Beloved ex-Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee’s new late night political satire show Full Frontal made a promising start to its run on TBS on Feb. 8. The Daily Show-meets-Last Week Tonight–style program has only aired two episodes thus far, but if Bee’s brutally honest approach to some of our most serious political issues continues, she might give Trevor Noah and John Oliver a run for their money.
This week’s episode of Full Frontal included a brilliant segment where Bee travels to a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan in order to interview refugees and hopefully put human faces on an issue that has attracted some ugly demagoguery. And yes, she actually went to Jordan and didn’t stand in front of a green screen as a throwback to her Daily Show days.
The segment begins by pointing out the stark differences between the heartwarming ways other countries welcome Syrian refugees and the apocalyptic frenzy expressed by American pundits and politicians, who seem to believe that every single refugee is a suicide bomber who will auto-detonate the second they step on U.S. soil. Whoever came up with the image of a woman freaking out on a roller coaster to visualize this irrational fear deserves an instant Emmy.
By interviewing the refugees at the camp, Bee shows her audience that these people just want to lead a normal life. She goes the extra mile by also interviewing experts who explain the fact that a vast majority of refugees are minors and women, not the able-bodied super-terrorists right-wing pundits and politicians claim they are. A fun piece of 8-bit animation detailing the rigorous screening process each refugee has to go through does a great job proving the impracticality of any terrorist disguising himself as a refugee to do harm to the U.S. By mixing the template of the Daily Show field segment with the production value and depth of Last Week Tonight, Bee might be carving out a new niche in “fake news.”