How Ramy Youssef Kept Hulu's Ramy From Becoming Stale And Repetitive

Hulu's "Ramy" is a well-written, refreshing comedy that earnestly dives into how faith and spirituality impact the lives of young people living in a hypercritical world. The series is led by Emmy-nominated actor and show creator Ramy Youssef, who plays Ramy, the son of Egyptian-American immigrants, in a story that explores themes like family dynamics and sexism. Throughout the show's three seasons, Ramy attempts to navigate life while being torn between being a devout, practicing Muslim, and following his new-age ideals. Let's just say that it's very complicated.

"Ramy" is a sharp, humorous series that gives genuine importance to its female (May Calamawy is a star) and middle-aged characters (seriously, his parents are the best), in a way that's rarely seen on television. It allows them to shine, all while depicting Ramy's misadventures as he struggles to choose between two cultures: the one he was raised in and the one he is surrounded by. It illustrates the rarely-known struggles of Muslim-American immigrants, and Youssef crafts the show while borrowing from his own experiences. 

To Youssef, it was essential that the show continue to explore new shifts in its characters, that it worked as an "ensemble" and allowed him to write different, unique scenarios throughout its lifespan. It's how he kept "Ramy" from becoming repetitive — by adding nuance in every storyline.

'It becomes more of an ensemble'

During a 2022 conversation with Interview Magazine, Youssef explained how the team used "time jumps" and different plot devices so viewers could see the characters "act differently" in different stages of their lives. Plus, in the third season, "Ramy" became more of an "ensemble" — the titular character was set aside, and his family's narrative took precedence, which the writer appreciated because it focused on him less.

Here's his full quote from the interview:

"We have a really good time playing with big shifts as to where the character is in his life. And we use time jumps and storylines that put him into different emotional states. So we see him act differently and we see him deal with life differently—and we do the same with his family. It's embracing these tonal shifts that are still within the world of the show, which also allows us to try different things throughout the lifespan of the show. And then the more the show goes on, it becomes more of an ensemble, which makes it really exciting for me because it revolves around me less."

The acclaimed Hulu series hasn't been renewed for a fourth season yet — but here's hoping we get to see more of Ramy's adventures ... and misadventures.