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A humorous, eye-opening, and insightful look at the social challenges of a refugee in America as he balances his family, his love, and finding happiness.
Set in Houston, Texas, Mo follows Mohammed as he seeks asylum in America while chasing his dreams of building a family with his longtime girlfriend, Maria. Loosely based on comedian Mo Amer’s real experience as a Palestinian refugee in Houston, Mo bounces from odd job to odd job while facing generational trauma, immigration laws, drug abuse, and supporting his Palestinian family in a world that has become increasingly difficult for immigrants. As Mo strives to get on his feet, his comedic outlook on life brings levity to his ordeals.
He begins to feel even more pressure as he works to keep his family obligations and make his traditional Muslim mother proud while also building a life with Maria, a Catholic and Mexican-American woman. Maria has her own battles as she balances the desire to be an entrepreneur and her hopes to one day be a mom while being haunted by the past poor choices of a toxic parent. Through Arabic, Spanish, English, and Houston-twang, we see how Mo, Maria, and their family and friends collide and come together in this hilarious and heart-warming day-in-the-life dramedy.
To me, a good TV show is one that you can get lost in: you root for the characters even when they fail or have flaws, the setting is authentic, and there are elements of “you” in the story. Basically, I want to leave each episode feeling a little more connected to this thing we call the human experience. Mo is that type of good TV! The characters are rich and complex, and their cultural, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds are diverse and much more encompassing of the melting pot that is America than many other shows.
I loved in particular how the women on the show are portrayed. Even though Mo is the title character, I really thought they were the stars of the show. They were so relatable, and the challenges they face are universal to so many of us. From trying to build a small business to deciding when to have children, and from managing shifting gender roles in our society to finding yourself in later years of life, there’s so much ugly and beautiful truth to appreciate that’s in this show. And I really learned something about the immigrant experience—there are real layers to what Mo experiences! I can’t recommend Mo enough.
Find Mo on Netflix!