Hulu’s ‘Shrill’: 4 Reasons to Love the Series Starring Aidy Bryant
There’s a new series that critics and fans are buzzing about: Shrill on Hulu. The series, which arrived on the streaming service in full on March 15, 2019, stars Aidy Bryant from Saturday Night Live. It’s loosely based on the novel Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West, and follows Bryant’s character, Annie, through a series of events in which she rediscovers who she is. Following are a few reasons why you should give this show a shot.
Inclusivity across the board
No series is perfect, especially when it comes to inclusivity. But Shrill does an excellent job — arguably way better than most shows on TV. Obviously, there’s the size factor: Annie is a plus-size woman, which is a significant part of her arc. Her roommate, Fran, is also plus size. Additionally, she’s both Black and a lesbian, so there is diversity in terms of race and sexuality. (Bonus: She’s from the U.K., though British people aren’t exactly an underrepresented people on TV, even in the U.S.)
Despite this, Fran and Annie don’t discuss their differences very often, if at all. The primary time is when Annie calls Fran out for the way she has treated some of the women she sleeps with, which is comparable to the way Ryan acts towards Annie. The show is absolutely about Annie’s journey, but it is nice to see that size equality isn’t the only way the series demonstrates its progressive ideals.
The way it handles abortion
We don’t want to give too much away, but there is an abortion in the show. And the way that it is handled is very different from most series. For one thing, they don’t shy away from the topic. It’s discussed for what it is — a standard medical procedure, not some scary, hush-hush kind of treatment. She learns she’s pregnant, she gets an abortion, and the characters move on.
Another interesting thing is how the show goes about revealing her pregnancy. It’s explained that the morning after pill, also known as Plan B, isn’t effective for women over a certain weight. She learns that she’s pregnant when she’s late getting her period, and notices that her breasts are tender (that’s right, there’s no puking realization — another change from the norm).
The show is steeped in feminism from every angle
From what has been written here, you’re probably not surprised to learn that this is a very feminist TV show. But a lot of times, the markers for what makes something “feminist” are either very basic (like basing the Bechdel test) or too over-the-top to be believable (think phrases like “girl power!” being uttered frequently). That’s not the case with Shrill.
Some good examples come from Annie’s workplace. She’s a low-level employee at a publication, looking to write real content. Her first piece blows up, and she begins to experience misogyny from unexpected places, like the comment section of her article and her boss, who uses her weight as an excuse to push her around.
This might not be what typically draws you to a show, but in an age where there’s more content than anyone can possibly consume, short series are great. Shrill is a 30-minute, easily digestible comedy consisting of six episodes in its first season. Chances are, you’ll be clamoring for more by the end, but if you’re just looking for a way to spend an afternoon, you can watch the whole thing in one sitting, no problem.