Little America is a new Apple TV+ series which has a hand in from The Big Sick‘s Kumail Nanjiani and is a series of eight individual tales about immigrants in America, all based on true stories, albeit with some fictionalisation thrown in, such is the way that TV drama works.
The first one, The Manager, which is set in the time of the George Bush Sr Presidential administration, centres on Kabir (Ishan Gandhi, and later, Eshan Inamdar), the young son of a couple who runs a motel, and his inquisitive nature leads him to look up the word precocious after someone calls him that word. On asking his Dad, he’d told how he used the check out dictionary to learn new words and then he’d highlight it with a marker, causing Kabir to remark sarcastically, “Doesn’t look like you learned many words(!)”
The family are making a life in America, but then his parents are deported back to India with the intention of getting their papers back and returning very soon, leaving Kabir with his workshy uncle, leaving the lad with not much to do other than obsess about winning Spelling Bees, since his Dad told him early on that if he can learn all 460,000 words in the dictionary by the time he’s 18, his Dad will buy him a Trans Am.
I also watched the second, The Jaguar, set in 2009, which looks into the life of teen Marisol, who’s a bit of a trouble maker at school and desperately in need of direction and a better life, not wanting to fall into the same job as her mother who’s a cleaner.
Waking up at 5am, Marisol (Jearnest Corchado, above) listens to Bruce Hornsby And The Range’s excellent Mandolin Rain, even though we do learn her iPod comes from a charity shop and that the tunes are not her choice of music. Still, I had the album that comes from back in the day and it’s awesome.
While looking for a direction and finding that in sport, her surprising go-getting talent leads her to being referred to as a ‘jaguar’ by the school squash teacher.
In watching this as well, you get a handle on what this series is about, in terms of showing how people can turn their lives around in the face of adversity, so it gives out a positive message.
These dramas are interesting, but not essential, and beyond a couple of them, I’m not too fussed about checking out any more. There are eight in total.
Little America launches on Apple TV+ on January 17th with all eight episodes.
Episodes 1 and 2 Score: 6/10
Director: Deepa Mehta
Producer: Natalie Sandy
Writer: Rajiv Joseph
Music: Michael Brook
Kabir: Eshan Inamdar
Kabir (age 8): Ishan Gandhi
Laura Bush: Sherilynn Fenn
Kunal: Sunkrish Bala
Spelling Bee Judge: Mark Boyett
Bellhop: Tyler Jones
Krishan: Ravi Kapoor
Miss Dubeck: Marguerite Stimpson
White House Secretary: Samantha Sturm
Godfrey: Andy Taylor
Marisol Rosado: Jearnest Corchado
Gloria Rosado: Melinna Bobadilla
Diego Rosado: Gustavo Gomez
Charlotte Ansley: Jamie Gore Pawlik
Charlotte’s Mother: Michele Ammon
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.