Just Another Immigrant

TV review by
Mark Dolan, Common Sense Media
Just Another Immigrant TV Poster Image
Awkward immigrant family comedy has likable lead, swearing.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Creating a successful career and having a loving family are both themes, but this comedy is too goofy to take either very seriously.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Romesh tries to do right by his family but often ends up playing the fool.

Violence
Sex

Romesh tries to do stand up in a sex shop;

 

Language

"C--k," "d--k," "f--k," "s--t," some Spanish curse words are also spoken.

 

Consumerism

Romesh goes to Universal Studios Hollywood to try an appear on the TV show Extra; he also goes to an L.A. Chargers/Miami Dolphins football game.

 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Romesh and his uncle smoke e-cigarettes; people in a comedy club drink cocktails; 

 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Just Another Immigrant is a comedy that follows successful British comedian Romesh Ranganathan as he tries to relaunch his career in America. There's a lot of language, including "f--k" and "s--t," and Romesh is quite fond of synonyms for male genitalia. The show is funny, but it’s definitely rooted in the comedy of discomfort, not unlike like Da Ali G Show or Curb Your Enthusiasm. Fans of this type of humor might want to check it out as Ranganathan’s hilarious deadpan delivery is worth hearing.

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What's the story?

Successful British comedian, Romesh Ranganathan decides to relocate to Los Angeles with his wife, three kids and eccentric uncle to try and become a star in America in JUST ANOTHER IMMIGRANT. He books the 6,000 seat Greek Theater and has three months to sell it out. Being unknown in the US is going to make this accomplishing this extremely difficult. Luckily he has the help of his new friend, Jose who works at a taqueria, and Rex, his monster truck-driving cooler than cool uncle. Between the three of them, they come up with a number of unsuccessful schemes to help raise Romesh’s celebrity profile.

Is it any good?

Funny but confusing, this series has a charming and hilarious lead in Romesh Ranganathan, but under serves him by placing him in a number of contrived set ups that fail to result in smart laughs. It's reminiscent of cringe comedies like Nathan for You and Curb Your Enthusiasm, and uses a faux-documentary style that keeps you wondering how much of this is improvised versus scripted. At the opening of the series we see a montage of Romesh’s real, hugely successful stand up career in the UK -- a career that he’d need to have a certain amount of savvy and smarts to achieve. Yet once he comes to the US, he makes a series of stupid decisions, like booking the 6,000 seat Greek Theater without (supposedly) any idea how to sell tickets, that simply come across as fake obstacles, existing only to set up potential comedic situations. While playing the buffoon is something smart comics do all the time, what torpedoes the premise further is that Just Another Immigrant is shot like a documentary, with Romesh speaking directly to the camera and often conversing with an unseen camera operator.It’s never clear whether we’re supposed to cheer for Romesh or shake our head in exasperation at him like we do Larry David. It’s too bad, because he has an incredible deadpan delivery that deserves to be appreciated. Unfortunately, Just Another Immigrant doesn’t trust the innate intelligence of its star and drops the ball by trying to make the audience believe he’s a fool. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about documentaries and fake documentaries. Just Another Immigrant and lots of other comedies -- The Office, Modern Family, Parks and Recreation -- use a documentary format. What advantages does it offer? 

  • Is Romesh a sympathetic character? Why or why not? 

TV details

For kids who love topical TV

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