RAMY premieres April 19th on Hulu.
[Ed. Note: Being that TV and City is on a bit of a hiatus, this article has not been edited.]
By Ariba Bhuvad
Hulu’s RAMY is groundbreaking in more ways than one. Written, directed, and produced by Egyptian-American comedian, Ramy Youssef, this series follows a character by the same name. Ramy’s story mimics and depicts the cultural, political, and religious struggles one faces growing up in America while simultaneously feeling torn between multiple communities. Ramy as a character is conflicted because he’s a somewhat devout Muslim who refrains from drugs and alcohol, but attends parties and hooks up with girls. He participates in prayer and all Muslim-related events/celebrations, but something within him is still conflicted. What and who is he?
Ramy answers this question in a magnificent way and accurately illustrates what the current Muslim-American generation is dealing with. But the series doesn’t try to go overboard with in-your-face storylines but rather takes a comedic approach to Ramy’s life. Who said that a serious topic can’t be taken lightly? What stands out the most about Ramy, is that it is not trying to prove that Muslims are like everyone else. This is a trope that has been attempted many times before but never seems to land in the best way. However, Ramy differs here greatly. It is simply following the everyday life of a Muslim-American who must balance religion, living in America, and parents who haven’t quite let their old ways go.
Ramy doesn’t shy away from telling stories that revolve around Islamophobia. In fact, one episode focuses on a day in the life of young Ramy when the tragic events of 9/11 occur. This episode essentially highlights what it was like for many young Muslim-Americans during this time, something even I can attest to as a Muslim-American. But the way Ramy approaches it is unique yet simple, it’s not trying to make viewers feel sorry for Muslims but rather just give a different perspective into a day that forever changed our lives.
It will come as no surprise when Ramy gets recognized for its amazing storytelling. In fact, I’m certain it will be recognized during awards season, it simply has to! The manner in which it highlights the struggle to assimilate into a country you were born but yet still feel foreign to is something Ramy has excelled at. Many that can relate to the series will be hard pressed to find something that accurately illustrates their feelings like this series does.
And even if you do not belong to the culture or religion that is highlighted in Ramy, one can still relate to issues of assimilation, wanting to belong, and trying to find yourself. At the core, this is exactly what Ramy is about. How do you find who you are in the midst of all the crazy things happening in the world? And how do you match and align that with your beliefs, values, and ethics?
Ramy is a hilarious, fun, and entertaining watch that will surpass your expectations and open you up to a whole new world. Youssef’s creative direction and involvement in the series takes it to a whole new level and will certainly open up a world of understanding and empathy as people begin to watch it.
I give RAMY an A.