After two seasons of serious success on US soil, this self-aware sitcom has set up camp on Channel 4.
The series follows Ramy Hassan – played by Ramy Youssef – a second-generation Egyptian-American millennial, raised in a Muslim family in New Jersey and now desperately trying to find out who he is whilst juggling one-night-stands, a failed medical career, a penchant for partying and a currently stagnant spirituality.
There’s been a real boom in recent years for this kind of semi-autobiographical sitcom – Fleabag, The Duchess, Master of None – and this new offering is up there among the best. Ramy is a Muslim in the age of post-9/11, ongoing wars in the Middle East and has Donald Trump as his president. His parents are rather relaxed about religion, arguably more so than Ramy himself. And he has no idea what he’s doing. After a period of non-committal shagging and boozing, he’s determined to reconnect with his religion and figure it all out.
It’s a warm and witty portrayal of American identity, exploring sexuality, gender and internal conflict in a playful and open-minded way, whilst also referencing that messy boundary where self-improvement turns into self-serving.
We admit, you won’t always like Ramy – he’s sometimes vain, self-centred and too intent on getting laid – but you will always root for him.
The show is already an award winner over in the States, winning a Golden Globe and being nominated for three Emmys, and it seems the series could be seeing the same success in the UK. The Telegraph’s Chris Bennion tells us to “believe the hype,” and watch this “fresh, fun confessional comedy drama,” whilst The Guardian’s Adrian Horton called the first season “one of 2019’s most original and promising new shows.” And it seems Hugo Rifkind of The Times is with them, saying: “I love it. Freshest thing I’ve seen in months.”
First shown February 2021. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.