with the Islamic religion but have learnt a great deal more while preparing for the role, through friendships I’ve made with Muslim women and with the help of our onset production advisors over the past five seasons.

3. How do you think Fatima has developed over the course of the series and what aspirations do you have for the character?

I think the character of Fatima has been pretty consistent over the past five seasons. I see her and the café as something of an anchor in the town of Mercy. She knows and has an opinion about everyone and everything, and can be depended on in her own quirky way, to give out comfort, a good meal and sound practical advice. I’ve also enjoyed the episodes where we find out more about her background and her personal life and would be thrilled to be able to explore that more! But it’s only a half hour comedy

4. How do you relate to the character of Fatima?

Playing Fatima is a lot of fun. I have always been attracted to other cultures, especially African culture and it’s a pleasure being able to bring to life such a strong-minded, straight-talking personality. Another one of the many benefits of playing Fatima is that unlike actresses on other television shows, due to her wardrobe, I have the luxury of never having to worry about a ‘bad hair day’ or stressing about my weight! Like a lot of people I was under the misguided impression that as a rule Islamic women were shy, quiet and reserved, so when I was offered the role I was a little apprehensive but Fatima and I do have a lot in common. We are both strong-minded, independent women, and I do love to cook–although I don’t have a team of clever writers giving me witty lines to say on a daily basis!

5. What has been the most challenging aspect in portraying Fatima and how have you coped with this challenge?

I feel that the most challenging aspect of playing Fatima has been of course, trying to consistently portray her African & Islamic culture authentically. With every script it’s my challenge to take the words off the page and ‘translate’ my lines into Fatima’s rhythm or accent.  We have Islamic advisors on set that are always available to answer questions, solve problems and do things like: make sure that when shooting in warm weather that we strike a compromise when I challenge them on just how many layers I really need to keep on! Every season I shop for the newest batch of Nollywood movies that I keep running in my dressing room as part of my ‘background atmosphere’—I somehow think Fatima also, would enjoy watching her Nigerian movies as a way to keep in touch with her homeland

6. Fatima has had intimate encounters with both the characters of Fred and Baber. Which of the two would you prefer to see Fatima in a romantic relationship and why? What challenges do you see Fatima facing with the chosen character?

While I love both characters Fred and Baber, Fatima has very different relationships with each of them. Fred has a heart of gold but is publicly very anti-Muslim & Baber loves to rant and challenge everyone’s religious correct-ness which I think keeps him from just being able to relax and connect with other people. In a nutshell, they are both very complicated men who are ‘works in progress’! As actors we don’t know what plans the writers have for our characters, but I think if Fatima was going to have a real relationship, it would be very interesting if it was with some mysterious new character who comes to town to be a real match for her personality. We might see a whole new side to Ms. Fatima Dinssa

7. Could you please give us an idea as to the challenges and surprises, which are in store for Fatima this season?

Isn’t it more fun to see what happens as the season unfolds?

8. What has been your experience as a role model and why do you think the character of Fatima is so influential?

As I said before, I was under the misguided impression, like a lot of people, that Islamic women were generally a very unassuming oppressed group and I think it’s very eye-opening for people to see a character like Fatima, who is so much like your mother, sister, aunt or friend…no matter what religion or culture you might be from. When people recognize me from the show they often comment on how they relate to the things she does or know people who are just like her. There are also so few prominent actors of color on television today that I’m often asked to speak at youth and cultural events encouraging young artists and inspiring them by my example that it’s possible to pursue their dreams of a career in the arts. In 2009, I was named Honorary Chairman of Literature for Life, a Toronto-based organization created to engage at-risk young families in building a culture of literacy and learning—to invest in their own families and futures. In 2010, I was awarded by the Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton & the Government of Ontario, the Five Pillars Award for Arts & Culture.

9. Have you been working on any other acting projects, which you would like to share with viewers?

I have been able to work on a few other film and television projects since we finished shooting this season such as a comedic guest role as rival high school Principal Mooser on ‘Wingin’ It’ on the Family channel, and I’m looking forward to an upcoming musical theatre project later on in the year.

10. What message would you like to convey to fans of the series?

I would like the fans of Little Mosque on the Prairie and the   readers of your blog to know that we really appreciate the support they’ve given us over these past five seasons and hope that they continue to enjoy following the adventures of the residents of the town of Mercy.