31 Jul Who Is America? Sacha Baren Cohen’s new series explained
Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen returns to television with a new half-hour series exploring the diverse people, politicians and personalities who make up the Land of the Free, United States of America.
Prankster, actor and comic Cohen makes his comeback after more than a decade of being away from our TV screens, and boy have we missed his unique and crude humour. Cohen’s new docu-series follows him pushing the boundaries in the playground of America as he investigates the popular, political and cultural spheres of an influential nation through an interview-style format.
Cohen takes on a refreshingly different approach in ‘Who Is America?’ and endures a distinctive spin on his already unusual journalistic genre. Unlike his previous famous fictional characters Ali G and Brüno, he does not aim captivate his role to audiences through creating any hyper-distinct or over-the-top features and they are instead disposable, as he implicates a new persona in each episode.
‘Who Is America?’ does not introduce us to a new breakout persona such as Borat or General Aladeen, as Cohen’s characters are more functional rather than just a comedic display as they perform as the catalyst to the conversations sparked with the participators in each segment.
The man otherwise known as Ali G shows true investigative journalism in this series and it is evident that each personality has been designed to produce honest and insightful results, thanks to his natural charm which eases interviewees into the popular debates in America, humour which also included a rap battle in second episode.
Though this series is more about the pranks rather than the prankster, it wouldn’t be a truly Sacha Baron Cohen project if he didn’t perplex guests, and equally, viewers. The real spark is lit through the comedy and deeper insight, which when united fuses the perfect outcome: satire and mockery.
The first episode explores the gun laws in America alongside guns right activists Philip Van Cleave and Larry Pratt, and it quickly turns into a political debacle as he convinces them, along with many other Congressman to produce an advert promoting gun-use among toddlers.
Without revealing any spoilers, the show involves many public figures becoming more comfortable and in turn, much more controversial on camera. But it is within this where the magic comes to life, as Sacha Baron Cohen, and his personalities alike, bring alive to our screens the harsh realities of who America really is.
With Sacha Baron Cohen’s irreplaceable take on investigative journalism in one of the most powerful countries in the world, you are in for a lot of surprises. ‘Who is America?’ airs every Monday night on SHOWTIME and Channel 4.