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The Divine Combination of ‘Ramy’ and Mahershala Ali

The second season of Ramy, the namesake Ramy Youssef dramedy from Hulu, tells a textbook story of the post-antihero age; Ramy’s peers may be a conscious reaction against their aughts-era influences, but they’ve coalesced into a genre of their own. From its debut last year, Ramy has contained visible traces of Donald Glover’s Atlanta: in substance, a seeming star-vehicle that widens into an ensemble, anchored by an unflattering self-portrait; in style, a sitcom that applies high-art flourishes like surrealism to a marginalized community whose quirks are rarely even depicted, let alone satirized. Related The Ringer Guide to Streaming in June Ramy’s latest volume retains an almost anthological structure, with episodes focused on the inner lives of the title character’s mother, father, uncle, and sister. But its main, serialized arc adds new influences to its repertoire. Ramy remains the story of an Egyptian American Muslim from North Jersey trying to tease out family obligations and social pressures from his actual wants and needs. Now, like Barry or BoJack Horseman before it, the show has become the story of a fuck-up actively trying to be less fucked up—once the half-hearted coda to the antihero’s downward spiral, now the main event.

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