Given that TLC is the same network that gave us Sarah Palin’s Alaska, three iterations of Say Yes to the Dress, Toddlers and Tiaras, and DC Cupcakes (for which, I cannot tell a lie, I once went to a premiere party), I’m choosing to interpret the network’s new show, All-American Muslim, which features six Muslim families in Dearborn, Michigan, as an act of penance. My friends at Faith in Public Life are right to note that this is total Alyssa-bait. I don’t know that I’ve heard about what sounds like my perfect show about Muslim-Americans, and as y’all pointed out, there’s no guarantee that Bravo’s Shahs of Sunset will have Muslim characters at all. But even if these shows aren’t great, or not very many people watch, I’m encouraged that so many folks are experimenting in this space, trying to figure out how Muslim and Middle Eastern characters fit into the parts of our pop culture that aren’t about security. We haven’t had enough trials and errors to know what works, as art, and as social argument.
Muslim Reality-Show Watch: TLC Jumps In