September 21, 2020

What to Watch: Patriot Act

The Sunday Scaries are getting ever so real, friends. Mentally preparing for work and reading the news can drain you before the week even begins. Fortunately, Hasan Minhaj and Netflix blessed subscribers with episodes of Minhaj’s new show Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj on Sundays. The show was released Sunday, October 28 with just two episodes (Netflix, you trickster, now I have to check back in weekly), and wow were they loaded. Minhaj explores politics and culture in a way that not only informs you about issues, but keeps you entertained. Minhaj joked and called it a woke TEDtalk, but that’s exactly what he gives you. People of color, we’re being seen. White people, please consume and digest to become a better ally.

For folks who “don’t like to get into politics,” just watch this show. The political commentary isn’t like watching Fox News or CNN, because as it turns out some issues aren’t direct results of children running this country. Fans of Freakonomics will likely be intrigued by this show since the topics of discussion are comparable to what Steve Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner write about. Minhaj will discuss a specific issue and do a deep dive that challenges you to learn more and also think about that topic a little bit differently. Nothing he discusses is truly earth shattering, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need to hear what he’s saying.

Often, while we may know about issues like affirmative action, we’re not constantly bombarded with news about the implications and how different minority groups discuss it. Intersectionality is often overlooked when media outlets cover topics. Given that many issues are approached from a white point of view, it’s not surprise that narratives of subgroups gets missed entirely. I mean, when was the last time you really thought of Asian Americans when you heard the term ‘affirmative action’? Most people probably think of affirmative action helping Black folks have a place in university, regardless of which side of the aisle they sit on with the topic. The intersection of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, race, gender, and other identities are all somewhat touched upon when Minhaj addresses a topic, which makes the deep dive more interesting to listen to than if it were only discussed as a one dimensional issue. The reality of most social issues in our country and the world are the multiple layers at work in keeping social structures in place that cause the issue.

Now, I understand this show won’t appeal to all audiences due to the directness and educational value. I also understand how this show may help people gain an understanding of the complexities and intricacies of our society. Whether you’re interested in affirmative action and the Asian American community, or how Saudi Arabian investors have taken an interest in American tech companies, Minhaj provides an unfiltered commentary on the issue. Interestingly enough, most of the observations are nonpartisan takes on the social issues. Minhaj presents facts, of course as a comedian he throws in some quick jabs at the wrongdoers of situations, but nothing you probably weren’t already thinking. Regardless of which side of the aisle you sit (or if you choose to be free from our bipartisan nonsense) this show will add value you to your Netflix binging life.

Chaplin
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Emily Cornell 132 Articles
Staff Writer

Emily grew up in the great state of Colorado, then decided the University of Wyoming sounded like a good time. She’s a three-time University of Wyoming Intramural Champion, which truly contributed to the rec sports office. Since graduating, she has tried to figure out how not to become an adult. To fully commit to this, she’s a part-time cheesecake maker and a semi-pro adventurer. Sometimes she shares her unpopular opinions on sports and life, if this interests you, she can be found on Twitter and Instagram like a true millennial @emilproblems.

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