Shrill

From Best Shows & Episodes Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Shrill
Shrill.jpg
“I'm not off the rails. I am the rails.”
Genre: Comedy
Running Time: 28 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: March 15, 2019 – May 7, 2021
Network(s): Hulu
Created by: Aidy Bryant
Alexandra Rushfield
Lindy West
Distributed by: Hulu
Starring: Aidy Bryant
Lolly Adefope
Luka Jones
John Cameron Mitchell
Ian Owens
Patti Harrison
Seasons: 3
Episodes: 22


Shrill is an American sitcom created by Aidy Bryant, Alexandra Rushfield, and Lindy West, based on West's book Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman. The series premiered on March 15, 2019 (with the first episode introduced as a "teaser" in December 2018) on Hulu, is produced by West, and stars Bryant in the lead role. In April 2019, the series was renewed for a second season that premiered on January 24, 2020. In March 2020, the series was renewed for an eight episode third season, which was later confirmed to be the final season and it was released on May 7, 2021.

Plot

Annie Easton (based on Lindy West, played by Aidy Bryant) is a young journalist at The Thorn, a fictional newspaper in Portland (based on The Stranger, where West worked). Living with a weight problem her whole life, she is determined to change her life without changing her body. While dealing with her crazy best friend Fran (Lolly Adefope), various unreliable boyfriends, sick parents and a perfectionist boss, she begins to understand that she's just as good as everyone else.

Why It Rocks

  1. The show is extremely faithful to West's original memoir, and almost works as a companion to it if you read it and watch it at the same time (like this page's creator did).
  2. It is known, and praised, for the variety of stories it tells surrounding historically marginalized groups without falling into stereotype, especially fat people (Annie), Black people (Fran), and LGBTQ+ people (various characters, including Fran, Ruthie, and Em).
  3. Lots of good comedy that strays away from typical sitcom humor despite embracing the tropes. A lot of this comes from Ruthie (Patti Harrison), The Thorn's office manager - one of the funniest scenes with her, for example, is her "C-section Baby" song from the second season premiere.
  4. Great acting, especially from Aidy Bryant in the lead role.
  5. John Cameron Mitchell, as Annie's boss Gabe, pulls off a wonderful supporting performance. His character is secretly kind and well-meaning despite his rule-obsessed nature, and rather goofy in the later seasons. The scenes where he plays music (especially his cover of David Bowie's "Moonage Daydream") are awesome.
  6. The way that it uses its typical comedy to tackle important issues is very honest, very original, and positively impacts viewers. The second season finale, when Annie goes after an Internet troll who has been harassing her over social media, is an example of how it can be very empowering and impactful.
  7. It stands out from other sitcoms because it has a notably diverse cast, with minorities having major roles, similar to Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
  8. Very great heartwarming moments aside from the comedy, especially in the third and final season.
  9. Lindy West's production design is outstanding.
  10. The show uses its 30-minute runtime to an advantage, as it's cleverly fast-paced, meaning many of the scenes go by quick without really being incoherent.
  11. Wonderful editing, cinematography, and sound editing/mixing - they all go well together and fit the tone incredibly well.
  12. Great guest stars integrated well into the episodes, including Fred Armisen, Joel Kim Booster, and Beck Bennett.
  13. Alongside Together Together, this show started the career of Patti Harrison, a trans* actress now playing several cisgender characters (including Ruthie on this show) and breaking many transgender actor stereotypes.
  14. This show elevated Aidy Bryant's career, with her mostly being known for Saturday Night Live before this.
  15. Lindy West's cameo in the final season is great, and almost equitable to Stan Lee's in Marvel movies.

Bad Qualities

  1. Annie's decisions throughout the series may come off as shallow or egotistical, despite her meaning well. This is particularly true in the second season.
  2. The show's portrayal of domestic abuse is somewhat lighthearted and doesn't come off as impactful at all.
  3. The soundtrack, while sometimes good, can get annoying and repetitive due to every episode featuring the same style of music as background music in scenes.
  4. The writing has had a noticeable decline in quality during the third season.

Reception

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds an approval rating of 93% based on 54 reviews, with an average rating of 7.91/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Sharp social commentary and a star-making performance from Aidy Bryant help Shrill overcome its familiar comedic sensibilities to create a show that proves self-acceptance isn't one size fits all." On Metacritic the first season has a score of 74 out of 100, based on reviews from 27 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Kelly Lawler from USA Today gave the series a positive review, calling it an "unflinchingly authentic depiction of a fat woman in the modern world," and acknowledging that it "flies past positivity and shoots for fat acceptance". Pop Culture Happy Hour's Linda Holmes applauded the writers for giving the protagonist the best lines, instead of handing them off to secondary or supporting characters. Holmes writes: "seeing her perform such strong material is a delight". Verne Gay from Newsday also criticized the series, writing, "Shrill too often feels more like that extended trope than fully developed series." In the 2021 Emmys, Aidy Bryant was given a nomination for Outstanding Actress in a comedy series for her role as Annie.

Trivia

  • Lindy West has stated that the show is "not about 'fat acceptance'" because she believes that it's a show that will ultimately lead others into accepting fat people.
  • Joel Kim Booster's character (Gabe's husband Tony) was originally going to be a recurring character, but complications with Kim Booster's schedule made him just a 2-time guest.
  • Jo Firestone (who plays The Thorn's photographer Maureen) and Patti Harrison later acted alongside one another in Together Together in 2021.

Comments

Loading comments...