TV REVIEW: Shrill – Season 1

Overweight Annie Easton (Aidy Bryant) is an aspiring journalist who works at a Buzzfeed-style online journal owned and managed by, Gabe Parrish (John Cameron Mitchell). She lives with her best friend, lesbian Fran (Lolly Adefope) and spends too much of her time sneaking out of the back of her sort of boyfriend, Ryan’s (Luka Jones) house.

As Annie starts a journey of personal growth she’ll have to make her way through her own self-limiting beliefs as well as the fatphobic narrative that surrounds her.

Shrill only has six episodes of about twenty minutes long so it’s easy to binge, and binge it I did. It was recommended to me by a friend and I fell for it hook like and sinker.

Aidy Bryant is wonderfully lovable and identifiable to anyone who has ever felt a bit left out of the normal ideals of feminine beauty – especially anyone who has ever been plus sized or to any women struggling to make her voice heard. Her confused relationship with her loving but critical mother (Julia Stern) is so on point as is her fear at losing her unwell father (Daniel Stern).

I adored the off-the-wall Fran and half wanted to be her, half have her as my own best friend. While the character is wild and silly she is also unwilling to suffer fools and excellent at holding the people around her to account.

The relationship between Annie and man-baby Ryan infuriated me in a good way. I wanted to strangle him at least once an episode but Annie’s unwillingness to let even someone so useless go is just a demonstration of how she views herself. And how unable she is to embrace just how interesting and sexy and worthy of love she is.

I think what I loved most was the Annie’s journey was powerful but largely unresolved. Although she made huge inroads into connecting to a more empowered version of herself, many aspects of her life remained broken or became broken. And the selfishness that focusing on her journey uncovered kept things real.

Some of the ideas are a little underdeveloped and some of the characters (for example, Gabe) felt a bit caricaturish but overall it was funny, touching and empowering. Highly recommended!

4/5

18 Comments

  1. I hadn’t ever heard of this series, Abbi. But I am all for larger ladies being empowered, and I think the star looks great in your photo. I have added this to my Netflix paper-list.
    (It says Hulu, but I am presuming it’s available on Netflix?)
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. I think you might enjoy this one, Pete… but there’s a chance some characters will really annoy you. It’s actually on BBC iPlayer!

      1. Ah, BBC? Thanks for letting me now that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. You have a lot to say about this series. It looks great! I’ll give it a try.

    1. It’s a really fun show. I am enjoying seeing more and more narratives that move away from the traditional very cookie cutter ones we’re used to on TV.

  3. Iโ€™ve never heard of this but I adore Aidy Bryant. Will have to check it out! Thank you

    1. I had not heard of her before this series but she’s so good in it!

      1. I just saw The Big Sick on Netflix and she plays a supporting role. It was such a good movie!

  4. Haven’t seen the show yet but you had me with the poster.

    1. You should absolutely check it out. It is both fun and empowering!

  5. I haven’t even heard of this one…. Might give it a go.

    1. I think you might like it. I found it really empowering!

      1. You were so right, I loved it! But the guy was an asshole.. sorry. HAve you watched season 2 already!?

  6. What a wonderful show! I watched it last year and LOOOOOOOOOOOOVED IT!!! I am so excited for season 2!!!!

    1. I have just seen Season 2 is now available for me to watch. I am finishing off a few other bits so I can give it my full attention.

      1. I still haven’t seen it yet! I’ll watch it soon because season 1 was great!
        I hope you’ll enjoy it as well!

  7. Mitchelle Malone

    I’m thrilled Hulu took this on. I absolutely love it and it’s about time everyone celebrates the big and beautiful in this world!

    1. I can’t wait for season 2!

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