In the final episode, Mo sits on a stolen motorcycle on the Mexican side of the US-Mexico border. Credit – Courtesy of Netflix
In the first episode of the Netflix series montha routine grocery store in Houston results in Palestinian refugee Mo Najjar (Mo Amer) getting caught in the middle of a shooting, but not before taking a moment to stand up for something he cares about.
“Hello, sir,” greets a grocery store employee who is handing out samples. “Do you want to try chocolate hummus?”
“Damn you just tell me?” Mo asks in disbelief. “Did you say chocolate hummus? “Do you know what you just did? You just insulted my grandmother. Yeah. ‘F-ck your bloodline. To hell with your culture.’
“Lo siento,” said the workman, completely serious. “I didn’t know hummus was Mexican.”
For a comedy filled with such delirious scenes, month is full of drama — and for that matter, trauma: Mo the character navigates filming, a later addiction to lean (a codeine-based drink), and the struggles of navigating the U.S. immigration system as a asking for asylum. The show, billed as a semi-autobiographical comedy-drama, follows Mo’s trials and tribulations in Alief, the Houston suburb where his family, originally from Palestine, settled after first living in Kuwait. month blurs the line between fiction and reality, with much of its plot coming directly from Amer’s life. Born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents, Amer and his family fled and settled in the United States during the first Gulf War.
“Although it’s a comedy, you have to lean into the tragedy,” Amer told TIME. “You have to let him breathe and not hesitate. Because it’s a tragic story.