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Patriot Act of Hasan Minhaj, revised.



Hasan Minhaj on stage with a chart.

Hasan Minhaj

Face Howe / Netflix

John Oliver & # 39; s Last week tonight It is so reliable and valuable that its biggest flaw has often been that it is only issued once every seven days. An imitator was inevitable, and finally it is here, hosted by another The daily show alum: Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj. The magazine-style half-hour political comedy series, which airs on Netflix, finds Minhaj digging into a current issue for approximately 20 minutes. But Patriot Act diverges from its predecessor in an unequivocal way: it allows Minhaj to be Minhaj, that is, an Indian-American comic whose beliefs and points of reference are often influenced by his cultural background and experiences as a brown man in America (also widely demonstrated in the virus Weird eye crossing that my colleague Aymann Ismail loved so much).

Two episodes debuted on Sunday. In the first, Minhaj delves deeply into the Harvard affirmative action case with a couple of questions about the segment: How do Asian Americans measure racial inequality and how do we want to fight it? In the second episode, Minhaj discusses the many iniquities of Mohammad bin Salman beyond the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and how Minhaj's own Muslim faith reports his anger and disappointment with the ruler of Saudi Arabia. Minhaj is not interested in false objectivity, a concept that continues to weaken the power of journalism in the Trump era, but with the clarity and vision that comes from a specificity of voice and experience. (The reaction of Minhaj's father to the news that the comic had achieved its own program: "Great, you can finally save for graduate school.") It probably helps that Patriot actThe main writer is another Indian-American comedian, co-creator Prashanth Venkataramanujam, who also headed the writing team for the excellent Minhaj White House 2017 Correspondents Dinner.

The result is risky, fun, informative, and occasionally, as Last week tonight, a little dry. But it's the task you want Do it, even if you never forget that it is ultimately a task. I do not think that description is a blow to the program: every minute in 2018 that I'm not stuck with the news comes with a metallic taste of guilt, such is the urgent information attack these days. Considering the great length of the segments controlled by the problem, the writers could organize and frame their data to build a more convincing argument or conclusion. But Patriot act it thrives on almost any other account. It has a polish and consistency that eluded forever. The break with Michelle Wolf, The other attempt of Netflix (now canceled) to gather the #TheResistance.

Best of all, he has Minhaj's nerd aspiration turned into a draw at his side. Minhaj represents the totality of Patriot act, and its presentation is almost tremendously gesticulatory, which gives the series a loose but emphatic energy. In contrast to the antiquated false-urban backdrop used by Oliver, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert, Minhaj opposes, and on top of, the screens that visually accompany the "Awakening TED Talks" (as the comic refers to its segments) in a way that feels always in movement but discreet.

Virtually every detail feels contemporary, from the arrogance that Minhaj exudes to a joke about an apparently bleached portrait of former Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal in a brief segment on "bad Americans": "He gentrified his face!" Noting that "Trump employs" More Indians than any television program, "Minhaj implicitly breaks the myth of the model minority with real-life examples of Asian-American criminals such as the disgraced pharmaceutical executive John Kapoor. American business is perhaps expected for some American Indians, but according to Minhaj, then it is complaining that the ankle monitor gets in the way of his jogging routine: "Is not that the most auntie shit in history?"

Minhaj has been a natural interpreter since his early days in The daily show, and showed a special ability to tell emotional stories in his spectacular special of Netflix 2017 King of the homecoming. (His complementary projects on the streaming site definitely make the comedian feel like Netflix's latest talent.) Given the unceremonious extremes that saw the shows of Wolf and Chelsea Handler, Patriot Act It still feels like something unsafe, at least as an entity. But as a showcase for a new perspective, it already feels vital.


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