Hasan Minhaj’s ‘Patriot Act’ is Back
...And It's Out for Blood
In an age of increasing digital distraction and political tensions between various generations of Americans, a single voice rings out amongst the masses to bring forth the issues that matter most to those who are about to start the rest of their lives. Hasan Minhaj, former political correspondent of The Daily Show, has made his return to Netflix with new material for the new year. Riding on the success of his first volume from 2018, Hasan Minhaj is here with fresh topics, like content moderation and “hypebeast” exclusivity. Patriot Act’s 2019 catalog is already shaping up to be more of the same relevant commentary on modern problems, like severe Chinese online censorship and exponential drug pricing.
Minhaj came back with a bang earlier this month with the introductory update on tensions in Saudi Arabia—namely how it forced Netflix to remove a previous episode that was criticizing the country and its leaders. In a stunning moment of solidarity, Minhaj discusses how all ends of the political spectrum (even Breitbart, surprisingly) stood by him in an effort to combat this blatant act of censorship. After some pointed jokes, Netflix in Saudi Arabia removed the episode, though they still retain food shows that depict pork consumption and how the country ironically issued its own Muslim ban. The host transitioned to the focus of the first foray into volume two: China’s rising #MeToo movement and the government’s attempt to suppress it. Minhaj unleashed a barrage of criticism on the Communist Party and its leader, Xi Jinping, with the relative relief that Netflix is not currently available in China. America’s #MeToo movement has made waves globally and spread its reach into China, a country with a heavy history of covering up its scandals. After a brief summary of the unique ways that Chinese youth activists found a way around the oppressive government’s online censors through the cartoon character Peppa Pig and #RiceBunny emojis, the episode ends on a hopeful note with the support of the Feminist Five.
The second episode just recently released and it is all in on the dangers of exponentially increasing prices for vital and life saving drugs. Many may remember in 2015, when Martin Shkreli topped headlines for raising the price of Daraprim, which is a drug used to treat infections in persons with HIV infections, by 5,000% from an affordable $13.50 to $750. Shkreli became the most hated man in America, and went on to be tried in court several times, but the crossover between pharmaceutics and corporate greed didn’t end with him. Minhaj revealed that insulin prices were on the rise, and this would likely increase the number of fatalities in persons suffering from diabetes who require insulin in order to survive. He identified several possible suspects, like pharmacy benefit managers, drug companies, insurance companies, as well as politicians. However, he ultimately placed the blame on all four, stating that they all needed to do better to make life saving prescription drugs more affordable for suffering Americans that have been gouged for money.
Patriot Act‘s return has just started with only two episodes under its belt, but if these two episodes are indicative of anything, it’s that Minhaj and his team are willing to push the boundaries in order to inform the people on the issues that require their attention—even if it ends with consequences. Anyone with even the slightest interest in political satire, needs to keep their eyes on Hasan Minhaj because he’s definitely proven that he’s worthy of your time and attention.
-Derek Luat Tran