Standup comic Ramy Youssef stars in the self titled television show Ramy which recently premiered and is currently streaming on Hulu. Youssef plays a 20-something living at home with his Egyptian-Muslim parents, trying to figure out how to be an adult.
GQ journalist Jaya Saxena, herself Indian-American, comments that the show “could easily be introspective, but ‘Ramy’ showcases not just the life the titular character, but that of his sister, his friends who interpret Islam differently, his parents, his racist uncle, and his best friend with muscular dystrophy. It shows the viewer what overlaps and what doesn’t. And at the center of it all is not just humor, but a sense of honesty about their stories. It’s not all fun, but it’s not all oppression….”
Youssef understands the importance of representation. He wanted to make a series that could show the world what life looks like for someone like him, and make it more real for people who may not understand. But not at the expense of emotional honesty or flattening the characters and their experiences.”
The funnyman concurs with this assessment and says that the point of the show was to provide an “introspective experience” to a group that a lot of people don’t know “so it’s about designing characters and storylines that really interrogate my character’s intentions and really try and have tough conversations.”
He continues, “Even though we have this story about a Muslim family and there’s lots about the poor treatment that comes from the outside — I don’t need to tell anybody what happened at Christchurch. I don’t need to tell anybody how hate crimes have risen dramatically, I don’t need to do a re-enacted teleplay of that on Hulu. My job is to show our humanity, and the only way to be leading with that sort of humanity is to lead with the problems that a family like this might be encountering and putting those on display.”