Jo Koy needs no introduction, but this time around, his new Netflix special is very different from his previous stand-up specials. Jo Koy: In His Elements is a comedy special with a variety show format wherein Jo Koy is both host and comedian, introducing his special guests on the stage, with video clips interspersed in between acts. The Filipino-American performers included in this special are B-Boy Ronnie Abaldonado, Grammy-winning producer !llmind (Ramon Ibanga), singer/songwriter Iñigo Pascual, and comedians Andrew Lopez, Joey Guila, and Andrew Orolfo.
Watch if you are:
…curious to know the Filipino-Amercian perspective of the Philippine culture, and if you want to discover more talents to watch out for. Again this isn’t all about Jo Koy, and he makes it clear in the first few minutes of the special. “Tonight, I’m going to show you my history while we make history,” he says. “We’re gonna showcase Filipino culture to the world, you guys.” And that is what this special is all about! Aside from Jo Koy’s own stand-up jokes within the special, he takes a step back to put into spotlight fellow artists so they can perform for the Filipinos, in the Philippines. If you’re a Jo Koy fan already, you’re sure to enjoy his style of observational humor and impersonations.
What I think:
This Netflix special wears its Filipino heart on its sleeve. While it does put that pride and love for the motherland first and humor a close second, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Don’t get me wrong — there are hilarious chunks in here, but you’ll find yourself surprised when some heartwarming moments come up. This for me is a great example of how a comedian as influential as Jo Koy has harnessed his platform for good — to remind us of all the great things that we love about our culture, and for the rest of the world to discover these.
It does feel like the comedian’s love letter to the Philippines, his way of giving back and paying homage to his roots, rather than a special that’s all about his work and his jokes. Additionally, the special also introduces stand-up comedians of Filipino descent, so we know who to watch next (Andrew Orolfo is a new favorite). Jo Koy: In His Elements is something bright and fun and hopeful to watch, especially in these trying times that our country is in.