Between The Toes
A Black Spot on the Heart
Do The Ramadan
Ne Me Quitte Pas
Dude, Where’s My Country?
The Cairo Cowboy
Progressive, sharp and armed with a good observational wit, Ramy is as funny as it is heartwarming. There’s some surprising emotional sucker punches here nestled in the comedy too making Ramy a smartly written comedy series with some real depth.
At the heart of this one is Ramy, the son of Egyptian immigrants who finds himself torn between his duties to his Muslim family and his millennial friends. From finding love and drinking alcohol through to drugs and finding meaning in your life, Ramy’s dedication to his religion is as tumultuous as the world around him. After being laid off from his cyber job with best friend Steve, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, he finds himself torn over what direction he wants to take his life whilst adhering to his parent’s wishes of settling down and finding a wife.
While the first few episodes set this one up to be traditional comedy fare, there’s some surprisingly emotional moments late on that show some real depth with these characters. Whether it be Ramy’s conflicted view on where he wants to go in his life or Uncle Naseem’s hilariously racist and limited viewpoint on the world, there’s a good range of characters here used to accentuate the themes and ideas expressed in the show.
Thematically, there’s a lot of content here around finding purpose in your life and religion. The stereotypical viewpoint of Muslims some people have are shown and then broken down with methodical force as these characters reveal themselves to have a lot more depth than you’d expect from a comedy like this. It certainly helps elevate this one too although it takes a few episodes before Ramy really settles down and gets into a consistent groove.
Of course, with these strong themes and an unpredictable swing between comedy and drama, those expecting a more traditional dose of humour may be put off from this one. The jokes draw from a whole range of different topics and subjects ranging from dark (including one no-holds-barred conversation where Ramy comments that Steve’s Mum’s life is essentially over given her Son’s condition) and more traditional slapstick and silliness. The jokes don’t always land but if I’m honest, Ramy feels much more akin to a dramedy than an outright comedic effort so it’s easy to look past this.
Ramy may not appeal to everyone but those who can take to the style of comedy here and appreciate Ramy for its deep thematic content and elevated social commentary on the world today will certainly find a lot to like. It’s smart, well written and for the most part has a good range of different characters to bounce Ramy’s ideals off to great effect. It may not be the best comedy released this year but it is one of the better options, making it well worth a watch.