Ms. Marvel, released in June of 2022, is a television series created by Bisha K. Ali, telling the story of a Pakistani teen girl named Kamala (played by Iman Vellani) who takes interest in Avengers and superheroes, only to later find out that she possesses super powers herself, aging back to her ancestors in the time of the Indo-Pak partition.
The series collides genres of action and superheroes with relatable teenage storylines to make for an interesting show for the generation Z audience.
As a teenage girl of South Asian descent myself, I recognize the aspects of relatability of both the social struggles of high school and wanting to go out past a set curfew as well as the overly protective and religious family, which makes the show even more enjoyable to watch.
Ms. Marvel has aired seven episodes and so far has received a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.1/10 on IMBD. Overall, the series has received a positive response from both critics and audiences worldwide.
I appreciate the diverse representation of Islamic culture as well as the racially diverse cast. As an Indian, I found it empowering to have female South Asian representation on a non stereotypical genre such as action. The showcase of Muslim customs and festivities such as Eid and the prayers in the mosque gives much-needed insight into the religion, as that is not often depicted in Western media. Feminism is also a factor the show, firstly in the main plot itself of the main protagonist, Kamala being a superhero, as well as Kamala’s friend Nakia running for president of the mosque, a job not usually associated with woman. This show breaks stereotypes and gender roles really well.
Featuring many plot twists and sub story lines makes the show interesting and entertaining for a wide majority of the viewers. Since the storyline focuses on a variety of aspects, it makes the series enjoyable for even people who may not be fans of the action genre.
The partition of India from Pakistan is compelling and educational story. Occurring on August 15, 1947, it was the biggest mass migration in human history. Bloodshed on a scale never previously witnessed occurred, as the countries divided the states on the basis of their religious majorities.
Seven million Muslims, seven million Sikhs, and around seven million Hindus were seen as being in the wrong nation as the regions of the Punjab and Bengal were split. Several families left their treasures behind, packing up basic goods and starting the journey across the border. However, many were unsuccessful. The relevance to this in the Ms. Marvel series is seen in Kamala’s ancestors, who were present at the time of the partition. We also see Kamala have visions leading back to the war. The show incorporates the history of partition into a teen superhero story, making for an intriguing and unique plot.
The show was suspenseful and insightful, making for a great watch for teenage or family audiences. It exposes the younger set to new cultures and important history in a different manner than most shows while also presenting relatable and entertaining teen aspects of the story!
There’s a lot to choose from when it comes to South Asian streaming, make sure to check out 5 South Asian Series to Stream Now