By Joyce Slaton,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Language, sex in comedy about balancing faith, modern life.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Characters grapple with what it means to be religiously faithful in the modern world, and worry about acting righteously. Messages of gratitude and integrity predominate, with Ramy and other characters struggling to appreciate their blessings and be good people and good Muslims, even when those two things seem to conflict. Many different types of characters talk about what it means to observe the Muslim faith, and they don't always agree.
Positive Role Models
Ramy is a fascinating and unusual character: a man with one foot in the traditional Muslim world and one in the space inhabited by metropolitan millennials. Every character in this series is given humanity and agency, even when they act in ways that are counter to Ramy's way of thinking. Traditional Muslim people are represented sympathetically, as are those who have less mainstream viewpoints. Ramy and his friends and family talk a lot about the differences between white people, Muslims, and people of other races and ethnicities; the talk isn't always positive, like in a scene where it's said that "white girls" have "no morals." A character who uses a wheelchair and doesn't have the use of his hands is vital and funny; his abilities are treated matter-of-factly, especially in a scene where we see Ramy helping him in the bathroom.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is infrequent and used to make a point, like a scene in which Ramy and his uncle break up a street fight by pulling a gun; no one is hurt but Ramy is terrified as well as emboldened by the weapon.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sex and romance are central to this show's plot, which Ramy's mother advising him to find a "high quality" (i.e. Muslim) girl to marry and setting him up with suitable candidates. Meanwhile, Ramy dates and has sex with non-Muslim women, such as in a scene where a couple kisses passionately and starts taking off their clothes before the camera cuts to them asleep in bed. Ramy then goes to the bathroom and fills his (used) condom with water to check it for holes. In another scene, a woman asks Ramy if he has a condom so they can have sex; she also offers a nikah mut'ah (a temporary contract marriage in Islam, often for the purpose of having sex) and then asks for what she wants sexually, which is for Ramy to choke her while she masturbates. She asks him several times to choke her harder, and when he decides not to, she criticizes him for stereotyping her as a Muslim woman who's not supposed to be sexual. A woman talks about getting the "Arab sex talk": her dad simply said to his children "Girls, no boys, boys, no boys."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Cursing and language includes "f--king," "f--k," "s--t," "assh--e," "bulls--t," "b---h" (a woman calls a man this). It's said that something "sucks," and an Egyptian man is called a "sand n----r." A man has a lot of negative things to say about Jewish people, including that they're bad drivers (another character corrects him and says that's Asian people, not that he believes it) and they "sit in the dark and count money" on Saturdays.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink onscreen, but Ramy does not drink because of his Muslim faith, which he's open about. A character smokes cigarettes and Ramy jokes at one point that he'll "probably try mushrooms one day."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ramy is a dramedy about a twentysomething Muslim man (Ramy Youssef) trying to find a middle ground between the traditions of his culture and the millennial milieu he consorts with in his New Jersey neighborhood. Sexual content is thoughtful and realistic, but ranges on the mature side, like when Ramy fills a (used) condom with water to check for holes, and in an intense scene, is asked to choke a woman while she masturbates in a car on their first date. There's no nudity, but we see people taking off their t-shirts and putting their hands under clothes, and hear sexual words as well as jokes about sex. There are also sexual situations with complicated cultural meaning, like when female Muslim characters talk about the sexual expectations placed on them by their parents and culture. Violence is less frequent than sex, but can be disquieting, like when Ramy and his uncle break up a street fight with a gun (no one is shot). Characters drink onscreen, but Ramy abstains due to his faith, though he does say will "probably try mushrooms one day." A character smokes cigarettes. Cursing includes "f--king," "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "bulls--t," and "bitch" and there's also language with a racial/ethnic bent, like when characters talk about "white girls" with "no morals" or when an Egyptian man complains about being "surrounded by Jews." This man is called a "sand n----r" as well by a racist man. Despite the mature content, strong messages of integrity and gratitude come through, with every character represented sympathetically and many fascinating issues addressed. Characters spend time working out how to be righteous people, though the definition of what that is is under question.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Based on 2 parent reviews
highly acclaimed, but quite crass
Report this review
We love Ramy!
Report this review
What's the Story?
RAMY (Ramy Youssef) lives in two worlds: on one hand he's a standard-issue millennial bro with a job at a startup company and a busy hangout schedule, on the other, he's a devout Muslim trying to fit himself into the traditional life his family envisions for him. His culture tells him that it's time for him to marry, have children, make a career. Meanwhile, he's living with his parents, barely holding on at work, and aimlessly dating when the mood strikes him. He's not sure what's ahead for him, but at least he's trying to get somewhere.
Is It Any Good?
By turns sweet and sardonically amusing in the Master of None vein, this entry in the Young Man on the Verge of Adulthood genre is affecting and goes down easy. It certainly helps that Ramy's Muslim heritage makes for a lot of comical moments many viewers probably haven't seen on screen before, like when a mosque elder takes time to criticize Ramy for not washing properly between his toes before prayer ("When you address God, you must be clean!") or when Ramy's snarky sister Dena (May Calamawy) evades an uncomfortable reunion with a misogynistic uncle by pretending she has her period.
Speaking of Dena and other female characters, one of the most powerful aspects of Ramy is the focus it puts on the expectations on women in the Muslim culture. Ramy complains when his mom (Hiam Abbass) gently urges him to find a nice Muslim girl to settle down with, but Dena's already getting pressure from her parents to provide them with grandchildren. A fascinating scene in Ramy's first episode provides more perspective on what women of Ramy's age and station are going through, when a date with a "proper" Muslim woman winds up as a steamy makeout session in a car. The woman asks Ramy if he brought a condom, offers to get an over-the-phone nikah mut'ah (a temporary "pleasure marriage" that's controversial in Islam) to make him comfortable enough to have sex, and finally resorts to asking directly for what she wants sexually, which is for Ramy to choke her while she masturbates. When he demurs, she criticizes Ramy for putting her in a "Muslim box." In this scene, as in so many others, Ramy rings true -- and real, and extraordinarily, delightfully different.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the use of humor in Ramy. Does it help viewers understand and relate to aspect of Ramy's history and culture that we may not share? Are we laughing at or with the characters? Do the jokes on Ramy seem different from those on sitcoms that are aired on network television? How? Do the jokes that center on race, religion, and/or ethnicity ever make you uncomfortable? Are they supposed to?
Do you know any other shows that star main characters who also write and produce the show? How does Ramy compare with these shows? Why would an actor want to write a show for him or herself to star in? How autobiographical do you believe this series to be?
How do the characters in Ramy demonstrate integrity and gratitude? Why are these important character strengths?
- Premiere date: April 15, 2019
- Cast: Ramy Youssef, Mohammed Amer, Dave Merheje
- Network: Hulu
- Genre: Drama
- Character Strengths: Gratitude, Integrity
- TV rating: NR
- Award: Golden Globe
- Last updated: October 13, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
TV Shows with Diverse Characters
Comedy TV Shows for Teens
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate