Although frequently overshadowed by the arthouse distributor’s older, more prestigious film division, A24‘s burgeoning television counterpart is quietly on its way to becoming a force in its own right. First launched in 2014, the company’s small-screen division began with a few modest successes (such as The Carmichael Show and 2 Dope Queens), focusing mostly on stand-up specials and comedies in its first five years. But 2019 was the year the company started expanding aggressively by pushing a variety of prestige TV projects on major cable networks and streaming spaces. In the middle of the year, the heralded distributor rolled out Ramy on Hulu and Euphoria on HBO within the space of a few weeks.
Both shows have since garnered widespread commercial and cultural acclaim, earning 27 Emmy nominations between them. Just this year, Euphoria’s COVID-delayed second season became a massive ratings success: Season two averaged just under 20 million viewers, making it HBO’s second-most-watched series behind Game of Thrones. In the summer of this year, the studio partnered with HBO again to deliver yet another critically praised series – a delightfully meta adaptation of French cult classic Irma Vep. More recently, Netflix just dropped the first season of Mo, a new comedy from Palestinian stand-up Mohammed Amer, while Hulu gears up up for the return of Ramy’s third season next month.
In terms of future projects, viewers can anticipate The Idol, Sam Levinson’s music-industry drama starring the Weekend sometime this fall, while Park Chan-wook’s The Sympathizer, starring Robert Downey Jr., is set for sometime next year. Subsequently, in early 2023, Showtime (where more Ziwe is expected to return soon) is set to premiere The Curse, starring Emma Stone and co-created by Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie. Back over at Netflix, production is well underway on Steven Yeun and Ali Wong’s dramedy Beef, which should also be out in 2023. Much like its vaunted big screen output, A24’s increasing crop of fascinating small screen series appear set to make their mark on the pop culture landscape as well.
With that in mind, Popwire narrows down the field to cherry pick the four most intriguing A24 TV shows to catch up on.
This humane and insightful comedy follows Palestinian refugee Mo Najjar and his family trying to adapt to life in in Houston as Mo seeks U.S. citizenship. Based on the life of stand-up comedian Mo Amer, this series mines unexpected laughs from the necessity of figuring out how to assimilate, the realities of being Arab and Muslim in a state like Texas, and the frustrating limbo of being an asylum applicant for two decades. Whip-smart, breezy and funny – Mo strikes a deft balance between exploring the trauma of his displacement and making fun of the idiosyncrasies of his adopted country.
Watch on: Netflix
This is one of the most richly drawn, sharply observed and radically brave dramedies out there. Based loosely on the life of comedian Ramy Youssef and his family (immigrant parents from Palestine and Egypt), this series is a artful and complex depiction of a young Muslim man struggling to reconcile Islam and his culture, with more contemporary millennial anxieties in Western society. Ramy’s thoughtful portrait of Muslim-Americans is nuanced, compassionate and bracingly specific – offering a depth and diversity of perspectives rarely seen on screen.
Olivier Assayas has remade his deliriously meta 1996 French film Irma Vep into an even more meta 2022 HBO miniseries. The story follows a disillusioned American actress (Alicia Vikander) who’s tired of starring in superhero blockbusters. So she heads to Paris to team with mentally unstable director René Vidal to craft a modern arthouse remake of a 1915 silent film called Les Vampires. This graceful and gorgeous behind-the-scenes dramedy is a brilliantly post-modern contemplation of art versus commerce, and the many ways that art imitates life imitating art.
Watch on: HBO Go
Euphoria‘s presence in pop culture is comparable to some of the biggest shows of the last decade, so we doubt you’d need an introduction. Nevertheless, in case you’ve just come out of a coma, Euphoria is a boundary-pushing and brutally explicit look at the harrowing world of sex, drugs and violence in modern teenage culture. This gorgeously shot series is buoyed by a career-defining performance from Zendaya, who is a revelation as 17-year-old drug addict Rue. The exceptional performances from her, and the excellent supporting cast, often grounds Euphoria’s shocking content in raw emotional authenticity.