A24 is one of the best movie studios in the business gracing out screens with fantastic movies like Lady Bird (2017), Hereditary (2018), and Uncut Gems (2019). But A24 isn’t just limited to the big screen when it comes to pumping out excellent content, as they have produced some brilliant TV shows. Euphoria starring Zendaya was produced by A24 and HBO and is a great example of how A24 isn’t a one-trick pony. However, I want to talk about the new A24 series that dropped last year that I have seen hardly anyone talks about. Ramy.
Ramy stars stand-up comedian Ramy Youssef as Ramy Hassan, an Egyptian-American on a spiritual journey in his New Jersey neighbourhood. It follows Ramy’s struggles between being a devout Muslim where life is a moral test and being a millennial believing life has no consequence.
I actually had heard nothing about this show until listening to the A24 Podcast Youssef did with Awkwafina which just goes to show, at least in my eyes, how little this show has been marketed (that or I am just really blind). It may have been because the show was initially released on Hulu, a service that sadly isn’t available in the UK. Which is a damn shame, because this show is bloody good. No wonder Youssef won a golden globe for this.
Watching this show was also quite an educational experience for me, as it gave me insight into how Muslims follow Islam
The humour in this show never tends to be too over the top, tending to stick to more grounded and awkward comedy that you can’t help but let a chuckle slip out. I will say though at times the humour in this show can be dark, which is something I personally enjoy, but for others, it might not quite be your cup of tea. While the show is certainly first and foremost a comedy, it does take time to address some serious topics with maturity like the struggle with religion and racism, especially towards Muslims following 9/11. The show also takes time to address issues which can be considered smaller but are no less important, like loneliness and drug use. Watching this show was also quite an educational experience for me as it gave me insight into how Muslims follow Islam, as well as how a Muslim family works. If you are just interested in learning more about stuff like that then I highly recommend giving this show a look.
The cast all give great performances that help bring these characters alive with realistic portrayals. Ramy’s family played by Amr Waked, Hiam Abbass, and May Calamawy all have excellent chemistry with each other, which just adds to that portrayal of a real family. Speaking of the cast of this show, I think it is very important to talk about diversity in it.
Watching this was a very refreshing change of pace from shows plagued with a sea of white faces, but there wasn’t just an exclusive focus on Egyptians and Muslims. They could have easily done that and I wouldn’t have cared less, but they went above and beyond to include more minorities in a way that didn’t just check a box like a Disney film, but improve the story being told. A great example of this was Steve, played by Steve Way, a friend of Ramy who suffers from Muscular Dystrophy. His inclusion in the show was great as it was both inclusions for disabled actors (something the industry is sorely lacking) and led to some great comedic moments.
The only real issue I had with the show has that many of the conversations were in Arabic without any subtitles. I’m not sure if this was deliberate a technical issue on my part, but it did make it hard for me to keep track of the story at times (but not impossible). Maybe this is Youssef telling me to learn Arabic.
There is already a second season of Ramy but sadly I don’t think it is available in the UK quite yet.
Last modified: 23rd June 2020