Rank #1: Thanksgiving Special: What even IS this holiday?
Food is the thing, according to comedian Naomi Ekperigin, a Harlem native with Jewish in-laws who needs a day to recover after their epic dinners. But Maeve has a fuzzy idea that Thanksgiving started in the old days, when everyone made friends? But there’s got to be more to this story of happy Pilgrims and helpful Native Americans, right? Right. A Native American attorney explains why Thanksgiving is a bittersweet occasion for him. Then, back to food of course, we find out about San Francisco cops that deliver meals to Chinese seniors, and finally Grace Young stir-fries a treat for Maeve under the watchful eye of Huggy the cat.
Nov 23 2016
Rank #2: The Nayyef Episode: Sleepless in Seattle
Maeve meets Nayyef Hrebid: an Iraqi translator whose wartime service necessitated a Special Immigrant Visa to the US. Nayyef shares the terrible dangers facing the LGBT community in Iraq, his intimate story of finding love in a warzone, and how he fought through years of frustrating setbacks to keep that love intact. Mona Chalabi is back with the numbers, and an attorney in an inexplicable pair of New Balance warns the US not to ghost on on the local people who’ve served.
Nov 29 2016
Rank #3: The Amy Episode: Seoul Searching
Maeve speaks with Amy Mihyang Ginther, an assistant professor, a Korean adoptee and performer, who shares her story of moving to America as a tiny baby and her journey back to Korea two decades later to meet her birth mother. Plus: Mona and Maeve share their collective guilt about not speaking Arabic and Irish, we hear about the sad and strange tale of Adam Crapser and an adoption gone awry; and the hilarious comedian Joel Kim Booster processes his story through jokes. Oh! Spoiler alert. Maeve’s double life as a giant Irish doll is revealed.
Dec 06 2016
Rank #4: The Comedy Special: Raise the Roof
A special live comedy show hosted by Maeve, featuring Eugene Mirman, Mehran Khaghani, Josie Long, Todd Barry, Jon Ronson, Joel Kim Booster, Tanael Joachim and Mike Birbiglia. Maeve in America raised the roof at the Bell House in Brooklyn to benefit INARA, an organization that helps Syrian children. Plus: Backstage interviews with the comedians exploring their own immigration stories.
Dec 13 2016
Rank #5: Love On Top: The Valentines Special
Maeve plays matchmaker with Mona, but things don’t go as planned. We get a first-hand look at what it’s like to be a Muslim immigrant dating in the shadow of the ban. Our spirits are lifted by Nalina in Jersey City describing her arranged marriage 33 years ago in India. Nessia moves to Crown Heights from Canada to find her love match - a Hasidic Jew with a Country-Western flare. And Minori from Japan is tired of guys who just want one night stands, and finally gets her meet-cute in an NYC Starbucks. Nao and Shiraz are tying the knot at City Hall, hoping their strength as a couple will help them through the next four years. These stories bring light and laughter to dark days for immigration in the US.
Feb 14 2017
Rank #6: #NoBanNoWall
As confusion reigns, we document what’s happening right now, speaking to Iranian-Canadians, Pakistani-Americans and also, a Russian, all demonstrating against the ban and we get immigrants’ reactions to this new reality. Maeve also introduces a couple of our Season 2 guests, including a Syrian asylum seeker who’s trying to quit smoking, and an undocumented Mexican man who tells the absolute best stories.
Feb 01 2017
Rank #7: The Holiday Special: Here Is New York
Maeve whisks us around the city and checks in with immigrants from all over the world to see how everybody is preparing for the holidays. We meet a group of Trinidadians having a Kwanzaa feast, we crash a Mexican Posada and hear from Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani, who shares his memories of Eid celebrations in Pakistan and his love of dessert days here in the U.S. - that’s a tradition he invented where you have dessert for every meal. We glimpse some Diwali lights still glittering across Queens as an Israeli couple delight in the freedom of Hanukkah away from home. And Kavita Pawria Sanchez, the assistant Commissioner at the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, plays Two Truths and a Lie with us.
Dec 20 2016
Rank #8: The Yemi Episode: Coming to America
The last time Maeve went to an aquarium, she fainted. This time, with the big-hearted aquaponics farmer Yemi Amu by her side, she totally looked at a fish and stayed conscious! Yemi was a high achieving school-girl in Lagos, Nigeria who came to New York and had to start over, helping her dad at his janitor’s job, learning to deal with some strange ideas Americans had about Africans, and figuring out how to overcome an eating disorder on her own. Mona Chalabi tries to talk Maeve into finding her a husband, and a security guard interrupts a night time ice-cream raid.
Dec 27 2016
Rank #9: Not My President's Day
Maeve and Alexis Coe (host of Presidents Are People Too!) co-host a special episode about the immigration policies of our first, last and current president. They head to Philadelphia, the birthplace of our nation, to reflect on what Washington and the founding fathers envisioned this country could be. All men were equal? Except slaves forced to move from Africa and indentured servants sent from Europe. And, by chance, they come across an anti-hate gathering. Back in the studio, Carl Lipscombe with the Black Alliance for Just Immigration explains Obama’s immigration legacy and Palestinian-American comedian, Mo Amer, tells the bonkers story of how he got an inside scoop on the Muslim registry from sitting beside Eric Trump on a transatlantic flight. Eugene Mirman comes through with the details of the kompramat the Russians have on the President.
Feb 21 2017
Rank #10: The Dan-el Episode - Odyssey of the Undocumented
For the season finale, Maeve follows Dan-el Padilla Peralta on a journey to rival Odysseus; from an undocumented child living in homeless shelters in New York City to a Classics professor at an Ivy League college, she learns of his continued fight to become a legal resident of the United States. Plus, data from the always fresh Mona Chalabi and sage wisdom from Define Americans’ Jose Antonio Vargas. Jeff Sessions looms large, with his infamous 2006 words from the Senate Floor still booming today. Oh, and Maeve forces a reluctant robot to do her dirty work.
Jan 17 2017