Review: Patriot Act by Hasan Minhaj


Cara Howe/Netflix

Hasan Minhaj performing on his show, Patriot Act.

Sonia Rao, Editor-in-Chief

It is a dark time within the journalism world. The grand Newseum in Washington, D.C. has just been sold to John Hopkins University, planning to be closed to the public by 2020. Journalists such as Jamal Khashoggi, Maria Ressa, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, and the staff of The Capital were recently honored as Time Magazine’s 2018 Person of the Year for the political persecution, including murder, conviction, indictment, and attack they have faced due to spreading truth and fighting for their beliefs. Thanks to our country’s political state, the term “fake news” has become synonymous with public media. All of these factors have led to a massive shift in the way news stories are being told.

As the digital age goes on and print newspaper and magazine industries are slowly dying, there has been a substantial increase in news shared through social media and other non conventional platforms. In Netflix’s show The Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, former Daily show comic Hasan Minhaj finds a compromise between commentary and comedy, covering serious topics such as affirmative action, immigration policies, oil production, and much more with a humorous lens. An interactive backdrop full of screens that function as a modern Powerpoint presentation accompanies Minhaj’s monologue, showcasing videos, graphs, and other images that accentuate his arguments.

Minhaj has always been an excellent comedian, working on The Daily Show for several years, and even having his own comedy special on Netflix called Homecoming King. In Patriot Act, his excellent comedic timing and humorous asides shine as a bright light through the darker matters he discusses on the show. Most importantly, the show is educational and offers another means of keeping up-to-date with national and global affairs rather than traditional newspapers and news stations.

The original season, consisting of seven episodes, premiered on Netflix on October 28th, 2018. A new, second season was just released on Netflix on February 10th, 2019. New episodes come out every Sunday. If you’re interested in a funny, enlightening show to broaden your worldview, The Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj is the right one for you.