This show is just astoundingly good. Probably the best thing I’ve seen in the stay at home Covid-19 era. I’m not sure, because all of the rest of the shows I watch are so different. They involve crimes, mysteries, figuring things out, whereas “Ramy”…

Is like real life.

Only it isn’t. Because it’s about a Muslim family living in New Jersey.

Funny how the two best streaming comedy series are made by Muslims. Well, in the case of Aziz Ansari, a former Muslim, and I’m not sure of Ramy Youssef’s adherence to Allah, but the character he plays in the show…

I don’t know what it’s like where you live. But Los Angeles is a melting pot. Not as much as Toronto, which supposedly has the most languages spoken of any city on the planet, still…here in the City of Angels we live amongst people of all colors and nationalities, you can’t help but interact with those different from you, and I always go deep with them, I want to know their stories, how many generations have their families been here, to what degree are they integrated with the “community” here in L.A.

Like the Uber driver I had in Toronto. He was a translator in Iraq. The Americans promised him safe passage to the States, but they reneged on that. He got to T.O., but he can’t go back to Iraq, where they retaliated against his family and…

Then there’s the woman in my doctor’s office. She was giving me supplies and we got into a conversation… She’s South Asian, i.e. Indian to the politically incorrect. Her parents live up north. They immigrated from India. Does she have to marry someone from her culture?


They don’t know she has a white boyfriend, but she’ll never marry him, her parents would never accept it.

Kinda like being Jewish. At least when I grew up. Your parents wanted you to marry a member of the tribe. And there are all these characteristics of the balabusta, the classic Jewish mother. Making sure you get enough to eat, constantly worrying about their children. That’s not my mom, she’s an outlier, but I’m familiar with the experience.

But I’m not familiar with the Muslim experience.

Muslim. It’s a dangerous word in the United States. But Muslims are people too. Just like you and me. Maybe with different color skin, and different traditions, but with many of the same hopes and dreams as the rest of us.

But if you say the word “mosque,” everybody white freezes. And of course it’s much more complicated than this, but the point is Ramy is working at a startup, he’s living the life of every other single twentysomething, albeit observing Ramadan and not drinking.

But he lives at home. As does his sister Dena. Who remarks that her parents won’t let her move out until she gets married.


But Ramy… This is not a show that drags out the plot, that leaves you hanging, in fact, in many cases events happen much sooner than you’d expect them to, and just when you think they’re going one way, a character says something that makes Ramy or his sister uncomfortable and…

You’ve been uncomfortable too.

Admit it, you want to fit in, you want to have friends. It’s the universal condition. And the scene wherein Ramy’s mother believes there’s a problem with her Facebook post because she didn’t get any likes…

And Ramy’s uncle is anti-Semitic. He works with Jews all day long in the jewelry mart. He says he knows. But he’s so bigoted, everybody avoids him.

And Ramy’s two best friends…

They’re both married. They tell Ramy to get to it, because all the hot Muslim girls are gonna be gone!

One friend owns a diner. And almost steals the show. He’s got an opinion on everything, and it’s not always what you expect. And he’s happy owning a diner, because he’s making money! It’s the classic immigrant story.

As for Ramy’s other buddy…he’s a doctor. Immigrants always want their kids to be professionals. They don’t want you to take risks, they want you to buy insurance, to know that you will be better off than they are and won’t suffer.

And the show fluctuates between humor and pathos. Each episode is less than half an hour, and when you finish one, you just roll into the next one, you need more.

It’s kinda like “The Wonder Years.” If Kevin’s family were Muslim.

I had no intention of watching “Ramy.” I saw the hype and I ignored it. It just proved to me that Hulu was working it. Everything in the entertainment section is placed, and therefore should be ignored. You know, first they do the puff piece, and then they do the review. It’s like the news outlets have a deal with the producers, it’s shameless.

But Eric Greenspan insisted I watch one episode.

Man, it only took about twenty minutes and I was hooked.

I’m loath to give away plot points, because I want you to be surprised.

But is every Muslim considered to be a terrorist, even by their white friends?

Do people date others because they consider them exotic?

And you’ve got parents with old country values raising kids who are positively American.

And just when you think they’re slipping into caricature, they’re not.

They go deep into the characters. Ramy in the wake of 9/11. His sister Dena debating whether or not to break the taboo and have sex. And the mother! The husband sets the rules, believes everything is fine, but is that really the case?

I know “Ramy” won’t appeal to everybody. But on some level it is everybody, you’ll see yourself in it.

And don’t get the idea it’s only heavy. There are moments when you burst out laughing.

Are Muslims the new Jews, bringing the immigrant experience to comedy?

I don’t know if that’s true, but “Ramy” is the best sitcom I’ve seen since…

Well, nothing on network compares. There is Ansari’s “Master of None” on Netflix, but “Ramy” somehow walks a tightrope without appearing to.

And Ramy Youssef is a star. As warm and cute as can be, he’s anything but dangerous. Which is kind of the point.

Not that all of Ramy’s choices are good. Like I said, there are a lot of plot surprises in “Ramy.”

Which, once again, is on Hulu.

I know many don’t have Hulu. But I must admit, there’s some good stuff on there. Like “Prisoners of War” and “Deutschland” and…

And it’s not like Epix. Which is like throwing your show into the witness protection program. But Hulu does not have the ubiquity of Netflix.

But they’ve got “Ramy.”

Whose idea was it to greenlight this? Kudos! And the show works from the very first episode. If we still lived in the three/four network world, if we still lived in a pre-streaming world, “Ramy” would be a top ten show, maybe number one, because not only is it great, it’s us.

Yes, we live in a land of immigrants. And there are some whites who believe they grew out of the land, that their ancestors never came from overseas, and that these people coming in are ruining our country.

Just the opposite.

Maybe we should ship some of these white nationalists overseas in exchange for more immigrants. If nothing else, the white nationalists’ eyes will be opened, being a minority in their new country.

Like Eric Greenspan said, just watch one episode. It’s not even half an hour. You can risk that. And either you’ll be in or you’ll be out.

I think you’ll be in.

And normally I wait until I finish a series before I write about it, but in this case I’m only eight episodes into twenty, I haven’t yet hit the second season. But even if the rest sucks, “Ramy” is a triumph. Don’t let this one pass you by.

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