Critical Condition: Who Is America?

Who Is America? | SoHo, 10.30 Monday

➢ “Who Is America? feels both as richly comic as anything Baron Cohen has done in the decade-plus since Borat and urgently resonant with our own era. The show’s format—using four new Baron Cohen personae in order to expose the nature of contemporary American culture—is particularly effective, moving as it does beyond the boldface names who’ve come forward to say they’ve been pranked by the comic.” — Variety.

➢ “Full of mild shock, zero awe and a lot of recycled scenarios, the flabby, seven-episode dupe-the-dimwits endeavor from the once blighting satirist certainly provokes a great inducement to change the cable channel … Though Ali G was genius and Borat was brilliant, the subsequent offerings leading to Who Is America? intimate that the decline and fall of the comedy of Sasha Baron Cohen is almost complete with this pointless and tub-thumping exercise in ritual humiliation.” — Deadline.

➢ “The disappointing reality of Who Is America? is that Cohen hasn’t really gotten anybody to espouse any ideology that they wouldn’t and haven’t advocated proudly without the subterfuge. We live in a world in which barriers between public brand and private ideology have essentially been erased.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

➢ “If nothing else, Who Is America? might cause its audience to examine its own double standards. To giggle at and delight in Cohen’s pranks is to believe that you can have it both ways: that you can be horrified at the collapse of truth and democracy, and then laugh at a guy who seeks to undermine whatever remains of trust. As watchably galling as Cohen’s techniques may be, America in 2018 doesn’t really seem like the right time or place for it.” — The Washington Post.

➢ “There are some laughs in Who Is America?, but the most profound feeling you get from the show is weariness. Cohen’s haphazard comedy instincts feel topical in the worst way. Some politicians said crazy things on television? That’s not strange anymore. It’s mandatory.” — Entertainment Weekly.

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2 Responses to “Critical Condition: Who Is America?”

  1. Philip, I see that Doctor Who is coming to TVNZ. Has Prime TV lost the rights to it’s flagship show?

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