Stand up comedian Ramy Youssef gained attention through his public appearance on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ in 2017, giving rise to a career characterized by individualistic identity in contemporary America. Youssef, a first generation Egyptian-American, stars in the Hulu web television series which essentially follows his journey as a suburban Muslim citizen of the United States caught in a spiritual struggle between an Egyptian community that thinks life is a moral test, and a Millennial generation that thinks life has no consequences.
Initial news regarding the show’s development emerged on October 4, 2017, when it was reported that American over-the-top (OTT) media services entertainment company Hulu had given the production company ‘A24’ a pilot presentation order. Co-created by Rami Youssef himself, ‘Ramy’ later received a full series production order on April 18,2018. Executive producers on the show are Ari Katcher and Ryan Welch and comedian Jerrod Carmichael, who also serve as additional writers.
‘Ramy’ is written as a comedy show while simultaneously shedding light upon the struggles and socio-political dynamics faced by the Muslim community in contemporary, suburban United States. In-spite of the show appropriating Youssuf’s real life identity of a first generation Egyptian-American, it consciously avoids the aspect of him being a stand up comedian to focus better on the social issues it wants to hold forward. Also, Youssuf’s real life metropolitan existence is replaced by a suburban one in the show. “Ramy” had its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in its Episodic Premieres section.
Ramy Cast: Who’s in it?
Stand up comedian and co-creator of the series, Ramy Youssef plays the eponymous title character Ramy, who is going through a psychological journey to seek spiritual closure. He is joined by a supporting cast including Mohammed Amer, Amr Waked, Hiam Abbass, May Calamwy, Dave Merheje, Laith Nakli and Steve Way. An endearing Hiam Abbas particularly shines in the series as Ramy’s shy and lonely mother constantly involved in the heartbreaking daily struggle of finding a place for herself in the local community apart from her family members. May Calamwy’s portrayal of Ramy’s younger sister Dena is used poignantly to represent the differences in familial treatment faced by Muslim women as opposed to Muslim men worldwide.
Ramy Plot: What is it about?
The uniqueness of Hulu’s upcoming web television series ‘Ramy’ lies in the constant internalized dichotomy in the mind of its eponymous, titular character. A millennial Egyptian-American living in a politically divided neighborhood in New Jersey, Ramy is caught in a constant struggle between his ethno-religious identity and that of an American young adult.
Unlike most other television shows dealing with similar social structures, ‘Ramy’ is much more grounded in reality and refuses to forget its roots. The titular character is seen as a devout Muslim who doesn’t drink or smoke, and yet can accept people who do so without any prejudice. Where most television shows around the same space, in their attempt to be overtly progressive would portray their titular character as an individual trying to fight his actual identity, ‘Ramy’ embraces it. And it is precisely by doing so, that the television series establishes a unique identity for itself, quite like its eponymous hero. Also, the fact that Ramy isn’t ashamed of his identity as a Muslim man in suburban America, helps the show to tread into the previously unexplored territory of peaceful internalized co-existence of apparently contrasting identities within the self.
Several socio-political issues such as racism, unfounded gender biases, religious guilt and toxic community culture find representation in the show. Ramy is often seen to avoid mentioning his teetotalism to the women he dates in order to avoid awkwardness between them. Additionally, he is seen to dread telling a Jewish girl he adores that he can’t have sex with her during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan. These can be seen as examples to trace out the hypocrisy in the otherwise progressive millennial America which is constantly talking about cultural diversity and social acceptance.
Ramy’s family members are constantly given the cold shoulder by their neighbours and social associates furthering the aforementioned point of hypocrisy the show intends to make. Contrary to what the singular named title might suggest, the show does well to flesh out its ancillary characters. For example, the differential familial treatment faced by Ramy in comparison to his younger sister Dena helps in making the universally prevalent point of the daily prejudices faced by Muslim women. In-spite of the show being a comedy on its surface, it does well to maintain a contemplative mood in order to retain the poignancy of the issues portrayed in it. Working in an unsuccessful cyber set up without proper direction in his life, Ramy still comes across as an individual ready to take responsibility of his actions instead of brushing them away, establishing an endearing nature to his character.
Ramy Season 2 Release Date: When will it premiere?
Ramy’ Season 1 released on April 19, 2019 on Hulu. The series enjoyed its first public screening recently at the SXSW Film Festival (Austin, Texas) in its Episodic Premieres section to positive reviews. If you are a fan of Ramy Youssef then this is definitely a must watch for you. Even if you are not or haven’t heard of him, there is no harm in checking out a show that is all about equality.
After a successful first seasons, with great reviews all around, it was only a matter of time before Hulu renews the show. So, on May 1, 2019, Hulu announced the renewal of the show. Even though no release date was revealed, our best guess is that Ramy Season 2 will come out in April, 2020. We will update this section as soon as we hear more.
The wry tone of the series is pretty prominent in this promotional trailer. Check out all the episodes from the first season on Hulu.
Read More: Upcoming Hulu Shows