The show draws you in so quickly, so tightly, that you feel almost too close—to this womans stifled eroticism, to this mans idea of hygiene, to the finicky ministrations of our corporeal selves, especially within the context of such a scrutinized and scapegoated religion. But its an intoxicating intimacy, too—a foray, it feels, into unexplored territory.

Ramy has already been compared to Aziz Ansari and Alan Yangs Master of None, in which Ansari starss as Dev, an Indian-American-Muslim man struggling, at times, to unburden himself from the yoke of tradition. Its a foolish comparison, though. Master of None is a quest for beauty; Ramy writhes with the need for meaning, purpose, and answers. Stylistically, Ramy shares much more DNA with Donald Glovers surreal chronicle of the black experience, Atlanta, and another, older FX comedy—Louie, the groundbreaking half-hour from now-disgraced comic Louis C.K.

Like Atlanta, Ramy taps into the unnerving surreal to show us its characters confused journeys; in one scene, the whole family walks in on Dena having sex, and it takes whole minutes for her to realize shes merely having a terrible dream. Like Louie, Ramy also leverages its drama to put us in an unmoored, topsy-turvy place where anything might happen —that fecund space where stand-up comedy thrives. Theres something explosively funny about the awful, ridiculous situations Ramy gets enmeshed in—and like Louie, he moves through them not exactly unscathed, but armored with the sense that maybe everything is a cosmic joke.

Unlike, Louie, though, Ramys not a defeated, wry, middle-aged man: hes stymied and searching, but still bubbling over with the optimism and confidence of a 20-something. It makes him a winning but somewhat less engaging protagonist—enmeshed in boyhood struggles, not adult frustrations.

But Ramy finds its shades of cynicism and defeat in other characters—and those explorations add brilliant and welcome depth to his journey. In one episode, Ramys father Farouk (Amr Waked) describes how he and his own father would talk to each other, across the ocean, via cassette tapes theyd use to record messages. Ramy listens to the tapes, hearing both his grandfathers worries and his fathers hopes, and the sounds of their scratchily taped voices, murmuring in Arabic, form an acoustic interpretation of the web Ramy lives within. The tapes recall the voicemails from family piped into hip-hop albums, such as Solanges A Seat at the Table—an acknowledgement, in both forms, that a person can find him oRead More – Source

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Vanity Fair

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