If you are someone who keeps an interest in the nitty-gritty of the politics in America and the ongoing hot civil & political topics, with an aim to better understand the functioning of the world’s greatest superpower, then Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj is a Netflix Original series that you should not pass up on. With its premiere on October 28th, 2018, Patriot Act exploded in popularity thanks to the wide variety of topics covered on the show that concern civil rights.
This Netflix Original series was created by Hasan Minhaj along with Prashanth Venkataramanujam, both of whom are also executive producers besides Jim Margolis, Shannon Hartman, Michelle Caputo, and Jennie Church-Cooper. It is hosted by Hasan Minhaj, an American of Indian descent. Hasan Minhaj’s presence adds immensely to the entertainment factor of the show as he frequently quips about politics by juxtaposing serious matters with absurd and ridiculous seeming concerns and entities. His witty remarks regarding his own Muslim-Indian heritage is a source of much humour for the audience. Minhaj covers a plethora of niches for his well-timed jokes which target clusters of his audience so that everyone shares some inside-jokes with Minhaj.
Even newbies, who have no prior knowledge about the American politics, will benefit greatly from the show, owing to Minhaj’s brief explanations of all the key terms and topics so that none among his audience is left in the dark as to what’s being discussed at the time. If you find politics difficult to understand or would simply prefer all the fresh topics of discussion with a heavy dose of humour, Patriot Act will cater to all your whims so that you’re always aware of the latest happenings that may or may not affect you directly.
Stand-up Comedy and Politics
What makes Patriot Act so special is that it combines the mirth of stand-up comedies and the serious conversations of heavy politics to create a balance between the hilarity of comedy and the sobriety of politics. Greatly influenced by political satire and political comedy, Patriot Act is a treat for the senses and is guaranteed to stimulate your mind. Francis Bacon said, “Knowledge is power”; Patriot Act is informative as well as terrifically entertaining.
Its first episode titled ‘Affirmative Action’ discussed fair admissions in Harvard University and the infamous lawsuit by Edward Blum called the ‘Students for Fair Admission V. Harvard’, which alleged that Harvard University is discriminating against people of colour in its admission process. Rest of the episodes of season one discuss other significant topics such as the devastation caused by US’s expanding oil production, the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US following the murder of a journalist, problems with Amazon, immigration enforcement, content moderation and free speech, among many more.
Netflix faced a lot of backlash in January 2019 after it pulled one of the episodes on Saudi Arabia that criticized the Saudi Prince. People were quite outraged at this sort of censorship and infringement of freedom of speech & expression. This sort of reaction towards a work of political comedy is sure to pique your curiosity. Patriot Act deals with many such controversies that seek to conceal the truth while also highlighting the growing corruption in many sectors which were meant for reforms favourable to the civilians but instead chose to regress under the presidency of Donald Trump.
Patriot Act does a good job of exposing the underlying truth of American politics and mocking the façade adopted by the corrupt politicians in a form of satire that exalts it from a mere political comedy as it seeks to inform as well as reform instead of simply anticipating laughs.