‘Who Is America?’ Review: Sacha Baron Cohen’s Jokes Are Hit-or-Miss, but His Wild Showtime Series Could Kill Political Careers

‘Who Is America?’ Review: Sacha Baron Cohen’s Jokes Are Hit-or-Miss, but His Wild Showtime Series Could Kill Political Careers
Important is the kind of word that gets tossed around a lot when critiquing TV shows. Along with its many adjectives — relevant, vital, urgent, essential, etc. — the designation boosts scripted series from “The Looming Tower” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” to “Scandal” and “The OA,” noting their political, cultural, or storytelling significance. Unscripted fare, like “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and “Born This Way,” snags the same praise. Some warrant theses descriptors more than others, but few comedies have tried as hard to earn them as Sacha Baron Cohen’s new Showtime series, “Who Is America?

By shooting so high, the unflinching performer behind Da Ali G and Borat hits a few big marks, and misses some, as well. Members of Congress should be removed from office because of the things they say and do with Cohen’s characters, but the vaudevillian master of disguise also puts his elaborate
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