Adam McKay’s ‘This Giant Beast That Is the Global Economy’ Breaks It Down With Humor

This Giant Beast That Is The Global Economy
Amazon Prime Video

Academy Award winner Adam McKay has carved out a particular Hollywood niche. He’s the guy whose movies present complicated economic and political topics in a way that gets you laughing instead of nodding off. He did it for the 2007–08 financial crisis in The Big Short and, more recently, for the vice presidency of Dick Cheney in Vice. Now he’s taking on international commerce.

“Why do we call it This Giant Beast That Is the Global Economy?” McKay asks. “Because it is kind of a beast in the sense that a lot of people are afraid to address it. And the truth is, it’s not that mysterious once you start breaking it down. And at the same time, it also can change culture and history.”

Hosted by actor (and former White House employee) Kal Penn, the eight episodes take a Parts Unknown approach to a vast web of economic issues that affect us all. Penn travels to Cyprus to explore money laundering, for example, and to a rubber plant in Thailand to find out just how vital rubber is to the global economy.

And if some of the terms and topics are a little daunting, don’t worry. McKay and Co. enlisted a battalion of A-listers — like Ted Danson and Jason Sudeikis — to break it down in humorous ways.

“The world is so insane right now,” McKay says. “We all have a tricky job: How do you communicate this stuff?” The good news is McKay seems to have found an entertaining solution.

This Giant Beast That Is the Global Economy, Series Premiere, Friday, February 22, Amazon Prime Video