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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Mona and Sebastian are extravagantly fond of each other, which is charming; their breezy interactions and name-checking of pop culture items from Jack Kerouac's On the Road to early 2000s Islamic hip-hop group Native Deen may surprise those who thought observant religious hosts would make a more serious, formidable show.
Positive Role Models
The husband-wife couple in this show are real people, and they're frank about their relationship and their emotions. They treat the subjects they meet with kindness and dignity.
Both Mona and Sebastian are Muslims, and many of the people featured on the show practice Islam. Viewers are likely to come away from this show with a more sympathetic and realistic view of the faith and those who practice it.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Great Muslim American Road Trip is a series about a husband-and-wife couple, famous on social media for a street-level anti-racism project in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who travel across America in a car, seeking out sites important to Muslim-Americans in some way. There is no iffy language, sex, violence, drinking, drugs, or negative messages; instead, hosts Mona and Sebastian travel to interesting places and meet people who are doing things -- farming, making art, practicing medicine -- that are connected to the Muslim faith. The tone of the show is light and breezy, and everyone on-screen is treated with respect, and their contributions dignified with the hosts' interest and kindness.
Is It Any Good?
A couple takes a lively, inquisitive journey across the United States visiting Muslim-related sites and finding representation even in unlikely places in this gentle, fun show. First and foremost, Mona and Sebastian are pleasant people to spend time with: interested in what's around them, enthusiastic ("People are so cool!" says Mona with real feeling after visiting with a Coachella date farmer), kindly and respectful toward strangers, and loving to each other. In fact, part of the couple's journey is spent investigating their own relationship, especially on car rides where they gently bicker, reminisce, and then reconnect.
The rest of The Great Muslim American Road Trip is more of a traditional travelogue, as Mona and Sebastian root out spots of interest. They meet a street performer on the Las Vegas strip who holds the Guinness World Record in head-spinning and connects his work to the whirling dervishes from the Islamic discipline Sufism. They visit a Muslim free clinic in San Bernardino, take young refugees on a hike and quiz them about their career goals, and walk through the Grand Canyon. In some segments, Mona and Sebastian read aloud to each other from poems and stories about traveling the U.S., like Jack Kerouac's On the Road and John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, as scenes from their trip play over the narration, beautifully illuminating the passages. If travel is expanding, so is this lovely show.
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.