New Benchmark TV Series "Ramy" on Hulu
By: Mohamed Nada/Arab America Contributing Writer
A new Arab American comedy show has recently hit the streaming services, and the season has been such a hit since its launch in mid-April that Hulu network has already agreed to another one. The star of the show is Ramy Youssef acting like himself, co-created the TV hit with Ari Katcher, Ryan Welch, and executive producer, Jerrod Carmichael. The story, called “Ramy”, follows a 20-year-old man as he figures out his life in New Jersey amidst complicated living situations, balancing family and friends, and the desire to accomplish greatness.
In the video above, Youssef (of Egyptian background) gives us a break-down on what the show is all about while articulating how the ten years of his life are not so much about his personal story, but what goes along with it.
Youssef uses this show as a way of depicting the life of a Muslim growing up in America. Though he takes on a humorous attitude, Youssef mainly seeks to highlight the struggles faced by most American-based Muslim youth, and what they do to get through the day.
Again, here Youssef talks about what it means to be young and Arab Muslim, especially on TV. Specifically, he remarks how Arab American Muslim kids are expected to “come out this cocoon, and finally be the American butterfly that they are meant to be…”
More on the Show “Ramy”
In an IndieWire article, author Ben Travers mentions how, “as a general ignoramus to day-to-day Muslim customs and the detailed beliefs of Islam, I can’t claim “Ramy” is authentic. But it is honest. I can’t say it represents an entire group of Americans — a group oft-ignored by Hollywood — but only because it’s so specific to Ramy’s journey…”
A second article in the New York Times written by Sopan Deb states: “Born in Queens and raised mostly in Rutherford, N.J., Youssef began conceiving the show when he dropped out of Rutgers University at 20 and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. Being on the opposite coast of his family, he found more solace in Islam than he had ever found before.”
Deb goes on to say that “Youssef acknowledged that he would not have been able to make this show a decade ago — the explosion of streaming platforms have created more opportunities for more diverse perspectives and talent. (Steve Way, an actor born with muscular dystrophy, plays a close friend of Youssef). It has also created room for formal experimentation.”
Overall Feelings on “Ramy”
Altogether, “Ramy” is a great show which will appeal to those interested in a good comedy and/or learning about the daily lives of young Arab Muslims in the West. Viewers will realize that Muslim Americans are no different than anyone else, especially, given the comedic style Ramy Youssef incorporates into the script. Even though there are just ten episodes thus far, “Ramy” seems to have a bright future. We look forward to seeing what the show has in store.