The Atlantic

Ramy Meditates on the Pitfalls of Self-Righteousness

The Hulu show’s second season explores how a misguided pursuit of religious redemption can reveal one’s truest, ugliest self.
Source: Craig Blankenhorn / Hulu

This article contains spoilers throughout Season 2 of Ramy.

In Season 1 of Ramy, audiences are introduced to Ramy Hassan—the character loosely based on the show’s creator, Ramy Youssef—and his Egyptian American family in northern Jersey. With a formidable mix of surrealism and humor, Youssef explores the complexities of being a religious Millennial man, namely through navigating the difficulties that young Muslims face coming of age post-9/11. Season 2 is anchored in Ramy’s wish to find purpose and direction in his spirituality, but his obsessive need to present a righteous version of himself only sabotages his effort at redemption.

The show is preoccupied with the idea that ritual for ritual’s sake—without deeper consideration of context or circumstancesDespondent, Ramy finds his way to the local Sufi center, led by the charismatic Sheikh Ali (Mahershala Ali). Enamored by Ali’s presence and steadiness, Ramy convinces himself that his absolution will come under the approval of the sheikh’s watchful eye.

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