Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine what’s new and old in entertainment.
One of the biggest strengths of the Peak TV era we’re living in where there are too many shows to ever possibly watch and new series seem to be premiering every week is that it has enabled for more specified storytelling. For decades, television shows revolved around the experiences of white, heteronormative casts. In peak TV, shows like Blackish or Modern Family have been able to thrive telling more diverse stories. These more diverse shows not only offer representation for underrepresented communities, but unearth new content to be mined for comedy and drama and better reflect what our society really looks like.
Last month, Hulu debuted a new sitcom called Ramy, centered around the experiences of a first-generation Egyptian-American millennial Muslim man living in New Jersey. Audiences watch Ramy attempt to balance his worklife, his homelife, his religion and his desire to go out and date. Perhaps most refreshingly, Ramy offers viewers a glimpse inside the walls of its protagonist’s mosque. Shamefully, it wasn’t too long ago that it seemed mosques were almost exclusively shown on TV in connection with terrorist activity on shows like 24 or Homeland. Instead, Ramy shows audiences what is actually happening inside virtually every mosque in America: individuals praying and socializing.
Never before had I seen an episode of television that revolved around Ramadan, or told the story of a Muslim family living in America on 9/11 and having to deal with unfair glances and suspicion from friends and neighbors.
Beyond its groundbreaking point-of-view, Ramy is hilarious and heartfelt, with a fully-drawn protagonist. The show offers more than a few laugh out loud moments and several instances of the best kind of cringe comedy. Plus, if you’re concerned about starting a new show just for it to get canceled right away, Hulu already renewed Ramy for a second season within just a few weeks of its premiere. Watch it, and you’ll see why they had so much confidence.
The first season of Ramy is now streaming on Hulu.