The finale of Here Come the Habibs’ first season was a bit of a mixed bag for me, in particular with the writing and performances.
The writing was tight–the continuity of the Anzaclava and party terrorist subplots was seamlessly maintained, with the latter being concluded nicely. It’s a shame the Anzaclava didn’t take off, however I felt this plot wasn’t concluded properly. The revelation of Fou Fou sabotaging the Anzaclava via a negative social media campaign was predictable as I definitely saw it coming, however his intentions were understandable and sweet, as well as expands his character.
The interaction and sexual tension between Elias and Madison was well done, especially Madison finding Elias’ note at the end of the episode. Clearly this opening the door for a story arc for season 2, I appreciate that this show took the unconventional but necessary road of slowing building up their attraction and affection for each other. Many sitcoms have followed the cliche route of making love interests clear only to keep them apart by several frustrating obstacles. While the cliche shows good writing, it is still cliche, you could argue that this is what the writers are doing, but with the subtlety of the build up, it doesn’t feel that way.
I felt that Toufic and Jahesh’s “abduction” was over-the-top and almost unnecessary. The series has gone to a lot of effort to shove stereotypes in the viewers’ faces, while it was a unique technique to end a subplot, I can’t help but feel it could have been ended differently. Perhaps with Toufic finding a genuine and unexpected career path through it, that would provide him with a purpose. Toufic is a dim-witted but good hearted character, I’m hoping the writers show the understated latter quality in him more in the next season.
I didn’t enjoy another racial stereotype inserted in the show via the creation of the Chann’s at first, however I was relieved when the stereotype was emphasised in only one scene, as well as when I discovered its purpose. The purpose of their characters is to open the door to the final outcome of the season, not to mention is the writers’ choice to make an inside joke and poke fun at themselves and the controversy that surrounding the show, before it began. It’s good to know that the writers and creators aren’t afraid to poke fun at themselves as much as they poke fun at everyone else.
In regards to the performances, I felt that they were flat, with the exception of Darren Gilshenan’s (Jack) during his scene with Helen Dallimore (Olivia) in their apartment. It was good to see Jack finally standing up to Olivia, as well as Olivia showing a brief moment of humanity.
Much like the revelation of Fou Fou being revealed as the Anzaclava saboteur, the conclusion of the season with Fou Fou buying the O’Neill’s house was predictable as I saw it coming. Nevertheless it was a good full circle ending to the season.
Overall the finale was a mixed bag but it did its job of wrapping up most of the first season’s storylines and opening up the door for the second. Overall, the first season of Here Come the Habibs was interesting, with the first half excessively relying on racial stereotypes to tell its stories and the second half showing its potential, with its focus on character development and improved writing.
I’m looking forward to watching the second season next year.