REVIEW: Ramy - Season 2
Ramy season 2 dropped on Hulu on Friday and decided to give it a quick binge watch. I "enjoyed" the first season. I put "enjoyed" in quotations because Ramy, created by star Ramy Youssef, is the kind of comedy that doesn't make you feel comfortable. In fact, you feel rather uncomfortable watching it. Yet, it somehow manages to put you at ease with interesting situations and fascinating characters. I found more of that "enjoyment" in the second season as well.
For those of you not familiar with the series, it revolves around a young Egyptian American man and his family. He is forever lost, trying to find a spiritual connection that will eventually lead him to the life he should lead. But, the problem is that he makes a lot of terrible decisions. And, that's where the discomfort comes in because you want to root for him, but you can't help feel disappointed when he doesn't listening to your screaming at the television.
Before I go further into this review, I would like to warn my readers who are of more the family friendly variety that this show is intended for mature viewers and has lots of mature themes. If this does not bother you, read on...
In this second season, Ramy returns from what was supposed to be a spiritual journey to Egypt, but ended up being a trip where he sleeps with one of his cousins. He comes back depressed and addicted to porn...and candy. To snap himself out of his malaise, he goes to seek spiritual guidance from the new Sheikh in town, wonderfully played by Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali. He becomes quite devoted to the Sheikh who seems to say all the right things to Ramy. They keys to his success seem like they are right in front of him, but, as I mentioned, he makes very terrible decisions and ends up stepping in his own way.
What's interesting is that, while I "enjoyed" the Ramy episodes, I actually legitimately enjoyed (with no quotation marks) the episodes not centered around him. There is an episode where his sister Dena (May Calamawy) lets her mom get into her head a little too much. Another episode in which mother Maysa (Hiam Abbass) is terrified that a bad review by one of her Lyft riders will interfere with her pathway to citizenship. Father Farouk (Amr Waked) is in another episode that challenges what it's like to be a father in another culture. And yet another episode where uncle Naseem (Laith Nakli) has to deal with a secret he's been hiding. These feel like the true stories behind the Egyptian American experience.
But, Ramy also does represent something in all of us. It's that person who is lost and looking to make the right choices. We can't hate Ramy, though, even though he does. The flashlight is constantly flashed in our eyes as to what we would do in this situation. And, it's that disappointment you feel for him that, in the end, makes him endearing.
Ramy is not going to be a show for everybody. But, if you can give into the darkness of it, you will find a quality show with characters that will truly challenge your own prejudices. You might just learn something along the way. I can't wait for season 3.