HomeTelevision'Little America' Review: A Heartwarming & Heartbreaking Look at the Immigrant Experience

‘Little America’ Review: A Heartwarming & Heartbreaking Look at the Immigrant Experience

Little America
Photo Credit: Apple TV+

Written by Avani Goswami

Apple TV+’s newest anthology series Little America, from creators Alan Yang (Master of None, Forever), Lee Eisenberg (Good Boys), Sian Heder (Orange is the New Black), Kumail Nanjiani & Emily V. Gordon (The Big Sick) focuses on immigrants on different paths trying to make lives for themselves in America. Every episode is based on a real story and centers around a protagonist and their upbringing. The first three episodes are equally enthralling, from the perspective of very different young adults with their own unique stories to tell. 

The first episode is entitled “The Manager,” and concentrates on an Indian boy named Kabir (Suraj Sharma, Life of Pi) as he grows up. His parents own a motel in Salt Lake City until they are deported to India, but Kabir can stay because he is a citizen. He must manage the hotel by himself, even from childhood, with nothing but a deadbeat caretaker and a dictionary his dad has been studying with him. He takes up spelling bees to try and reach the White House about his situation, and waits in isolation for his family to return. 

The show immediately digs its claws into you; Kabir and his family are instantly likable, and the other episodes have much of the same. The second episode entitled “The Jaguar” is centered on a teenager named Marisol (Jearnest Corchado, The Fosters) who is from an undocumented family living in America, specifically in someone’s garage. She lashes out at school and has a quick temper, but when she finds a passion in the sport squash, everything changes for her. 

The third episode is called “The Cowboy,” and is about a man named Iwegbuna (Conphidance, Atlanta) from Nigeria. He came to America for an education, and planned to return to Nigeria, which ends up falling into an economic crisis. Iwegbuna feels lonely, but finds comfort in the tapes his family sends him and the cowboys in the movies he once watched with his dad back home. 

In “The Manager,” there are bits I can relate to as an Indian American whose parents immigrated here, much like Kabir. The family plays a cheap version of cricket, prays to Hindu gods, and watches Indian soap operas, all things with which I grew up. In a room full of people that do not understand Kabir, he dances to Indian music and feels free. From my perspective, it’s interesting to see how relatable the show is, and how true it feels to the experience of a first-generation American. 

These episodes all achieve the same goal: showing viewers how immigrants experience America in heartwarming and heartbreaking ways. The stories show their struggles and triumphs; it’s easy to root for them and it’s hard not to cry. My favorite part is seeing different aspects from each culture incorporated into the show, whether it be through bits of the character’s native language or through the traditions they uphold. The episodes had a huge impact on me, and I have no doubt they would do the same for anyone interested in watching the show. Little America dives into the experiences of real immigrants and is a voice I have longed to see on television. 

Rating: 9/10 

Little America is currently streaming on Apple TV+

Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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