Count Abdulla 2023 / A fresh spin on the horror genre and a welcome addition to TV’s growing roster of by-Muslims-for-Muslims comedies


This new six-part comedy series is as razor-sharp as a vampire’s fangs, skewering everything from the horror genre’s historically iffy treatment of people of color, lazy media stereotypes of Muslims, and real-life fixtures of Islamic communities. It never feels bogged down by the weight of the issues behind it, though, always staying true to the lightness of its silly — but ingenious — concept.

The show follows the goofy Abdulla (Arian Nik), a British-Pakistani trainee doctor and horror nerd who has enough on his plate — what with an unavailable crush and the social pressures of being a not-so-perfect Muslim — without also having to contend with being turned by vampire-dominatrix Kathy (played with gusto by Jaime Winstone). Writer Kaamil Shah manages to pack an impressive amount of cutting humor into each 20-ish-minute episode, whether through Kathy railing against the appropriation of vampire culture during Halloween (presented less as an anti-woke joke and more as a wry analogy to media misrepresentation of real minorities) or a wink to Muslims about the epidemic of hypocritical haram police in our communities. This balance between universal humor and inside jokes that speak directly to — rather than over the heads of — British Muslims makes Count Abdulla a very welcome addition to TV comedy in general, as well as a refreshing widening of the horror genre.

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