Ramy (10 Eps)
Having been a huge fan and supporter of A24 when it came to their film releases in the past few years finally I wanted to check out one of their ventures into the world of television and Ramy stood out to me. Following a young American Muslim named Ramy (Ramy Hassan) living in New Jersey who are trying to balance living in the modern world and finding happiness in it but not sacrificing his religion or roots of who he is this in a lot of ways reminded me in the premise of Master of None by Aziz Ansari. Where Master of None doesn't quite have as much of a focus on religious beliefs it still follows someone dealing with finding out where they belong in the world while exploring their ethnic background which is something Master of None did brilliantly becoming probably my 3rd favorite show of all time. I went into Ramy without too many expectations not wanting to ruin its chances trying to hold it to the same standards of a show like Master of None, and I will say where the show is not perfect and definitely not on the same level as something like Master of None there still is quite a bit to like here.
First I will say that I really respected the take this show decided to use considering it really is focused towards a smaller demographic which doesn't get nearly enough representation in mainstream media. If you are a young Muslim I think you will find so much meaning and authentic heart throughout this show yet this also comes as a warning to this review and viewers not from this demographic, due to not growing up in this environment there is at least to some point a disconnect between the show and me. I still found myself enjoying the hell out of this show and there is plenty for anyone to get from the show, but know that it would be impossible for me to get the full experience from this show which is something I am not counting as a negative in the slightest. Not every voice being told has to speak to me directly and to say that a piece of media lacks value because it speaks to a different voice is absolutely foolish. Though with that being said its not like this show has no emotion that hits, specifically with the character of Ramy's mother when explored in Episode 7. This show has its moments where everything lines up perfectly and the show has a real impact on you.
Yet something I found disappointing was the depth in these characters past select individuals such as Ramy's mom and sister. Specifically the character of Ramy really overall failed to engage me quite like it seems like they wanted him to, past what is explored in the first and last couple episodes he felt like he was at a standstill when it came to his characters narrative in finding the balance in his life. The show does not do the best job at giving us a look into his mind as his ideologies on life develop and I kept getting distracted by the people around him who I personally found much more interesting (yet the blame should not fall onto Ramy Hassan the actor as he is really good when given something to really chew on). Though past just the emotions this show is trying to be comedic and this element worked overall for me as well. This is a very smart and witty show that play around with the modern environment and culture to create some really hilarious moments even out of some pretty serious and dark subjects such as the Muslim scare that came after 9/11. This walks a tightrope between getting the comedy right and terribly wrong but I think it is well crafted enough that it survives and even succeeds in most cases.
Overall Ramy definitely is less mainstream as Master of None and therefore had less of an impact on me but I would say there is enough here to where I would say most should check it out and if you are part of this target demographic I think you will absolutely love this show. Yet even with the lack of depth I found this show having with me I will say that I am interested in future seasons of this show, they don't dig themselves into any hole and have plenty of places to go with these characters in the future and even if it doesn't hit me any deeper than this season did I will still support and respect the hell out of this show for giving this unique voice and perspective the platform to tell these unique stories that a ton of people go through.