'Ramy' puts fresh spin on Muslim experience

Ramy Youssef in 'Ramy'

(CNN)The quest for identity as a Muslim living in New Jersey only scratches the surface of "Ramy," a Hulu series that deftly combines comedy with drama, and which gradually peels back layers in ways as impressive as they are relatable. Far from a "Muslims are just like us" sitcom, comic Ramy Youssef's deeply personal show explores familiar themes in a fresh and at times poignant manner.

At first blush, "Ramy" resembles the latest addition to a hard-to-categorize brand of half-hour premium series like Aziz Ansari's "Master of None" or Donald Glover's "Atlanta," which explore the vagaries of young adulthood through a unique prism. There are also elements of "The Big Sick," the 2017 movie starring Kumail Nanjiani, in the issues that surround growing up Muslim in the US, caught between the prevailing culture and immigrant parents rooted in tradition.
Unlike that movie, however, Ramy -- a first-generation Egyptian-American -- is relig