‘Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj’ hits its stride in week 2 with ‘Amazon’ episode

Review Ethan / 2023-02-25 12:15:53

Netflix’s new talk show and only talk show not cancelled on the service has seemingly hit its stride in week 2 after an underwhelming opening weekend. This episode focuses on Amazon, the largest company in the world, and how we relate to it.

Talk shows on Netflix haven’t exactly got off to a great start. Chelsea Handler was the original talk host for Netflix. However, her show went through two seasons. Michelle Wolf presented The Break, a weekly talk show that she hosted after Handler decided to quit Netflix. The show was also cancelled.

There have been points leading up to Patriot Act that the show is being sent out to die and after its first week, you’d be forgiven for thinking that. Two episodes were focused on controversial subjects. First, the episode was about Saudi Arabia. The second focused on affirmative actions. It also encountered its first controversy when certain groups of people jumped on Hasan Minhaj's racist remarks.

The show is making waves, just like many other talk-shows in this format. Episode 1's defense department was called out and they made amends and apologized.

The affirmative action episode was the most difficult for me. It felt drawn out and didn’t really have an arc that these types of shows need to keep you engaged, especially over a 20 minute period.

Why the ‘Amazon’ episode is great

However, the Amazon episode changed everything for me. I’m not sure whether it’s the tone of the show has changed from week two to three but the format went from slightly condescending and abrupt to informative and funny. This episode is a carefully constructed narrative that focuses on Amazon's predatory ways with some jokes sprinkled throughout. It was enjoyable to watch, and not a tedious process. Because it focused on a big company too, the show was relatable and therefore we could focus on getting used to Hasan’s style.

Also, we’re not sure if it’s just us, but the camera jumping seems to be toned down a little in this episode too.

Netflix distributes it right

The most important thing about this Amazon episode for me is that I didn’t watch, nor discover it on Netflix first. It was actually shared by YouTube and other social media platforms. This is where we have already said this is where Netflix’s talk shows have failed compared with its rivals in the past. Although The Break with Michelle Wolf was able to see the potential and began adding episodes to YouTube, it faced many more issues than its distribution.

Netflix also takes a leaf out of HBO’s Last Week Tonight’s book for its choice to put the show on Youtube. Netflix does not give you the entire episode, but only the main portion. It’s the content that has the most meat to it and also if the topic is appropriate, is the content that people will want to click and watch.

All Netflix needs to do on Youtube now is communicate that there’s more content on the full episode on Netflix and they’re away. Actually not quite, give us a way to subscribe to weekly shows on Netflix and then, they’re away!

Is the Patriot Act going to survive?

With every Netflix talk show before Patriot Act cancelled, the big question now is whether Hasan Minhaj’s show can survive. Perhaps it’s too early to tell given we’re only 3 episodes into a 32 episode first season but if the show keeps up with picking topics that are engaging and distributed by Netflix correctly, we believe Netflix may finally have the talk-show it needs to stand among the big boys in the arena.

Every Sunday, new episodes are released on Netflix and social media.

Let us know what you think. Are you enjoying Patriot Act? Comment below.


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