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.