There are plenty of American politicians and public figures sweating bullets right now, because they know they’ve been caught out by Sacha Baron Cohen and his latest creation.
Yesterday saw the debut of Who is America?, and the scrambling to save face has already begun.
Both the left and the right, the liberals and the conservatives, are targets for mockery, but the first episode’s real bombshell is to do with the Republican approach to gun laws and reform in the wake of school shootings.
This below via the Telegraph:
The best of Baron Cohen’s new characters, Erran Morad, is a former Israeli army colonel, happily entrapping gun lobbyists on board with his Kinder-Guardians project, that is designed to put heavy artillery in the hands of the unprotected 4-12 [year-old] demographic.
Former Congressman turned conservative radio host Joe Walsh joined the likes of current congressman Dana Rohrabacher and former Senate Leader Trent Lott in a fake commercial demanding America arm its toddlers.
No, but for real, though. Cohen managed to get these knob-ends to punt the idea of giving children guns, and it’s as ridiculous as it sounds.
— TW Polk (@twpolk) July 15, 2018
No need to wonder why gun reform laws stumble at the first hurdle, is there?
Also a shout-out for including Blink-182, Rita Ora, and other musicians in the script that douchebag Larry Pratt, the executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America, read so willingly.
Back to the Telegraph review again:
However while Sacha Baron Cohen was previously plagued with the high-class problem of watching his characters blow up into pop-culture icons and immediately become obsolete, on the basis of his new ones — there’s also an alt-right conspiracist based on, but nowhere near as deranged as InfoWars voice of doom, Alex Jones — he will not face the same problem. Thus far, all his revolving cast are catch-phrase free and intentionally unlovable.
Any random hour wasted watching Fox News could likely throw up as many individuals proudly giving voice to as many grotesque convictions as Baron Cohen elicits from his targets. The difference is, knowing they’ve been played for suckers seems to be causing them to experience actual human emotions like distress and mortification. For that alone, this series is already a success.
Hunt down the people who were made to look like fools in that first episode, and you’ll find them backtracking very hard on social media.
Here’s the ‘First Look’ that Showtime uploaded to YouTube, with that clip above starting from around the 8:10 mark:
Other reviews are mixed, but we’ll finish with Variety:
What a pleasant surprise, then, that “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…
It’s going to piss a lot of people off, and that’s always worth grabbing the popcorn for.
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