Netflix’ Mo balances trauma with comedy

Netflix’ Mo balances trauma with comedy

    Two weeks ago, Netflix debuted a new comedy series, “Mo,” starring Mohammed Amer, playing a version of himself as the show’s star Mo Najjar, from Ramy and standup fame. Teresa Ruiz (Narcos: Mexico) provides the supporting cast as his girlfriend. 


   The show is semi-autobiographical, pulling many of the main characters’ background stories directly from their real-life experiences. From his family being forced out of their homeland of Palestine during the creation of Israel to living in Kuwait during the Gulf War and settling in Houston, we get a glimpse into what the life of a refugee is like in this series.


   Well-crafted writing allows this story of a Palestinian man coming to terms with his father’s death to the trauma endured when the family fled Kuwait to be told with heart and humor. In the first episode, Mo interacts with his Mexican-American girlfriend as they navigate religious, cultural, and linguistic differences. These are stories that are not often told in American series’, so the unique representation of Arab Americans in the South mixed with the Hispanic culture found in Houston is sure to catch on to a variety of Netflix subscribers.


   This 8-episode first season is a must-watch because it shows the diversity of America and how people from across the world come here with similar goals of succeeding. Not only do we see a representation of minorities across the board, but we also see how families react to their children or siblings having partners of different religious or ethnic backgrounds.


   These difficult subjects of war, drug use, refugee status, and autism (it is implied Mo’s brother is on the autistic spectrum), amongst other issues, provide a way for viewers to connect with characters or situations they have either faced personally or can be introduced to. Overall, “Mo” powerfully demonstrates how humor can be an effective coping mechanism when facing personal issues, and on that front, the show delivers many laughs.