Pros: Episodes are different in design, mood and ethnicity; good actors who starred in episodic roles; instructive and motivating stories Cons: Too simple plots that don’t make for full-fledged episodes; the length of most episodes; the authors’ morality of Little America / “Little America”
Genre drama, comedy
Creators: Kumail Nanjiani, Alan Yang, Lee Eisenberg
Starring Harvey Gullen, Jimmy Gore Pavlik, Confidence, Ishan Inamdar, Suraj Sharma, Kemiondo Catuho, Zachary Quinto and others.
Apple TV+ channel
Year of release 2020
Little America is an anthology series with different plots, actors and directors in each episode. The only thing that connects the episodes is that all the heroes of these small stories are immigrants who, for one reason or another, once decided to stay in the United States. The stories are based on a collection of Little America articles published in the online magazine Epic.
These are really very small, literally a couple of pages, stories that are difficult to stretch into full-fledged thirty-minute episodes. This is felt in almost every episode. Extra pauses, empty plans, an attempt to stretch out to half an hour what could be done in fifteen minutes. Almost all episodes try to convey to the audience a very simple moral: the USA is a country of immigrants, always, at all times, immigrants have enriched America. Your culture, your knowledge, your own hands.
It’s not for nothing that almost half of the episodes talk about people who, despite their low starting level, have achieved a lot in the USA. One of the heroes, having arrived from Nigeria, became a professor and dean of the economics department in Louisiana. Another, after stopping by the training room for free shoes, became a member of the US national squash team. The third, after losing his job, began selling chocolate chip cookies on the street and became a symbol of the city of Louisville, Kentucky.
However, there are also more universal stories here. About perseverance, perseverance, thirst for freedom. The problem is that the morality in all cases is so prominent, so imposed on the viewer that it is even a little annoying. The only exceptions are the stories “Silence,” which is more like a silent comedy, and “Winner,” which tells the story of a mother recalling a traumatic childhood experience and not wanting to let her own children go.
Overall, Little America is too much of a propaganda show to be truly interesting. It feels like Apple is funding the show solely to spite President Trump and the isolationist sentiments he promotes.
On the other hand, I probably wouldn’t mind watching an anthology series dedicated to refugees from Donbass settling their lives in other cities of Ukraine, or soldiers returning from the Russian-Ukrainian war and starting their own businesses. However, it is unlikely that such a series will be financed in our country now.
By the way, there are several Ukrainians among the heroes of Epic Magazine’s short stories. For example, former Lviv resident Igor Pasternak, founder of the Worldwide Eros company, creator of the experimental airship Dragon Dream, or the talented young chess player Naomi Bashkanskaya. Perhaps they will become the heroes of the second season of Little America.
In general, Little America, despite its interesting idea and good execution, turned out to be not the most exciting series. Rather, these are almost documentary sketches from the life of the United States, too simple to make a full-fledged show out of them for several seasons.
Interesting in concept, but rather weak in execution, a series about the life of immigrants in the USA