Available On: Netflix
Number of Seasons: 5
In a time where injustices impact every corner of the world every day, there needs to be a show that grabs people’s attention and informs them on the various issues at hand.
In a time where people have horrendous attention spans, there needs to be a show that is able to grab people’s attention and inform them.
Hasan Minhaj, host and creator of the Netflix exclusive Patriot Act, is able to accomplish that with his comedy-infused political “talk show”. There have been many others to do political comedy shows before Hasan Minhaj, but no one’s done it quite like he does.
Patriot Act takes definite inspiration from shows such as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report while simultaneously straying away from their formula. While the aforementioned shows are in a man-at-a-desk, satirical “newscast” style, Hasan breaks away from that mold. Hasan stands on stage before a live audience, vibrant and informative graphics behind him (his team won an Emmy for Outstanding Motion Design, by the way).
At 34 years of age, Hasan Minhaj is a quintessential millennial. A child of immigrant Indian Muslim parents, Hasan Minhaj has a real grasp on the issues that minorities face in the United States as well as internationally. With those points in mind, Hasan Minhaj is in-touch with his target audience and knows how to engage and most importantly, inform viewers. His jokes hit all bases of contemporary pop culture and help to make tough topics a bit easier to take in, yet he knows when to be serious and respectful.
Hasan has tackled heavy topics such as immigration enforcement, drug pricing, the opioid crisis, mental health, police misconduct, and cases of political corruption in countries such as Sudan, Saudi Arabia, China, India, and even the United States.
However, his criticism hasn’t gone without backlash. His episode on Saudi Arabia was banned and disparaged in the country; his episodes on the Indian and Philippine elections both led to controversy and condemnation from politicians. Despite this, Hasan has never stopped shedding light on the issues that many in power would prefer swept under the rug. This past April, Time Magazine named Hasan Minhaj one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Surprisingly, not every episode is morbid. Hasan has touched on topics such as Supreme and “hype culture” as well as the power of hip-hop and streaming. He has also sat down for interviews with the likes of Andrew Yang, Justin Trudeau, Bernie Sanders, and Cory Booker.
While the show has only been airing since fall 2018, there have already been five “seasons” of Patriot Act. As opposed to traditional full-length seasons, Netflix releases them as six-episode “volumes”. The volumes are released bimonthly and the episodes are released weekly, each episode being under 30 minutes. Essentially, there’s no excuse for all you low attention span viewers out there. You can at least try to finish one episode; there’s a topic for everyone. I bet you’ll even learn something.
Patriot Act is one of the smartest and most-needed Netflix exclusives to date. Shoutout to Hasan Minhaj for educating and entertaining so many, and shoutout to Netflix for providing the outlet.
This is all coming from a guy who hates politics, by the way. If Patriot Act can get me interested in politics and up-to-date with foreign affairs, it could do the same for you.