D.L. Hughley: The Endangered List

Even with a black president in office, the state of affairs for African-Americans in today’s society remains fraught with perils and inequities. Comedian D.L. Hughley came up with a very clever, if also quite telling, way to address the matter: See if he can get American Blacks on the endangered species list. Combining standup segments with scenes shot as he seriously tries to gather names on a petition to apply for endangered species status from the federal government, Hughley sheds serious light with delicious comedic relief on everything from how everyday people shy away from the plights faced by African-Americans to Black urban youth gangs, the private prison system, gay adoption and homophobia and even the neo-Nazi racial purity movement. In the process he makes his very valid point quite forcefully while evoking enough laughter to make the sour medicine go down smoothly – no easy feat.

Amy Schumer: Mostly Sex Stuff

Today’s hottest rising comedian scores a winner with her bawdy, open-minded and no holds barred debut comedy special, and evokes much laughter in the process. She is right on the edge of the current sexual zeitgeist when it comes to both lust and the mores of single young adults as well as the inherent hilarity bubbling just under the surface of sexual encounters and male/female relationships. As Hughley does above, she takes what can be an uncomfortable topic for many and loosens viewers up with laughter as she illuminates modern sexuality. Not for the prudish by any means, what makes her comedy resonate is how she talks about genuine truths we sometimes shy away from. Her new Comedy Central series Inside Amy Schumer also deals bluntly with sexuality in its winning mix of stage routines and sketches to be jusy as funny and appealing.

Manhunt: The Search for Bin Laden

This HBO doc is the perfect companion to Zero Dark Thirty, detailing how CIA analysts and operatives identified the threat posed by Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda well before 9/11, and the effort that followed to destroy his terrorist organization and finally locate and kill its leader. It features members of the intelligence team that tracked Bin Laden down talking about it in public for the first time, and the story it tells has at least as much drama as the fictional film. It also sheds light on the issue of torture v.s. traditional interrogation techniques, making the case for the greater effectiveness of the latter.

From The Progressive Populist, August 15, 2013



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