August 10, 2022
In Apple TV+’s Little America, immigrants – Indian, Mexican, Iranian – take center stage

In the opening frame of Little America – the new Apple TV+ anthology series, out next Friday – Asha Bhosle’s eighties disco hit “Uri Baba” plays over the opening credits. The song has nothing to do with what we’re about to see, but it sets the stage for the first episode. Titled “The Manager”, written by Rajeev Joseph (Draft Day) and directed by Deepa Mehta (Elements Trilogy), it follows a first-generation Indian immigrant named Kabir Jha – Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi) as an adult. – whose life fell apart after his parents were deported back to India in the early 2000s.

Along with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s “My Heart, My Life”, Arif Lohar and Misha Shafi’s Coke Studio hit “Alif Allah Chambe Di Booti”, Bhosle’s instantly recognizable voice was among the many Indian and Pakistani links at the Little America premiere. is one. and a chronological appearance for “Kajra Re” from Bunty Aur Babli. Kabir’s mother Seema Jha (Priyanka Bose) watches Indian soap operas, and father Krishan Jha (Ravi Kapoor) checks Sachin Tendulkar’s name while the family plays cricket. All those things only people of South Asian origin will understand.

And in a way, that’s what Little America is all about. Inspired by true stories featured in Epic Magazine, the Apple TV+ series celebrates immigrants. Their culture, their values, their hopes, their fears, their dreams, their persistence, their way of life, their search for an identity. Little America is also diverse behind the scenes, with immigrant writers and directors from multiple regions handling the stories from time to time, and aided by a creative team that includes Pakistan-born Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick), and Alan Yang (The Big Sick). Master of None) of Taiwanese origin.

A total of eight half-hour episodes — all of which will be available on a single day, unlike the earlier Apple TV+ — focus on expatriates around the world. This includes France, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Singapore, Syria and Uganda in addition to the already mentioned India. While most episodes are set exclusively in the US, some spend some time in the original countries, whether through flashbacks or cross-cutting. And there’s even a concept episode, which is largely silent, starring Melanie Laurent (Inglourious Bastards) and starring Zachary Quinto (Inglourious Bastards).star trek,

Spoilers ahead for Little America.

In fact, some of these other Little America episodes work much better than the Indian immigrant. “The Manager” finds that Kabir is pushing himself to win the National Spelling Bee – cliched but a true story – so he deals with his parents’ case personally with Laura Bush, wife of former US President George W. Bush. can appeal to. Only to find that Mrs. Bush has little to offer. Kabir grows up without his parents, while also taking care of the family motel as his uncle guardians become lazy. Though the episode touches on Kabir’s isolation, it leaves a lot to be desired. Her Story,

The more powerful episodes, the best in Season 1, are those involving a Mexican undocumented teenager called Marisol Rosado (Jernest Corchado), and a Singaporean single mother named Ai Wang (Angela Lin). Titled “The Jaguars”, written by Dan LeFrank (The Affair) and directed by Aurora Guerrero (Mosquita y Mari), charts prior to Marisol’s journey to become a national-level squash player. Later, the title was “The Grand Prize Expo Winners” and written and directed by Tze Chun (Gotham), Ai breaks his back to make life for her two children.

Little America Singapore Little America Apple TV Plus

Angela Lin, Kai To and Sophia Xu in Little America
photo credit: apple

A shortened version of an underdog sports drama, “The Jaguar” follows a carefree, low-confident teen disregarding her disadvantaged background and finding direction in her life with the help of a tough-love coach (John Ortiz). In doing so, she also rediscovers the love of her family. Meanwhile in “The Grand Prize Expo Winners”, Ai battles her fear of abandonment, which she eventually conquers on a cruise. This episode is one of a select few that has nice little touches, like when a bored Ai, left behind by her kids and with nothing to do, cleans her cruise ship room.

Little America doesn’t always soar these heights, but even at its quietest, it delivers an important and resonant message. Joshua Bearman, executive producer and founder of Epic Magazine, acknowledged that when he said: “Immigration has become a political issue, but not if you tell people’s ordinary stories. We wanted to make the show so that the audience could see other people.” to know.” Despite Bearman’s claim, a series that brings immigrants to center stage, at a time when they are being discredited by leaders globally, makes a statement in itself.

All eight episodes of Little America released on Apple TV+ worldwide on January 17. The series has already been renewed for a second season.

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