Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Stuber, and “Silicon Valley“) will make you laugh and cry. This week I had the privilege of attending a screening of his latest project, “Little America,” at the 92nd Street Y. “Little America” is an anthology of stories from America’s immigrants, co-created, and executive produced by Kumail and his wife, Emily V. Gordon, who appeared together after the screening to chat about the project. Members of the creative team at the screening also included co-creators and executive producers Joshua Bearman, Lee Eisenberg (“The Office”) and Alan Yang (“Master of None”).
“If there is a political agenda in the show, it’s just that immigrant experiences are very varied, as are anybody else’s experiences. Just saying that immigrants are human beings feels like such a basic thing, but I know if I say that on Twitter right now, I’ll get a lot of people upset about it.”Kumail Nanjiani, “Kumail Nanjiani Thinks Immigrant Stories Can Still be Hopeful,” The New York Times
The episode shown at the screening was the last of the series: “The Son.” I was so enraptured by Rafiq’s story, an immigrant who was escaping an intolerant Syria in order to love whom he chose, I lost track of time. I could not tell if the episode was a half-hour or two hours. Although Rafiq did overcome the challenges of coming to America, Kumail wanted to make it clear that not all immigrant stories are of hardship and toil, some just want to live the American dream.
One of the most endearing experiences I have had was listening to the writers, creators and executive producers tell their own stories and those of their parents immigration to America. As well as the husband and wife duo sharing their vision and experiences with the series made the night authentic. I also found Kumail to be a genuine comedic, adding humor to the intensity of the subject.
Kumail and the creative team also answered several questions regarding the political stance of “Little America.” He and his wife were adamant in the fact that “Little America,” does not have a political agenda: it is about human beings and their stories. They also discussed plans for the second season, which has already been confirmed with Apple TV Plus before the first season launched, which include continuing with authentic stories of real immigrants.
The eight-part series premiered last month on Apple TV plus and currently has a Rotten Tomato critics score of 97% and an audience score of 91%. Each episode showcases a different cast, different story, different tone and different location. The series connect in the fact that each immigrant’s story is as unique and personal as each episode.
Check out “Little America” for yourself and I hope you will find these stories to be as heartwarming and human as I did. For those of you who may not have Apple TV Plus, if you have recently bought an Apple product you receive one free year of Apple TV. So I guess now is a good time to get that new iPad you’ve been eyeing.
I’d love to hear what you thought about the series!