Late in the new season of Ramy, its Egyptian American title character is talking with Dennis, a white guy who's converted to Islam. Far stricter in his Muslim beliefs than Ramy himself, Dennis vehemently divides the world into things that are either halal (permissible for Muslims) or haram (not permissible). Gazing intently at Ramy, he says, "Only engage in halal comedy."
That's just what the show's creator and star, Ramy Youssef, refuses to do. Ever since this award-winning Hulu series hit the screen back in 2019, Ramy has juggled the halal and the haram to fashion a daringly brilliant comic-drama about Muslim life in America that aims higher than almost anything else on TV. Its third season finds Youssef leading us into murkier waters than ever before.
As you may know, Youssef draws on his own life for his character, Ramy Hassan, the millennial son of an immigrant Muslim family in New Jersey. Ramy's Egyptian father Farouk (Amr Waked) and Palestinian mother Maysa (Hiam Abbas) favor Ramy over his rebellious sister Dena (May Calamawy) — even though she, not he, is the hardworking, reliable one.