A24 for Netflix (Netflix)
The precarity of being an asylum-seeking refugee in the United States may not immediately feel like fodder for a half-hour streaming comedy. And yet Mo, starring and co-created by Mo Amer (alongside Ramy Youssef), is a hilarious exploration of what it means to move through the world (or, well, Houston, Texas) with the constant knowledge that your entire life may well disappear from one day to the next. Not that such fears dominate the cozy life this Palestinian-American has created for himself. Sure, he may now float from job to job in order to avoid ICE raids, and his mother still bristles whenever her son brings home his girlfriend Maria (Teresa Ruiz), but throughout this Netflix comedy, the humor comes from telling a wholly American story whose absurdity is only matched by its authenticity. Shuttling handily from English to Arabic and Spanish, Amer and his show depict an immigrant tale that refuses to sugarcoat what it means to aspire to the “American Dream” in 2022. Not for nothing is Mo a resourceful entrepreneur just as keen on selling fake Rolexes as he is picking olives. For finding the humor and the pathos in such a struggle, and capturing a moving portrait of a Palestinian-American just trying to make it by, no matter the obstacles in his way, Mo wins a Peabody.