All the reasons to watch Apple TV+’s ‘Little America’
With the streaming wars well underway, it’s hard to know which services have shows worth checking out. In the aftermath of Disney+’s release, people have mostly forgotten about the launch of Apple TV+. Sure, the critics and award season have lavished praise on The Morning Show, but, really, how many people have watched it on Apple TV+?
The latest offering from the fledgling streaming service, Little America, may just be what catapults Apple TV+ to new heights. This anthology services uniquely captures the immigrant experience in, well, America. Here’s why from reactions of fans and critics to the premise of the series, you should check out Little America.
A hopeful counterbalance
The news stories coming out of America, as of late, have been harsh in regard to immigration. For all that there is this idea of America’s open arms to those wanting a new life, it doesn’t necessarily match with the tales of ICE raids or children in cages that the news talks about.
Little America, however, focuses on that feeling of the open arms. That if you have a dream, tenacity, and determination, then you can make it there. It could seem naive to the more cynical people of the world. Little America, however, wishes to offer a more optimistic view of the immigrant experience in the modern-day US.
Kumail Najiani, who is a Pakistani immigrant, and Emily V. Gordon, his wife, created the show with Lee Eisenberg based on the “Little America” collection from Epic Magazine. The trio, along with the other EPs and writers, made certain to not deal with politics in the overt way.
Najiani, during the Winter Press with the TCA, said that the hope of the show is to make the immigrant stories of today, feel more grounded.
“Maybe the show makes (the immigrant) debate seem a little more concrete or real or personal.“
A varied tapestry with a common theme
Little America is an anthology series in the truest sense of an anthology series. Each episode focuses on an immigrant as they try to find a balance between where they are and their lives now. “The Cowboy”, for example, follows a Nigerian grad student (Conphidance), who deals with the culture shock of individualistic America over the community-oriented upbringing he had by finding his own place in the country with ranch hands.
Each episode tells the story of an immigrant trying to balance their familiar with the newness of their adopted home. It makes for some pretty compelling stories overall. The most overtly political of the first season, “The Manager”, focuses on a 12-year-old boy (Ishan Gandhi), who runs his parents motel after they were deported and become a spelling bee champion along the way.
Each story focuses on a different person whether by chance or circumstance ends up in America to make a life for themselves and get a piece of the American Dream, so to speak. Each story, based on a true one from “Little America” is a fascinating and somewhat hopeful character study, especially since the majority of the episodes also have directors who are tied to the culture of the characters.
It’s really good
Little America currently holds a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes with 21 reviews from critics. Many praising the performances from the cast of, largely, unknown actors, the stylistic direction, and hopeful tone.
Melanie McFarland of Salon.com said, “Every lithe episode is unique and hums with a different tone from one to the next, making this season a thematic quilt as opposed to one bolt of cloth.”
Saloni Gajjar of The A.V. Club praised the storytelling and the opening sequence, “The result is a series of heartfelt stories, as uplifting as they are tear-jerking. And, though it’s early, the opening credits are among the most fun and inspired of the year.”
Caroline Framke of Variety praised the thoughtful care of telling these stories. “Little America is a thoughtful show, made with evident care and consideration for doing justice to the heritages depicted.”
Little America has definitely won over critics and audiences alike. It’s certainly made an impact with plans for season two of Little America already underway by the behind-the-scenes creative. If you want something a little more optimistic from Apple TV+ outside of The Morning Show or a thoughtful look at the immigrant experience, then definitely give Little America.