Welcome back to Shrill, the HuLu TV series based on Lindy West's memoir of the same name, it's not been a very speedy binge-recap, has it? My bad, it's been a chaotic week! Let's see what we can find in Shrill to shout home about in S1:E02 Date after the break.
We open with our hero Annie Easton (Aidy Bryant) on her way into Club Sinrock for "The Ultimate Experience." She's there to review the $7.00 all-you-can-eat buffet, which turns out is Chinese food delivered from across the street.
An illuminating discuss re: waxing of various orifices (I will never look at pudding or grass the same) with three exotic dancers grinding in front of her, Jade (Niccole Thurman) and Ruby (Jennifer Bartels) do not see their work as dis-empowering. Annie should be empowered too!
She's just as awkwardly polite as I was in an Indiana stripclub lo those many years ago.
She goes home early and busts in on her surprise party being set up by roomie Fran (Lolly Adefope), they spot someone lurking outside the door without knocking and decide the best course of action is to immediately pepper spray whomever it is.
*It must be exhausting to be this type of American, always consumed with the idea that everyone is out to get you and you must be prepared to defend yourself with lethal force and/or cayenne pepper at any given time.
**I should note that Fran is probably English or South African and it was her pepper spray.
It's Ryan (Luka Jones) washing pepper spray out of his eyes directly after, he's come to talk to Annie. We met him last time where he was impossibly boorish and got Annie pregnant as part of his preference for "raw-dogging." Fran and I are on the same page on that.
Annie has since aborted this baby-to-be and she broke up with him. He's now decided she wasn't literally his back-door piece, he misses her! Annie asks him to put up or shut up.
Annie confirms: a public, out date? This is what the bar she's set for herself: a man will be seen with her in public.
*I didn't comment much on this last time because I understand where the show is taking us. We're talking about people who feel apologetic and shamed for the size of their bodies and accept far less than their due or even by normal societal rules. It's just extremely difficult to believe that a grown woman would be so touched by some scruffy arsehole saying he'll be seen in public with her this one time. I am even a woman of size and have spent most of my life as same, I have my own vast quantities of stories involving this type of behaviour and if even I have trouble swallowing it...
Annie parties hard for her birthday, then settles with her laptop to be flirted with by a drunk Fran, who's gonna cut her girlfriend's hair. I would not recommend.
Annie didn't write a straight-up restaurant review, of course, she wrote about the lives of the dancers and what they shared with her while she mowed down the shrimp fried rice. Amadi (Ian Owens) is super supportive but her boss Gabe Parrish (John Cameron Mitchell) is ...not. Even though he invented female empowerment, when he was the original bass player for Bikini Kill.
He's cutting all her work. Amadi and Annie celebrate her move from being ignored to being undermined, Gabe's assistant tells them to knock it off and bang already.
Except she doesn't say that, instead we get an excruciating tangent on an outdated sex act. I'm not sure these excruciating tangents are working.
Annie and her mom Vera (Julia Sweeney) walk together; Vera is essentially our mouthpiece for Diet Culture, spouting common phrases and inspiration for Annie to knock down for our amusement. I'm not going to disagree that scheduling exercise is a good thing, though, sorry. I DO always feel better when I exercise, thanks, Vera!
Annie confronts her mom: why say something in the middle of their nice walk? I get that. Why give your unsolicited opinion about someone else's fitness routine?
Annie and Ryan's date is super cringey, but can get worse! Like when Ryan's two roommates show up at his invitation. Pete (Michael Liu) and Mike (Tommy Snider) are completely oblivious to Annie's discomfort and
We're supposed to believe that a grown man who just said this date was the highlight of his week was stupid enough to invite his two grown men roommates along for supper? And that they feel comfortable picking food out.of.her.salad?
Annie is embarrassed by the loud fight Ryan gets into with his roommates and fellow podcasters that draws the eyes of every other diner but Ryan wants to stay on track.
I'm going to need a system of symbols to indicate when I've hurt myself rolling my eyes.
She does go to his place, but his roommates have locked him out and they'll have to go around the back. You know, the way he always makes her go? She watches smugly as he struggles to climb the fence, it's hard!
I'm going to hurt myself because of how loudly and clunkily these plot points and devices are transmitted.
They lay together inside, in the dark, time for the setting boundaries talk! He likes her bum, but even though she's lying in the dark facing away from him, she would actually like to talk instead of just touch. That's literally why I lead with my private areas.
Annie's taken a page from Jade's book, she's the one with the "fat a** and big t***ies", she'll be deciding what they do, which won't be sex, not tonight.
She sleeps over then wakes up to find Ryan and Mike's mom Janelle (Gretchen Corbett) which is not awkward at all with Annie not wearing pants! Neither is Janelle constantly touching Annie's belly, she even knows exactly who Annie is.
It's like that curse: be careful what you wish for.
It's not enough that Ryan is a mama's boy.
He also overshares.
Janelle wants to have a funeral for the fetus. So now Annie is planning said funeral? Fran does not understand, so Annie tries to defend her relationship: hey man, it's better than nothing!
Said nobody ever. Seriously, nobody lacks that much ego or self-awareness. NOBODY. Not out loud.
Fran cutting her girlfriend's hair while they were both extremely drunk goes about as well as we thought it would. They fight it over while Annie checks: I think her article was published! I can't tell because the picture went out and I just have audio on more than one viewing platform that I was able to access.
- She thinks Fran's girlfriend's hair is awesome
- I think Gabe's assistant says "you go girl" about the article being published as is with no cuts, then immediately asks to borrow $5 then $20.
- Amadi tells Annie to check out the comment section, which you should never, ever do. Ever
And we're out! Cheers! Until next time!